Usage of Russian Airshow Maneuvers in AA Combat

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skyhigh

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 08:13

Pugachev's Cobra: Is it a lifesaver or deathtrap?

Viktor Pugachev, a Russian test pilot for Sukhoi OKB, first performed this maneuver in 1989 at the Paris Le Bourget air show, piloting a Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker.

Do you think performing this maneuver is a lifesaver, as you could maneuver into your pursuer's 6 o'clock and knock him down with a missile shot or a deathtrap, especially in a furball against multiple bandits, making it a whole lot easier for one of them to take a shot at you and knock you down in a ball of flames?

What are your opinions?
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Su-27 Pugachev's Cobra
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shep1978

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 10:09

Deathtrap, reason being it kills energy badly. (i'm no pilot though)
I think real pilots have pointed this out before, that is that slowing up and doing fancy airshow stunts in general are a very easy way to die in todays helmet mounted sight,high off boresight missile environment.
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darkvarkguy

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 14:52

It's a 'circus trick' that serves no purpose in the combat environment especially BVR. By the way, the I've seen the F-22 do the exact same manuever, no sweat.
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ptplauthor

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 15:10

Let me quote a pilot that TC quoted:

"Give me kinetic energy any day and I'll take his potential energy and shove it up his @$$!"
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Guysmiley

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 15:10

IMO, if you're forced into pulling something that dumps that much energy in a dogfight you're already behind the eight ball. Homework for you: find the entry and exit speeds for that maneuver.
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LordOfBunnies

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 15:41

Guysmiley wrote:IMO, if you're forced into pulling something that dumps that much energy in a dogfight you're already behind the eight ball. Homework for you: find the entry and exit speeds for that maneuver.


Do you mean we can't ruin his day by telling him he can't do it with missiles on the wings or at speeds above air show speeds (I'll let him find that speed)? I mean, the thing only stresses the wing an incredible amount and done at high enough speed will snap them off like twigs.

IIRC, Pugachev had exactly one manuver which wasn't a complete deathtrap and that was the J-turn. It's still not great but at least would give you a better shot than a Cobra.

Boyd's principals still apply to modern air combat. Alpha is useful, energy retention is usually better.
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TC

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 19:25

Chrissakes PT! Get your own line! :lol:

Oh well...uh...what PT said that I said that the other guy said...I think.

Cobra: Cool for the fanboys at an airshow, but useless when you're in the fight. To paraphrase Bunny, when it is performed in an airshow demo, it is flying slick. No ordnance, no drop tanks, and no pylons, which creates minimal drag. It also carries just enough fuel to safely fly the demo profile. Therefore, less weight.

Try that in a plane that has full internal fuel, two bags and a full loadout, and it would either be impossible, or a fatal mistake.
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ptplauthor

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 19:55

Chrissakes PT! Get your own line! :lol:


Well, I said I got it from you, and true you did use it a few times, yet I had seen it before, it's a good quote.

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:opZ ... clnk&gl=us

btw, the quote was credited to Pink Williams

so that leads me to say.... Chrissakes, TC get your own line

:lol:
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boff180

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Unread post13 Apr 2009, 20:10

And to paraphrase a Tornado F3 pilot when once asked about the Cobra...

If he saw a Flanker suddenly stop dead in the sky during a dogfight, he'd think Christmas had come early!

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skyhigh

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Unread post14 Apr 2009, 06:24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY2KkvD4dSY

At 5:19, you'll see what I mean with the F-22 Raptor doing the Pugachev's Cobra, with internal fuel and internal AIM-9X Sidewinders.
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PhillyGuy

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Unread post14 Apr 2009, 06:53

Pugachev doesn't have any F-22's though.
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skyhigh

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Unread post14 Apr 2009, 10:22

I know he doesn't, that's why I'm specifically referring to the Raptor itself doing the maneuver.

Now tell me, PhillyGuy, is the Pugachev's Cobra a lifesaver or a deathtrap in a dogfight?
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Kryptid

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Unread post14 Apr 2009, 13:13

IIRC, Pugachev had exactly one manuver which wasn't a complete deathtrap and that was the J-turn. It's still not great but at least would give you a better shot than a Cobra.

Surely at least some supermaneuvers are valuable? What about the X-31 vs. F/A-18 mock engagements? If I remember correctly, the X-31 always lost to the F/A-18 without TVC. With TVC, it was said that the X-31 won twice as often against the Hornet than it lost. Was that because standard maneuverability like turn rate was increased, or because the X-31 could now execute post-stall maneuvers?
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skyhigh

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Unread post14 Apr 2009, 13:42

The Kulbit is a post-stall aerial maneuver developed by Russian pilots and it is done by decelerating the plane and pulling a tight-diametered loop, completing the loop that the Pugachev's Cobra cuts off and at the same time, letting the enemy aircraft overshoot and enable an easy quick kill with a missile shot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulbit

Do you think performing this maneuver is a lifesaver since you could quickly maneuver behind your pursuer's 6 o'clock or a deathtrap because you rapidly bleed off airspeed, especially in a furball, making it a whole lot easier for an enemy fighter to shoot you out of the sky.

What are your opinions?
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Su-37 doing Kulbut
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LordOfBunnies

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Unread post14 Apr 2009, 14:25

Skyhigh, it's a deathtrap. The only situations where it would be useful (if it could even be performed with a combat load) are so unlikely and hard to get into that the manouver is useless in combat.

As for thrust vectoring, everything pre-stall that TVC can help with can also be done with aerodynamics. TVC is only really useful post-stall. Designing and aircraft which has to use TVC to help its prestall manouvers be good enough is a terrible idea. Complex things like that break (often) so if you don't have and really need it, it might not be there.

Now the X-31, I'm not really sure to much about that one, but my guess is the TVC helped its pre-stall manouverability.
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