Su-37 - Holy Cow!
The Reclining Cobra - flying upside down, tail forward
Landing after stunning the crowd
Farnborough, September 4 -- We will not gush. We will not gush. We will not gush. We will not gush.
And while that may be true, we certainly will report that Sukhoi pilot Yevgeny Frolov put on one of the most unbelievable demonstrations of his flying that most in the aerospace community have ever seen.
For two days the Su-37 had sat on the static display, due to the reticence of the Farnborough Flying Control Committee to approve Frolov's flight demonstration. Today, however, the benefit of thrust vectoring on jet maneuverability was ably proven as Frolov performed almost impossible feats for a jet fighter.
Defying the laws of flying, physics, and Western-style computer controls the aircraft was put into a Cobra, where at good speed the pilot literally throws the jet on it's tail and flies forward belly first. Put instead of a traditional Cobra, now almost a yawner when Russian pilots show off, Frolov took the Su-37 completely over backwards in what can only be described as a backwards somersault. The maneuver is apparently called a "kulbit," and requires full use of thrust-vectoring to create quick pitch rotation from the belly forward position. Amazingly, the aircraft seems not to lose any altitude during this maneuver.
Interestingly, the same infraction that caused Frolov to be suspended from performing his routine was incurred by a different pilot today. The French Rafale lost sight of the ground while flying up into the clouds and came down banking over the Air Show public area. Flying committees take a dim view of flights over crowds in light of several accidents at air shows over the last number of years.
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