China red-faced after footage of new fighter 'was from Top Gun'
Perhaps it was "a need, a need for speed", as Maverick and Goose once put it, but China's military have been embarrassed by accusations that instead of filming genuine footage of their latest fighter plane, they used a scene from the film Top Gun.
The footage showcasing the J-10 fighter, which showed an air-to-air missile destroying another jet, was aired last week during the main evening broadcast of the state-sponsored channel China Central Television.
Bloggers on internet message boards quickly picked up the similarities and the footage was removed from the CCTV website but not before the clip had been copied.
The Wall Street Journal then published a video which compared the two film sequences, with uncanny similarities.
The explosion is so similar that the fireball appears to form the same shapes and near-identical chunks of debris spray from the detonation and travel across the screen in what looks like the same way.
No one from the state broadcaster has admitted to the fraud but, if true, such a famous film would seem a poor choice from which to cull such material.
Top Gun was released in 1986 and was a hit, making a global star of Tom Cruise as the cocky pilot with the nickname Maverick and a co-pilot known as Goose.
It won an Oscar and was nominated for three more and took around $350m at the box office.
However, the success of the film did not - apparently - make the promoters of the People's Liberation Army Air Force pause to think before the footage was shown on January 23.
If the footage is a genuine fake, it would not be the first time that subterfuge has been used by China to try to improve its image.
Some of the more spectacular footage of the Beijing Olympic Games' opening ceremony, featuring fireworks creating "footsteps" across the city, were later shown to have been created digitally, and the young singer who starred in it "live" was actually miming to another girl's voice.
In 2007, Xinhua, another Chinese state broadcaster, was accused of using an X-ray image of Homer Simpson, the cartoon character, to depict a genetic link to multiple sclerosis.
Yet China is not alone.
Among other examples, Iran was said to have used Photoshop, the picture editing software, to add extra missiles to publicity footage in 2008.