On the trip back from Oklahoma I spotted something interesting. I just happened to look left while toodling down the highway and saw a very large open hanger with something really cool parked inside. I couldn’t grab a photo and since I was pulling a trailer, I couldn’t easily double back for a better look. Google to the rescue!

Yeah, the Church has nothing to do with this and Google has it marked in the wrong location. That white building at the top of the image is the hangar. There’s a vague outline of a grass runway running east/west across the property.

Well, that was disappointing! It’s hard to see, but hidden inside of the hanger is a large biplane with unequal wings. I had no idea what it could be, so Google to the rescue! A quick search led me to a likely candidate, the Antonov AN-2.

With that information, I searched for AN-2s near Valient, OK and there it is, tail number N707AW:

It turns out that the complex of buildings south of the hanger (seen in the aerial photo above) belong to F & F Automotive, the registered owner of the plane. Even better, this tail number is in the example photos used for wikipedia!

Look at it in all its Soviet glory!

This plane is designed to be a multi-purpose workhorse that can operate from short and unimproved fields. With a take-off distance of 500 feet, this plane can be in the air before it reaches the driveway crossing their grass runway. It has no official stall speed and pilots have said it flies fine as low as 30 mph. In comparison, the Cessna 152, probably one of the most common planes used for pilot training, has a stall speed of 48 mph. Wow.

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Go check out the wikipedia page. I’ll be over here planning a stop on my next trip to OK.