Highway to the Danger Zone

The art of Air Combat Manoeuvring (ACM) came to the attention of the general public with Tony Scott’s 1986 film, Top Gun. Whilst this concentrated on the US Navy’s school the US Marine Corps and Air Force have similar units. With the advent of high-tech missiles, guns and dog-fighting were deemed to be obsolete. Pilots would be able to destroy their enemies using radar, way before they were close enough to see them.

Vietnam was to become the testing ground for the technology. However, the Rules of Engagement often dictated that the identity of opponents had to be visually confirmed first. This could lead the heavy American aircraft (often with no guns) into tight, close-in, turning fights with lighter, cannon armed MiGs. Analysis showed that US airmen needed new aircraft, leading to the F-15 & F-16 programmes and new skills, which lead to the creation of the USAF’s Aggressor squadrons. These squadrons flew lightweight aircraft, often of types not used by the US, which could simulate the tactics and manoeuvres used by enemies.

Evan M‘s excellent F-16C comes from the 16th Weapons Squadron, based at Nellis AFB. The model does a very good job of capturing the smooth curves of the F-16’s blended fuselage and wing in angular Lego. The tan & brown colours from Lego also represent one of the various colours scheme used by the squadron. Click here to see more images and click here to take the Highway to the Danger Zone.

2 thoughts on “Highway to the Danger Zone

  1. Craig Tyson

    I watched Top Gun only a few weeks ago. It amazes me how pilots know where they are in the sky! I’ve always wanted to fly in a Spitfire, but as they are so rare and expensive, I doubt it ever will! Although, if we are talking fantasy, I wouldn’t mind flying the new Lego Millenium Falcon which i reviewed (https://ninjabrick.com/lego-75192-star-wars-millennium-falcon/). It looks totally bad-ass. Who would win out of a few modern day Fighter planes or a Jedi starfighter?

  2. Evan M

    Not the 16th Weapons Squadron, but the 64th Aggressors–the weapons school doesn’t fly aggressor aircraft. Appreciate the blog post about my model! 🙂


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