- The climactic dogfight with the MiGs. Especially during the part where Maverick overcomes his Heroic BSoD at the beginning of the dogfight when he nearly goes into a flat spin that caused Goose's death halfway in the movie and Maverick dodging a MiG by braking then blowing him away with one last missile.
- Meta example: During shooting Tony Scott needed a specific shot and was told by commander of the aircraft carrier that it would cost $25,000 to turn the carrier and get it. Scott broke out his personal checkbook. He got the shot.
- The aerial cinematography as a whole, which is still stunning to this day. This is a movie that could easily be done with CG substitutes in this day and age, but there's something awestriking knowing you're watching real fighter jets the whole way through.
- The Fighter-Launching Sequence in the opening deserves a mention. The entire intro is basically a love letter to the F-14A Tomcat, with amazing shots of the carrier crew prepping the fighters for launch, and then as the engines light up Danger Zone kicks in.
- A corollary to that is the awesomeness that was the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. A carrier-based supersonic interceptor with the most advanced avionics and weapons of the time, including the AIM-54 Phoenix missile system. The workhorse of United States Naval Aviation, it served until retirement in 2004, providing fleet interceptor protection as well as being modified for ground-attack roles in its latter years.
- Maverick and Goose's encounter with the MiG harassing Cougar in the opener crosses this with Funny. Flying his Tomcat inverted within a few feet of the MiG is about as effective demonstration of just how good a pilot Maverick is as the film-makers could have used. Then Maverick deploys the middle finger.
Awesome / Top Gun