1944 Polikarpov PO2

The Collection’s exhibit

This aeroplane was built in 1944 in the Soviet Union and its operational history is unknown until it was included in a group of 30 given to Yugoslavia in 1946. It flew first at the Military Air Force Academy at Pancevo before being transferred, in 1952, to the Yugoslav Air Club where it was used for glider towing and parachute training.

On 1 March 1958 it was registered YU-CLJ and flew at the Federal Aircraft Centre at URSAC until April 1961, then transferred to Murska Subota in Slovenia. Its working life ended in 1979 when it was donated to the Yugoslav National Museum who later sold to Jim Pearce, brought to the UK and registered as G-BSSY in July 1990.

The aircraft was sold on to Pat Donovan in 1996 and shipped to Seattle where restoration was begun, but then it was taken to New Zealand in December 2000. Finally it was purchased for the Shuttleworth Collection in 2004 and following comprehensive restoration the aircraft flew for the first time with The Collection on 10 January 2011, piloted by ‘Dodge’ Bailey.

The fuel tank holds 200L but there are no fuel gauge nor fuel pump. The oil system – no filter, just a mesh screen – is turned on by a tap behind the starboard cowl panel, out of reach of the pilot. It is often on the programme at Collection flying events.

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