Posted by: Johnny Loftus on August 30, 2007 at 3:00 pm

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War is hell. It also allows time for specific reaction shots from each of the misfit pilots in your squadron. And then…Robert Conrad. Tan from taking in rays during off time on the Solomon Islands, but still ready with a balled fist to kick ass, Conrad is definitely one of Hollywood’s all time tough guys. As a precursor to Top Gun, “Black Sheep Squadron” wasn’t bad. As 1970s television it was, but we’re comparing fighter pilot entertainment from two different eras, so let’s let that lie.

Anyway, the Corsair was a pretty bad ass plane. It even rocked a unique wing design and a Pratt & Whitney engine, just like its later counterpart the F-14. (Which had two.) The Black Sheep were USMC while Maverick, Iceman, and the rest were US Navy, but still. There are even the numerous and slightly cheesy three-quarter cockpit closeups of the pilots in “Black Sheep,” too, a classic of any television show or film featuring fighter aircraft. It’s even possible that, over course of the show, that brass-balled bastard Conrad snapped something to the effect “Get your butts above the hard deck” to one or two of his cocky flyboys, a la Michael Ironside’s Jester in Top Gun. That’s right Ice…Man.

– Johnny Loftus

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