SU-34 landing at Latakia airbase in slow-motion video. Russian Air Force has launched more than 1,200 sorties over last month in Syria against ISIS.
— Murad Gazdiev (@MuradoRT) October 30, 2015
The Kulbit, also known as the Frolov chakra maneuver is an aerial maneuver developed by Russian pilots in which the aircraft performs an extremely tight loop, often not much wider than the length of the aircraft itself. It is an example of post-stall maneuvering, a type of super-maneuverability. Like most post-stall maneuvers, it demonstrates pitch control outside of the normal flight envelope wherein pitch control is made possible by having aerodynamic flow over the aircraft’s elevators or stabilators. The name Kulbit is derived from the Russian Кульбит, meaning Somersault . The alternate name, Frolov’s Chakra, refers to Russian test pilot Yevgeni Frolov, the pilot who first carried out the maneuver, while Chakra is a yogic term, meaning Vortex or Whirlpool .The Kulbit drastically decreases the aircraft’s speed and could theoretically be used to cause a pursuing aircraft to overshoot its target. The maneuver is closely related to the famous Pugachev’s Cobra maneuver, but the Kulbit completes the loop that the Cobra almost immediately cuts off.
The following aircraft are currently known to be able to execute the Kulbit :
- Mikoyan MiG-29OVT Fulcrum ( Russia )
- Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E ( Russia )
- Sukhoi Su-37 Flanker – Terminator ( Russia )
- Sukhoi Su-30MKI/SM Flanker ( Russia )
- Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut ( Russia )
- Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor ( USA )
- Sukhoi PAK-FA T-50 ( Russia )