New Matchbox “Top Gun: Maverick”-themed line Reveals Shape Of Movie’s Mysterious Hypersonic Aircraft

The shape of the hypersonic aircraft shown in "Top Gun: Maverick" revealed by Matchbox. (Image credit: The Aviationist based on Jacob Krol/CNN and Paramount images)

We now have a better idea of what the hypersonic test airplane teased by the trailer might look like. And there’s also a Sukhoi Su-57 Felon-like die-cast model in the set.

One of the most interesting details about “Top Gun: Maverick” we have discussed here at The Aviationist since the first photos of “Maverick” in High Altitude pressure suit on set emerged in 2018, is the presence of a stealthy hypersonic aircraft in the sequel to the 1980s action movie.

In fact, all the trailers released so far (including the extended Super Bowl version) show Tom Cruise aka Capt. Pete Mitchell, a test pilot (according to the name tag shown in the first trailer), flying a stealthy experimental hypersonic while wearing an all-black high-altitude pressure suit similar to the actual ones worn by high altitude reconnaissance pilots in aircraft like the U-2 and SR-71. And, as already highlighted, the enigmatic test article seems to be somehow inspired to the Lockheed SR-72 hypersonic reconnaissance plane.

A new hint at the shape of the movie’s mysterious aircraft might be in the new Matchbox “Top Gun: Maverick” line available on Jun. 1, 2020. As reported by CNN, the popular toy brand (owned by Mattel) is about to release a series of die-cast models featured in both the 1986 and 2020 Top Gun movies, including the Grumman F-14 Tomcat (both the original and the 2020 version one), the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet, the hypersonic aircraft as well as the F-35, the P-51 Mustang (that also appears in the trailer) and another quite mysterious jet, whose shape reminds the one of the Russian Sukhoi Su-57 “Felon”.

The new Matchbox Top Gun playset with several aircraft and an aircraft carrier. Note the presence of both the new aircraft and an “original” F-14 Tomcat (the other one appears to wear the markings applied for the sequel, hence it was marked 2020). (Image credit: Jacob Krol/CNN)

Considered that the new die-cast models must have been officially licensed, it’s safe to assume the hypersonic aircraft is depicted as it will appear in the movie.

A screenshot of the “Top Gun: Maverick” Super Bowl trailer. (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Based on the new image we can’t but notice that while the trailer seemed to suggest the bottom side of the hypersonic aircraft (with its widely spaced engine nacelles and engine’s rectangular air intake ramps) might be inspired by the concept images of the SR-72 released by Lockheed Martin in 2013, the images of the Matchbox playset, taken by Jacob Krol for CNN, show the upper side of the hypersonic aircraft with the twin tails and small trapezoidal wing that make the experimental aircraft more similar to an SR-71 than its successor.

The first concept artwork of the SR-72 released by Lockheed Martin in 2013. (Image credit: LM)

Indeed, based on Lockheed Martin’s original concept renderings, the SR-72 should have a pointy shape and a single tail.

Another concept artwork of the SR-72 released by Lockheed Martin in 2013. (Image credit: LM)

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.