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 actually 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 the movie 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, etc. They didn't like the idea of the ease with which they had control of the base.
All of the fighter aircraft used (F-16 fighters; plus, F-21/C-2 Kfir fighters depicting enemy MiGs) are actually Israeli Air Force aircraft, repainted with the USAF 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 USAF base, going by the name of Oxnard AFB until its closure and handover to civilian authorities in 1970. As in the 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 where Doug's are rescued from, are using the Swedish 9mm SMG m/45. Originally developed during WWII. Still in use - but in very small numbers nowadays - within the Swedish Armed Forces. It has also served in US 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 are using it.