Watch Russia’s Favorite Fighter Jet Pull Off The Most Insane Aerobatics We’ve Ever Seen

Gear
A Su-35 multi-role fighter during demonstration flights at the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2017 in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region.
Photo via Associated Press

The Russian military’s state-of-the-art Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E multi-role fighters aren’t just turning heads and dropping jaws over the wastelands of Syria anymore. During a flight demonstration ahead of Russia’s annual Moscow Air Show, one of the country’s finest fighter jets pulls off a series of amazing aerobatic maneuvers that might make even the most experienced throttle jockey's guts turn.


Kyle Mizokami at Popular Mechanics has a great breakdown of some of the death-defying aerial stunts on display in this ridiculous video, most of which come with particularly alarming Soviet-era titles like Pugachev's Cobra (the nose of the Su-35 is pointed straight up before returning to a level flight path, as seen at 1:56) or the Frolov Chakra (at 3:25, the Su-35 enters a controlled spin through an aggressively tight turn, appearing to simply float through the blue skies above the expo). For Mizokami, the best move comes at 5:25, when the pilot backflips the plane into a twisting, turning dive.

Um, what?GIF via Task & Purpose

How can this fighter seemingly violate the laws of aerodynamics so casually? Probably because it has a reputation for freakish maneuverability that makes the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter look like an Albatros D-III. The Flanker derivative makes use of three-dimensional thrust vectoring that’s standard on most Sukhoi-produced aircraft (including Russia’s brand new Su-30SM1 fighter) using a quadruplex, digital fly-by-wire control system that allows pilots to pull off astounding feats with precision and poise.

Don’t shit in your little panties just yet. As Tyler Rogoway at the War Zone points out, the aggressive super-maneuverability on display is less important when it comes to actually evading enemy missiles. In the decades since the aerial chases of Top Gun, NATO aircraft have developed “high-off boresight (HOBS) short-range air-to-air missiles and a helmet mounted sight for cueing those missiles towards aerial targets far off the aircraft's centerline,” writes Rogoway, effectively negating the impact of aerial gymnastics. 

Still, it’s impressive as all hell — and helps explain why Chinese pilots flying high in their own Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets have been having so much fun giving American aircraft the Top Gun treatment in recent months.

WATCH NEXT:

Pearl Harbor survivor Lauren Bruner attends the dual interment of fellow USS Arizona survivors John D. Anderson, boatswain's mate 2nd class, and Clarendon R. Hetrick, seaman 1st class, at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as part of the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Somers Steelman)

Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.

The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.

Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.

It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.

More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.

Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.

Read More Show Less
Joshua Kaleb Watson (Facebook via Business Insider)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Joshua Kaleb Watson has been identified as one of the victims of a shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CBS News reported.

The 23-year-old Alabama native and Naval Academy graduate was named to the Academy's prestigious Commandant's and Dean's lists, and also competed on the rifle team, Alabama's WTVY reported.

Read More Show Less
Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani (Courtesy photo)

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that monitors online extremism.

Federal investigators have not disclosed any motive behind the attack, which unfolded at dawn on Friday when the Saudi national is said to have began firing a handgun inside a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Read More Show Less
Saudi air force Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed al-Shamrani (NBC News)

The Saudi military officer who shot and killed 3 people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday reportedly hosted a "dinner party" the week before the attack "to watch videos of mass shootings," the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed U.S. official.

Read More Show Less
Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) hold folded flags before military funeral honors. (U.S. Army/Elizabeth Fraser)

The Minnesota National Guard has released the names of the three soldiers killed in Thursday's helicopter crash.

Read More Show Less