Not content with introducing the "Cobra" manoeuvre into the display vocabulary, Sukhoi has gone a step further with an even more stunning manoeuvre from its thrust-vector-modified Su-27M. The aircraft, dubbed the Su-37, stole the show with a display which saw it entering a Cobra-like manoeuvre, only to continue beyond the 100¡ to complete a full rotation effectively around the aircraft's lateral axis, a move called the "Kulbit" or somersault. In another variation on the Cobra, the aircraft was also flown through a rapid pitch up to around 130¡, with this attitude maintained for 2-3s while its airspeed rapidly bleeds off. Vectored thrust is then used to pitch the aircraft's nose forward, with the pilot recovering into a dive. Sukhoi pilots have so far logged some 50 flights on Aircraft 711 from the flight test research centre at Zhukovsky. The exact status of the Su-37 remains uncertain, as does its relation to the Su-35 project. It is not known whether the Russian Air Force has placed a production order for either derivative of the Su-27.

Source: Flight International