Author Topic: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver  (Read 15766 times)

Offline Frank N. O.

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Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« on: May 12, 2007, 08:03:47 PM »
So, is it real? In one place I think I read it was the real thing invented by a pilot during Vietnam, but on the other hand it seems a bit wild, dangerous, crazy, hard to pull off etc.

I need to get the DVD out and look at the fotage again.

Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline undatc

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2007, 09:36:22 PM »
Are you talking about when they are cockpit to cock pit or when Maverick does a high speed pass by the tower?

The cockpit to cockpit shot I would put money on being done in a studio.  Though I am sure things like this happen all the time.  Look at the Blue Angels/Thunderbirds.  Also if I remember correctly, a few years back two Mig 28's crashed during an air show doing something like this, their tails struck and one went down, the other landed I think.

The high speed pass is real.  They actually do this all the time, this was the last thing we did in my last tower class.  When a fighter/high speed jet comes into the pattern and wants to do pattern work, their pattern is slightly different.  They come in, 1000' above the pattern flying at full bore, the tower calls their crosswind and when on down wind they drop to pattern level and reduce speed, normal base and final, after their touch and go, they full throttle and climb back up to 1000' above the pattern and repeat.  Hopefully that makes sense, if not I can re explain a bit.  Tower controllers get bored easily, so a high speed pass is a nice thing  ;D
-the content of the previous post does not represent the opinions of the FAA or NATCA, and is my own personal opinion...

Offline Frank N. O.

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2007, 10:10:41 PM »
Mig-28? Uhm, your head is really tuned into Top Gun aren't you?  ::rofl::

I remember when we greeted our contact in the tower at Odense after we'd flown over northern Funen on my Cardinal-flight but the wild thing at that fly-by was for me to feel as I from one split-second was looking out the windshield and the next was looking into my stomach (and with my very short neck that's quite a feat!). It actually took a second to figure out what the heck had happend and then it was time to return to level flight again, at least that time he gave notice ::rofl::

Actually, I was referring to the sequence that starts exactly 30 minutes into the movie (at least the european version I have). I took some framegrabs and reduced them to 1/4-size and pasted them in sequence so you can see what I mean. I've tried looking at several sites and can't find out if that handle to the left of the throttles is the speed-brake/spoiler handle on a real Tomcat or what, however the manvouver doesn't seem to be made with the brakes deployed. The two sets of pictures are all from one clip, the following clips as some probably remember where different clips not possibly following this (real life in front of the camera at that time) manouver.

Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline undatc

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007, 05:19:06 AM »
That looks like a possible opening to an Immelman, which is a pretty common aerobatic maneuver.

http://www.scootworks.com/rdrc/aerobatics/immel.html

There is a link to a site with an animation of one.  Also there are some other aerobatic maneuvers on there too.
-the content of the previous post does not represent the opinions of the FAA or NATCA, and is my own personal opinion...

airtac

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 06:15:07 AM »
That looks like a possible opening to an Immelman, which is a pretty common aerobatic maneuver.

http://www.scootworks.com/rdrc/aerobatics/immel.html

There is a link to a site with an animation of one.  Also there are some other aerobatic maneuvers on there too.
IMMELMAN ??? You are not even close----I take it you haven't seen the movie or at least forgot the scene in which the maneuver was filmed.

An immelman is a half loop followed by a half roll on top.

Offline undatc

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2007, 08:37:02 AM »
isn't the the scene where he "hit the brakes and he'll fliy right by"?

If i remember right, he shoots up then flips over on top, goes cockpit to cockpit and "communicates"

Or is that the one where he hit the brakes again, shoots over the top, Jester goes for the hard deck?  Maybe I have the wrong sequence.  Anyway the opening part of it either way is like an immelman in that, you're in level flight and you start a backwards loop.  Just that in an Immelman you stop half way and do a barrel roll to bring you back straight and level.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 08:39:38 AM by undatc »
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Offline undatc

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2007, 08:52:08 AM »
Ok, I was annoyed at this, so I pulled out the movie and watched the scene.

It would appear, and from what I remember from my aerodynamics class, that he increases thrust, and also angle of attack (ie he pulls up).  This would cause the airplane to slow, and if all else is constant, ie Jester doesn't slow down or increase his own thrust, the the F14 should climb above, but due to the increased drag on the plane also slow.  As Jester's plane is now faster it would "shoot" in front of Mavericks plane, all he has to do now is nose over and follow.

However what doesn't make much sense to me, even a rookie pilot could tell when a plane is climbing, and Jester should have been able to compensate for it, especially as, "the planes you'll be flying against are faster, smaller, and more maneuverable, just like the enemies."

I think I got this right, i don't want to drag out the Aerodynamics book.......

Side note, what is the airplane they are flying against in Fighter Weapons School?  I cant remember it...
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 08:54:06 AM by undatc »
-the content of the previous post does not represent the opinions of the FAA or NATCA, and is my own personal opinion...

airtac

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2007, 11:31:36 AM »
Ok, I was annoyed at this, so I pulled out the movie and watched the scene.

It would appear, and from what I remember from my aerodynamics class, that he increases thrust, and also angle of attack (ie he pulls up).  This would cause the airplane to slow, and if all else is constant, ie Jester doesn't slow down or increase his own thrust, the the F14 should climb above, but due to the increased drag on the plane also slow.  As Jester's plane is now faster it would "shoot" in front of Mavericks plane, all he has to do now is nose over and follow.

However what doesn't make much sense to me, even a rookie pilot could tell when a plane is climbing, and Jester should have been able to compensate for it, especially as, "the planes you'll be flying against are faster, smaller, and more maneuverable, just like the enemies."

I think I got this right, i don't want to drag out the Aerodynamics book.......

Side note, what is the airplane they are flying against in Fighter Weapons School?  I cant remember it...
Jester was flying an -5 Freedom fighter.. same basic airframe as the 2 seat trainer T-38 Talon.

The maneuver Maverick used was similar to (but not as extreme) as the "Cobra" maneuver used by Russian pilots in SU 30 Flankers----dramatically slowing the aircraft with a pitchup (started from an already reduced airspeed) forcing a pursuer to fly by, then pitching the nose down to gain airspeed and become the pursuer.
This is NOT how you enter a loop,  which is begun by increasing airspeed then increasing back pressure, smoothly bringing the nose past vertical until, at the top of the loop you roll from the inverted and maintain level flight (the Immelman turn---a 180 degree flight reversal with a gain in altitude)
Go ahead and dig out the old "Aerodynamics" book---I have never read one................

Offline Frank N. O.

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2007, 12:16:36 PM »
Yes that's the "I'll hit the brakes and he'll fly right by". However the F-5's where the Mig-28's in the movie, the smaller agressor aircraft during the Top Gun training were A-4s.
Just to confirm, the flying picture sequence starts with the very first frame of that sequence and stops with the very last before the next cut which is the cockpit shots and another shot of the Tomcat banked and with swept wings etc. which couldn't possible have been directly after the manevour shown above. I also still wonder what handle Maverick pushed. It couldn't be the throttle since they were still firewalled but the few pictures showing that area of the cockpit doesn't show any pertruding lever like that but of course it wasn't a real cockpit used in that scene since it would never fit between the cockpit wall and the levers so it may be a modified cockpit to give some action.
Of course the "hit the brakes" term could be referring to slowing the plane down by a manouver and not the actual brakes, but then what lever is he pushing? I doubt it's the manual override for the wing-sweep since I doubt they can move that fast.

Btw, can anyone remember anyone hearing it was a real manouver as I think I heard? And what kind of g would the pilot and rio pull in that? Even if it's slow speeds it must be something, also stress on the wings since it seems the plane point up higher than it was actually moving so a fair bit of air would push on the underside of the wings and fuselage right? Kind of like power-drifting a car thrue a turn (oversteer).

Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Gulfstream Driver

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2007, 01:46:36 PM »
Bear in mind that this is a movie.  Tom Cruise obviously doesn't know which way to move the throttle throughout the entire movie.

It is a real maneuver, Frank.  Like Airtac said, the Russians used to do this all the time.  It's very punishing on the body, though.  I think I heard that you exceed 9 G's.  The pilot is on the verge of blacking out before getting the nose back down.
Behind every great man, there is a woman rolling her eyes. --Bruce Almighty

airtac

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2007, 03:45:54 PM »

AW GEE FRANK, thanks for correcting me on the A-4/F-5 blooper ::bow::

Offline undatc

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2007, 04:51:58 PM »
Jester was flying an -5 Freedom fighter.. same basic airframe as the 2 seat trainer T-38 Talon.

The maneuver Maverick used was similar to (but not as extreme) as the "Cobra" maneuver used by Russian pilots in SU 30 Flankers----dramatically slowing the aircraft with a pitchup (started from an already reduced airspeed) forcing a pursuer to fly by, then pitching the nose down to gain airspeed and become the pursuer.
This is NOT how you enter a loop,  which is begun by increasing airspeed then increasing back pressure, smoothly bringing the nose past vertical until, at the top of the loop you roll from the inverted and maintain level flight (the Immelman turn---a 180 degree flight reversal with a gain in altitude)
Go ahead and dig out the old "Aerodynamics" book---I have never read one................

Isn't that what I said?
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airtac

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2007, 05:21:18 PM »

There's a huge difference between (1) an extreme decelerating pitch up where there is little if any altitude gained and (2) the acceleration to a loop entry where max altitude is gained by smooth steady pitch increase...  two different maneuvers with two different results.

To use your rationale, then I guess every time you increased back pressure (takeoff, stalls, landing flare, etc.) you would be entering an Immelman----

Offline undatc

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2007, 05:40:10 PM »

There's a huge difference between (1) an extreme decelerating pitch up where there is little if any altitude gained and (2) the acceleration to a loop entry where max altitude is gained by smooth steady pitch increase...  two different maneuvers with two different results.

To use your rationale, then I guess every time you increased back pressure (takeoff, stalls, landing flare, etc.) you would be entering an Immelman----

I had said that in the first reply, but then recanted in the second.  Go back and look  ::type::
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Offline Frank N. O.

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Re: Dumb Question 2: The Top Gun fly-by manouver
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2007, 10:56:32 PM »
Ok first off, I thought it over and noticed that I was wrong, in car-terms the Cobra would be understeering and not oversteering. Secondly, I noticed the second time where "Maverick" used that manouver and then it clearly showed both throttle levers being firewalled. I think in the first scene shown above that Tom might only be moving the left throttle-lever but maybe I saw wrong. As said above then there are tons of factual errors in the movie, but that one scene I showed above seemed real and since I doubt the Skyhawk can accelerate that fast then the Tomcat must've done a real manouver causing rapid deceleration and I was just wondering about the details on the real life manouver and the fact that I seem to remember reading one place it was a real manouver invented by a pilot during the vietnam war.

Here's a diagram I made using the Top Gun pack for FS9. Is that what happend?

Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci