Top Gun Thomas Gardner’s Aviation World

By popular request here is Top Gun Thomas Gardner’s work on Captain Jetson. As we know, this brilliant aviation expert explains things “as they are”, with no “political correctness”, in a true “old school”-style fashion.

His articles are giving us brief, yet in-depth “to the point” insider-analysis of popular topics from the aviation industry, from the past and the present.

A personal note to you from Thomas Gardner

Dear Reader,

To help you get knowledge into what’s going on in the aviation industry my articles present topics, opinions, and discussions, obtained from my life as an “insider” in the world of aviation.

You may find some of my content to be controversial, or perhaps a shocking eye-opener, or you might simply appreciate my educational information, always based on well-researched facts.

Welcome on board!

Top Gun Tommy

Top Gun Thomas Gardner, Aviation Journalist
Thomas Gardner. Photo: ©️ Thomas Gardner.

Early U.S. and Soviet Supersonic Fighter Jets: Contrast Design

Part 1: USAF YF-100 fighter jet

Part 2: F-4D-1 Skyray fighter jet

Part 3: Soviet MIG-19 Farmer fighter jet

Part 4: YF-100, XF4D-1 and Mig-19 Design Comparisons

Top Gun Tommy, Northrop F-5E
Northrop F-5E, Photo: USAF.
Top Gun Thomas Gardner Aviation Expert
Thomas Gardner. Photo: ©️ Thomas Gardner.

About Thomas E. Gardner

Tom Gardner was born on August 11, 1954, at St. Luke’s Catholic Hospital in Pasadena, California. He spent the next eleven years living in South San Gabriel, California, directly in the heart of the U. S. aviation defense industry.

Love of aviation

His love for aviation began on a trip to Point Mugu Naval Air Station in October 1959. He was accompanied by his parents and older brother, Vince, spending the entire afternoon in the viewing gallery observing the operation of three specific fighters. They were the Vought F7U, F8U, and F4D-1 Skyray.

Tom immediately became transfixed with their beauty and grace, forever forging his life-long love for aviation. Tom’s interest and knowledge on aircraft and spacecraft design were further reflected in his Science Fair project thru the Illinois Junior Academy of Science, resulting in several outstanding awards at the state level.


Tom would later obtain a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Design thru Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

In January 1997 Tom attended the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Graduate School in Aerospace Engineering Mechanics with a scholarship thru their Q.U.E.S.T. Program.

He would later finish his graduate program at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, obtaining a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science.

Aviation Author

Tom has authored two books and is working on a third.

He is also an aviation journalist at Captain Jetson Aviation News.


Tom is best characterized as not being a “kissing up to the” company man and not necessarily a team player. He writes his articles based on credible information and not the influence of company leaders. He will guarantee the best articles based on the highest level of credible information.

Thomas Gardner, a freelancer, is available for aviation journalist work and aviation teaching assignments. You can contact him here.

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