The character of Colonel Charles "Chappy" Sinclair was inspired by the real life U.S. Air Force General Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr. General Chappie James was a member of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen, and also flew fighter jets in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He later became the first black four-star General in U.S. history.
During "The Snake Scene" in which Doug Masters races his Cessna 150 against a motorcycle-riding Knotcher, the pilot of the Cessna 150 Aerobat was renowned aerobatic pilot Art Scholl, who was killed later that year when his Pitts S-2 camera plane crashed while filming in-cockpit footage for the flat spin sequence in Top Gun (1986).
According to the DVD liner notes, the U.S. Air Force was going to consult on this film, until they realized that a major part of the plot hinged on Doug and his friends hacking into the base computers, stealing equipment, et cetera. They didn't like the idea of the ease with which they had control of the base.
The title song for the movie was performed by the band King Kobra. The music video featured the members of the band being trained for a mission by Chappy (Louis Gossett, Jr.) The band broke up a few years later. Lead singer Mark Free underwent a sex change operation in the mid 1990s, and now records music under her new name, Marci Free.
All of the fighter aircraft used (F-16 fighters; plus, F-21/C-2 Kfir fighters depicting enemy MiGs) were Israeli Air Force aircraft, repainted with the U.S. Air Force symbol and a fictitious enemy symbol.
The Stateside scenes around the Air Force base were filmed at Camarillo Airport in Oxnard, California. In real-life, Camarillo Airport was itself a U.S. Air Force base, going by the name of Oxnard Air Force Base until its closure and handover to civilian authorities in 1970. As in this movie, Oxnard flew fighter aircraft, operating the supersonic McDonnell F-101 Voodoo and Convair F-106 Delta Dart until the base closed. Some of the buildings still existing on the property adjacent to the airfield were built and used by the Air Force.
Some of the "Libyan" soldiers at the airbase, from where Doug's dad was rescued, were using the Swedish 9mm SMG m/45. Originally developed during World War II. Still in use, but in very small numbers nowadays, within the Swedish Armed Forces. It has also served in U.S. Special Forces as a very simple, easy handled and very reliable SMG. Some period also manufactured on license in Egypt. That's why the "Libyan" soldiers were using it.
The name of the country in which Colonel Masters was being held prisoner is never mentioned, only the cities of Bilyad and Il Karim, and that the country is considered a pariah nation in the Middle East.