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VTOL | Rank 5 USSR
Yak-38 Pack
1.0 1.0 1.0
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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.

File:TechTree Po-2.jpeg
If the user has the Po-2 unlocked, this is how it will appear in the tech tree.

General info

Flight Performance

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

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured. Describe the armour, if there is any, also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.

  • 13 mm Steel plate in the nose.


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)

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.

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

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 RoF in-game
  • Very manoeuvrable
  • Has bombsight
  • Slow speed helps with accurate bombing bombing
  • Very capable rudder, useful for quick evasive manoeuvres
  • Low stall speed


  • No forward firing armament
  • Fragile
  • Horribly slow
  • Very hard to gain altitude
  • Low service ceiling
  • No armour or bulletproof glass protection for the pilot or the gunner


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

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.

Read also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.



Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

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

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