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People are obsessing over special aircraft maneuver that looks straight out of Top Gun: Maverick

Just imagine how many Gs the pilot feels
  • The Cobra Move is often used at air shows and mock dogfights
  • It is also called ‘Pugachev’s Cobra’
  • It was also featured in the film Top Gun: Maverick

Published on May 8, 2024 at 12:15PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 8, 2024 at 12:17PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

A video showcasing a special aircraft maneuver that looks straight out of Top Gun: Maverick has gone viral.

Looking at the footage, the maneuver looks like it shouldn’t be possible, but it has been used by militaries worldwide.

If you have watched the latest Top Gun movie then you might recognize it as Maverick’s signature move.

READ MORE! F-35 vs. F-22 Raptor: which is the best fighter jet in the USAF arsenal?

It is called the ‘Cobra Move’ referring to a high-angle-of-attack maneuver.

In the Cobra Move, an aircraft momentarily pitches up sharply, often exceeding 90 degrees, before rapidly recovering to level flight.

The pilots momentarily stall the plane, making a full-body air brake before dropping back to normal position.

They use the aircraft’s frame as an airbrake to use dynamic deceleration and quickly change the angle of attack.

This technique is often applied by advanced fighter jets like the F-22 Raptor in aerial dogfights.

In Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick movie, the ‘Cobra Move’ was used multiple times.

The first time Maverick performed the maneuver was when he was training the new Top Gun recruits.

The second time was when he saved another pilot, Rooster from an oncoming missile.

The third time was during the final fight with Maverick and Rooster in an F-14 Tomcat and an enemy Su-57 on their tail.

Despite the maneuver being used by militaries worldwide, it has never been used successfully in combat and is mostly seen in air shows.

The ‘Cobra Move’ is still performed by fighter jet pilots during mock dogfights and border protection.

It is also known as ‘Pugachev’s Cobra’ – named after Soviet pilot Viktor Pugachev, who was the first to perform the maneuver in the public eye.

However, it was Swedish pilots who first discovered the maneuver and used it to safely land the J-35 Draken fighter jets.

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