China Central Television (CCTV) reported in its Network News Broadcast that the Chinese Air Force has acquired combat capabilities for distant waters. A video clip of a J-10 Fighter in a live combat exercise was shown. Sharp-eyed netizens quickly noticed a less than two second long clip of an aircraft exploding in midair that was taken from the 1986 U.S. movie hit Top Gun. A frame-by-frame comparison of the CCTV news video and the footage from Top Gun has widely spread on the Internet.
CCTV’s Network News Broadcast is a 30-minute news program that has been aired every night at 7 p.m. since 1976.
A Jan. 27 report by Yunnan Information News said the video in question was aired on Jan. 23. An Internet user by the name of “Liu Yi” pointed out that the exploded target was a U.S. F-5 jet fighter, and that the video was from the movie Top Gun, where Tom Cruise piloted an F-14 shooting at the F-5.
This discovery was first posted on Jan. 26 at 14:48 on a Sina microblog by someone calling himself “X-rated”. A frame-by-frame comparison of the two videos shows that the two footages are identical, including such details as the moving direction of fragments from the explosion and the shape of the smoke.
The video clip was aired by CCTV with the following narration: “The J-10 Fighter is a new acquisition to this division and made by our country … [it] won the first battle against a brother division by 13 to 1. All 18 targets were hit in its first live target combat practice.”
“X-rated” sectioned the CCTV video into 3 frames and compared them side by side to footage from Top Gun, saying, “How come they look the same to me?”
“Liu Yi” responded, “Just saw the frames. The target is confirmed to be an F-5.”
He then posted in his microblog another picture from the CCTV video showing clearly an F-5. The same footage in Top Gun was found at 96' to 98' where a few scenes show an F-14 fighter destroying an F-5.
Other people noticed that the color of the clip in question is lighter than the rest of the video. The conversion from NTSC used in the U.S. to PAL used in China might be the reason.
Some netizens suggested that Top Gun should ask CCTV for copyright damages.
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