True Scale Wings Collection 1/72nd scale TSMWTP001 Northrop Grumman F-14A VF-1 #114 Top Gun Movie Maverick and Goose. Buy now online at Flying Tigers.
Top Gun is a 1986 American romantic military action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr., and was inspired by an article titled “Top Guns” published in California magazine three years earlier.
The film stars Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt. Cruise plays Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a young Naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. He and his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Edwards) are given the chance to train at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School at Miramar in San Diego.
In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The Navy made several aircraft from F-14 fighter squadron VF-51 Screaming Eagles (which Tom Skerritt mentions in the scene at his home) available for the film. Paramount paid as much as $7,800 per hour for fuel and other operating costs whenever aircraft were flown outside their normal duties. Shots of the aircraft carrier sequences were filmed aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), showing aircraft from F-14 squadrons VF-114 Aardvarks and VF-213 Black Lions.The majority of the carrier flight deck shots were of normal aircraft operations and the film crew had to take what they could get, save for the occasional flyby which the film crew would request. During filming, director Tony Scott wanted to shoot aircraft landing and taking off, back-lit by the sun. During one particular filming sequence, the ship’s commanding officer changed the ship’s course, thus changing the light. When Scott asked if they could continue on their previous course and speed, he was informed by the commander that it cost $25,000 to turn the ship, and to continue on course. Scott wrote the carrier’s captain a $25,000 check so that the ship could be turned and he could continue shooting for another five minutes.
Most of the sequences of the aircraft maneuvering over land were shot at NAS Fallon, in Nevada, using ground-mounted cameras. Air-to-air shots were filmed using a Learjet. Grumman, manufacturer of the F-14, was commissioned by Paramount Pictures to create camera pods to be placed upon the aircraft that could be pointed toward either the front or rear of the aircraft providing outside shots at high altitude.
In July 1985, Kansas City Barbeque served as a filming location for two scenes. The first scene features Goose and Maverick singing Great Balls of Fire while seated at the piano. The final scene, where You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ can be heard on the restaurant’s jukebox, was also filmed at the restaurant. Both scenes were filmed consecutively. After release of the movie, the restaurant went on to collect a significant amount of memorabilia from the motion picture until a kitchen fire on June 26, 2008 destroyed much of the restaurant. Some memorabilia and props, including the original piano used in the film, survived the fire, and the restaurant re-opened in November 2008.
Renowned aerobatic pilot Art Scholl was hired to do in-flight camera work for the film. The original script called for a flat spin, which Scholl was to perform and capture on a camera on the aircraft. The aircraft was observed to spin through its recovery altitude, at which time Scholl radioed “I have a problem… I have a real problem”. He was unable to recover from the spin and crashed his Pitts S-2 into the Pacific Ocean off the Southern California coast near Carlsbad on September 16, 1985. Neither Scholl’s body nor his aircraft were recovered, leaving the official cause of the accident unknown. Top Gun was dedicated to Scholl’s memory.