I have heard alot of 'talk' and confident bragging here on the famed "cobra maneuver" and the "super-cobra" by the Russians, who brag about this
also, Sukhois's (Su-37's, etc).
I wish to discuss some facts that illustrate the "cobra's" ineffectiveness.....
First, the "cobra maneuver" and "super-cobra" can only be done without any armament and with less than 50% or half the fuel tanks.....
Second, the "cobra maneuver" and "super-cobra" performed in a wrong way can cause serious damages and in fact, has attributed to numerous deaths
of pilots at 15g.
Thirdly, the "cobra maneuver" and "super cobra" is only effective if the interceptor is really close and does not pick it up ....
Fourth, the "cobra maneuver" and "super-cobra" slows the Sukhoi down so much that if the interceptor spots the maneuver early enough and adjusts
there is absolutely no way that the Sukhoi can survive.
Fifth, the only air maneuvers that the Sukhoi's can truly claim as a "no one else can do" is the "Super Cobra" and "Kulbit".
The Swedish did the famed "cobra maneuver" back in the 60's and it has been claimed, yet still unconfirmed, that a number of US aircraft (ie: F-22,
etc.) can perform the standard "cobra maneuver".
Sixth, the Sukhoi's can also do a 120 degree AOA (angle of attack) which they also brag about but fail to comment on how long the aircraft can hold
the position. The 120 AOA has only been proven to have been done a few times and only for a few seconds. And that is not opinion...thats simply fact.
On the other hand.......the F-22 can perform a constant 60 +/- degree AOA, not seconds, and can do this while rocking the wings at higher speeds than
the Sukhoi's. This is a feat that NO other aircraft can do. Also, the AOA for the F-22 is unlimited even though it has not been tested outside the
wind tunnel tests beyond 80 degrees + AOA. Here is a picture of a F-22 doing such a 70 degree AOA upside down. To confirm this, look at the engine
First:the cobra can be performed with normal A-to-A fuel and weapons, but not recomended.
Second: I have not heard of numerous deaths by do ing such a simple manoever in Mig/Sukhoi.
Third: this manoeuver can be performed slightly different in that the aircraft reaches 180 degree AOA alowing the pilot to "shoot behind".
Fourth: The cobra slows airspeed dramatically which in air combat can be very bennificial forcing the aggressor to overshoot. Standard practice if you
have someone "on your six".
Fifth: Sukhoi and Mig can also do double (or more) kulbit, forwards or backwards. Fly with AOA 180 degress, 90 degress eventually falls to zero
airspeed so it cant be said that the AOA is 90. at zero speed these aircraft can "stand on tail" until the fuel runs out. And they will do a lot
more besides. Keep watching upcoming airshows.
Sixth: 120 degree AOA is difficult to do because the speed drops to zero very quickly and without reaction control to hold the nose up, it will drop.
Also.....both Mig and Sukhoi will flat spin in horisontal flight while being "fully" controllable. The Mig29OVT, Sukhoi 27/37 are the most
manoeuverable aircraft I have ever flown (3000+hours) and in all flight regimes they are very predictable. Also, please remember these aircraft first
flew aroung 1980 and the are only slightly modified in their current form. I love to fly them.