Raptor Kulbit/Somersault

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Unread post06 Dec 2022, 18:01

I found this old video showing F-22 doing some high angle of attack testing:

At 1:22 in the video, the Raptor performs a kulbit (somersault) similar to how a MiG-29 performs it.

Is this video legit?


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Unread post08 Dec 2022, 12:39

To answer your question, No. Yes the video is legitimate but it isn't right context...

Here is a Mig-29 thrust vector demonstrator. To my knowledge the only version of Mig-29 that could do it.

The F-22 Raptor demo doesn't do that (I dont think it isn't because it cant) instead it does a power loop and tail slide in their demo flight.

One demonstration is more about pure balistic display, the other is power and control.

Best explained by former test pilot Jon Beesley



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Unread post09 Dec 2022, 14:17

The Kulbit is actually a downgraded version of the powerloop. Its simply flying the Flanker in a small circle in the vertical plane.

Meanwhile a power loop is a maneuver where the Raptor anchor’s its nose in one spot in the sky and is literally flying tail first to make the loop.

If the tactical implication of this maneuver is to force an overshoot, the Powerloop wins everytime




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Unread post16 Dec 2022, 12:48

revenger22 wrote:I found this old video showing F-22 doing some high angle of attack testing:

At 1:22 in the video, the Raptor performs a kulbit (somersault) similar to how a MiG-29 performs it.

Is this video legit?

That particular post-stall maneuvering is not a unique, TVC-only thing, even the first F-15 prototypes could do that:


(sorry for the noise of the video)


What you can see on these videos at the sommersault maneuver is the 90 degrees of climb position start. If you do the tower at the right, 70-80 degrees nose position, the aircraft will be fall forward, to the nose. However, if the nose position is 90 degrees, the airplane will be fall backward and it looks like a kulbit, or sommersault, but it will be just a ballistic movement. The risk of the flat spin, especially the negative flat spin is very high, due to the gyroscopic precession of the engines.
It was a very lucky situation, managed by the Hungarian demo pilot at a demo training:


With a regular, 9.12 series MiG-29, especially at low level, the backward Tower (Bell, or Kolokol - in russian) is very dangeorus. Without the TVC, the basic rule is the asymmetric throttle handling, to prevent the spin by the precession of the engines. It is the right procedure for the regular Tower, however, for the non-regular one, at low level, you need a guardian angel help as well.
The TVC MiG-29 OVT (there was just a single airframe under this designation and capability), or the Su-30MKI/MKA/MKM/SM, Su-35S, Su-57 is able to control this situation, like the F-22 and the non-TVC capable F-35 too.
The two american-made fighters have counter rotating shafts, it is good for the less precession effect.
But what will happen, if a similar-rotating engine, especially with a distance from the centerline is going to do a post-stall maneuvering and the precession filps the plane around the vertical axis?
This is, when the double-kulbit went wrong and the pilot&TVC saves the day:


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