Fighter Pilot Breaks Down Every Fighter Jet From Top Gun: Maverick | WIRED

Fighter Pilot Breaks Down Every Fighter Jet From Top Gun: Maverick | WIRED | Frontline Videos

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Matthew “Whiz” Buckley, a Navy fighter pilot, breaks down the fighter jets featured in Top Gun: Maverick in incredible detail. Here are the first three jets he talked about: 

F-14 Tomcat

Big airplane, big radar in the front, and massive missiles

At its time, the F-14 Tomcat was a pretty maneuverable aircraft. Its mission objective was fleet air defense, responsible for protecting the entire carrier battle group. 

On a good day (in the US Navy), it would be a chore to get an F-14 airborne – let alone in a foreign country that doesn’t have the spare parts or maintenance folks needed to operate the Tomcat.

F/A-18 Hornet

Pure love. It’s the most beautiful airplane on the face of the planet. Spent nearly 3,000 hours in this airplane – one of my first true loves.

The Hornet is the first multirole fighter attack aircraft. It can fly up to Mach 1.8 and can carry all sorts of weapons, from air-to-air to GPS-guided missiles. 

Whiz also explains what Coyote experiences in the movie as “G-LOC” or G-Force Induced Loss of Consciousness. This happens when they start pulling multiple Gs, so the blood tends to leave your head. At that point, you have to squeeze your legs and abs to keep yourself from passing out. If you lose consciousness, you might die. 

Luckily, the Ground Collision Avoidance System alerts the pilot to pull up in these circumstances. If the pilot doesn’t, the jet will level the wings automatically and climb you away from danger.

F-35A Lightning II

Interesting-looking aircraft, but not as sexy as the Hornet.

The Lightning can glide because of its lifting body configuration. Its engine also rotates, so the nozzle moves to make the aircraft turn tighter in a turning circle.  

If you go up and touch its airframe, it’ll actually feel a little spongy, because they have radar-absorbent material. 

Watch the video below to hear his opinions about the P-51 Mustang, the Su-57 Felon, and the Dark Star!


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