When the best weapon The arrival in the cinema in 1986 was a real revolution. This film not only made Tom Cruise a global star, but was also known for its amazing flying and action scenes with the majestic F-14 Tomcat as well as the soundtrack. To the point that his legacy has been passed down through the generations, allowing us to enjoy a real show called Top Shooter: Maverick, a sequel that took at least 36 years to reach the big screen. But what many don’t know is that nothing we’ve seen in movies would have been possible without work. Ehud Jonaywhich gave the world its first glimpse into the Naval Fighter Weapons School, also known as TOP GUN, the academy responsible for training the best fighter pilots in the US Navy.

The Israeli reporter mentioned above signed the The best gunsjournal article california magazine May 1983, later served as an inspiration for a film by Tony Scott, which was released just three years later. Through a dynamic and captivating letter, accompanied by a selection of breathtaking aerial photographs, Yonai allowed us to discover things that ordinary people did not know in depth. We’re talking about a time when it was unusual for fighter pilots to talk to the press; after all, the context of the Cold War and the ongoing tensions between the US and the Soviet Union did not give rise to misunderstandings, especially if they were caused by media curiosity.

The best guns trace the path Alex “Yogi” Hnarakis D Dave “Possum” Callie, pilot and radar intercept officer of the F-14 Tomcat, respectively, during seven and a half weeks of training at TOP GUN. You could say that they are the Maverick and the Goose of this story, although without a share of the Hollywood rebelliousness characteristic of the characters in the film.

Yonai arranged with the Navy to conduct two interviews with the main characters, one at the beginning and one at the end of the training. However, only in the first week he completed four, and in the end there were “a couple of dozen”, according to the main characters themselves. Thus, the Israeli reporter was able to masterfully capture not only what was happening in the air, on board the now mythical Grumman fighter, but also what was then called Naval Air Station MiramarIn California.

“If Miramar is the fighter pilot’s Camelot, then the Top Gun complex in Miramar Hangar One is King Arthur’s Round Table, a gathering of the greatest fighters. Since their inception in 1968, the great Top Gun aces have virtually revolutionized fighter pilots and, with the possible exception of the Israeli Air Force, have established themselves as international masters of the deadly art of air-to-air combat.”

Excerpt from Top Guns, Ehud Yonai

Without The best gunswe wouldn’t have the best weapon

Alex “Yogi” Hnarakis and Dave “Possum” Kalli, the protagonists of Ehud Yonai’s article | Image: California Magazine

AT the best weapon, written by Tony Scott, follows Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and Nick “Goose” Bradshaw as they try to prove they are the best the Navy can get on the F-14 Tomcat. Rivalries with Tom “Iceman” Kazansky and breaking the rules make Tom Cruise’s character the target of major reprimands from his superiors.

In the article by Ehud Yonay we do not find this kind of drama, but we observe very realistic descriptions of air battles and exercises (dogfights), which clearly inspired what was subsequently shown in cinemas around the world.

As red-hot twin flames erupt from the plane’s exhaust nozzles, the magnificent silver machine explodes forward, back-slamming them like a truckload of bricks and hurling them through the sound barrier. Yogi rehearsed this massacre in his mind a dozen times. cut out the first scarecrow [una aeronave no identificada] into the pass with a frontal rocket, and then, flipping and rolling to avoid being hit, he would slow the plane down and pull it like Ivanhoe at the end of the first duel, only to race back across the sky in another. Great fighter pilots are always ahead of their planes, and when his adrenaline runs high, Yogi’s eyes pierce the empty blue space in front of him in search of fighters. ghosts. Nothing can stop him now.

That’s when it happens. Suddenly, a small voice says “Atoll” through the headphones, and when Possum sees a small F-5 behind him, it’s too late. They were running fat and dumb and happy as a dodo bird, and the F-5, painted in desert camouflage, no more, no less, standing out against the blue like a billboard, appeared out of nowhere, jumped on its tail and simulated launching a heat-seeking missile. through the exhaust pipe. Atolls are air-to-air missiles mounted on Russian-made MiG-21s, but in this exercise, the word means “Get up guys, they’re dead and flying home with afterburner tails.” Your glorious mission failed.

Excerpt from Top Guns, Ehud Yonai

Extensive journal article california magazine This is true first-class journalism. And, as we said earlier, it is characterized not only by the outstanding pen of Ehud Yonai, but also for the impressive photographs that accompanied it. Many of the images were taken by CJ Heatley, another pilot who was at the time at the Navy Fighter Weapons School.

However, the initial expectations of the main characters were not very good…

Doubts about Yonai and his intentions

Images: California Magazine (taken from topgunbio.com)

Alex “Yogi” Hnarakis, pilot interviewed by Ehud Yonai for The best gunsI believed that in a moment there were many doubts as to what the reporter’s intentions were. Although the journalist was caustic from the start, the pilots began to wonder about the seriousness of some of his questions. He once even asked if it was true that they abandoned their missions to cross the border into Mexico and fly over the houses to scare the residents. Things didn’t smell good at times.

“After we placed a few more leading questions between the most legitimate ones, we got the impression that Ehud was about to write a biased, inaccurate, completely fake article… as bad as a short-lived daytime TV show called Red flag. To make matters worse, we were afraid that our names and quotes would be included to give it false legitimacy. Our captain contacted us after listening to our concerns and asked us to contact Ehud as he had experience writing very good and accurate articles on topics he had no experience with. In the end, after a couple of dozen interviews, Ehud, true to his reputation, wrote an exceptional article!” – he said.

And the job of a reporter california magazine it eventually came to be valued as a bridge to allow the general public access to data that tended to be too technical. “Most of the previous articles written by others were dry, technical, or written in a way that only other fighter crews could understand,” the now former pilot explained; adding, “Looking back, it’s not surprising that someone later realized there was potential film material.”

Ehud Yonai’s legacy the best weaponlitigated


In addition to the inspiration in Ehud Yonai’s article, the best weapon had its own merits for its success on the big screen. However, at this time, the legacy of an Israeli reporter participated in litigation for clear copyright infringement.

As it became known earlier this week, the journalist’s widow and son filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures. Yonai’s relatives accuse study of copyright infringement of article california magazine during manufacture Top Shooter: Maverick; They claim that the rights the company had on it expired in January 2020 and that they were notified of this in 2018. However, they were not in re-acquisition negotiations, which is what led to this legal intersection.

It will be necessary to see what determines American justice in this sense, although it is unlikely that there will be a solution in the near future. In the meantime, don’t miss the opportunity to read The best guns, great journalism from another era. Really worth it.

Source: Hiper Textual

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