06/05/2016. Remarks by Walter van Tilborg: "The two prototypes of what became the An-2 were designated SKh-1 and the first example made its first flight on August 31, 1947. The type was developed by OKB-153 (Design Bureau 153) which was later named after Oleg Antonov. The prototypes had a Shvetsov ASh-61, respectively ASh-62, radial engine with the latter being selected for production aircraft. The An-2 was built in large numbers in the USSR (Antonov), Poland (PZL/WSK Mielec) and PRC (Shijiazhuang) and production is claimed to have been over 18,000.
Over the years several efforts were made to improve the An-2 and several turbine engined versions have appeared.
ASTC (Antonov Aeronautical Scientific and Technical Complex) was the first to launch a turbine-powered variant. Design studies started in 1972 and in 1979 a photo was released of a modified An-2 (CCCP-30576) fitted with a 960 hp Glushenko TVD-10B turbine engine. Designated An-3, it was followed by a second test aircraft, now with a more powerful 1,430 hp Glushenko GTD-20. The upgraded variant was planned for production in several versions, but in the end no production aircraft were built.
The An-3T was more or less a revival of the An-3 and was developed by Omsk-based Polyot State Aerospace Enterprises, reportedly in co-operation with ASTC. The first An-3T made its maiden flight on February 10, 1998, powered by a 1,375 hp Omsk (Glushenko) TVD-20M turbine. The An-3T had several changes compared to the original An-3 such as the larger An-2M vertical tail, a extra partition between the cockpit and cabin, and was mainly intended for transport work, rather than as ag-plane. No new An-3Ts were built, but the twenty or so that were completed were modified from An-2 airframes which had sufficient structural life left. Plans for production of the An-3T in Poland were abandoned.
The An-3-300 designation was reported for a 2012 joint-venture of Tyumen Plant no.26 (Russia) and engine manufacturer Motor Sich (Ukraine) for a Motor Sich MS-14 turbine engine powered version. The joint-venture fell through and instead the Antonov Company developed the An-2-100 which had a 1,500 hp MS-14 engine. A prototype first flew on July 10, 2013 and the upgrade was mainly aimed at the many An-2s that were still in operation in countries such as Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia etc.
Another organization working on a "better" An-2 is SibNIA (Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute) in Novosibirsk, Russia. In this version, the An-2MS (An-2MC in Russian) and later usually referred to as the TVS-2MS), the radial engine was replaced by an 1,100 hp Honeywell TPE331-12UHR turbine, driving a five-bladed Hartzell propeller. The first An-2MS/TVS-2MS was first flown on September 5, 2011 and by 2015 well over fifteen examples had been delivered by SibNIA and Rusaviaprom JSC, all built, from existing An-2 airframes retaining the An-2 wings and tail feathers.
SibNIA went a step further and also developed an upgraded An-2 with an entirely new composite construction high-lift, high-aspect-ratio wing. This new wing was first tested on an An-2MS which flew as a high wing monoplane. The aircraft, designated TVS-2-DT, first flew in December 2014 and had the TPE331 engine and old style tail. It then received curved wingtips on the upper wing and a new lower wing with wingtips acting as interconnecting struts. In this guise it flew on June 10, 2015, initially also with the old tail, but this was soon replaced by a new design larger and squared vertical tail as shown in the photo."