In March 1940, A. Antonov, who worked at the factory number 23 in Leningrad, was charged with developing an analogue of the German light aircraft Fizeler Fi.156. Working on the analog, which received the designation "aircraft number 2" (EYE-38), Antonov proposed a on the basis of its military cargo "plane number 4," distinguishing features of which were radial engine M-62 light fuselage and biplane cellule. Then rejected the idea of military aircraft, biplanes, but after the war Antonov returned to it again. In 1945, the OK Antonov, the deputy chief designer of OKB-115, addressed the Yakovlev aircraft design with a proposal of his own design and received his consent. The project "aircraft 4 "has been completely redesigned.

From the previous project there was only a biplane box. In March 1946, the Novosibirsk branch of OKB-115 was transformed into an independent OKB-153. Its chief designer was appointed Oleg Antonov. Main task was to develop new CB transport aircraft "T" with a motor-62IR. Developed in parallel with the agricultural version of the engine AL-21. The first prototype, designated Cxa, was built in 1947. August 31, 1947 test pilot AP Volodin first raised it in the sky. In December, the Air Force Institute began its state tests, which lasted until March 1948.

In July of that year resulted in testing a second prototype with the engine AL-21. 23 August 1948 under the designation of plane An-2 was adopted by the Air Force and for the supply of CAF. Mass production was organized at the factory number 473 in Kiev.