Top Gun

Factual error: In all sequences where Maverick "puts on the brakes", he is shown pushing the throttle quadrant forward and pulling the stick back. This would put him in a full-afterburner climb, but you don't really stop and it doesn't work in a medium speed tail chase (which is easier to film). The air brake does effectively nothing on the F-14 because it is too small, and not deployable at full power.

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Suggested correction: In the movie when Maverick "hits the brakes" he is not talking about the airbrakes. He rapidly pitches up the aircraft into a manoeuvre similar to the cobra (high G break) which makes the entire plane a massive airbrake. The reason he slams the throttles forward is so that he can catch the speed before the aircraft stalls.

In a turning fight, you are already loaded - already under G. 'Rapidly pitching up' is the default maneuver you are already doing. Pugachev's Cobra is not something the F-14 was capable of, as the maneuver requires the ability to rapidly generate significant angle of attack at low speed. Also, the cobra stalls the aircraft. You don't catch the aircraft before it stalls, you intentionally stall it. For that matter, fighter aircraft engaged in a turning fight are typically stalled. Fighters are not in the same category as most other airplanes :).

Factual error: Every time they show a close up of Maverick moving the throttle (going to burner, hitting the brakes, etc...) he is doing it backwards. He pulls back for burner and forward to slow down. In real life, it is just the opposite.

Continuity mistake: In the dogfight where Cougar freaks out, when Maverick and Goose fly upside-down to give the MIG the birdie, the names of each pilot are not only upside down, but they are mirrored too. If you look at the names upside down, you can't read them.

Continuity mistake: Before the final dogfight the horizontal stabilizer (back wings) on Mav's jet say YYY, afterwards they say XXX.

Continuity mistake: When Maverick leaves Charlie's house after their first date, there is a For Rent sign in front of her house. It appears to be the same shot of Maverick leaving her house towards the end of the film when she's actually put the For Rent sign up and moved.

Continuity mistake: When the instructors are out on the flight line discussing Maverick's loss of confidence, in each shot Viper's sunglasses can be seen to alternate between Randolph (square type) and then Ray Ban (aviator style).

Factual error: There is no "Top Gun Trophy." Pilots either complete the course or they don't.

Visible crew/equipment: A boom mic is visible in Viper's office in the top right as Jester and Viper chat following Maverick leaving the room.

logan crews

Continuity mistake: After the final dogfight, how did the drop tanks get back onto the planes before they landed? They sure weren't there during the dogfight.

Factual error: In the first flying scene where Goose says he has got contact with the enemy on his radar, the display shown is sweeping in a full circle. The AWG-9 radar of the F-14 is mounted to the front of the airplane and can only scan 60° left and right of the Tomcat's centre. (00:04:50)

Factual error: No part of the Indian Ocean could be described as 'enemy territory' for US ships in 1986.

Jacob La Cour

Continuity mistake: At Charlie's, she and Mav are having dinner and he asks for the wine. Throughout the entire scene the bottle of wine is rotating.

Deliberate mistake: In the shot where the F-14 and F5 canopies are only 3-feet apart, you can see that the writing on the side of MAVs F-14 is backwards. Also, if the F-14 was inverted, with the sun more-or-less above, its cockpit would be in shadow, not with sunlight on the nose, as seen. (00:08:55)

Factual error: Just as Mav goes into the flat spin, you hear a voice over while looking at the rear of his F-14 (you can see the AB), you hear "Engine 1 is out" and you see the right engine flame out... this is engine 2, engine 1 is the left engine.

Continuity mistake: The weapons armament on the F-14's keeps changing from one cut to another.

Factual error: This is the most basic mistake of all, but probably only obvious to those who fly in the Navy. Almost every written reference to "TOP GUN" is wrong. TOPGUN is one word, all caps, always has been.

Factual error: The beginning of the movie when Maverick inverts and gets cozy (canopy to canopy) with the MIG pilot and Goose is taking pictures could never have happened. The tails of the F-14 are nearly 9 feet tall and the canopies are a mere three feet apart, so this would have resulted in a collision.

James Rowell

Factual error: All the scenes with actors in the cockpit were shot in the front cockpit. Pay attention to the canopy frame behind the RIO. This would also explain a large gaffe from the movie - Merlin taps on the fuel quantity indicator and exclaims "C'mon Cougar, we gotta land this thing, we are way low on gas." The particular fuel quantity indicator shown being tapped by 'Merlin' the RIO, the one with the vertical tapes, is present only in the pilot cockpit. The F-14A rear cockpit has only a small fuel totalizer.

Factual error: During the briefing before the final scene, the Captain says, "The Migs carry the Exocet missile. They can fire that missile from a hundred miles away." Yes they could fire the Exocet from a hundred miles away, but the Exocet's maximum range at the time of this movie was around 40 miles. Plus the Exocet is a French missile and would not be on a Soviet Union fighter.

Factual error: The final dogfight scene has a huge error when Hollywood's jet is hit with a missile and he ejects. The next scene shows him manually deploying a small pilot chute to open his main parachute. After seat/man seperation, the main chute automatically deploys depending on altitude and airspeed. He would still be connected to his ejection seat until his chute deploys. Having to manually throw a "pilot chute" to the wind would leave too much for human error.

Goose: It's the bottom of the 9th, the score is tied. It's time for the big one.
Iceman: You up for this one, Maverick?
Maverick: Just a walk in the park, Kazansky.

More quotes from Top Gun

Trivia: The "MiG-28s" in the movie are actually all Northrop F-5E Tiger II's, an American plane used for training and sold to other countries. In reality, there is no MiG-28.

More trivia for Top Gun

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