Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Watch Russia’s Favorite Fighter Jet Pull Off The Most Insane Aerobatics We’ve Ever Seen
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.
One person was injured by Sunday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Task & Purpose was learned. The injury was described as mild and no one was medically evacuated from the embassy following the attack.
What it was like to liberate the Nazi death camp of Dachau, according to an Army veteran who was there
At age 23 in the spring of 1945, Guy Prestia was in the Army fighting his way across southern Germany when his unit walked into hell on earth — the Nazi death camp at Dachau.
"It was terrible. I never saw anything like those camps," said Prestia, 97, who still lives in his hometown of Ellwood City.
Against a blistering 56 mph wind, an F/A-18F Super Hornet laden with fuel roared off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford and into the brilliant January sky.
Chalk up another step forward for America's newest and most expensive warship.
The Ford has been at sea since Jan. 16, accompanied by Navy test pilots flying a variety of aircraft. They're taking off and landing on the ship's 5 acre flight deck, taking notes and gathering data that will prove valuable for generations of pilots to come.
The Navy calls it aircraft compatibility testing, and the process marks an important new chapter for a first-in-class ship that has seen its share of challenges.
"We're establishing the launch and recovery capabilities for the history of this class, which is pretty amazing," said Capt. J.J. "Yank" Cummings, the Ford's commanding officer. "The crew is extremely proud, and they recognize the historic context of this."
Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)
Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.
Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.
75 years ago, Audie Murphy earned his Medal of Honor with nothing but a burning tank destroyer's .50 cal and insane bravery
Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018
On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.