movies for military aviation enthusiasts

Top 5 must watch movies for military aviation enthusiasts

Many real world military aircraft’s have appeared in movies. These appearances show the popularity of the aircraft’s. They also showcase their capabilities to general public.

We here at Defence Aviation love to unwind by searching and watching some really good movies related to fighter planes. We love the dogfights, chase sequences and the actual fighters.

We looked into the story line, the action and the method how the movie was shot. We loved all the movies in this list. And we have listed our top 5 favorite movies of all time. Hope you enjoy our selection of movies:

1) Les Chevaliers du Ciel

This film was famous for its video angles and real time aerial warfare. The way the movie was shot was good along with excellent camera work. It had a good storyline but very limited dog fights were shot in the film. The technical specifications shown  in the film were authentic. The flight sequences from the film were all filmed with actual planes and aerial photography, without the use of CGI. In order to capture the high-speed maneuvers, a specially-designed camera was attached to a Mirage 2000 aircraft which then tailed the ‘star planes’ as they flew, for only another Mirage 2000 could actually fly at speeds that matched the planes being filmed. The traditional film camera, which was specially constructed with lenses facing forward, backward, to the side, and downward, was installed inside an empty fuel pod and built by Dassault, the aircraft consortium which constructed the Mirage 2000. For tracking shots , where using the Mirage 2000 camera was not practical, a Lear jet was flown in from Southern California in the United States, and used for about a week at great expense.

2) Top Gun

The film was shot well with all the shooting  done from the ground. The storyline wasnt that good and seemed technically inaccurate. There is no plane called the MiG-28 – all Mikoyan-Gurevich aircraft have odd-number designations. The planes used in the film to simulate the MiGs were Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs. During most flight sequences, safety pins and star wheels on left top head box of Martin Baker GRU-7A ejection seat are installed. Thus the seat is not armed and in any inverted maneuvers, seats would slide off ejection gun rails. There were many dogfights shown in the film. F-14 was the main plane used in this film. During both the training missions and dogfight scenes, the sound effects for the targeting system and the radar/missile warning are nearly identical. In reality, those two sounds would be completely different so as to give the pilot no doubt as to what’s going on.

3) Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

This is a documentary film which is highly accurate in the technical aspect . There are also many good dogfight scenes and its a must watch movie for all aviation enthusiasts. The F-15 is the main plane used in the film. In addition to the breathtaking cinematography and heart-stopping action sequences, and the less glamorous depictions are shot well. The shots inside the AWAC plane are simply exquisite. Likewise, we are treated to stunning panoramas of the airfield and runways at Nelles AFB.

4) Behind Enemy Lines

This film had a good story line and also was technically accurate. There were few  dogfights in the film understandably because of the storyline it was based on. The F-18 was the main plane used in the film. The film also portrayed the following glitches where it showed a missile being capable of chasing the F/A-18. On an F-18, the survival radio and beacon are located inside a seat pan underneath the pilot. After clearing the cockpit canopy, the ejection seat separates. During the ejection sequence, the two seats collide with each other however the ejection seats  are usually designed so that they would direct themselves away from one another to prevent this.


5) Iron Eagle

This film had sum good dogfights but since its an old movie we didn’t like it much. The storyline was not to the mark however the overall movie was good. The F-16 was the main plane used in this film. However the cockpit and controls of a real F-16 are nothing like they appear in this movie. Many of the external shots of the aircraft during flight clearly show that these are remote controlled scale models. This is evident by the jumpy flight characteristics. Full size aircraft do not behave in such erratic manners. The enemy fighters used in this film are not MIGs at all. They are Israeli Aircraft Industries F-21 Kfirs, which are French Mirage 5s that are modified and produced by Israel. The M-61A1 cannon does not require a radar lock to shoot at a target, and is not affected by any operating mode of the radar. The radar could be turned off, and the cannon would still operate normally. In reality, no weapon that the F-16s carried in the film required a radar lock to operate.

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About Larkins Dsouza

Founded Defence Aviation, clean freak, loves everything aviation, WAR junkie, serendipitous & loves to create something new.
  • abhishek nakashe

    I really loved top gun and behind the enemy lines

  • Janak Shah

    What about "saving private ryan" it's also a very fantastic movie.

    • Eddy

      "Aviation" meaning flight. "Saving Private Ryan" has no "dog fights" (Aircraft vs. Aircraft).

  • monil girdhar

    can anyone tell me how i will be able to watch these above movies

  • Anujit

    should have included "Stealth" as well

  • Pat schembri

    Kill Speed is also a really good film about planes it is one of my favourite films of all time check it out;

  • James

    What about flyboys, and the red baron. Those are pretty good, even though it's based in the 1st world war

  • akula

    Stealth (2005) is also cool. Might as well even consider "Pearl Harbour"

  • Samir

    sky fighters is an amazing movie too.

    • ngatimozart

      Sky Fighters is Les Chevaliers du ciel.

Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management 2015

If you like what you have read, you would love the Airborne ISR & C2 Battle Management 2015 conference taking place in London, United Kingdom on the 10-12 March 2015. Get a chance to win FREE tickets to the conference, just fill in your details below and click "Get Started!"

We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.