• U.S.

A Star Is Born In the Soviet Union

1 minute read
Sidney Urquhart

Amid the desolation of economic collapse, the Soviet aerospace industry has come up with an apparent winner. Flown by a crack new aerobatic team from Moscow, MiG-29 Fulcrum-D jet fighters dazzled spectators at a French air base last month with demonstrations of the Soviet-invented “cobra” maneuver. In a chilling imitation of a striking snake, the aircraft rockets upward from a standing start, slows to a near standstill as the pilot pulls its nose just past the 90 degrees point, flies backward in that position and then snaps forward again and resumes normal flight. U.S. military officers dismiss the maneuver as impractical for combat, but the sleek blue-and-white fighters are expected to star at this month’s Salon Aeronautique Espace in Paris.

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