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.
We round off a busy day here in TLCB Towers with two builds that aren’t cars at all. But they are excellent. Plus we quite like jet fighters because the average mental age in the office is about eleven. First up is TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg‘s newest version of his F-14A Tomcat, this time in VF-84 Jolly Rogers spec, and joining him is Stefan Johansson, who returns to this blog following his awesome Saab Viggen, this time with Saab’s mighty 32 Lansen fighter. If you’re eleven too you can see more of each build on Flickr via the links above.
Simultaneously the most homo-erotic* and brilliant film of all time, 1986’s Top Gun is the best airplane movie ever made. Starring Tom Cruise (before he got all annoying) and Anthony Edwards as Top Gun students Maverick and Goose, plus Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan, it was such a box office smash that the coked-up producers even remade it a few years later with the exact same plot and set it in NASCAR**.
This wonderful recreation of Maverick and Goose’s F-14 Tomcat (complete with Maverick and Goose themselves) is the work of TLCB regular and Lego building genius Ralph Savelsberg. With the best detailing you’re likely to see this year it’s well worth flying over to Flickr to see the full gallery. Join us there by clicking the link.
* The volleyball scene, “This gives me a hard-on”, “I want somebody’s butt, I want it now!”, the volleyball scene, the ‘Playing with the Boys’ soundtrack, and the volleyball scene.
As ’80s as red braces and house-brick sized mobiles
Being too young to remember the ’80s all I have to go on are films like Working Girl and Top Gun, which lead me to believe everyone had ridiculous hair and had sex in weird fuzzy lighting. Anyway, ZetoVince remembers slightly more and has built the ’80s icon that is the 911 with a whale-tail spoiler. View it on Flickr.