Fans of the 1986 action movie Top Gun will remember that the MiG-28 made an appearance during the film’s conclusion, but is this jet plane real? If not, what real-life model was used in the production? Top Gun, a 1986 release starring Tom Cruise, continues to be a favourite of many fans of action films.
The sleek, stylish direction of the late action movie great Tony Scott helped the simply plotted hit Top Gun succeed at the box office. It tells the tale of Maverick, a brash recruit who overcomes personal tragedy to become one of the fastest and most skilled pilots the Navy has ever seen. The compelling plot of the film masterfully blended personal drama with a tonne of fast-paced action, as exemplified by the suspenseful climax.
Top Gun’s finale frequently cuts to an enemy aircraft during this aerial combat scene that is referred to as a “MiG-28” in the film. This eventually led to the question that still bothers fans today: “Does the model genuinely exist, or was it created specifically for use in the movie?” The MiG-28 is a fake, and Top Gun really used a Northrop F-5 that was professionally painted black for the sequence. Obsessives will probably have guessed this information because to one small tell-tale detail: MiGs are actually odd-numbered. Thus, the designation of this Top Gun aircraft as an even number gives away the trick to keen observers.
The MiG-28 that appears in the film is really a real-life F-5 that was painted black by the production to make it less recognised and appear more menacing for dramatic effect. The real-life US Navy, which helped with the creation of Top Gun from plot to screen, provided the majority of the loans for this plane and the other numerous planes in the movie. In a very literal sense, the Pentagon sought access to the original shooting screenplay of the film in order to make any necessary adjustments to any scenes that didn’t conform to their preferred public view. The Pentagon’s most significant request was that Cruise’s love interest Charlie be a civilian rather than another recruit because at the time, office romances were absolutely forbidden. However, Top Gun was far from being a protest movie.
The Top Gun producers made a wise choice in using the F-5 as a stand-in for the hypothetical wicked aircraft since the black paint job allowed them to hide the country origin of the enemy plane. Although they were initially planned to be openly North Korean, Top Gun’s designers chose not to divulge the origins of the film’s villains during its brief running time due to the ambiguous political climate of the 1980s. When the long-awaited action sequel Top Gun: Maverick finally hits theatres next year, several of the jet planes from the first film will make a victorious comeback, along with many new types that will make their screen premiere.
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