Original “Maverick” HGU-33 Helmet Is Up For Auction

A screenshot of one of the scenes of Top Gun showing Maverick original helmet. (Paramount Pictures via The Aviationist)

The iconic helmet featured in the 1986 Top Gun movie, will be one of the highlights in an upcoming auction of movie props.

The HGU-33/P flight helmet worn by “Maverick” is probably the most famous and distinctive thing in the first Top Gun movie. So much so, it also made its appearance in the photo used by Tom Cruise to tease “Top Gun 2” (actually, “Top Gun: Maverick”) when the filming of the sequel to the blockbuster 1980s movie featuring Capt. Pete Mitchell and the U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat, started in May 2018, even though the old-fashioned Gentex HGU-33 has long been replaced within the U.S. Navy and other air arms around the world by the more modern Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System or HGU-68/P helmets.

Interestingly, the original HGU-33/P (or at least one of the helmets used in the movie) will be up for bids during The Prop Store’s August 26 and 27 virtual auction. In fact, according to a RollingStone article,  the Top Gun helmet will be among the over 850 items from classic films, including props, memorabilia and costumes from movies like Alien, Raiders of the Lost ArkThe Hunger Games and Rocky. While the Darth Vader costume from A New Hope’s promotional tour carries a pre-auction estimate of $150,000-$300,000, “Maverick” helmet is expected to reach bids in the $50,000 range.

By the way, no matter you’ll be able to buy the iconic helmet or not during the upcoming virtual action, we are not going to see the HGU-33 in “Top Gun: Maverick” to hit theaters in December 2020 (it was initially scheduled for release at the end of June 2020, but the Coronavirus pandemic postponed it to later this year).

In fact, even before the first official trailer confirmed it, photos of Tom Cruise with the new helmet were leaked to social networks and photographers also caught shots of a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet two-seat variant jet transiting through the Star Wars canyon, showing a pilot wearing the HGU-68/P lightweight flight helmet with custom graphics.

A photo of a U.S. Navy F/A-18 with a crew member wearing the same helmet seen in previously leaked images of “Top Gun: Maverick” from a western low-flying area we posted in March 2019. (Photo: courtesy of @lohffingfoto)

H/T to Eric Moreno for the heads-up!

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.