Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

18 mistakes

(8 votes)

Continuity mistake: When Maverick and Rooster crash in enemy territory the terrain is snowy but when they are flying out the background isn't snowy, it looks like summer.

Plot hole: Any strike on a military facility by incoming aircraft would first take out the SAM sites with missiles to clear the way for said aircraft to operate freely. After all, the Tomahawks fly right past the attacking planes and take out the runway with no issues at all - no reason they couldn't hit the high and exposed SAMs.

Factual error: The radar guided SAMs are consistently evaded/triggered by the pilots' flares, which in reality only work against heat seeking missiles. Radar guided missiles would be defended against using chaff, basically clouds of aluminium foil strips.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Factual error: The F14 could never have got airborne with such a short clear run. It needs about 800m, about half a mile.

Plot hole: Given the mission parameters, why wouldn't the facility be taken out with a barrage of ballistic missiles instead of weapons dropped from manned aircraft? "GPS jamming" wouldn't be a factor with ballistic missiles.

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Suggested correction: Likely incorrect. The movie makes a big deal out of the steep climb and descent of the narrow mountainous valley in which the target is located, and the wide arc of a ballistic missile from launch to strike would be geometrically unable to hit the target. It would in essence have to be launched straight down at the target (akin to what a Javelin does), something that in this case only aircraft overhead would be able to do.

Sounds like a perfect mission for a B2.

Continuity mistake: In the first scene when Maverick enters the airbase on his motorcycle it is mid-morning based on the sun and shadows. When he takes off in the test jet it is pre-dawn.

Factual error: The pilots are not wearing actual Super Hornet, heads-up display helmets. And, they would not be using clear eye shields in the daytime. Of course, if they were using the sun-tinted shields, you wouldn't be able to see all the acting going on inside those oxygen masks.

Factual error: The flame coming out of the engine exhaust port on Darkstar when the scram jet is engaged is wrong. That speed at which the burnt gas is being ejected should show the classic supersonic shock diamonds.

Factual error: The left turn the Dark Star makes at Mach 9 is not possible. The G force stress would tear the aircraft apart. The turn radius is far too small at that speed.

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Suggested correction: You are basing this opinion on the capabilities of conventional aircraft. Dark Star isn't real and doesn't have to be realistic.


Some very rough dead reckoning based on screen grabs of the turn show that if the plane had been similar in size to the SR-71 and had pulled that turn at mach 10 the pilot would be experiencing 970-990 G.

Suggested correction: Incorrect. Dark Star is a theoretical aircraft, so we have no idea of its capabilities. Also, race car drivers can pull 9G's and somehow live.


What is being said is not that it is subjected to 9G's, which is completely doable (Maverick gets to 10 during the mission sequence). What is being stated is that a turn with that radius at Mach 9 (not 9Gs) would generate a much higher G.

Again, as Dark Star is purely hypothetical, we have no idea of its capabilities or positive G capabilities. What's to say that it doesn't have a way of being able to execute such turns? You are comparing it to an actual aircraft, not a theoretical one.


Even being theoretical, such a turn in that speed is not just a matter of a slightly better technology, but a difference that would be almost science fiction at this point. Darkstar is based on the Lockheed Martin SR-72, which can theoretically get to Mach 6. Even at Mach 6, to make a U turn would take a turn radius of more than 200 miles. I understand your point, that being fictional it can do whatever the filmmakers want, but that would in no way meet reality.

Factual error: The TLAM cruise missiles launched at the runway are subsonic. They could not catch up with and pass the Super Hornets.

Continuity mistake: When Maverick and the team are heading into enemy territory after leaving the carrier, they start dropping below enemy radar. Watch how close they are to the ocean. They've already reached lower altitude. In one shot, Maverick is higher above the ocean. In the next shot, he's lower again as before.

manthabeat Premium member

Character mistake: The Admiral refers to Top Gun as Maverick's final post. As Maverick is a Naval aviator, it should be referred to as his final duty station. The army uses the term post.

Other mistake: The only export customer for the Tomcat was Iran. But the "fifth gen" enemy fighters were PAK FA (Sukhoi T-50 / Su-57) which are flown only by Russia.

Deliberate mistake: When Maverick is in the bar texting Iceman, Iceman's sentence-long responses come almost immediately after Maverick sends his messages, without enough time having elapsed for Iceman to have typed them out. Compare this to the later scene at the selectively mute Iceman's house, where he types out various sentences for Maverick to read, and the amount of time it takes him to type them out is more of what one would expect.

Phaneron Premium member

Revealing mistake: During the scene with Maverick and Rooster in the F-14A, you can see the cockpit of the F-18F being reflected off Rooster's visor on the helmet.

Deliberate mistake: During the previous scenes where Maverick is flying the Darkstar spy plane, his helmet is lit up on the inside, so we can see his face. In reality the light would be reflecting off the plexiglass, and we would not be able to see his face, and he would not be able to see.

Movie Medic

Other mistake: During the training scenes, aviators are told to keep a 500 to a 1000 ft safety bubble around them at all times. In multiple scenes you can see where they are almost flying in a wingtip formation.

Movie Medic

Other mistake: The beginning footage shows the USS Roosevelt CVN 71 as the carrier being used for flight ops, yet they refer to it in the movie as the USS Lincoln, CVN 72.

More quotes from Top Gun: Maverick

Trivia: Despite long being one of Hollywood's most bankable stars, this was the first Tom Cruise film to earn more than $100 million at the domestic box office on its opening weekend. It also went on to become his highest grossing film, as well as his first film to gross $1 billion worldwide.

Phaneron Premium member

More trivia for Top Gun: Maverick

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