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This page is about the gift Soviet bomber Po-2. For the premium version, see Po-2M. For the race event version, see Po-2 Night Witch.
GarageImage Po-2.jpg
ArtImage Po-2.jpg
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The Po-2 is a gift rank I Soviet bomber with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. One of the more infamous planes in War Thunder, the Po-2 has a rather affectionate palindrome nickname of "2-OP" from the community for its history in the game. This plane is no longer obtainable unless it is given out during events (during every Halloween event since 2013).

The Po-2 is a very slow aircraft, earning a reputation of affection thanks to its poor characteristics. The Po-2 is about nine times as slow as the jets, and its maximum speed is one-third of a good amount of its opponents at BR 1.0. Being so, it is flown mostly for sheer fun with no intent of competitiveness. It does not come without its strengths, though - the Po-2 can carry a very effective bombload, and it can be very evasive against enemy aircraft, thanks to its slow speed and impressive manoeuvrability. The rear gunner is also decent, being in charge of a very effective machine gun. Unfortunately for the Po-2's enthusiasts, this is also the only armament it has, and the aircraft is so fragile that even a fast-firing gun does not often suffice to rid the Po-2 of a sad fate. Whenever confrontation with fighters is avoidable, one should avoid it and stay safe.

When the Po-2 was added, it was originally unlockable by research as a non-premium vehicle. However, it is currently hidden in the tech tree. The Po-2 can still be acquired, though. Once in a while, there is usually an event that rewards the Po-2 for completing it. It should be noted that while it appears before the BB-1 in the tech tree, users who have not unlocked the Po-2 via events or researching it before it was hidden will not see it in the tech tree. Additionally, the Po-2 is separate from the attacker line, and you do not need to have the Po-2 unlocked to research the BB-1 and the aircraft that follow it.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 0 m134 km/h
Turn time30 s
Max altitude1 500 m
EngineShvetsov M-11D
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight1 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 0 m - sea level)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 130 126 1500 30.5 31.4 1.8 1.7 258
Upgraded 138 134 29.6 30.0 2.8 2.3


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
190 450 N/A N/A N/A ~5 ~3
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 200 < 200 < 200 > 295

Engine performance

Engine Name Number present
Shvetsov M-11D 5-cylinder 1
Engine characteristics
Weight (each) Type Cooling
170 kg Radial Air
Engine power (Stock)
Mode Take-off
Arcade 117 hp
Realistic/Simulator 116 hp
Engine power (Upgraded)
Mode Take-off
Arcade 123 hp
Realistic/Simulator 120 hp
WEP Duration
Arcade Realistic/Simulator
25 seconds Infinite

Survivability and armour

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear450 km/h

The Po-2 lacks any form of armour plating or bulletproof glass. In Air RB, the Po-2's airframe is surprisingly reliable and is perfectly controllable even with serious damage, however, past a certain amount of damage (yellow all over and worse) you will not have enough power to keep airborne for much longer.

It also has a small, self-sealing fuel tank, as well as a tiny oil tank in from of it, both just behind the engine. This leads to a low chance of catching on fire, however, if you are set on fire you have very little chance of putting it out due to your slow speed.

  • Small, single, self-sealing fuel tank.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB114 → 134 Sl icon.png
RB158 → 187 Sl icon.png
SB182 → 215 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications2 960 Rp icon.png
885 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost190 Ge icon.png
Crew training200 Sl icon.png
Experts1 000 Sl icon.png
Aces20 Ge icon.png
Research Aces96 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
20 / 30 / 60 % Sl icon.png
100 / 100 / 100 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
300 Rp icon.png
90 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
370 Rp icon.png
110 Sl icon.png
65 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
370 Rp icon.png
110 Sl icon.png
65 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
220 Rp icon.png
65 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
480 Rp icon.png
145 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
300 Rp icon.png
90 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
220 Rp icon.png
65 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
220 Rp icon.png
65 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
480 Rp icon.png
145 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png


Suspended armament

The Po-2 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Hardpoints Po-2.png
50 kg FAB-50sv bombs 1 1 2 1 1
100 kg FAB-100sv bombs 1 1
RBS-82 rockets 4 4
ROS-82 rockets 4 4
ROS-132 rockets 4 4
Default weapon presets
  • 6 x 50 kg FAB-50sv bombs (300 kg total)
  • 2 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bombs (200 kg total)
  • 2 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bombs + 2 x 50 kg FAB-50sv bombs (300 kg total)
  • 8 x ROS-82 rockets
  • 8 x RBS-82 rockets
  • 8 x ROS-132 rockets

Defensive armament

Main article: ShKAS (7.62 mm)

The Po-2 is defended by:

  • 1 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun, dorsal turret (400 rpg)

Available belts for 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun:

  • Default: T/Ball/Ball/AP-I/AI — 60% of belt consist of bullets without any effect. Cannot be recommended for regular use.
  • Armored targets: AP-I/AP-I/AP-I/API-T — the whole belt consist of armour-piercing incendiary bullets, which are the best to damage modules and makes more damage to the crew at a distance lower than 500m. This belt is the best in close ranges.
  • Universal: API-T/API-T/API-T/AI — 75% of the belt consist of armour-piercing incendiary tracer bullets with less penetration at low distances than that have AP-I bullets. Belt has one adjustment incendiary bullet, which deals the best damage to the crew in a distance of 500m and higher, but effect can be random, but in most cases better, than AP bullet, but it can't deal damage to a crew through a enclosed cockpit. This belt is the best against fighters with enclosed cockpit.

Usage in battles

The Po-2 does at times shine in Ground Realistic Battles, being potentially useful at any battle rating. Its slow speed makes it very easy to dive-bomb accurately with, and its 100 kg bombs are sufficient to put any tank out of order. A Po-2 pilot can even cause great humiliation to Maus commanders. However, tanks' light machine guns are no small threat for the small biplane, and even tanks' main guns can give it a very bad day, let alone dedicated AA platforms. To avoid this, Po-2 pilots should fly low and try their best to not fly in a straight line, and plan their attacks ahead, looking at the map to see where enemies were marked and inferring the enemies' locations from cap points.

In Air RB, your best bet is probably to spawn at bomber altitude as opposed to the airfield which, while presenting the risk of wing ripping, is better than struggling for speed at the altitude which most of the fighting at this rank takes place (that is, low altitude). Furthermore, you should take the 6 x 50 kg bombs as, despite being smaller, they mean you have the chance to destroy 6 higher value targets instead of 4. You should choose a group of ground targets to attack, stationary tanks are good to bomb as any bomb can destroy them and they yield a decent reward. Moving targets are horrible and not worth it as short fuses lead to you being hit by your own bombs and long fuses lead to a very low hit probability since your bombs are small and must detonate very close to the target to have any effect, which is incredibly difficult to guarantee with a fuse. Moreover, 5 50 kg bombs are enough to destroy one enemy base.

After using up your bombs, find some vehicles, artillery, or AA emplacements you want to destroy and approach them. Be sure to use evasive manoeuvres as you approach, as your slow speed leads to AA hitting you far more often than it would on other planes. Flyover, but slightly to the side of your targets at a very low altitude, then switch to your rear gunner and destroy them (if you fly directly over then your tail will prevent your tail gunner from getting a shot). After destroying 4 targets using this method you should fire off your remaining bullets and let your gunner reload, as otherwise, you will probably run out of ammo halfway through your third strafing run. Since you can reload as many times as you like, this is a sustainable way of doing decently well, and you can destroy upwards of 20 targets (with some luck, on the right map.)

Other way to use PO-2 is to take 8 ROS-132 with an adjusted rocket activation distance. As most planes, which are facing you at 1.0-2.0, are very slow, it is not that hard to hit a target with a rocket in a head-on. For example, set a rocket activation distance at 600m, so you can launch them as early as the distance between you and opponent reaches 600m. For sure, you may launch two or three rockets in a row.

If attacked by enemy aircraft, you stand a small but appreciable chance of destroying them. When approached, point your aircraft directly away from the enemy and shoot at them with your rear gunner, preferably once they are within half a kilometre, though your gun can be effective out to 800 metres with some luck. If you have them unlocked, Universal belts are the best for almost all situations, since they make aiming far easier and more importantly have a higher chance of setting the attacker on fire, which will down them almost every time. As well as this, some pilots will break off once they are set on fire or seriously damaged, since they don't judge the effort to be worth it, but most pilots don't tend to think like this and require a "Significant Emotional Event" in order to stop shooting at you.

Some players bring Po-2s into jet battles, which can be a valid strategy with the right tactics. You should always fly low in jet battles because most jets will not waste their altitude and energy on a Po-2 flying at treetop level. "Most" is the operative word here and even if you don't get downed, many jet battles are over before you even reach your intended target, even on smallish maps such as Malta. If you use precision to your advantage, you can get the most out of this aircraft in an uptier Ground RB battle. You can take out SPAAs with your incendiary bombs and use your 100 kg bombs to destroy enemy tanks or armoured cars. It has been recorded that a North Korean Po-2 was credited with a jet-kill during the Korean war when an attacking F-94 Starfire stalled out trying to line up a shot at a Po-2 and crashed.

Thanks to its short landing distance, the Po-2 can land at a helipad in mixed ground battles (at top-tier), repair and rearm and get an air spawn.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Combined Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • Very manoeuvrable
  • Very capable rudder, useful for quick evasive manoeuvres
  • Difficult to tail due to low speed
  • Very low stall speed
  • Has bombsight
  • Decent bomb load
  • Slow speed helps with accurate bombing
  • Rear gunner is armed with a machine gun with a good rate of fire
  • Very short landing distance


  • No forward-firing armament
  • Fragile (wood and fabric)
  • Horribly slow
  • Very hard to gain altitude
  • Low service ceiling
  • No armour or bulletproof glass protection for the pilot or the gunner
  • Can not exceed ~200 km/h without over-revving engine and ~190 km/h for structural integrity
  • Low amount of ammunition for rear gun


The Po-2 was the primary aircraft of the infamous 588th Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Armed Forces. The Regiment, commonly nicknamed "Night Witches" was the only regiment in the world to entirely consist of women. The regiment was often looked down upon by their male counterparts, but as the Second World War raged, they earned the undying respect of the Soviet Army. Their nickname "Night Witches" comes from the characteristic sound of their Po-2's, that was all that could be heard during their nightly raids as their engines were set to idle and they would glide through to Night to their victims, completely silent. This sound, or lack thereof, brought their enemy's thoughts to the broomsticks of Witches and thus called them "Nachthexen". Meaning Night Witches in English.

Every single member of the Night Witches had by the end of the war flown at least 800 missions, which was completely unheard of. Especially considering that an American pilot was generally allowed to retire if he survived 25 missions. Some of the most famous Night Witches, Yekaterina Ryabova and Nadezhda Popova were reported to once have completed 18 ground attack missions in a single night. Not only was it extremely humiliating for the German Army to be defeated by the outdated Po-2, but the fact that they were piloted by women added insult to injury. It went on to the degree that German High Command offered to award the Iron Cross to anyone that shot down a Night Witch. Only 30 people claimed that bounty in the entire war.

Twenty-three Night Witches were awarded the "Hero of the Soviet Union" title, 2 the "Hero of Russia" title and 1 the "Hero of Kazakhstan" title. 24,000 sorties and 23,000 tons of bombs dropped on target is also on their résumé. As the war went on and they became Heroes in the Soviet Union, they were offered better planes, but they refused. They stuck with the Po-2, they flew it when the war started and they continued to fly it when they participated in the Battle of Berlin in 1945.

The Po-2 was used in the Korean War by the North Koreans, where it inflicted considerable damage against airbases. United Nations forces found it incredibly difficult to track and shoot down Po-2s, due to the wood and fabric construction of the plane giving it a very small radar signature. The top speed of the Po-2 was well below the stall speed of most aircraft at the time. It's also the only biplane credited with a jet kill, achieved when a Lockheed F-94 Starfire attempted to attack a low-flying Po-2 and stalled in the process, losing control and crashing.

Archive of the in-game description

The U-2, or Po-2, was a multi-role biplane, created by Nikolay Polikarpov in 1928. The U-2 was designed as a primary civilian trainer and was forgiving and easy to fly. Its inaugural flight took place on 7th January 1928, with M. M. Gromov at the controls. As designed, the U-2 was a conventional biplane with an air-cooled 100-HP M-11 engine. The aircraft was widely used in agriculture, transport and other roles. Staff plane and ambulance variants also existed, as well as reconnaissance, passenger, floatplane and many other versions.

By 1932, a new military trainer variant, U-2VS was designed. It could carry six 8 kg dummy bombs on underwing pylons and had a gunner turret in the rear seat. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, many existing U-2s were converted to light night bombers. Modifications were made by both the Polikarpov Design Bureau, directly at the factories, and even in the field, by mechanics at front-line squadrons. As a result, the number of operational variants was high. The plane could carry from 100 to 350 kg of bombs. By 1943, the number of frontline Po-2 regiments reached its peak of up to 70 night bomber regiments. After Nikolay Polikarpov died in 1944, the aircraft was redesignated Po-2 in his memory. The aircraft remained in serial production until 1953, with over 33,000 built.

Notable pilots



See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

External links

Polikarpov Design Bureau (Опытное конструкторское бюро Поликарпова)
I-15  I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15 M-25 · I-15bis · Krasnolutsky's I-15bis
I-153  I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P
I-16  I-16 type 5 · I-16 type 10 · I-16 type 18 · I-16 type 24 · I-16 type 27 · I-16 type 28
I-180  I-180S · I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)
ITP  ITP (M-1)
Twin-engine fighters  TIS MA
Bombers  Po-2 · Po-2M
Export  ␗I-15bis · ␗I-153 M-62 · ␗I-16 type 5 · ␗I-16 type 10 · ␗I-16 type 17 · ␗I-16 Chung 28

USSR bombers
SB and Ar  SB 2M-100 · SB 2M-103 · SB 2M-103 MV-3 · SB 2M-103U · SB 2M-103U MV-3 · SB 2M-105 · Ar-2
Yer-2 (petrol)  Yer-2 (M-105) · Yer-2 (M-105) TAT · Yer-2 (M-105R) TAT · Yer-2 (M-105R) LU
Yer-2 (diesel)  Yer-2 (ACh-30B) (e) · Yer-2 (ACh-30B) (l)
Tu  Tu-2 · Tu-2S · Tu-2S-44 · Tu-2S-59 · Tu-4
Pe  Pe-2-1 · Pe-2-31 · Pe-2-83 · Pe-2-110 · Pe-2-205 · Pe-2-359 · Pe-8
IL  DB-3B · IL-4
Po  Po-2 · Po-2M
Other  MBR-2-M-34 · TB-3M-17-32 · Yak-4 · Be-6
Lend-Lease  ▂PBY-5A Catalina · ▂Hampden TB Mk I · ▂A-20G-30 · ▂B-25J-30