From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
"APACHE" | AH-64A Peten
General characteristics
2 peopleCrew
1.5 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
1 500 mCeiling
Shvetsov M-11DEngine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
190 km/hStructural
450 km/hGear
Defensive armament
7.62 mm ShKAS machine gunTurret
200 roundsAmmunition
1 800 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
6 x 50 kg FAB-50 (forged) bombSetup 1
2 x 100 kg FAB-100 (forged) bombSetup 2
2 x 100 kg FAB-100 (forged) bomb
2 x 50 kg FAB-50 (forged) bomb
Setup 3
Sl icon.png380 / 449/70 / 82/170 / 201Repair
200 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
20 Ge icon.pngAces
100 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
100 % Sl icon.png90 % Sl icon.png40 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage Po-2.jpg

The Po-2 is a rank I gift Soviet biplane bomber with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). This bomber has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29. 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.

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

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Maximum speed, maneuverability, speed and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Stat card

Max Speed
(km/h at sea level)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
130 126 1,500 30.5 31.4 0.5 0.4 258
Max Speed
(km/h at sea level)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
138 134 1,500 29.6 30.0 1.5 1.0 258


Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
190 450 N/A ~4 ~2
Optimal velocities
< 200 < 200 < 200 > 95
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power
700 m 114 hp

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

The Po-2 has a 13 mm steel plate in the nose, which is something but not useful as if you are attacked from the front you cannot retaliate. 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. At this point, you can make an emergency landing and act as an anti-aircraft gun for the rest of the match.

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.

  • 13 mm Steel plate in the nose.
  • Small, single, self-sealing fuel tank.


Suspended armament

The options available for the Po-2 are:

  • 4 x 50 kg bombs
  • 6 x 50 kg bombs
  • 2 x 50 kg bombs + 2 x 100 kg bombs

Defensive armament

Main article: ShKAS (7.62 mm)

The Po-2 is armed with:

  • 1 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun, dorsal turret (200 RPG) but can be reloaded by the rear gunner, making the ammo count practically infinite.

Usage in the 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 100kg 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 6x50kg bombs as, despite being smaller, they mean you have the chance to destroy 3 higher value targets instead of 2. 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.

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 2 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.)

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.

It should be noted that some people up-tier 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. It has been noted 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.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable
Not automatic pitch
Not controllable Not controllable Combined Not controllable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Turret 7 mm
II Airframe New 7 mm MGs (turret)
III Wings repair Engine
IV Cover

Pros and cons


  • Difficult to tail due to low speed
  • Decent bomb load
  • Rear Gunner is armed with one of the best machine guns in terms of rate-of-fire in-game
  • Very manoeuvrable
  • Has bombsight
  • Slow speed helps with accurate bombing bombing
  • Very capable rudder, useful for quick evasive manoeuvres
  • Low stall speed ~88 km/h with bombs and ~74 km/h without bombs


  • No forward-firing armament
  • Fragile (wood and fabric - though very immune to radar)
  • Horribly slow
  • Very hard to gain altitude
  • Low service ceiling
  • No armour or bulletproof glass protection for the pilot or the gunner
  • Can not excess over ~200 km/h without over-revving engine and ~230 km/h for mid-air rapid disassembly


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 '45.

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.

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

  • Kozhedub's first flying experience was as a teenager when he learned to fly the Polikarpov U-2 (trainer versions of the Po-2).
  • Litvyak first soloed in a Polikarpov Po-2 at the age of 15 and would later pilot Yak-1 and Yak-1B fighters in the Great Patriotic War.


Skins and camouflages for the Po-2 from live.warthunder

A video guide to the Po-2

Obtainable events

  • The Po-2 could be obtained is the 2017 Halloween event, where the top 1,000 players in the ground and air events will earn the Po-2.
  • The same could be said for the 2018 Halloween event, though only the top 1,000 players in the air races could earn the plane.
  • Latest event to obtain the Po-2 was in 2019 Halloween event[1], again for the top 1000 players.

Read also


Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • page on aircraft encyclopedia;
  • other literature.

Polikarpov Design Bureau (Опытное конструкторское бюро Поликарпова)
I-15 Fighters  I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15R · I-15bis · I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P
I-16 Fighters  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 FIghters  I-180S · I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)
Twin-Engine Fighter  TIS MA
Bombers  Po-2
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-2 · MBR-2-M-34 · TB-3M-17-32 · Yak-4 · Be-6
Lend-Lease  ▂PBY-5a Catalina · ▂Hampden TB Mk I · ▂B-25J-30

  1. 2019 Night Witch Halloween race event