With this week being the 30th anniversary of the Naval Aviation tour de force that introduced us to the need for speed, the Navy looks at how things have changed.
Gone are the sexy swing-wing F-14s (retired in 2006, though ironically Iran still flies some delivered to the Shah), replaced by the F/A-18E Superhornet.
The carriers the movie were filmed on, USS Enterprise and Ranger, are in the process of being turned into razor blades as well.
The Navy’s Fighter Weapons School at Miramar, “Fightertown USA” long ago relocated to Naval Air Station Fallon in western Nevada, making it pretty much impossible for Goose to drown these days. Also gone are the A-4s flown by Jester, their place taken by aggressor F-16s.
The Navy has a run down on the current school, which still has a lot of the same classic Top Gun scenes, though the culture has changed a bit, it the video above.
However, as noted by Raytheon, the more things change, the more they stay the same including the AIM-9 Sidewinder, which has just gotten better with age. Plus the Mig-38 stand ins, the F-5, is still in the air providing an opposing force airframe.
One BS flag raised in the film though, the “Top Gun Trophy” is actually not something you want.
“During the time I went through, when you got the trophy, it was awarded to you because you were the worst air crew in that particular class,” said former U.S. Navy Cmdr. Neil “Waylon” Jennings, who graduated from Topgun in 1990. “If you got the Top Gun trophy, that was not a good thing.”
[ Raytheon ]
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