How to do Pugachev's Cobra in the F/A-18 or F-16

- What is the Cobra Maneuver?

  • Pugachev’s Cobra is a dramatic fighter jet maneuver in which a jet abruptly raises its nose, momentarily stalls the aircraft with an extremely high angle of attack causing a full body brake. The aircraft then pitches down back to its normal position without gaining an altitude at all.

- Is this even possible in Infinite Flight?

  • Yes, the cobra maneuver is very possible in Infinite Flight. However, it’s very hard to execute and requires talent and skill; most likely, you won’t be able to accomplish the maneuver on your first try.

- How can I execute the maneuver in Infinite Flight?

Here are the steps to execute the maneuver.



  1. Fly level at speeds greater than 190KIAS but less than 250KIAS.
  2. QUICKLY and BRIEFLY pitch the nose of the fighter jet down for less than a second
  3. Pull up HARD for for about a second
  4. Pitch down again for about a half second.
  5. Increase the throttle to 100%
  6. If you did it correctly a stall warning will appear, your speed will QUICKLY drop off, and your aircraft will continue into a tight flip, very similar to the kulbit maneuver.


  1. Once you reach your desired angle of attack, pull up on your yoke to hold your angle or attack for a few seconds
  2. Gently and cautiously push down on the yoke and wait until you regain speed and then level out

DISCLAIMER If these instructions are not closely followed, the aircraft will spin out of control and you will stall and crash.

End Result:

Here’s a video I made of how to execute the maneuver. Watch my elevators closely to see when I push the yoke up or down.

I hope you found this helpful. Happy flying!!


Definitely going to try this tomorrow!


It takes a lot of patience and effort but it’s worth it when you achieve the maneuver!

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NOOOO the cobra is only reserved for MiG’s and Su’s!!11!!!11

Real talk, awesome that you found a way to do it in the F/A-18. While absolutely not realistic at all in the F/A-18 (because it lacks thrust vectoring and other aerodynamic stuff that I cannot comprehend) it seems like a fun trick to show friends and/or confuse them in dogfights


You have a very valid point, but it’s still fun to teach people on the IFC to fly the maneuver.


Will let you know about how many times I butcher nail it.


Also, have you found a way to go past the what looks like 70-80 degrees pitch in the gifs?

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Yeah but I didn’t include it because the ending was horrible; the maneuver you see in the gif was my best one

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Actually, @callaa I just researched it and the F/A-18 CAN do the Cobra Maneuver.

Here’s proof:

So actually, this maneuver is completely realistic!!

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Imma try it now I’ll be back in a few

Ok please tell me how it goes. Please note that it’s NOT easy at ALL

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These aren’t true cobras. They very much look like them but they’re more like a “cobra lite.” What the F/A-18’s did do not match the definition of a cobra at all.


I think it’s close enough but you’re probably right. Nevertheless, the maneuver is still amazing! (I think)


Nice and simple tutorial! Appreciate it. My computer is too slow to play DCS so I’ll try it in IF instead i guess


I did attempt but it didn’t work. I remember a friend of mine saying the rhino demo team technically do a Pugachev cobra but they don’t advertise the tail stand as a cobra so it’s not well known. @DeltaMD88Fan said that. If you skip to 00:33 of the video, you’ll know

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@Ken_wei it takes a ton of practice and coordination to achieve the maneuver. Maybe try again and you’ll get it.

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Pugachev’s Cobra is not exclusive to the Soviet school of aircraft engineering, but if we ever get the SU-27 or Mig-29, we will be able to do maneuvers cooler than the cobra


Has anybody else tried this?

I can already think of one this instant, the Kulbit

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@Ken_wei @callaa @puuupra @AvioesEJogos @Avaitor1 @Mr-plane-guy1 @BennyBoy_Alpha @Ethan_C @Flyin.Hawaiian @Lavoe787 @the_ding @Butter575 @AviationFlyer @PilotDog @Flightistic @NvAviator @SimpleWaffles @Dr3ambigg3r @James_Howard @Zhopkins @JacksonAviation @Othman_Asli @Variable @Snow_Cone

After more testing today, I’ve completely updated the tutorial. My v2 guarantees the maneuver every time you try it and it’s much easier to execute. Please re-read the tutorial, try it, and tell me how it goes!!