How to jump out of a Po-2

As a young man, Yuri Gagarin learned to fly with the Saratov Aero-Club. Part of the training included parachute jumps from a Polikarpov Po-2 biplane.

Nicknamed ‘Kukuruznik’ (‘Corncutter’), these general-purpose aircraft served as trainers and crop-dusters during peacetime and, uniquely for a ‘stick and string’ biplane, even fulfilled combat roles in WW2 and the Korean war as night bombers. Po-2 was also used to land behind enemy lines at night with supplies for partisans and to evacuate important persons from behind enemy lines.

Naturally we wanted to show the correct jump technique from this plane in an illustration for our graphic novel, Yuri’s Day.

Searching for accurate information Andrew contacted Sgt Roy Mobsby, a retired military parachutist a founder and Coordinator of the Pathfinder Parachute Group, an organisation devoted to military style parachuting. He, in turn, put Andrew in touch with Lt Paul Moszner, reserve parachute instructor of the Polish airborne troops and SF. Paul has been helpful in showing us exactly how to jump out of a Polikarpov PO-2 biplane and it’s Polish copy CSS-13. There are still a few flying CSS-13 biplanes in Poland and they are used to jump on request.

Our thanks go to him.

More on the Polikarpov from Wikipedia

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