A Post Stall Maneuver (ポストストールマニューバ) is any advanced maneuver that a pilot can only perform by forcing the aircraft to stall. These maneuvers can be used to evade enemy fire and re-position the pilot behind another tailing aircraft.
Post Stall Maneuvers have been featured in a limited degree throughout the Ace Combat series. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is the first game in the series to give the player true control over inducing these maneuvers.
The following maneuvers can be performed in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
Pugachev's Cobra (or just Cobra) is a maneuver in which a plane raises its nose to vertical level (perpendicular to the ground), even slightly beyond, and then drops back down to level flight. The maneuver allows the plane to evade a target that is directly behind them, then return to level flight behind the target, leaving said target open for a counterattack.
The Kulbit is a maneuver in which a plane performs an extremely tight loop. Alternatively, 'Kulbit' refers to an instance of a plane actually pivoting along a horizontal axis in midair - an extension of Pugachev's Cobra, since it completes the extreme pitching maneuver that the Cobra seems to begin.
The Knife-Edge Slide is a maneuver in which a plane pivots along the y-axis (i.e. performing an extremely tight turn or yaw) while still more or less maintaining velocity. Though a knife-edge slide produced by a <90° yaw operates on the same principles as Pugachev's Cobra and anything more likewise is essentially a sideways Kulbit, it is much more difficult to pull off due to the demanding situational requirements, which cannot traditionally be filled with Ace Combat's controls.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy allowed the player to perform Post Stall Maneuvers through quick time events, namely Dog Fight Mode and Attack Maneuvers, respectively. The specific maneuver(s) performed would depend on the player's aircraft (and in Assault Horizon, if they were moving the plane in a certain direction).
Enemy units popularized Post Stall Maneuvers in prior games as well. The Yellow Squadron and Megalith defense squadron in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies were most notable for their over-reliance on Pugachev's Cobra. Ace Combat 2 aces flying the Su-37 Terminator also utilized the Cobra. NRF pilots in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon also extensively utilised PSM to evade the player.
Ace Combat 7
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is the first game in the series that gives the player the ability to do post-stall maneuvers without using quick-time events, as well as the ability to perform the Knife-Edge Slide. While post-stall maneuvers can allow the player to get behind an enemy and turn faster, it also causes the player to bleed a lot of energy. This makes them an easy target, so maneuvers must be used with care.
Post Stall Maneuvers can be initiated by slowing the aircraft down to around 450 km/h (240 knots) or lower, releasing all inputs on the left controller stick, followed by holding the throttle and brake buttons at the same time, then finally pulling the aircraft into the desired maneuver. Not all aircraft can perform Post Stall Maneuvers. Compatible aircraft are listed below.
- All maneuvers
- Most maneuvers (Kulbit and >90° Knife-Edge Slide unavailable due to lack of thrust-vectoring)
- Pugachev's Cobra was named after Soviet test pilot Viktor Pugachyov (romanized as Pugachev), who performed the maneuver during the 1989 Paris Air Show.
- The following aircraft were the only ones capable of performing Pugachev's Cobra in Assault Horizon: