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.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

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 :).

Continuity mistake: Take notice of everyone's hands during the action sequences. No one is wearing gloves. As standard issue for military pilots, the gloves are made of Nomex and provide protection from fire and allow for a better grip when things get a little hot and heavy.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: While it's technically correct that they have to wear Nomex flight gloves for taking off and landing, I know many jet jockeys who choose to ignore this rule.

Factual error: The training was conducted at Miramar, 5 (or so) miles from the beach. When Charlie confronts Maverick about his flying and he leaves on a motorcycle, he zooms up a hill away from the ocean leaving NTC SD (Naval Training Center San Diego - not Miramar) with the Coronado Bay Bridge - and lots of ocean water - in the background.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The hill he's zooming up is right off an I5 exit to the golden hill neighborhood so if he left Miramar, got on the freeway and exited there this would be a logical sequence. Also NTC SD is a few miles to the south from this filming location.

Visible crew/equipment: When Charlie walks down to the front of the class in the hanger, Jester is the only one at the front. Look at the reflection of Maverick's glasses, and the reflection shows lots of people standing in front of him.

More mistakes in Top Gun

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: Goose's real name is Nick Bradshaw. This is visible after he dies among his belongings that Maverick goes through. It also appears on the canopy of the F-14 he and Maverick are assigned to.

More trivia for Top Gun

Question: I would like to know from a real Navy pilot if the scene is correct where Maverick's F-14 is right on Iceman's tail and he tells him to fly hard right to get out of his way. This leaves jet wash in his flight path and the jet goes down. Wouldn't a real pilot be trained to avoid this kind of danger from happening with the jet wash?

jcmann01

Answer: The original F-14A used the TF30 engine which was prone to compressor stall. This problem was fixed in later aircraft. https://theaviationist.com/2014/12/12/f-14b-engine-goose/.

Chosen answer: Probably not a lot of Navy fighter jocks on this site. Of course he'd be trained to avoid it, but Maverick is hyper-aggressive and is following Iceman way too closely. Had he been farther back he'd have avoided it.

Grumpy Scot
More questions & answers from Top Gun

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.