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TOPGUN TRIBUTE

To celebrate the release of the long-awaited film Top Gun: Maverick, Key.Aero is marking the occasion with special coverage of the real TOPGUN fighter weapons school and the movies with material on the original and the sequel.

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Explore the latest news and features by our world-class aviation journalists. Stay up to date on the latest military aviation developments, commercial airline news, historic restoration projects, flight simulation releases and much more.

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NAWDC operates previously embargoed F-16A/B Block 15 OCUs as part of its adversary fleet. US Department of Defense Feature Premium

TOPGUN Today

More than 50 years after its formation, TOPGUN adheres to the same basic tenet of delivering excellence to the Fleet

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Insights from a real TOPGUN instructor

Retired US Navy CDR Jim ‘Jambo’ Ray shares some of his experiences as a TOPGUN instructor with Dr Kevin Wright

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Stunning photos of the RAeS Garden Party 1956

A delightful day’s flying, courtesy the Royal Aeronautical Society — and one that could almost be repeated in the present

TOPGUN shares access to the Super Hornet with NAWDC’s other components, but on occasion borrows aircraft from other units. Those include VFA-106, one of which squadron’s F/A-18Fs is seen here during a training mission at El Centro, California. US Navy Feature Premium

TOPGUN Aircraft: Super Hornet

Like the Hornet before it, the Super Hornet’s arrival into US Navy service was via a somewhat unusual route. Today it delivers world-class capability from the carrier deck

QUIZ: Think you know your ICAO codes? (PART TWO!)

We had a phenomenal response to our ICAO code quiz earlier in the year, so here’s a second helping which promises to sort the airport aficionados from the airfield amateurs – good luck!

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What is the real TOPGUN like?

The long-awaited sequel to the movie Top Gun will be a Hollywood depiction of what happens at the US Navy Fighter Weapons School. Jamie Hunter and Richard Collens tell the story of the real TOPGUN — a school of combat excellence in the high desert

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Boeing F/A-18 Hornet vs Super Hornet: what's the difference?

Tom Kaminski assesses the US Navy’s Hornets and Super Hornets and compares their capabilities.

An A-4E ‘Mongoose’ (the unofficial name for this sub-type) awaits its next sortie from Naval Air Station Miramar. These jets were fast and manoeuvrable, making them excellent adversaries. US NAVY Feature Premium

TOPGUN - The early years

Marcelo Ribeiro marked the 50th anniversary of the US Navy’s iconic dissimilar air combat training squadron – TOPGUN – in 2019 by exploring its formative years

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What happened to the 'Thistle Squadron'?

The so-called ‘Thistle Squadron’ was the first in the Belgium Air Force earmarked to receive the new Hawker Hurricane. Col Michel ‘Mike’ Terlinden and Daniel Brackx recount the story

Second Iwakuni-based F-35B squadron declares Full Operational Capability

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242 has reached Full Operational Capability and is ready to support its full complement of intended missions

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Norse Gatwick flights – launch info revealed

The latest transatlantic challenger airline has confirmed when it will start flying from London.

US approves sale of 23 CH-47Fs to Egypt

A possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt of 23 CH-47F Chinook Helicopters and related equipment, an estimated cost of $2.6bn, has been approved by the US State Department.

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Lufthansa’s early Boeing 727 operations

Lufthansa was the first airline in Europe to fly the Boeing 727 and ‘The Aeroplane and Commercial Aviation News’ December 31, 1964 issue looked at the type’s first seven months of operations with the German carrier

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Investigators find cause of Navy Wings Sea Fury crash

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has concluded its inquiry into a crash of a Hawker Sea Fury T Mk 20.

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Romanian MiG-21 fleet gains one-year lease of life as operations resume

After suspending all flight activities with its ageing MiG-21 LanceR B/C fleet on April 15 for safety reasons, the Romanian Air Force has resumed operations with the Cold War-era fighter for a one-year period, after which the type will be withdrawn from service

VF-124 was the Tomcat RAG. This Miramar line-up had been prepared for an inspection. US Navy Feature Premium

Miramar – TOPGUN’s Ancestral Home

TOPGUN was established as the Navy Fighter Weapons School, out of VF-121 at Naval Air Station Miramar. Today, the facility is a key US Marine Corps station

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New consultation on Gatwick expansion plans

Bosses at London/Gatwick have confirmed there will be a further consulting period linked to the airport’s expansion proposals.

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De Havilland's ten greatest aircraft: do you agree?

Steve Beebee attempts the impossible – picking out the ten greatest aircraft from the immortal de Havilland stable

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TOPGUN through the ages

The US Navy’s TOPGUN fighter weapons school is marking 50 years of training. Combat Aircraft charts its history and success and finds a center of excellence that is adapting for the future.

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A look into Italy's Suppression of Enemy Air Defence Unit: 155 Gruppo

Combat Aircraft Journal recently visited Ghedi Air Base, home to the Italian Air Force’s 155° Gruppo Electronic Warfare Tactical Suppression (ETS), to learn how the Tornado ECR and F-35A Lightning II are training for dangerous enemy radar destruction missions

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Manchester adds Middle Eastern link

The Northwest hub now offers routes from six Gulf airlines

Boeing begins new A-10C wing deliveries to USAF

Boeing announced on May 25 that, in partnership with sub-contractor Korean Aerospace Industries and other key suppliers, it has delivered the first new wing set for the A-10C Thunderbolt II fleet to the US Air Force.

‘Those sorties put hairs on your chest’: Jaguar pilot memories

In the first of a two part video interview with Wg Cdr Mike Sutton (ret’d), whose book ‘Typhoon’ follows his career in the RAF and also what it was like leading a squadron on operations against ISIS, we focus on his time flying the Jaguar

Dutch Fokker successfully completes flight debut

Fokker D.XXI PH-XXI, an airworthy rebuild of the Dutch World War Two fighter, made a successful debut flight from Hoogeveen in the Netherlands on May 23.

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Top Gun: Maverick (NO SPOILER) review

“The sort of extreme-G flying that even has you clenching your butt cheeks in your cinema seat”

 

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The 5th British-Irish Airports Expo is the trade show for all stakeholders on the airport campus. Typically, an expo of up to 150 exhibitors, and six conferences, attended by 2,300++ visitors, the 2022 British-Irish Airports EXPO moves from Olympia to take place at ExCeL London on 22-23 June 2022.

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