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.

46
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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.

2

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.

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.

47

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.

29

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

17

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.

13

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).

11

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.

10

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

10

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
10

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)

8

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

Jacob La Cour
8
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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.

1

Character mistake: In the opening scene is a paragraph describing why the Top Gun school was started. The word "insure" is used when the word should have been "ensure". They wanted to guarantee the U.S. had superior pilots, not take out an insurance policy.

imshiffman
6
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Suggested correction: Insure and ensure are equivalent in US usage, and are from the same Anglo-Norman root.

Having the same root word is irrelevant. Many distinct words have the same root. In the US "insure", "ensure", and "assure" are not equivalent, therefore this correction is not valid. One could argue that "insure" was used to mean to be protect against risk as "insure" doesn't specifically mean "take out an insurance policy." But generally one would use the phrase "insure against."

Bishop73
2

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.

6

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.

7

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)

7

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.

5

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.

5

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

7

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.

3

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.

7

Iceman: You can be my wingman any time.
Maverick: Bullshit! You can be mine.

More quotes from Top Gun

Trivia: Charlie's date in her first bar scene is the real Viper from the actual Top Gun school, called Pete Pettigrew. He was the consultant on the film.

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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