The Polikarpov U-2 was to be a replacement for the U-1 trainer. Nikolai Polikarpov designed the plane in 1927.
Russian troops called the U-2 the Kukuruzhnik (corn cutter).
In 1944 the U-2 was renamed the Po-2 to recognize Polikarpov's role in its creation. He had died and this was to honor him.
The Po-2 had a composite skeleton and a fabric cover.
The engine did not have a cowling in most variants.
The pilot and the rear passenger each had a windscreen. A few models had enclosed cabins.
The wings each had ailerons that were connected by cables. The tips of the lower wings had skids that protected the wings if the undercarriage failed.
The wings were in a staggered layout. There was a single set of struts bracing the wings.
There were cables that went along the fuselage that connected to the elevators. One aircraft had the controls connected to the control column.
The rudder was tall with a broad chord. This was linked to the cockpit by control cables.