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As the name suggests, the Half Cuban owes its existence to another, larger maneuver--the "Cuban 8." Despite this apparent stepchild relationship, the Half Cuban is a full-fledged maneuver in its own right, performed with much greater frequency than its namesake.
The Half Cuban belongs in the "interrupted loop" series, along with the Immelmann and 3/4 Loop, and is a valuable turn-around tool. When needed, 1/2 Cubans provide an easy way to rebuild airspeed, as it is not mandatory to begin and end at the same altitude.