A new Top Gun trailer pits an F-14 against an Su-57. Here’s how they actually compare

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Ameya Paleja

The sequel to the classic movie Top Gun will hit theatres in the U.S. this summer, three and half decades after the first movie came out. From the first look of the trailer, the movie features a dogfight between the U.S. Navy's F-14 and what appears like an adversarial aircraft heavily inspired by the Su-57, The Drive reported

For those, who do not really know what the hype about this new movie is about, you can either see the 1986 classic or catch the high-octane dogfight sequences on YouTube. If you dig a bit deeper, you will find the movie laced with aviation terminology and maneuvers that would be deemed 'unsafe' by aviators but definitely within the realms of a fighter aircraft. 

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The real hero

For military aviation geeks out there, the real hero of the movie is undoubtedly the fighter squadron of F-14s. Called Tomcat, the two-seat aircraft with two tails and two engines was capable of supersonic speeds and compatible with carriers of the U.S. Navy. 

The aircraft design included variable geometry wings that swept back at high speeds and swung forward at lower speeds. Manufactured by Grumman, the F-14 incorporated learnings of the Vietnam War, AND remained the mainstay of the U.S. defense well into the early 2000s. The armament on the aircraft consisted of an M61 Vulcan Gatling gun that fires 20 mm rounds and different types of anti-aircraft missiles to suit mission modes.

Around 25 percent of the aircraft was made of titanium while the Pratt and Whitney TF-30 turbofan engines produced over 20,000 pounds of thrust. For all intents and purposes, the F-14 is considered the best fighter aircraft in the history of military aviation, and with the advent of more advanced aircraft, always manages to raise the pertinent question: Who'll win?

Who will win the dogfight?

While the trailer does not exclusively list the Su-57 as an adversarial aircraft, there is no doubt that it borrows heavily from the aircraft's design. 

Designed as the successor to the popular Russian MiG-29 aircraft, the Su-57 is a twin-engine, single-seat fighter jet. Each of its NPO Lyulka-Saturn turbofan engines produces nearly 20,000 pounds of thrust but is capable of raising it to 33,000 pounds in case of emergencies. 

The Su-57 carries four beyond vision anti-aircraft missiles and has a 30 mm autocannon that can fire at aerial targets up to 800 meters away.  Lest we forget, it also has a stealth function

As of 2021, only four Su-57s have been built with over 10 aircraft made for testing purposes, and only the Russian forces have access to these aircraft. Given that the F-14s have retired, it is impossible that these aircraft will ever face off.

If you want to see what a face-off would look like, you need to wait till May.

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