Top Gun

Continuity mistake: When we are first introduced to Maverick and Goose, their Tomcat crosses the screen, right to left, in close-up, slowly. It's nose is marked 203. Then we see the other Tomcat flying with them, and it is number 114, and its crew is Cougar and Merlin. But all the shots after this place Maverick and Goose in 114. (00:04:35)

johnrosa

Visible crew/equipment: In the scene after Maverick and Goose were told that they would be going to Top Gun the next scene shows Maverick on the runway riding his motorcycle as planes fly by. If you have your DVD settings on full screen you won't notice this but on wide screen you will. You can see the motorcycle that he is riding is strapped down to a trailer with 2 blue tie-down straps. Also, if you listen and watch closely you can tell that Maverick is not shifting and giving gas to the motorcycle at the right time. The only reason I know this is because I have been riding for over 10 years. If you give a sport-bike like that gas, it goes. He gave gas and it never even moves on the screen. Hard to do when you are strapped down to a trailer.

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 :).

Also incorrect. When in a knife fight like that, you are not "rapidly pitching up" by default, every move is gradual and calculated, the only time you would be rapidly pitching up is for a "snapshot" of the enemy. Furthermore, fighter aircraft engaged in a turning fight are not "typically" stalled, you do NOT stall your jet in a fight like that. They'll be turning at either optimal AoA (Angle of Attack) OR the highest G for a snapshot of the enemy/to make an aggressive maneuver. In this situation, applying more thrust while causing a rapid onset of G is appropriate in the Tomcat, and while not able to pull a Cobra, you could still cause a disruption to whoever is chasing you - either forcing an overshoot or for them to break off to position for reattack.

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.

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: 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.

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: During the briefing before the final scene, the Commander 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: 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.

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Suggested correction: Not even Iran? Yemen?

No. Territorial waters don't extend all that far off the coast, and the water nearer those countries is the Gulf of Oman / Gulf of Aden / Arabian Sea, and wouldn't be referred to as the Indian Ocean.

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: After the dogfight, when CAG meets Maverick in the squadron locker room, Goose is written on the locker next to Maverick's. They would not have left this on there after his death.

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: In nearly every cockpit scene, regardless of fighter airframe, you can see that half or more of the lights on the caution lights panel on the lower right-hand side of the cockpit are lit. These lights are the illuminated names of all the systems that are not currently operating, ergo if the "Engine 1" light is lit, then Engine 1 is not running. If over half of the lights are lit (as in the cockpit scenes) then the pilots must be flying without half of their systems running, including engines, hydraulics, and radar. None of these lights should be on in flight. This makes it obvious that the scenes were shot on the ground using external power.

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.

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.

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Suggested correction: It could be argued that in the alternate reality of Top Gun the fictional "MiG-28" was an improved reverse-engineered F-5 (VPAF gave the Soviets access to ex-VNAF F-5:s for evaluation after the fall of Saigon) explaining their similarity.

This isn't a valid correction for a trivia entry. There is no mistake being suggested, just letting viewers with limited plane experience know MiG-28 isn't a real plane.

Bishop73

More trivia for Top Gun

Question: This is probably a stupid question, but I know nothing at all about how these kind of aircrafts are flown. What exactly is the purpose of the guy sitting in the back of the plane? All they seem to do in the film is look in all directions for enemy aircrafts.

Answer: These aircraft are extremely complex; the presence of the backseater, variously known officially as the Weapon Systems Operator or Radar Intercept Officer, allows the pilot to focus on the immediate needs of flying the plane, as his backseater can take on many of the other tasks required. They serve as navigators, tacticians, bombardiers, weapons systems operators and, of course, as we see in the film, an extra set of eyes; they use their discretion in passing information to the pilot, ensuring that the pilot has only data that's important to the situation and isn't swamped by trivia. Without the distraction of having to fly the plane, they can often be better placed to coordinate between multiple planes, leading to situations where the backseater can be placed in command of the mission.

Tailkinker Premium member

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