Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick

Are you hoping to be a fifth-generation fighter pilot throwing around ‘Gs’? Before you go Mach 10 in a Darkstar, you’ll need to know your A-LOC from your Ziplip so stand by to copy.

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick
Top Gun Maverick (Tom Cruise) has got the need for speed


A-LOC - If you’re in the air pulling G’s (see below) you may exhibit an altered state of awareness or A-LOC (Almost G-induced Loss of Consciousness), a term coined by the US Navy in the ‘80s.

A/A -
Air-to-air. An aerial fight between two or more aircraft.

AATIP - A program funded by the US government to study unidentified flying objects (UFOs) called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. AATIP was made public in 2017.

Angels - Altitude measured in thousands of feet, so ‘Angels 4’ is 4,000 feet.

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick
BAE Systems is developing the Tempest to be a sixth-gen combat fighter

Bandit - Enemy aircraft, a known bad guy.

Bent - If a piece of gear is not operating, it is bent. As in: “Wolfman, be advised my radar is bent.”

Bingo - An indication of low fuel - 'Bingo fuel' - or a direction to head for the divert field: “Maverick, your signal is bingo.”

Blind - If your wingman is not in sight, you’re flying blind.

Bogey - Unknown radar contact. “Inbound Mustang, your vector is zero-nine-zero for bogey.”

Bug - Rapidly exit a dogfight, as in: “We got him. He’s bugging out and going home.” 

Buster - Go as fast as possible. “Goose, your signal is buster to mother."

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick

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Are you hoping to be a fifth-generation fighter pilot throwing around ‘Gs’? Before you go Mach 10 in a Darkstar, you’ll need to know your A-LOC from your Ziplip so stand by to copy.

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick
Top Gun Maverick (Tom Cruise) has got the need for speed


A-LOC - If you’re in the air pulling G’s (see below) you may exhibit an altered state of awareness or A-LOC (Almost G-induced Loss of Consciousness), a term coined by the US Navy in the ‘80s.

A/A -
Air-to-air. An aerial fight between two or more aircraft.

AATIP - A program funded by the US government to study unidentified flying objects (UFOs) called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. AATIP was made public in 2017.

Angels - Altitude measured in thousands of feet, so ‘Angels 4’ is 4,000 feet.

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick
BAE Systems is developing the Tempest to be a sixth-gen combat fighter

Bandit - Enemy aircraft, a known bad guy.

Bent - If a piece of gear is not operating, it is bent. As in: “Wolfman, be advised my radar is bent.”

Bingo - An indication of low fuel - 'Bingo fuel' - or a direction to head for the divert field: “Maverick, your signal is bingo.”

Blind - If your wingman is not in sight, you’re flying blind.

Bogey - Unknown radar contact. “Inbound Mustang, your vector is zero-nine-zero for bogey.”

Bug - Rapidly exit a dogfight, as in: “We got him. He’s bugging out and going home.” 

Buster - Go as fast as possible. “Goose, your signal is buster to mother."

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Buzzing the Tower -
A low fly-by pass close to the control tower at high speed. When Maverick performs the maneuver, the force created by his engine and the jet’s high speed creates an intense boom that shakes the foundation of the tower and everyone inside.

Callsigns - Nicknames used to identify colleagues rather than use real names or ranks. “Ghostrider, this is Strike. We have unknown aircraft.” 

CO -
The Commanding Officer, also known as Skipper, is the senior-ranking officer in charge of a unit, such as a squadron.

Delta
- Change to a later time. “Delta 10 on your recovery time,” meaning the jet is now scheduled to land 10 minutes later.

Dogfight -
A fight between two or more fighter planes usually at close quarters.

Ejection seat - You’ll need this handy device to propel yourself or an occupant safely out of and away from a distressed aircraft.

ELINT -
Electronic Intelligence. Covert intelligence-gathering by electronic means.

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick

F/A-18 - A type of fighter jet. The F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet.

Faraday Cage - An enclosure designed to block electromagnetic fields.

Fifth-generation fighter:
Advanced US fighters are stealth machines like the fifth-gen F-35. A fourth-generation fighter would be an F-16 or F-15.

Fragged - The jet’s weapons are loaded. “Devil 501 is on station as fragged."

Funky Chicken - Involuntary movements that happen during G-LOC (see below).

G:
If you’re seated, you’re feeling one G (as in gravity) pulling you down to Earth. In a fighter jet, pilots can pull up to 9Gs or more during maneuvers like a strong nose-up pull. 

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick

G-LOC: G-LOC occurs when a pilot experiences Gs but doesn’t successfully manage them, otherwise known as G-induced Loss of Consciousness.

Grape - If you’re an easy kill in a dogfight, you’re a grape.

Hostile - A Bandit, where engagement is authorized.

Hypersonic:
Anything traveling five times the speed of sound or more is hypersonic.

Immelmann turn - Named after German WWI Eindecker fighting ace, Lieutenant Max Immelmann, the term refers to two different aircraft maneuvers - the first is used to reposition the attacking aircraft for another attack, whereas in modern aerobatics, an Immelmann turn (aka a roll-off-the-top, or simply an Immelmann) is an aerobatic maneuver that results in level flight in the opposite direction at a higher altitude.

John Wayne -
To do a job the hard way or carry on with a task even if there’s no automated system.

Knot(s) -
Nautical miles(s) per hour.

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick

Magic Carpet - Technology that simplifies the process of landing a fighter on an aircraft carrier, officially called Maritime Augmented Guidance with Integrated Controls for Carrier Approach and Recovery Precision Enabling Technologies.

Naked -
Radar warning gear without indication of a missile threat.

Nugget -
A naval aviator or flight officer on their first tour.

POTS
- Plain Old Telephone System, used for ship-to-shore telephone-type calls via satellite.

POTUS - President of the United States.

RIO: Radar Intercept Officer in an F-14, Goose’s job in the original Top Gun film.

Punch out - Eject from a jet.

Roger: Pilots say ‘Roger’ to confirm receipt of your transmission, as in: "Cougar, you hear that?” “Roger, I’ve got radar contact.”

RTB - Return to base. “Big Eye, Eagle 301 is RTB."

SA - Situational awareness. Perception of environmental events with respect to time and space.

Spike -
An indication of a missile threat on the radar warning receiver. “Viper has an SA-6 spike at two o’clock.”

Tomcat:
The F-14 aircraft in the original Top Gun movie.

Top Gun Glossary: Swagger Like Maverick

TOPGUN - A Navy fighter weapons school; an institution that develops and provides strike-fighter tactics.

Vapes - When your jet pulls a lot of Gs, it creates a condensation cloud. “When I came into the break I was vaping, man.”

UCAV - Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle.

VID - Visual ID. Pilots may pass by closely and observe visually to determine the identity of an aircraft.

WVR - Within visual range.

Ziplip - A no-radio communications event, including landing on an aircraft carrier in favorable weather during daylight hours

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