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From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: The "Cobra" manuever!
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 13:05:16 GMT

Venik <> wrote:

>Ross Dillon wrote:

>> The cobra has no military usefulness whatsoever.
>> F-16 tester
>I have never heard of F-16 being capable of performing that maneuver, so
>where does such a categorical opinion comes from?

I've never done a Cobra either, but I've got more than 4000 hours
flying and instructing in air combat as well as several hundred combat
missions and engagements with enemy aircraft. I wholeheartedly agree
with Ross that the Cobra is an airshow maneuver that is extremely
impressive in terms of demonstrating aerodynamics, engine flexibility
and extremes of the flight envelope.

It is, however, one of the surest ways to get dead in air combat.

BTW, Venik, we've heard you rant and rave about Russian hardware in
several message threads for some time now. Where does your
"categorical opinion" come from. How much time in what types of
aircraft do you have? What is your experience to be a credible source
of information. Oh, you read it where....?

 Ed Rasimus                   *** Peak Computing Magazine
  Fighter Pilot (ret)         ***   (
                              *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                              ***   (

From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: The "Cobra"
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 23:22:35 GMT Joseph Dosch) wrote:

>Yes in fact the Cobra does have a meaningful purpose in real combat.
>When the Su-27 is being chased at a some what slower than normal speed,

"being chased at a some what slower than normal speed" means the SU-27
has depleted his energy below optimum and allowed his enemy into a
position of advantage.

>the pilot can pull the Cobra and the other plane would most likely be
>going too fast and he would over-shoot the flanker.

If the SU-27 is about to be gunned then the solution is to "get out of
plane"--not out of his aircraft but out of his plane of maneuver or
move in a different direction than his current flight path. That
doesn't mean stopping in place.

When properly flown with a shooter "in the saddle" (a position he
should maintain for no more than about two seconds), the shooter will
plan to come off target and separate after firing. WHILE HIS WINGMAN
of air/air combat is NEVER fight alone!)

If the shooter is not about to shoot, the Cobra will merely solve the
lead and maneuvering problems of the shooter and hasten the solution.

>Then the Flanker
>would have a very good chanch of getting a well deserved kill added to
>his list.

In your scenarion, the Flanker pilot would have already manifested
incompetence and it is doubtful that he would survive the experience.
If the result were a kill, it would hardly be "well-deserved" but
would only mean his attacker were (incredibly!) less capable than he

 Ed Rasimus                   *** Peak Computing Magazine
  Fighter Pilot (ret)         ***   (
                              *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                              ***   (

From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: The "Cobra"
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 21:40:25 GMT (Mike Tighe) wrote:

>  All the
>Su27 supporters (mainly those Europeans who have actually seen it done
>at shows - TV just does not give the same impression of how 'weird'
>the cobra is) point out that if you are in a turning fight, you can
>use the same brute pitch control authority to quickly change the way
>the nose is pointing, as a way of getting enough lead for a snap guns
>shot, or put the other aircraft into the missile seeker's view.

You've heard all of the cliches, like "speed is life," so I won't
repeat them. Ooopps, I just did.

Well, let me add on that is my original statement (feel free to quote
it in the future.) "More than fifty percent of the people that enter a
scissor's die there." (The greater than 50% comes from the occasional
mid-air where both parties buy it.)

In 1-v-1, gun-v-gun fighting, the guy who slows down is the guy who is
going to lose. If you have your scarf in the wind and your cojones are
swollen to an unmanageable size so that you think you can outfly the
other guy down at Vmc you are going to lose. If you are about to light
up the other guy with 20MM (or 30) and make him the star of your
squadron videos, you should be prepared to do it in a second, not
fifteen seconds, and you should have sufficient energy to escape the
debris as well as maintain an advantage should your shot fail.

If you do all of those things and then Mr. Sukhoi pops  his Cobra in
your face you will survive the experience and he will die. There is no
other outcome (discounting for the moment the "off boresight missile")

If the SU-27 is closing on offense to a guns shot which he cannot
obtain without using this remarkeable pitch authority, the result will
be a nose-position threat, but a failed shot, because the snap of the
nose from a stagnated lag position will result in near instantaneous
energy depletion and immediate return to deeper lag.

Good energy management, good weapons knowledge and employment within
parameters, good tactics with a good wingman and good BFM throughout
the experience will let you win, even when the opponent has a higher
T/W or a better instantaneous turn rate. It will also let the
SU-27/31/37 win if he does his stuff right. But, Cobras? No!

 Ed Rasimus                   *** Peak Computing Magazine
  Fighter Pilot (ret)         ***   (
                              *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                              ***   (

From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Quality of ef2000 f22 and few other
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 13:47:09 GMT

Yevgeniy Chizhikov <> wrote:

>The only who claim that Cobra manuver is designed for combat is
>Westerners and Nato pilot. Russians never claim that. Cobra is manuver
>that used in pilot training in order to learn how control aircraft, and
>never in combat. Still, I don't see F-15 doing Cobra rutinly. Something
>wrong with this picture. Su-27 doing it with no problem any time.

I still see the record of the F-15 in amassing air-to-air victories
for the last twenty years flown by a variety of nations. Nope, no
Cobras there.

The only reference to the Cobra you hear from Westerners and NATO
pilots is the profound hope that the defender in their next battle
will graciously do a Cobra in front of them---Ahhh, the mere thought
of that huge flat-plate radar return with no angular velocity sitting
in the midst of that swirling heat signature brings a quickened pulse
to this ol' fighter pilot.

 Ed Rasimus                   *** Peak Computing Magazine
  Fighter Pilot (ret)         ***   (
                              *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                              ***   (

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