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Su-35 Flight Demo Breaks the Internet

The Russians demonstrate that you don't need to spend a gazillion dollars to make an amazing fighter jet

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

This is a story of two jets—and two air shows. 

The Paris Air Show was supposed to put to rest the unpatriotic criticisms of Lockheed's “5th generation” 100-gazillion-dollar baby: The majestic F-35. 

<figcaption>The titillating Su-35</figcaption>
The titillating Su-35

It didn't.

The jet performed mediocre at best. At worst, people were basically calling it a sack of 5th generation garbage:

American tax dollars, hard at work.

To quote from the must-read article on

This writer, which has been watching air displays since 1975, found it bland and totally unremarkable except for two things: the noise – it was extremely loud, far louder than at last June’s trial flights in the Netherlands -- and the airplane’s fast rate of climb, thanks to its engine’s 40,000 pounds of thrust.

But none of the maneuvering demonstrated anything that’s not been seen for years, whether it’s the “pedal turn” or the claimed 7 g maneuvers that were totally invisible from the ground.

After having seen the displays put on by real fighter jets such as the F-15 and F-16, Gripen, Rafale and Eurofighter, not to mention the Russian Su-27 and MiG-29, the F-35’s effort looked pretty lame.

And this is not a solitary opinion. The first three comments posted on Aviation Week’s pre-show story tell a similar tale:

Dave59 on Jun 19, 2017
“He will start with an afterburner takeoff, almost immediately pointing his nose to the sky and letting the aircraft climb away essentially vertically. This impressive move is unique to the F-22 and the F-35, he said.” -- Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn

The F-15 has been doing that in airshow displays since the eighties. Personally seen a lot of times.

TheSandbagger on Jun 19, 2017:
Never believe a snake-oil salesman or an LM PR jockey.
Come to think of it, what's the difference?

Invictus Slo on Jun 19, 2017
Mig-29 in RIAT 2015 ;).
So much about being unique.

This was back in June. 

Fast-forward to the present.  

The Su-35 gave a performance to remember at MAKS, the annual international air show held outside of Moscow. 

Via Popular Mechanics:


Popular Mechanics is probably referring to this:



Of course, maneuverability isn't everything. 

But the Russians just demonstrated that you don't need to spend a gazillion dollars to make an amazing fighter jet. 

And the internet noticed. 

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