\u201cThe F-18, while very capable, and extremely competent in its own right, doesn\u2019t quite have the same bad-boy image as an F-14,\u201d Vincent Aiello, former F\/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet pilot and Topgun instructor.\n\n\n\nTop Gun Vs Top Gun: Maverick, i.e. F-14 Tomcat Vs F\/A-18 Super Hornet\n\n\n\nIf you've watched the trailer\u2014which was released on Jul. 18, 2019 \u2014for the next year's Top Gun: Maverick, then you've seen scenes of Tom Cruise rocketing off an aircraft carrier and fighter jets cruising in close formation over the water.\n\n\n\nThe official two-minute teaser in fact boasts blockbuster scenes with Maverick taking to the skies in F\/A-18 Super Hornet and F-14 Tomcat fighter jets.\n\n\n\nThe difference between the F-14 and the F\/A-18E\/F represents the technological gulf between aircraft the Navy first deployed in the early 1970s and fighters that began flying on and off carriers in the early 2000s. An important, plot-thickening distinction: the Super Hornets don\u2019t require a dedicated radar intercept officer (RIO). Goose is now optional; the RIO doesn\u2019t exist anymore.\n\n\n\nPopular Science spoke with former US naval aviators and actual Topgun\u2014that is, the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program\u2014pilots to learn about the differences between them, and what it's like to turn and burn in these birds.\n\n\n\nThe F-14 Tomcat\n\n\n\nPerhaps the most widely recognized Navy\nfighter thanks to its starring role in the original Top Gun, the F-14\nTomcat served as an advanced interceptor and air superiority fighter.\n\n\n\nThis print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com \u2013 CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-14A Tomcat VF-21 Freelancers, NF200 \/ 161616 \/ 1996 \n\n\n\nEquipped with a weapon control system that\nenabled the aircraft's crew to track 24 hostile targets at a range of 195 miles\nand attack six simultaneously with AIM-54 Phoenix missiles, deliveries to\nthe Navy began in June 1972 with deployment of operational carrier squadrons in\n1975. The F-14 made a brief appearance over Vietnam, flying protective patrols\nfor helicopters effecting the final evacuation of American personnel and\nforeign nationals from Saigon with no opposition from enemy fighters. The\nMiddle East was destined to become the scene of the Tomcat's combat initiation\nduring encounters with Libyan fighters during the 1980s. Upgraded F-14A (plus)\nand F-14Ds came into service in the late1980s and early 1990s, boasting\nenhanced avionics and more powerful F110-GE-400 turbofans. The aircraft\nalso proved an outstanding air-to-ground platform employing a capability\npresent from the initial design work, but rarely employed. At peak employment,\nthirty Navy squadrons operated F-14s. Tomcats flew combat missions during\nthe Gulf War and in missions over Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 until the\nF-14's retirement in 2006.\n\n\n\n \u201cThe\nF-14 was designed for fleet defense during the Cold-War scenario of Soviet\nbombers attacking the carrier strike group,\u201d says Vincent Aiello (call sign:\nJell-O), the host of the Fighter\nPilot Podcast and a former F\/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet pilot and\nTopgun instructor. The F\/A-18, on the other hand, was designed to \u201cbe good at a\nmyriad of things.\u201d\n\n\n\nThe way US Navy aircrews operate fighters\nhas changed, too. The biggest difference noticeable to people who watch the\nfilms is that the number of people it takes to make the jets fly is different\nnow. In Top Gun, Goose was the RIO. And operating that radar took a\nlot of work. "The radar interface for the aircrew was so intensive that it\ntook someone with a dedicated effort to optimize the radar and detect other\naircraft," explains Aiello.\n\n\n\nThen there was the computing power on the\naircraft\u2014or lack thereof. "It was a Commodore 64 with wings on it,"\nJohn DePree (call sign: Cosmo), said on an episode of the Fighter\nPilot Podcast focused on the F-14. For example: the mission computer\nloaded off of magnetic tape.\n\n\n\nThat magnetic-tape computer had so little\nmemory that its crew had to switch programs depending on what the jet was doing\nat the moment\u2014the RIO would hit a switch to bring up the bombing program, and\nthen after the bomb-dropping ended, they\u2019d reload the air-to-air program,\nremembers David Culpepper (call sign: Chili), who flew the Tomcat for nearly a\ndecade.\n\n\n\nThis model is available from AirModels \u2013 CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. \n\n\n\nThe computer was old, and the plane was\nbig: Culpepper remembers that when taxiing, it \u201cdrove like a truck.\u201d The F-14\nhad a wingspan of 64 feet. The Tomcat\u2019s replacement, the F\/A-18 Hornet and the\nbigger, newer variants known as Super Hornets, have a wingspan of 40 and nearly\n45 feet, respectively. And the Tomcat\u2019s top speed was faster: it\u2019ll hit 1,544\nmph, while the Super Hornet goes a pokey 1,190 mph.\n\n\n\nAiello compares the Tomcat to a 1969 Chevy\nCamaro: \u201cIt\u2019s just biggish, brutish, in your face, loud, American muscle.\u201d\n\n\n\nThe Rhino\n\n\n\nToday, the aircraft in the trailer for \u201cTop\nGun: Maverick\u201d are Super Hornets (dubbed by their aircrews the Rhino). \n\n\n\nThe F\/A-18 Hornet is US first strike-fighter. It was designed for traditional strike applications such as interdiction and close air support without compromising its fighter capabilities. With its excellent fighter and self-defense capabilities, the F\/A-18 at the same time increased strike mission survivability and supplemented the F-14 Tomcat in fleet air defense. The newest model, Super Hornet, is highly capable across the full mission spectrum: air superiority, fighter escort, reconnaissance, aerial refueling, close air support, air defense suppression and day\/night precision strike. Compared to the original F\/A-18 A through D models, Super Hornet has longer range, an aerial refueling capability, increased survivability\/lethality and improved carrier suitability. [Capability of precision-guided munitions: JDAM (all variants), JSOW and JASSM]\n\n\n\nF-14 Tomcat T-shirt available in our store! CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. \n\n\n\nGone are the days of the RIOs. (If you watch the trailer, the plane at the very end is a Tomcat, present thanks to CGI magic.) The radar system is improved enough that the pilot can fly the plane and use the radar at the same time, no Goose needed.\n\n\n\nSuper Hornets come in two variants: a single-seater and a two-seater, meaning that unlike a Tomcat, which engineers designed around a two-person crew, a pilot can fly an F\/A-18 all by themselves. The two-seaters, technically known as the F\/A-18F, can host a \u201cweapons systems officer\u201d in the backseat (abbreviation: WSO, pronounced \u201cwhizz-oh\u201d). Alternatively, that backseat can be outfitted with all the controls a pilot would need to fly the Super Hornet.\n\n\n\nAs told by Popular Science, this is\npresumably a huge perk for filming. Paramount could put Tom Cruise and other\nactors in the Rhino while a real Navy pilot is in charge of the plane from the\nfront seat. That wasn't possible with the Tomcat, which never had the pilot's\ncontrols in Goose's seat\n\n\n\nGone, of course, is the computer with\nmagnetic tape: the Super Hornet has six solid-state computers on board. And a\ndisplay on the Super Hornet now is touch-sensitive, so it\u2019s more like an iPhone\nthan a Commodore 64.\n\n\n\nWhile the Tomcat is powerful, the Hornet and Super Hornet are more agile. If an F\/A-18 and F-14 were to fight, the former would have an advantage in that realm. \u201cI can attest to that personally,\u201d says Aiello. And with a modern aircraft comes a plane easier to fly: the Tomcat was challenging to fly well, while the Hornet is easier to be good in, says Culpepper.\n\n\n\nThe following\nvideo is a trailer comparison between Top Gun ad Top Gun: Maverick. What do you\nguys think? Which one is cooler?