When it comes to dominating the skies, Svetlana Kapanina is surely to ring a bell in aviation’s top aerobatic pilots list. I remember stumbling across her performance on Youtube a while back, and as I began to dig back into the black hole that is aerobatic videos I rediscovered her.
As a Russian aerobatic pilot, Svetlana has won the World Aerobatic Championship 7 time for the women’s category in her career which is pretty crazy if you ask me! Known as one of the greats of all time, I guess you could say she is pretty dang good at what she does.
As I watched that video above, I saw things in there that I really can’t recall seeing done by anyone else in the aerobatic world. Now, I’m no aerobatic genius and forgive me for my naivety on this topic, but some of those maneuvers are truly new to me. She handles stuff so non-challantly that you can tell it’s second nature to her. I mean look at what she does when she pushes negative g’s. I don’t know many pilots who would take that time to wave to the camera.
After doing some additional research on who she is and what she’s about, I stumbled on another video I had seen before.
This video documents her complete flight from startup to shutdown. The whole journey I got sucked into because it’s amazing to see how she performs inside and outside the cockpit. I don’t speak Russian so I have no clue what they are saying, but after a flight like that who cares about what is said… the flight speaks for itself.
Enough of the inside cockpit view of Svetlana Kapanina’s aerobatic routines, here is one from a spectators view:
So what does Svetlana Kapanina fly?
She flies the Sukhoi Su-26 which is an airplane I would do anything to fly someday. Those birds seem like a real handful. The Sukhoi Su-26 is a single seat Soviet Union aerobatic airplane. In the nose is a beloved radial engine that packs out enough power to keep those things roaring to a max speed of 281 mph.
These airplanes can pull up to 12 positive G’s and push 10 negative G’s. Basically that means these things can do practically anything.
This Russian pilot dominates the skies, and I will leave you to creeping on more videos of her performances, because I know I am about to go do so as well.