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Tank50us

The Cobra Maneuver

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Personally I see the advantages of the Cobra Maneuver, but I'm not a fighter-pilot, so what I say probably doesn't matter.

 

Anyway, one advantage is that performing the Cobra can throw off your pursuer, forcing him to turn away to avoid slamming into you(Since you are essentially slaming on the breaks), and with some luck, line you up for a cheap cannon-kill :good: . (This also applies to missiles if your plane has rear-lockon ability)

 

The only two downsides is that are the 'to's. The enemy being 'to' close (they can ram you in this case), and/or you being 'to' close to the ground to recover (faceplant into ground = not fun!).

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The problem is it requires the enemy fighter to be VERY close to you (basically guns-only range), and if you're in that position you've already failed. If the enemy is NOT that close, it's a great way to set yourself up to be nailed by a heater.

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I'm with Jedi on this one - the Cobra might be useful as a demonstration of what other pilots might try, and it looks pretty in airshows...other than that, I think I've only seen one example of something vaguely resembling it saving a life, in which a pilot (don't remember what nationality, or when) pulled an AAM to low altitude, stopped, and accelerated up again so fast that the missile went past his tail and hit the ground. While he sustained a little tail damage from the blast, he would've been toast otherwise. I've seen some people pull off the same or a similar maneuver in 'sims, too, and if I can find a video I'll put up a link to it.

 

But for the record, I've tried the Cobra in 'sim-trials with friends and haven't really had any luck with it. If I recall correctly, one attempt resulted in a mid-air, the second one I was gunned to death in some way or another, and the third the guy slammed on the brakes and somehow stayed behind me high. I have used dramatic speed changes to avoid missiles and locks, etc., but as for the Cobra itself, I wouldn't recommend trying this unless it's absolutely the only thing you can do.

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The cobra manuver is strictly an airshow manuver. There is no advantage in using it in modern combat. When some of the more modern air to air missiles have enlarged seeker cones and improved manuverability to combat 4th generation fighters

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if The Final Countdown had Su-27's instead of F-14's, they could use it on the Zero's.... hmm screen shot idea coming to mind.

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If the guy on your six is close enough to gun you and you pull a cobra to evade him all you really do is present him with a larger plan form view of you as a target rather than rear aspect, it is bassically suicidal to attempt.

 

Craig

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The cobra manuver is strictly an airshow manuver. There is no advantage in using it in modern combat. When some of the more modern air to air missiles have enlarged seeker cones and improved manuverability to combat 4th generation fighters

 

You can say that again, lol ! :biggrin:

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This is kinda weird, why looking at it as an "oh sh*t there's F/A-256GT BI TURBO with 25 Aim-9XXX and 16 plasma cannons 50m behind on my six" kind of manouver?

 

You can avoid overshootin the plane YOU are attacking for example because you loose massive amounts of speed that way, also with a J-turn which is basically a horizontal cobra you can switch directions by extreme ange VERY quickly and point the seeker where conventional plane couldn't in given situation.

 

Yes sure in a modern combat VVR means things already went wrong, but when they do and sooner or later they will, I would certainly like to have that asset with me...

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The cobra manuver is strictly an airshow manuver. There is no advantage in using it in modern combat.

 

I read that older Pulse-Doppler radars could lose a cobra'ing opponent for a short amount of time.

maybe this could've helped in evading radar-guided missiles as well?

 

and I'm also thinking of >> this <<.

w/ good timing and a share of luck to our pilot, this may be a very nasty surprise to the pursuer.

Edited by Jolly07

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If you understand how pulse Doppler radar works, it is less likely to be flummoxed by a maneuver like that, then conventional radar. All it would do at range, is significantly increase the target's RCS for the duration of the maneuver, and rob the aircraft of precious airspeed that it needs to maneuver.

 

The Cobra maneuver in of itself is overrated, and is of dubious value in a combat engagement. The ability of an aircraft to bypass its alpha limiters and maintain controlled flight while engaged in a close-quarters lag pursuit, however, is advantageous. In theory, a pilot can momentarily pull lead and hose his opponent, almost at will.

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Based off the video, the Cobra really doesnt do much to help the evading pilot, but instead increases the jet's RCS since you are giving your opponent a planform when you pitch nose up. And in the case of combat configured Flanker, the jet loses altitude, allowing the persuing aircraft to gain altitude and take a top down shot.

 

-S

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You have to remember in air to air combat you need to have speed, altitude or if you have both it's even better. If your in the position to where you would have to pull a cobra you have sacrificed speed,altitude at that point wouldn't matter. Let's say hypothetically an enemy was that close behind you and you pull a cobra and he overshoots (miraculously not spraying you full of holes or running into you) and lets say again hypothetically you are able to get your nose down fast enough to get a lock on the bandit and squeeze off a shot and shoot him down, your elated until you realize that 99% of the time the enemy will always come in at least pairs. You now have no energy, speed, and altitude won't matter because you can't gain or lose it fast enough to evade an attack, the bandits wingman now has an extremley easy shot and YOUR DEAD!!! end of story...

 

I give credit to the Russians for having planes that can make those stunts and perform them well at airshows, but as far as actual combat you probably wouldn't be walking home at all.

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The Cobra maneuver as executed in airshows may be of little defensive value, but the point of the maneuver was to show how superior the Su-27 was to F-14/F-15/F-16 aircraft in high-AoA flight which translates into high pitch/turn rates and superior controlability at the limits normally used reached and exceeded during air-to-air combat.

The F/A-18 was the only US fighter prior to the F-22 capable of similar performance, though of even less usefulness due to its much lower thrust-to-weight ratio compared to the Su-27.

The ability to instantly point the nose of your aircraft in any direction without losing control is extremely useful both offensively and defensively since the best defense is a good offense: i.e. imagine being able to snap back 120 degrees to lob and AIM-9X at a target who thought he was pursing you.

The US and Germany teamed up to build the X-31 to specifically explore post-stall maneuverability even more aggressive than the Cobra.

While not as maneuverable as the X-31, the F-22 is certainly more capable than the Su-27 in this area.

How many Su-27s have you seen perched at 5,000 feet with their nose about 80 to 85 degrees pitched up while the aircraft is moving horizontally at less than 50 mph, almost a hover? I have seen an F-22 do that while waiting to perform at an airshow and was duly impressed with the awesome controllability this displayed.

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The problem is that some Russians claimed the Cobra did indeed have tactical utility...to which numerous experts coughed into their hands and shouted "BS!"

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I listened to a decorated Russian vet describe in an interview the overwhelming nature of the initial German invasion in 1941. He said, some soldiers had returned from the Front and he saw their hair had turned white with fear. Now I understand what he's trying to say, but I think it's a bit of Russian culture maybe, using words the way Italians use wave their hands, ie. in large, exaggerated motions when describing something emphatic.

 

I'm with streakeagle on this one, I'd say Russian pilots are well aware Pugachev's Cobra was an aerial stunt essentially demonstrating the abilities of the Flanker, rather than a listed combat manoeuvre. If a Russian pilot says "it's a viable combat manoeuvre" I'm going to read it as saying "it demonstrates viable combat manoeuvring capabilities," using a little cultural interpretation. I mean I've no reason to be competitive when it comes to understanding, and being sympathetic suggests assuming he is not a moron, and so finding a rational explanation for what is being said.

 

I try to think of Russia as a real life Hollywood movie. If you don't give plenty of artistic license and generous allegory, you'd wind up throwing your shoes at the screen. But give a bit of ground and you can have two happy parties.

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In sims at least, I've used it both offensively and defensively with success. Mainly avoiding an overshoot, or correcting one just as I pass over or under a bandit. But that probably only works because AI is a bit slow on gun aiming. I think it works better with older planes that were in close gunfights before. You can sortof pull it off in some in sims. Though not a true cobra, you can do close to it and recover from the stall quickly to reposition yourself.

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You might consider it from a different perspective...

It is not about the usefulness of the cobra but rather what it tells you of the aircraft.

 

If you consider the F-16 for instance, agility has been traded off against controlability at high AOA (hence the limiters).

The Su-27 and, more significantly the MiG-29 with its mechanical controls, are capable of going to insane AOA without departing from controlled flight, and even more impressively can spin AND recover.

 

If you consider that for both the F-4 and F-104, the spin recovery technique was ejection ...

 

What it tells you is that an average pilot can mistreat the flanker and still get away with it. If he is followed by an average pilot in a less forgiving aircraft he may even win the battle without firing a shot (spin) !

 

This may explain why an F-18 has scored a gun kill against the presumably superior F-22. If the two were average pilots in a dogfight (that is without any regards to energy management blah blah) and the F-18 proves to be more forgiving at slow speed then the raptor is an easy prey.

 

Just my 2 cents

 

Back to my video games

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The cobra is just a airshow move, it wouldn't work in combat. If it did the pilot that get cobra'ed is a noob. I tried it online in lock on a few times and it never worked.

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The cobra is just a airshow move, it wouldn't work in combat. If it did the pilot that get cobra'ed is a noob. I tried it online in lock on a few times and it never worked.

 

 

I tried once to make once my own Su-30 MKA using the Su-33 Mod and adding the canards to the FM (Thirdwire). It was awesome, but once i flew against it. Two of them intercepted me while on Mirage F-1 recon. First i thought i was doomed, however, i got into the tail of the one chasing mywingman, and a lucky winder shot gave it away.

 

Then i managed to get the second one in another sandwich, when he made something like the cobra. It´s something that Su-27 and even P-38 already

did. Do you know the handicap of filling a big, slow moving target showing its biggest aspect (upwards) like this with 30mm fire? None

Edited by macelena

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I'm a little new here, but I play the IL-2 series of games alot. Keep in mind though, this game only uses the older WW2 era planes that only have guns. Against AI's this almost always works because they aren't smart enough yet to see this coming.

 

The Cobra, I think, is best used in an agile one engined fighter against, say, a guy flying a two engined fighter like the Bf-110. Using it against anything else, one on one is just plain suicidal.

 

Although there was one experience:

I was in a Bf-109 with a Spit on my tail. I slowed down, dipped and dodged, dropped my flaps when i hit 250 kph, zoomed up, redlined my engines and climbed pretty quick.

 

Now what I didn't see was a guy flying a Zero coming in from high and behind. I went to the external camera and I saw what ended up being a mid-air between the Spit and the Zero.

 

SO other than that one experience, I've never had any other use for the maneuver, i usually can't dodge the bullets enough to save my own skin or my plane.

Edited by MiGace1411

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