"Nikolai's Mule" - the versatile Polikarpov Po-2/U-2! - RC Groups
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Sep 08, 2017, 11:29 AM
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"Nikolai's Mule" - the versatile Polikarpov Po-2/U-2!


Dear Fellow RC-Groupers:

The PIPE Here...for quite some time I've wondered if there would EVER be a thread in our "Scale Drawings & 3-Views" forum for what could, itself, be one of the most-produced biplane designs of all time - built by the Soviet Union as-designed by Stalin's once-favorite aircraft designer, Nikolai Polikarpov, to replace what they HAD used previously as their favorite two-seat training biplane...none other than Avro's 504K, nicknamed "Avrushka" in Russian.

Well, according to Wikipedia's English language entry on it, "Nikolai's Mule"...my nickname for it from its post-WW II NATO "reporting name" of "Mule"...complete WITH the Wiki-Links intact (I think?) from that online article...

"The Polikarpov Po-2 (also U-2, for its initial uchebnyy role as a flight instruction aircraft) served as a general-purpose Soviet biplane, nicknamed Kukuruznik (Russian: Кукурузник,[3] from Russian "kukuruza" (кукуруза) for maize; thus, "maize duster" or "crop duster"),[citation needed][N 1] NATO reporting name "Mule". The reliable, uncomplicated concept of the Po-2's design made it an ideal training aircraft, as well as doubling as a low-cost ground attack, aerial reconnaissance, psychological warfare and liaison aircraft during war, proving to be one of the most versatile light combat types to be built in the Soviet Union.[4] As of 1978 it remained in production for a longer period of time than any other Soviet-era aircraft.[4] It is one of the most produced aircraft, and may be the most produced biplane with production possibly as high as 30,000 Po-2s built between 1928 and 1959.[citation needed] However, production figures for Polikarpov U-2 and Po-2 bombers and trainers combined are between 20,000 and 30,000.[2] with production ending as early as 1952.[2] Correct figures are hard to obtain since low-rate production by small repair shops and air clubs likely continued until 1959."

One of its MOST famous roles in World War II was with the Soviet "Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily" (VVS) air force's 588th Night Bomber Regiment, based in a number of locations in what today is around the eastern Ukraine (while it was still a "Soviet republic"), fighting against the Nazi Wehrmacht Heer and Waffen-SS ground troops, particularly northeast of the Black Sea, in the so-called Kuban region. The 588th was a very famous unit, nicknamed "The Night Witches" due to that unit's cadre of exclusively-FEMALE combat pilots, flying the specialized Po-2 version known as the U-2LNB (the "U-2" designation comes from it being the "second training type" of the VVS) built for night harassment raids that kept the gangster Ratzi troops awake at night many, many times, even prompting Goering to start his own "Störkampfstaffel" squadron-sized, and "Nachtschlachtgruppe" group-sized assemblages of a few Störkampfstaffeln each, to "try" to return the favor with equally slow-flying Luftwaffe two-seat training bipes (Gotha Go 145s were often used), but which just never had quite the rate of success that The Night Witches did.

Appropriately, I've got a few drawings...just to start this thread (more drawings coming, don't worry!), with most of them coming from the pages of the Russian language "Modelist-Constructor" magazine for the Polikarpov Po-2/U-2 biplane, so we can build one for our needs...these should be ESPECIALLY good for a basis for one's own CAD-drawn plans for one, and if the desire for doin' one up of these for full-blown, 25 cm = 1 meter (1/4 size Giant Scale) RC Giant flying comes up as a desirable subject, I'd bet either the OS 5-cylinder Sirius radial, or the ASP 400 larger-displacement equivalent, would be ideal radial mills for the Po-2 in Giant Scale.

Measurements on these drawings, as one should expect, are ALL in the metric system...most of them are in millimeters, as full-scale dimensions in all cases - the Soviet Union offically "went metric" way back in late July of 1925.

Anyway, here they are...all done up as 200 dpi JPEG scans, as well as a great pair of pages of the Shvetsov M-11D five-jug radial mill used to fly them, and a page with the engine MOUNT drawing for that radial also included.

Hope these can be of value to someone...they certainly are to me!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
Last edited by The PIPE; Sep 08, 2017 at 08:26 PM.
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Sep 08, 2017, 08:30 PM
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Great detail.
Sep 08, 2017, 09:09 PM
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Just a quick one...some WW II video of Po-2s flying in WINTER...!


Dear georgeg:

The PIPE Here again...more to come over this weekend, and YES, this weekend IS the Old Rhinebeck RC Jamboree weekend (Sep. 8-10, 2017) there...just please, don't remind me about MISSING it, as I've got my 81-years mother to take care of here at home!

There IS this no-sound video (except for some balalaika music) of Po-2s in wintertime flight, most likely during the WW II years...

Polikarpov U-2 / Po-2 WW2 Soviet Film (7 min 30 sec)


...gotta love those unique-style SKIS, as those WOULD look great on an RC Giant Po-2 with 5-jug, four-stroke radial power!

As I said, more coming this weekend...

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
Sep 09, 2017, 12:07 PM
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Pipe,
Thanks for the very detailed views. I love the 1930s Fleet Bipes this one is a close cousin with some extras like the enclosed cockpit.
OH, some many models so little time.
Sep 09, 2017, 09:17 PM
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Two MORE "general views"...and then, what could be "factory drawings"?


Dear Fellow Po-2/U-2 Fans at RCG:

The PIPE Here. with those other drawings I'd hinted at...two of them are a pair of "additional" general reference drawings of "Nikolai's Mule",with another SEVEN of 'em being what could have been "factory drawing" grade documentation grade drawings... !!

This MAY be all I'd could find on the "Mule" so far...but with ALL the info these drawings pack into 'em, we MIGHT almost have what's needed to, dare I say it, go "nearly museum scale" with one...you be the judge!

Anyway, enjoy and use 'em well for you own Po-2 Scale aeromodeling needs!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!

P.S. Just like I did in this post for the Pietenpol Air Camper, there's a photo I added this Sunday morning of the layout of the "Mule's" open-structure wing ribs...so we can keep our own RC Giant Po-2's wings just "that much" lighter...the "solid ribs" actually seem to line up with the internal, between-the-spar bracing's "compression-strut" locations for the 'LWR WING STRUCTURE" drawing already submitted, so with that added photo, one now has the info to use with that linked "Pete-post's" MS Word copy of Harry Schoaf's "built-up ribs" article, to the same for an RC Giant Po-2 if desired!
Last edited by The PIPE; Sep 10, 2017 at 11:34 AM.
Sep 10, 2017, 12:18 PM
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A VIDEO or two of the subject aircraft can't hurt, either...


Dear Fellow Po-2 Lovers at RCG:

The PIPE Here again - just remembered about a pair of nice videos of restored Po-2s that are flying nowadays...

...first, there's Kermit Weeks in Florida with his restored "Mule" (I JUST hope it survived through "IRMA's wet'n'windy assault" intact!)

Night Witches - Polikarpov Po-2 Flight (7 min 12 sec)


...then, the UK Shuttleworth collection's similarly restored example...

Polikarpov Po-2 (4 min 54 sec)


...and to conclude, if you want to find your own "favorite" Po-2 video, there's this LIST at YT to check out (the above two "videoed" aircraft ARE in some of 'em)...

Polikarpov Po-2 "Night Witches" (6 min 8 sec)


That's all for this weekend...hope you can fill in a detail OR two from all the drawings "already here" that could have been missed, from viewing all those Po-2 videos!!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!

P.S. I ALMOST forgot...added to the "footer" of this reply, are Gene Wallock's plans and build article for a Po-2 RC model (not an RC Giant, though) from the old RC Modeler magazine as well...a four-stroke on THIS one should be a must-use to keep everthing "in character" with the original subject!


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