The Planes, Bases, and Gear in the Film Are All Real
Real Hardware: Tony Scott wanted the film to be as realistic as possible, so he worked with the military and U.S. government to use real planes, equipment, and the real Naval Air station where the movie is set. The production paid the military to use all that $1.8 million, including the use of real pilots, which cost $7,600 an hour, according to an article from TIME Magazine from 1986 about the film.
Here’s What Was Used: The aircraft carrier shots in the film movie were filmed on the USS Enterprise, and some of the planes used were F-14 squadron jets, including the VF-114 “Aardvarks” and the VF-213 “Black Lions” planes, according to the book TOPGUN DAYS: Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America’s Best Fighter Jocks.
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