Road to Top Gun – Tommy Yates – A-4 Skyhawk

Road to Top Gun – Tommy Yates – A-4 Skyhawk

If you remember the great aviation movie Top Gun, then you’ll remember the scenes where Maverick and Goose, while flying their F-14 Tomcat, learn their lessons while facing off against the seasoned instructors. After leaving “Ice Man” (his wingman), Tom Cruise chases his target only to get “shot out of the sky” by Viper, who’s flying the nimble McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.

Road to Top Gun – Tommy Yates - A-4 Skyhawk - RC Scale Airplane Competition

Tommy Yates of Florence, AL, will be flying his Skyhawk at Top Gun this year built from a BMV/Skymaster kit. All dolled up in a scheme from the Vietnam War era Tommy’s jet is powered by a Kingtech 140 turbine engine and is controlled with a Spektrum DX18 radio system. Tommy has added a Deamon Cortex gyro system to help smooth things out. As of this writing Tommy is still awaiting good weather for deployment of test flights.

Road to Top Gun – Tommy Yates - A-4 Skyhawk - RC Scale Airplane Competition

The A-4 sports subtle weathering which has been done with pastel chalks and an airbrush, then sealed up with a satin clear coat.

Updated: July 15, 2015 — 4:17 PM


  1. It’s McDonnell Douglas, not McDonalds!!! Just sayin’

  2. McDonnell not McDonald.
    Demon not Deamon.

  3. Where’s the video??!!!

  4. I have known Tommy for years and flew with him. He is a great pilot and his model shows attenson to detail.
    Great job Tommy
    Johnny Hinton Florence,Al

  5. Yes always have a video when you bring a cool plane like that on here!

  6. Oh man, what a terrific subject! The ‘scooter’ as it was known, was a Navy workhorse and used a lot! Bob Violett used to campaign one a lot, probably out of nostalgia for his Naval service, and there are soo many variations available to modelers, I’m surprised more really ‘tricked out’ ones haven’t been shown recently. Hey Gerry, how about some in depth articles about turbine aircraft, setting up, turbine choices, related to size and weight, converting old ducted fan jets in our stables to turbine use, etc., etc.,. Lots of ink about electrics, how about put those back in the ‘toy box’ and get back to ‘real powerplants’! Prices for turbojets are not that ‘outlandish’ any more! Real Folks can get into them now, but we all need some guidence to do it right and ‘safe’.

  7. Maverick broke the hard deck to evade being killed by Viper.
    Automatic fail in real life in a smoken hole!
    He never had a chance the A-4 is lighter and has a faster roll rate.

    1. Actually, Maverick followed Viper … Viper cheated by going below the ”hard deck” to get away from Maverick, and Maverick followed him ‘in’ to get the kill shot,,, but failed following Viper below the minimum safe altitude set in the ‘game”…..

  8. I would love to see a video flight of ur beautiful plane

  9. I didn’t se McDonalds, but I could go for a double quarter pounder!…Did spot the deamon/demon typo though, but I knew what they meant…

  10. Built? BUILT??? It’s a prepainted ARF folks. Lets keep things real, OK?

  11. Doc, I’m proud of you flying at this level of competition!

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