Russia’s Su-35 fighter jet wowed crowds this week at the MAKS 2017 airshow outside Moscow, according to multiple reports on social media.
The twin-engine aircraft designed by Sukhoi carrying the NATO reporting name Flanker-E performed feats of aerial acrobatics that stunned even longtime aviation enthusiasts on social media.
“I mean, come on,” Stephen Trimble, aviation reporter and editor for Flightglobal’s Americas bureau, tweeted Thursday after seeing footage of the aircraft’s demonstration. “And people actually thought the F-35A display at Paris last month was impressive. This isn’t impressive. It’s unbelievable.”
Others described the maneuvers as “insane” and “against the laws of physics,” and said they’ll “make your head explode.”
Check out this video of one of the maneuvers and decide for yourself:
SU-35 at #MAKS17 against the laws of physics...— Enrico Ivanov ☦ (@Russ_Warrior) July 20, 2017
The single-engine F-35 wasn’t designed for air-to-air superiority, so it’s hard to imagine a Joint Strike Fighter going up against an Su-35 in a dogfight. More likely, an F-35 would radio for help from an F-22 Raptor, a twin-engine stealth fighter with more speed and maneuverability.
Even so, observers couldn’t help but notice the differences between the two aircraft’s recent high-profile aerial demonstrations.
The Su-35 is among the aircraft that Russia expects will fuel more export business this year.
Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-owned arms exporter, expects fighters like the Su-35 and Su-30 (Flanker-C) and helicopters such as the Mi-28 (Havoc), Ka-52 (Alligator) and Mi-17 (Hip) to account for more than half of exports this year, according to an article by the state-owned news outlet RT.
If you didn’t get enough Su-35 in the clip above, here’s a play-by-play of the maneuvers from Kyle Mizokami over at Popular Mechanics.