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Real Top Guns

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posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 08:54 PM
Hi all,

For those interested, there is what should be a good six part documentary on Australian Fighter Pilots, including some discusion of tactics, training, capabilities, as well as the character traits and life style of those who fly.

HE used to think Top Gun was a great movie. But Greg Quail says he found out, while filming Australia's fighter pilots, that the blockbuster on students of an elite US flying school "bears no resemblance to reality".

"It's one of the seminal movies," he says of the 1986 feature starring Tom Cruise. "Most people of my generation, who were kids when it came out, could recite a few lines from the film."

The former TV news and current affairs reporter, who just over a decade ago became a freelance documentary filmmaker, has called his six-part series Real Top Guns.

He cites several misrepresentations in the hit movie.

"When it comes to dogfighting, for example, planes don't fly one behind the other stacked up through canyons," he says. "Dogfights actually happen at some distance. There are missiles involved and of course they have ranges. And when it comes to using the onboard machine-gun, it's nothing like the movie.

"It's a circular confrontation where you start high and go low. We go into the tactics of dogfights in some depth in episode five."

Quail and his team spent six months last year filming at bases including Williamtown, NSW; East Sale, Victoria; Amberley, in Queensland; Tindal in the Northern Territory; and went on deployment to the RAAF base at Butterworth on Malaysia's north-west coast. Though the training is intense, he found the men (and one woman) self-assured and that there was a strong sense of camaraderie.

Program screens Wednesday nights on SBS at 8pm. Greg got some pretty good access, so hopefully the final product will be interesting and educational. It will certainly be better than the 4 Corners report...

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 05:57 AM
Thanks mate i did see a promo about a month ago


posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 02:54 PM
I was watching the producer interview on Top Gun one day and it was pretty interesting. The fighter pilots at first were like "No way would we do that!" but then they explained that if they made it realistic it would be pretty boring for people to watch, because they'd only ever see one plane at a time. Once they explained camera angles and the like to them, they really got into it and had a blast doing the flying.

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 10:24 PM
I think that's a great point Zaph, the reality of what it is to fly fighters is a long way removed from the public perception of what it must be like. I know quite a few people who self scrubbed from conversion course simply because it wasn't as much "fun" as they thought it would be. Guys who are now doing things like flying tac Hercs. Hopefully the show will present all the extra stuff, the length of time it takes to put together a mission brief, planning time, debrief time, the extra duties, the sim time. I also hope it shows all the other members of the team that go towards getting the mission done. In reality, the actual flying of a fighter accounts for such a tiny portion of a working week, it isn't funny! That said, it is still pretty cool

posted on Dec, 8 2007 @ 07:24 AM
SBS eh?
Any chance someone puts bits of it on Youtube?

Did a quick search for it and came up empty..

posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 02:20 AM
Nice one Willard,

I will definitely be taking a look at that with keen interest. Any chance that you yourself may be in it?

I myself will be appearing in a multi part documentary on aircraft engineering training. Should be out in a few months and will mostly be about yours truly.


posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 03:27 PM
Wow Lee, a regular hollywood star in our midst! I look forward to seeing the doco, though when it comes to engineering, my eyes usually glaze over....

So, I thought the first episode was pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but a good introduction to the series. Had a good balance between personal and professional focus, and hopefully gave you some idea that it isn't all about Mach 1.3 canyon runs! My biggest concern was that the series would be all afterburners and in cockpit vision. While that is probably the stuff most people are interested in, there is a bigger story to tell.

Anyways, what did the others who saw it think?

posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 10:24 PM
Hmmm, earth shattering silence. I thought there would be at least some discussion!

Well, you might want to try and win a ride in a jet. Details here.

Real Top Guns Competition

Winner gets a one hour flight in a Hornet or a Hawk. Unless you don't meet the restritions set out in the terms and conditions (which are basically determined by the restrictions for aircraft type), in which case you end up in a C-130 or C-17. Sorry Daedulus, Aussie citizens only

Oh, and just to be clear, I have no affiliation with the show or the competition. Simply looking after my ATS bretheren.

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 03:44 AM

Originally posted by Willard856
Wow Lee, a regular hollywood star in our midst! I look forward to seeing the doco,
Yep, and you have NO idea how much of a hard time Im gonna cop at work and from friends for it (the doco is being made coincidentally by a good friend of mine, not planned just worked out that way). Autographs, should you require it will be A$50 for overseas requests, or a slab of Crownies if your a local.

though when it comes to engineering, my eyes usually glaze over....
Yes a typical response from the guys who sit at the pointy end on fat wallets, and usually the excuse given when they break, touch or fiddle with something that they have been told repeatedly by us blackhanders, "Do you think you can refrain from F#$%*!G with it this time?"

... Actually I can sympathise, I have spent all this week and tomorrow on a 747-400 course and I am sick of hearing about IDG's, EFIS/EICAS, CDC, MAWEA, RB-211 primary engine parameters, and on and on and.... my eyes are glazing over to.

But less about me, and more about the thread title.

So, I thought the first episode was pretty good... Nothing spectacular, but a good introduction to the series. My biggest concern was that the series would be all afterburners and in cockpit vision. While that is probably the stuff most people are interested in, there is a bigger story to tell.
Yeah I was pleasantly surprised. The only "afterburners" moment was the graphics and the voice over proclaiming the "Hornet is capable of flying over 5000km without refueling" etc. I know they need to sex it up a little but somehow I dont see a Hornet with a full loadout making it quite that far

Actually one of the most telling moments was when the EX to Malaysia was put in jeopardy by the non availabillity of a single 707 tanker. Not a good situation considering the A-330 tankers are reportedly delayed.

I look forward to the next episodes and see how they flesh out the story. I will also be playing a little game of "Where's Willard?". See if I can't uncover YOUR Hollywood moment.

PS. Will definitely be entering that competition.

[edit on 13-12-2007 by thebozeian]

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 04:05 AM
Hey guys,

Loved it thought it was well filmed and edited.
Looking forward to next episodes in series.
The best thing it wasnt on commercial tv which would
of ruined it.

Lee lets us know time date place when doco is on

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 04:20 AM
reply to post by Jezza
Yep will do, first episode was supposed to screen about now but it has been delayed a couple of months because they want shoot additional episodes when something interesting is being done. Will advise which cable channel and website it can be downloaded from in a dedicated thread when the time comes near.


posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 07:04 AM
reply to post by thebozeian

I'm the really, really, really, ridiculously good looking one....

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 03:22 PM
Well, episode two has come and gone. I didn't think it was as strong as the first episode. It was a pretty superficial skim of both subject matters, but then again, the half hour time limit kind of restricts what they can do I suppose (I think one hour episodes would have been much better, and given more meat to the story. There was no real sense of time and focus in the mission planning section, and the multitude of competing factors that make it so hard to get to the target area on time. The 76 SQN storyline was a little better, but still no real sense of the pressures and speed with which you need to learn things. All in all, it just felt too rushed to me.

The big thing I think came out was the impact of losing a high value asset, such as the AAR. When your legs are as short as the Hornet's are, you need all the help you can get!

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 05:38 AM
your right about the 30min format.
this will be released as a dvd i hope and watch again hopefully
the raaf will miss the long legs of the f-111 soon.
the jsf wont be as long ranged but should be longer ranged than the legacy

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