Quote of the Day - If we don't succeed in firing the thrusters, it will be a flyby spacecraft.
Maverick twice does a flyby in his Tomcat F-14, in TopGun, one of the Navy's favorite movies. He first buzzes the conning tower on the USS Enterprise and next the control tower at FighterTown USA, otherwise known as the Naval Air Station Miramar in California. The stunt apparently has some real-life imitators, one just recently in Seattle.
Most recently, a Cathay Pacific Airways plane swooped down and buzzed a Seattle-area airfield without permission just after the company took delivery of a new, Boeing 777-300ER passenger jet.
There are some subtle differences between the two planes, however. One is a supersonic, twin-engine, variable geometry wing aircraft that can reach 45,000 feet in one minute. The other is a lumbering, 350-ton passenger jet that needs an extra-long runway to get off the ground and two engines at going at full blast, and it generally takes 20 minutes to get to top altitude of 35,000 feet.
One is sixty-two feet long and only thirty-eight feet wide with its wings swept back, weighs about 30 tons fully loaded and costs just $38 million. The other is 242 feet long, weighs about 350 tons and is listed at $264 million. In stark contrast to the two-seater F-14, the 777 carries about 500 people and can only hit about 570 mph. The F-14 can reach speeds in excess of 1,550 mph. The longer and bigger plane doesn't carry any weapons, either unless you count federal marshals.
In the movie, Tom Cruise's character, Maverick, got put into hack by his commanding officer, Stinger. In real life, the Cathy Pacific pilot was fired.
Boys, boys, boys.