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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Top Gun can be found here.
It's a Kawasaki Ninja 900 / GPz900R.
They weren't expecting any actual hostilities. They simply put up a flight to "show the flag" while the rescue op was underway and discourage any possible aggressors. It's clearly stated in the film that "both catapults are broken" and will take ten minutes to repair after Maverick launches. The CAG responds to this by stating that the battle will be over within two minutes, indicating that it will have to be fought with the forces on hand. The implication is therefore that an inconvenient equipment failure left the carrier temporarily short of cover at just the wrong moment. In reality US carriers have four catapults rather than two, and it would be highly unlikely for all four to break down simultaneously. It would also be highly unlikely that only two fighters would be aloft during a rescue mission -carriers of the time typically carried 24 of the F-14 fighters and although these aircraft were notoriously unreliable, keeping six or so in the air around the clock for days on end would not be overly difficult. The depiction of such small forces in the film is therefore really a bit of artistic license to allow Maverick to be the hero.
The central performer is the F-14A Tomcat. This is the aircraft flown by the US pilots from the carriers and the Top Gun school through the majority of the film. The Tomcat was designed specifically to defend US carriers from attacks by enemy aircraft. The small aircraft flown by the instructors at the Top Gun school is the A-4E Skyhawk. This aircraft was designed primarily as a light attack aircraft to fly from US aircraft carriers. In real life the A-4E, and later the A-4F, was indeed used to represent Soviet aircraft in air combat training, as depicted in the film. The "MiG-28" is a fictional aircraft which never existed in reality. Indeed, as MiG designations are always odd numbers there could never have been a MiG-28 even in theory - the series ran through the MiG-25, 27, 29 and 31. In actual warfare, the MiG-29 "Fulcrum" would be the ideal choice for combat against the Tomcat, due to its rather respectable capabilities. The MiG-28s are played by US F-5 Tiger II fighters. For most of the scenes, an F-5E Tiger II was used. In certain scenes, a two-seat combat-capable trainer variant designated the F-5F is used. In reality, the comparable Soviet fighter to the F-5 was the MiG-21 "Fishbed."
During a training exercise, Iceman breaks off formation and Maverick ends up flying in a jet wash. Both engines have a flame out and Maverick and Goose enter a flat spin. When hitting the ejection handle, Goose collides with the canopy while Maverick ejects safely. Iceman was responsible for Goose's death, but it was mostly accidental.
LT Pete "Maverick" MitchellLTJG Nick "Goose" BradshawLT Tom "Iceman" KazanskiCDR Mike "Viper" MetcalfLCDR Rick "Jester" HeatherlyLT Bill "Cougar" CortellLTJG Leonard "Wolfman" WolfeLTJG Ron "Slider" KernerLTJG Samuel "Merlin" WellsLTJG Marcus "Sundown" WilliamsLT Rick "Hollywood" NevenCDR Tom "Stinger" JardianLT Charles "Chipper" Piper
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