Top Gun Flight Suit Patches

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Maverick8500

Active Member
I dont have them all figured out but i've been working on a compilation of all the patches worn by the cast of Top Gun, here's what i have so far: ice:slider.jpg Ice and slider: Both are identical aside from the name badge. Early in the film a us flag replaces the Top gun patch
mav:goose.jpg maverick and goose are also similar. Goose never graduates so he never wears a Top gun patch, also he wears the triangle instead of the white and blue navy patch.
jesterpatch.jpg jester
Viperpatch.jpg viper: only seen for a few moments in the film. The triangle is on his left arm below the pocket.
holly:wolf pregrad.jpg pre grad hollywood and wolfman: both are again identical the us navy patch is on the left shoulder holly:wolf.jpg following graduation apparently they switch squadrons the bear ace is replaced by the yellow fist. the top gun patch is now on the left shoulder.
I'm still working on Sundown and Mavericks alternate flight suit following goose's death. I'll add those once i figure them out.
 

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Maverick8500

Active Member
Working on the patch set for Sundown. Some of his are easily identifiable, other are near impossible. Anyone have a solution to this latest riddle? unknown.jpg
Sundown wears it on his left shoulder it's only visible in a few frames at the end of the classroom scene where Charlie is introduced.
 
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Maverick8500

Active Member
Finally completed a Michael Ironsides "Jester" Flight suit, that is as close to the original as you can get. A few minor tweeks and it would be completely indistinguishable from the real deal. image1.JPG

Starting with the suit itself, it is a vintage 80's summer weight flight suit made by Gibraltar Industries, I found images of the original which sold at auction a few years ago and was able to match the manufacturer and even the prop master's note on the tag. The nameplate was made by Gibson and Barnes formerly Flight Suits LTD who supplied the helmets and name plates for the original production. It has the correct color combination, lettering, and name. Frequently you'll find name tags that list the character's name as Rick Heatherly. It is actually Dick Heatherly and the original name plates had the call signs with 's on each side 'Jester'

A few things to keep in mind: patches in the 80's were not iron-on and though the correct military procedure is to have them attached to flight suits with hook and loop velcro the movie patches were sewn on except for the name tags.

The fighting 33 patch was fairly easy to source, below that is a vintage USN eagle anchor logo patch. There are lots of these out there but the correct ones are tricky to find since they date from WW2. One of the places i still need to work on is the "fighter weapons school" patch. It's pretty close but the movie ones don't have a blue edge they are red all the way around. On the other arm is a VF-213 lion i have to tweek this as well its a bit too large and is the only iron on patch of the bunch.

The hardest patch to not only determine but also source was the USS Ranger Centurion patch on the lower torso. It is only visible for a few frames during the Hanger classroom scene. Due to Tony Scott's love for high contrast its almost impossible to tell what it is. Screen grabs, months of searching, and talking with patch experts finally identified it for me. The patch is incredibly rare, dating to the early days of Vietnam real ones can cost upwards of $200. Diamond Patch co of Japan made some replicas but haven't been available for some time. image2.JPG

on top of all that I added an MA-2 harness, an LPU-23 ejection seat life vest, not pictured but also included is a set of anti-g "speed jeans" , and a green MBU-14/p O2 mask. only the helmet left to complete the whole deal.
 

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Maverick8500

Active Member
The right patches that have taken months or years to find seem to be popping up lately. I found an 80's vf-213 patch that fits the Jester suit this weekend. Just one top gun school patch away from perfection
image.jpg image.jpg

The correct carrier air wing 5 patch also showed up today. Now the iceman suit is almost complete too I need to again find a correct top gun patch and a correct fist of the fleet patch. The one on there is close but the film patch actually reads vf-213 instead of vfa-25
image.jpg
 

JadeJedi

New Member
Very nice work on the flight suit mate. I'm working on A Viper flight suit but cant find any clear shots of the right chest pocket and sleeve.
I know there's a Tomcat patch at the top of the sleeve and a Ranger 200 around the elbow about the same level as the triangle patch but
that leaves a big gap possibly fill by something else.
If you have any info I would greatly appreciate it.
I've attached the only decent screen grab I can find with mostly of the patches showing.
 

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James Blonde

New Member
urgh, just found this thread! Doh! Answered all my Viper questions!

JadeJedi did you get any further?? I take it you meant right waist rather than right chest?

So is that definitely a Tactical Wings Atlantic on the left lower sleeve? Happy if it is, as it's easy to source...

Didn't see the Ranger 200 patch - good catch!

It always struck me as odd that he wouldn't have a US flag, so maybe that's what the patch on the right sleeve is you can't see?

May have to have another watch...
 

JadeJedi

New Member
Nothing so far for the right breast pocket or between the Top Gun or Ranger 200.
I would think for the breast pocket it would be the blue and yellow USN patch the same a Jester.
The right sleeve could be blank, a pocket or a patch of some sort,
Lets hope someday soon the auction the flight suit and we can get better reference pics.
 

James Blonde

New Member
Sorry to dredge up another old thread, but I'm finally looking to complete my Viper set - got a helmet coming for modification (or I swap the new helmet to Goose and use my old helmet for Viper..hmm)

JadeJedi did you get any further with this? I think there are 2 scenes where Viper's flight suit can be seen - the dogfight analysis with Charlie, and after the first flight after Goose's death. Having just watched the relevant clips in the movie, I think I've seen all of the visible patches

So what I've got, from left to right:
Top left shoulder: Tomcat
Bottom left arm: Tactical Wings Atlantic
Top left chest: Name patch
Bottom left waist - White US Navy patch
Top right chest: Fighting-33
Bottom right waist - ????
Top right arm: Top Gun (red edged)
Bottom right arm: USS Ranger Centurion 200

That leaves 1 spot where there *should* be patch but it can't be seen. That's his lower right stomach.

and you thought there might be a patch on his mid right arm??

Anyone seen any continuity or cast photos with Viper, where it might show that patch??


(Oh, and for info, you might be interested in this eBay seller who's selling red edged US Navy Fighter Weapons School Top Gun patches - never seen them with red edges till now. Maverick8500 I'm assuming, 5 years later, you've since got one?)
 

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James Blonde

New Member
Maverick8500 just a thought - again, a few years late, but Black Panthers.....

1631293729646.png


or a variation of, for Sundown? The colours and shapes match this logo fairly well?

Real USAF I know, but hey, whilst the Top Gun squadrons might be fictional, they occasionally borrow from reality, and Hollywood isn't exactly subtle with its symbolism...
 
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Maverick8500

Active Member
Maverick8500 just a thought - again, a few years late, but Black Panthers.....

View attachment 1493543

or a variation of, for Sundown? The colours and shapes match this logo fairly well?

Real USAF I know, but hey, whilst the Top Gun squadrons might be fictional, they occasionally borrow from reality, and Hollywood isn't exactly subtle with its symbolism...
James sorry for the slow reply. It's been a while since I updated this thread. Heres a few things that will help. All of the patches on Sundowns have since been identified as have the ones on Viper's flight suit. I'll attach info graphics below. If you need any more help you can find me on the "Top Gun Props and Costume Forum" on facebook
 

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