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.


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.

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.

Trivia: After the (in)famous scene in which Maverick and Goose sing to Charlie, she leaves the bar (filmed in the rear bar area of the Miramar Naval Air Station Officers' Club) and goes to a restroom some 20 miles away (a men's restroom in the lobby of an administration building at Naval Training Center, San Diego). Maverick follows her, and after their exchange they both head back up I-15 to re-enter the bar at Miramar. The cramped restrooms at the Miramar O-Club were inappropriate for the scene.

Trivia: The scene where Maverick is making love to Charlie was shot in the dark for a reason. When reviewing the movie, the producers and critics felt that the movie needed a love scene after it was originally finished. Unfortunately, Kelly McGillis (Charlie) was doing another movie and had red hair. To shoot the scene, the dark was used to subtly cover the fact her hair isn't blonde, not just for the romantic effect.

Trivia: Val Kilmer did not want to be in the film, but was forced to by contractual obligations.

Trivia: When Maverick tells Charlie that he was flying inverted when flipping the bird to the MiG, Iceman coughs "bullshit" and gets a laugh from the others. That was actually an ad-lib from Val Kilmer.

Trivia: Ally Sheedy was the first choice for Charlotte 'Charlie' Blackwood but turned the part down because she thought that no one would want to see a movie with Tom Cruise flying a fighter jet.

Trivia: One of the pilots was killed during the filming. At the end of the film there is a reference in the credits to Art Scholl. He was an acrobatic pilot who flew the planes during the filming and was engaged to fly the difficult "flat spin" scene. During this scene, Scholl reported a problem with the plane. All contact was then lost and neither Scholl nor the plane were ever recovered.

Trivia: At the beginning of the class, Charlie tells the students that they will be using F-5's and A-4's as MiG simulators. Nowhere at the school do we see F-5's being flown by instructors as aggressors. The instructors only fly A-4's. The "real" MiG's are F-5's.

Trivia: Matthew Modine was originally selected to play Maverick but he turned the part down because he disagreed with the film's cold-war politics.

Trivia: At the end of the film Maverick throws some dog tags off the ship. We assume these are Goose's (albeit factually this cannot happen). If you look closely there are 2 different sets of tags - Rick Neven (Hollywood) and Mike Metcalf (Viper). Coincidentally these are the only two callsigns that are from the genuine fighter pilots in the credits. Seems a bit macabre!

Trivia: In the last dogfight, Maverick is ready on alert 5. When Hollywood is hit, Maverick is launched and Stinger says "Ready Willard and Simkin." Willard and Simkin don't sound like pilot call signs, but real names. They're the only pilots called by their real names during the entire film. That's because they're a homage to the dogfight choreographer Robert Willard and the casting director Margery Simkin.

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

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

More quotes from 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.

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