The New Need, Same as the Old Need

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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24 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    Saw the trailer last night. I had a big grin on my face when I heard the theme song as well. And yeah, the visuals were stunning. Looking forward to it.

    I am not a HUGE aviation junkie but I know a bit about military planes from my military history classes and just being a dude I guess. We have two customers that build for the military. One builds engines for the F-35 and I have been to their facility and seen the engines up close. Like, they let me put on a white glove and touch it close. It was awesome. They also built the engines for the SR-71 Blackbirds, which are one of my favorite planes ever (thanks GI Joe). They have huge models of them in their facility that I wanted to steal and put in my basement. I would have been so popular with my buddies.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      My father worked for that company, making, maintaining, and continually upgrading the engines for the SR-71 Blackbirds. Earlier this month, he gave an address at the Blackbird Reunion about the engines and how they work. So I grew up around military aviation, and in particular the Blackbird, and have lived in proximity to military aviation for most of my life. Basically all of it USAF and NASA.

      For me, Top Gun was the eye-opener realization that the Navy had fighter planes too and those pilots were pretty bad-ass to land them on aircraft carriers. While Cruise and Kilmer and the rest had over-the-top attitudes, the cockiness and swagger was a real thing with the pilots. The movie was incredibly fun, felt realistic enough, and left you feeling proud of the military and the country in a wholesome way.

      Also, when I took a girl to the movie she announced afterwards that she loved the volleyball scene and proceeded to ferociously make out with me. So that was how I learned that eye candy works on women, too.

      So naturally, tons of nostalgia for Top Gun and I’m hoping I get a date to go with me to the new one.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Their original facility is an amazing place. They still have an air control tower and an old runway from when they used to test planes onsite. You can see parts of the facility that are really old and then turn a corner into an area that is state of the art. Very, very cool place.Report

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    I remember spending time during band practice in middle school figuring out the anthem on the upright piano with some classmates.

    Didn’t get all of it, since we were playing from memory, but we got enough for it to be recognizable. Then we took that, went back to our brass instruments and had some fun with it.

    It was a good day.

    My uncle used to work at Top Gun, as a Navy Airedale, back when it was still at Miramar. When he got out, he flew 16 year old me out there and gave me a tour. I damn near exploded from aviation geek overload.Report

  3. Marchmaine says:

    So Old Tom Cruise as “best at his craft” fighter pilot Maverick rather than 2-star Admiral dealing with younger Maverick?

    That’s actually a cooler concept.

    Any idea if they are making him 39 or 49 or dare we wonder 50+? Has there ever been a 50+ fighter pilot in the Jet era?Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine says:

      According to the trailer, he’s an O-6 (Captain) and should be commanding the Carrier Air Wing (all the air crews report to him). Captains still fly, but mostly just to maintain qualification. While it is technically possible a Captain would fly an air mission, there would have to be a very good reason for it.

      So if he isn’t out there training the youngings, and is flying a mission, I will be interested in how they are going to justify putting the CAG in the cockpit.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Oh, I missed the nuance of O-6 and the move into middle management. I thought he was being mocked for still being a flyboy who couldn’t make the move to middle management, much less Executive Management.

        Less cooler concept than I hoped.

        I’m guessing the premise is this: EMP destroys all the fancy onboard flight computers and all they have left is this 80s vintage fly-by-wire F-14 that they were freighting to some museum. Cruise is the *only person in the world* who can fly it, so he uses his old-school tricks to beat the computer jockeys.

        Basically Dwight vs. Dunder Mifflen Computer, but in the sky.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine says:

          I saw that movie back in the 80s!Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Marchmaine says:

          to be honest, an EMP that zapped the electronics of newer aircraft would definitely do for the F-14. If anything the older aircraft are *more* susceptible to such an attack because it was assumed that if they were hit by an EMP of that power it was because the airbase had been nuked and in three seconds the thermal shock would incinerate them; that meant nobody bothered trying to harden them against EMP, because they’d never be hit by just an EMP, and “hardening” against nuclear weapons happens in the post-boost phase with kinetic interceptors.

          Anyway. The other thing is that the F-14 wasn’t actually all that great of a dogfighter. It had its strengths, but they were a lot more mission-dependent (the F-14 was designed to spot and shoot down waves of incoming missiles launched by Tu-22 or Tu-95 bombers, not mix it one-on-one over the Fulda Gap). If I had to pick a fighter for a no-radar dogfight it would be the F-16 (which was, as it happens, designed by Pierre Sprey and John Boyd specifically to be the best no-radar dogfighter in the universe.)

          Here’s a link that discusses the F-14 and F-15 as fighter combat aircraft.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I don’t know. Did Yeager hang up his spurs yet?Report

      • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

        Hrm… Chuck Yeager is still Tweeting like a master, but I’m not sure he’s broken the sound barrier since 2012, when he road back seat in an F-15 at Nellis to celebrate 65 years of supersonic flight. He’ll probably do it again for his 100th birthday.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to George Turner says:

          Sorry, I meant does the Navy force fighter pilots to stop being fighter pilots at a certain age… not whether any given 50-yr old could fly a military jet – which, of course they could. Its the gamesmanship of combat I’m wondering about.Report

  4. George Turner says:

    Is Kelly McGillis still going to be the love interest?Report

  5. Fish says:

    “Another ‘Top Gun’ movie? This is going to be stupid!”


    “Damn…I have to see this.”

    And you’re absolutely right about the bell.Report

    • Fish in reply to Fish says:

      Ooops. Formatting got me. Was supposed to be **watches trailer** and **watches trailer again** before the Damn’s. But you get the idea.Report

  6. Mikkhi Kisht says:

    When the trailer dumped to Twitter, my friends & I were stuck on one thing. The music. No talking about what the story would be, no concern on who was the love interest, nope. As one put it, there’s a distinct lack of Kenny Loggins in that trailer.

    We all turned into giggly fans, just for a moment in our different adult lives. I really hope this movie doesn’t ruin the nostalgia lovin’ feeling.Report

  7. DensityDuck says:

    I’m actually kind of glad that they have them in Super Hornets instead of Lightnings. Peter Mitchell is absolutely a Boyd fan and I imagine that the only way to get him to accept promotion would be to order him into the cockpit of an F-35…Report