In Top Gun Maverick (2022), Vice Admiral Beau "Cyclone" Simpson speaks to squadrons about enemy terrain:

Vice Admiral Beau "Cyclone" Simpson: Well, Lieutenant, you have a fighting chance against enemy aircraft. What are the odds of surviving a head-on collision with a mountain? You'll be attacking the target from a higher altitude, level with the north wall. Gonna be a little harder to keep your lase on target, but you will avoid the high-G climb out.

What "north wall" is Simpson refer to?

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    $\begingroup$ Wow, you really liked this film huh? Me too! Most of these questions today can be answered with context ie/ watching the film. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec context is enemy terrain. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ The context is terrain, being in enemy territory has nothing to do with it. This isn't an aviation question, or a military question. These are plain language terms used in reference to mountains, cliffs, directions, etc. Don't overthink this! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ The target lies in a valley surrounded by mountains so the north wall is... well, the north wall 😉 $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


The target was at the end of a canyon, and the north wall was referring to the wall at the end of the canyon.

The plan was to fly up the canyon, drop the bomb and climb drastically over the north wall. If I remember correctly this scene they were discussing other options.


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