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:

Photo: Twitter

For an organization that is constantly shining a light on things that would rather be kept out of the public eye, the moderators of U.S. Army WTF! Moments have done a remarkably impressive job at staying anonymous.

That is, until Monday.

Read More Show Less

For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.

"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.

In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.

"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."

Read More Show Less

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.

Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.

Read More Show Less
ABC News anchor Tom Llamas just before his network airs grossly inaccurate footage

Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.

Read More Show Less

The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.

On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.

Read More Show Less