Can an F-35 perform a cobra maneuver using its lift fans? I have no experience flying F-35s I fly a F-18 Super Hornet.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I would assume no, because the computers wouldn’t allow such angles in VTOL mode. Not sure, but my guess. $\endgroup$
    – Wyatt
    Commented Apr 12 at 3:14
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ "I fly a F-18 Super Hornet." Indeed? Where are you based? Surprised that you don't have buddies from pilot training who could provide an answer to this question for you faster than an internet forum. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Apr 12 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ Oceana Virginia is where I am, and unfortunately I don't know anyone who flies f-35s $\endgroup$
    – VFA-34
    Commented Apr 23 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ I am also here to somewhat enlighten others but I also have questions $\endgroup$
    – VFA-34
    Commented Apr 24 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ The F-35 however can perform 'Dojo Drift' as well as 'Pedal Turn' within its dynamic AOA limit, up to 50 deg. Your F-18 is capable of performing 'Pirouette' maneuver if stick and rudder is applied in the same direction at high AOA. $\endgroup$
    – LJQCN101
    Commented May 7 at 8:51

1 Answer 1



The LiftFan is cleared for flight up to 250 knots.

The cobra ... must be entered from fairly high subsonic speeds.

So the fan may not be used to enter a cobra. Once in the cobra, the very high AoA by itself is so amazingly draggy that a few more tens of thousands of pounds of thrust hardly matters.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you I wanted an answer and this was very helpful. $\endgroup$
    – VFA-34
    Commented Apr 24 at 15:18

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