Tag Archives: Top Gun

Tom Cruise Learning to Fly An F/A-18 And Other Top Gun: Maverick Rumors.

Tom Cruise May Be Learning to Take the Stick in Hornet, Hints at Plot from Video.

Unconfirmed rumors have been circulating about Tom Cruise learning to fly a Navy jet, possibly a two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet or a T-45 Goshawk, for the filming of “Top Gun: Maverick“. More than one Hollywood and social media source suggested the rumored instruction is part of the reason for the recent delay in release of the anticipated sequel to June 26, 2020.

The rumors surfaced mid-week in several media outlets from MovieWeb.com, Entertainment Weekly (EW.com) and the Daily Mail.

The story in Entertainment Weekly by James Hibberd published on November 9, 2018, said that, “The story making the rounds is that production has halted on Top Gun: Maverick so star Tom Cruise can take some time and learn to personally fly Navy fighter jets. The story first took off in the U.K. tabloids (always a dependable source for future-debunked news).”

We recognize the “Top Gun” patch and the name plate also with “Top Gun” on it, with the VX-31 patch (Photo: Screen Grab via Instagram)

Entertainment Weekly went on to report that, “First, the Top Gun sequel is still shooting and will continue filming through spring (aside from the usual breaks around the holidays). So, production hasn’t shut down. Second, civilians are not allowed to use government equipment, particularly militarized jets — so even Tom Cruise can’t just take off in an F/A-18 Hornet, even if he does feel the need, the need for speed. (I know, we’re a bit bummed about that too).”

Hibberd is right about the Daily Mail being a tabloid rumor mill, but as an entertainment writer he can’t be expected to know that Cruise may be able to fly rear-seat in a two-seat F/A-18 and get some actual stick time. As you already know, it is not unusual for civilians on media or VIP rides with flight demonstration teams like the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds to briefly be given the opportunity to hold the control stick and press on the pedals under the very close and careful management of the front seat pilot in command.


It’s also worth remembering that Tom Cruise is already a pilot with several ratings who owns a P-51 Mustang. Cruise learned to fly an Airbus AS350 helicopter for some of the scenes in last summer’s Mission Impossible: Fallout. Cruise was seen in his P-51 Mustang, registration number N51EW, flying out of Burbank Airport yesterday and heading up toward China Lake Naval Air Station.

Looks like Cruise may be commuting to work in his own P-51 Mustang. (Photo: Screen Grab via Instagram)

Even though the rumors about Tom Cruise’s personal “flight instruction” being the reason for the Top Gun: Maverick delay are making the rounds, the more believable explanation may be related to the inclusion of the Navy’s F-35C Lightning II in the film.

The U.S. Navy began testing the wide-winged, heavy landing gear variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) late this summer and early fall. Aircraft from Strike Fighter Squadron 125, VFA-125, the “Rough Raiders” from Naval Air Station Lemoore, and also from Strike Fighter Squadron 101, VFA-101, the “Grim Reapers” from Eglin Air Force Base performed carrier trials on board the USS Lincoln in August.
It’s likely the Navy would be somewhat reluctant to bring full Hollywood production crews on board the carrier during the F-35C’s trial and evaluation period. It is more likely the U.S. Navy would support the film’s production with F-35C media opportunities sometime next year, and that may be a contributing factor to the delay of the film’s release.

Perhaps the real reason for the one-year delay in Top Gun: Maverick could be the Navy getting their F-35C program up to speed so the aircraft can be showcased in the new movie. (Photo: U.S. Navy Official)

Meanwhile, the new Hollywood feature, Hunter Killer released on October 26, 2018 may have been the first Hollywood feature film to debut the Navy’s F-35C. The movie featured some brief stock footage of F-35Cs taking off from an aircraft carrier in support of a fictional U.S. Navy special operations mission.

Some clues about the plot of Top Gun: Maverick may have surfaced on Tom Cruise’s own social media and from some phone video that hit Instagram and Facebook last week. The stills and video showed Tom Cruise on a motorcycle with actress Jennifer Connelly. Connelly will play a single mother who runs a bar near the air base. The filming of Cruise and Connelly together on the motorcycle may suggest the two characters develop a relationship in the storyline. Recall the brief romantic scene in the original 1986 Top Gun when Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis rode together on Maverick’s motorcycle.

Military parody and comedy blog DuffelBlog couldn’t help but make fun of the production delay for Top Gun: Maverick in this fictional jab on Twitter.
(Photo: Screen Grab via Twitter)

Top image: Tom Cruise and his fans are sharing photos on nstagram of him and Jennifer Connelly on set for Top Gun: Maverick. (Photo: Screen Grab via Instagram)

“Blackhawk Down” Soundtrack Composer Hans Zimmer Joins “Top Gun: Maverick” Soundtrack.

Iconic Film Score Composer Will Work with Original Soundtrack Composer.

His haunting soundtracks gave “Blackhawk Down”, “Gladiator”, “Dunkirk” and even “The Dark Knight” a musical texture that added drama and suspense to the films. Now master soundtrack composer, Academy and Grammy award-winner Hans Zimmer has been tipped as a contributor to the “Top Gun: Maverick” soundtrack.

The news about the highly anticipated “Top Gun: Maverick” soundtrack was released on Sunday, October 21, when Sandy Schaefer of Hollywood Screen Rant broke the story that iconic soundtrack artist Hans Zimmer will “join forces” with German composer and musician Harold Faltermeyer for the film’s new soundtrack.

Award-winning soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer will contribute to the “Top Gun: Maverick” soundtrack. (Photo: Hans Zimmer via Remote Control Productions)

Co-composer Harold Faltermeyer is one of the original composers of the first “Top Gun” soundtrack along with Giorgio Moroder. Moroder co-wrote the iconic Kenny Loggins theme “Danger Zone” along with Tom Whitlock.

Before Kenny Loggins recorded “Danger Zone” the bands “Toto” and “REO Speedwagon” were both offered the chance to record the song, but both bands declined. Loggins has told entertainment media he will play a role in recording the new film soundtrack for “Top Gun: Maverick”.

Hollywood reporter Sandy Schaefer went on to report that, “It’s safe to assume that Zimmer will aim for something fittingly epic in scale and sound with his “Top Gun: Maverick” score, in order to match the movie’s ambitious high-flying action and aerial sequences. Kosinski’s previous films have all used music to great cinematic effect, starting with Daft Punk’s score for “TRON: Legacy” and continuing on through the director’s collaborations with Joseph Trapanese on “Oblivion” and “Only the Brave”. Zimmer’s involvement likewise assures that the “Top Gun” sequel will impress in the music department, however well (or not) the rest of the movie stacks up by comparison.”



Meanwhile, on the set of the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick”, photos of Tom Cruise jetting around on his new motorcycle for the film continue to hit entertainment tabloids while grumbling about his film production company and personal trailer taking over space on a military base have leaked in social media.

Hollywood observers are hyping Tom Cruise’s youthful appearance for the movie, suggesting he has not aged much since the original “Top Gun”. Cruise is 56 years old, and will be nearly 58 for the release of “Top Gun: Maverick”. In pilot terms, that is beyond geriatric. A NASA study called “Technical Report 1304” published back in 1993, said that, “the mean age for all selected pilot candidates is 39.90 years old.

The tabloids and Twitter are congratulating Tom Cruise on his fitness for “Top Gun: Maverick” and touting photos of his new motorcycle. (Photo: TomCruiseShare via Twitter)

Top image: file photo of an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Gunslingers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike). The Super Hornet is going to be the “guest star” of the Top Gun sequel (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class J. Alexander Delgado/Released)

Embraer Releases Two New Biz-jets with a “Top Gun” themed commercial

Brazilian Aerospace conglomerate Embraer just rolled out a new marketing campaign seemingly aimed directly at Top Gun fans.

Embraer released two new private business jets on Sunday, October 14, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.

The company’s new Praetor 500 and the Praetor 600 midsize and super midsize personal jets are being marketed with a new ad campaign that features sound bites from the original 1986 Top Gun sound track and a boilerplate video storyboard from the movie itself.

While it is tough for most of us to get inside the mind of the private jet buyer, it’s safe to say that inside every private jet owner there lives a little “Maverick”. That being true, this campaign will probably be pretty effective at getting attention among the growing business jet market, especially considered the hype surrounding the long awaited Top Gun sequel.

The Embraer Praetor 500 and 600 will sell for about $17M or $21M USD depending on the version, putting them at the leading edge of the mid to larger size business jet market. Sales of mid to large sized business jets are up in 2018 according to industry analyst JetCraft.com.

According to their website, “Larger, more expensive aircraft remain in high demand, accounting for 32% of total units and 64% of total revenue.” They went on to report that overall sales for business jets into 2018 have remained steady.

Top image: screenshot from Embraer commercial.

In-Flight Emergency, New Kawasaki Motorcycle And More: All The “Top Gun: Maverick” News We Can Tell You, And Some We Can’t…

Among all the other things, Tom Cruise Has Emergency “Flap Caution” Landing During “Top Gun” Sequel Filming.

Hollywood action film star Tom Cruise had to cut short the filming of an aerial sequence for the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” after a “flap warning” indication appeared in the U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet he was flying in Monday afternoon, September 17, 2018. The aircraft diverted to an alternate airfield following the incident.

The 56-year old Golden Globe Award winning actor was photographed wearing U.S. Navy flight gear and a specially painted Gentex HGU-68/P lightweight flight helmet. The photos were said to have been taken at “an airbase in Nevada” and have circulated on Hollywood gossip and aviation fan blogs including TMZ.com. Our own David Cenciotti was the first to notice that Maverick used the modern flight helmet instead of the old HGU-33:

Other photos surfaced on the “Eggs, Bacon and Joey Morning Show” Facebook page that showed Tom Cruise dressed in a flight suit shaking hands with men and women also in military flight suits at Naval Air Station Lemoore in Kings County and Fresno County in Central California. F/A-18 aircraft appear in the background including the tips of the twin tails of one F/A-18 painted in colors that may be similar to the one we showed in a previous update that will be used in the filming of the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick”.

A story on ABC30.com by columnist Jim Jakobs confirmed from the U.S. Navy that, “The Navy can’t tell us if Cruise is in Lemoore. But, the Navy can say that NAS Lemoore’s F/A-18 Super Hornets and F-35’s will play a big role in the movie.” The article mentioned our editor David Cenciotti as a source for new photos of the specially painted F/A-18F to be used by Tom Cruise in the movie. ABC30 writer Jim Jakobs went on to quote Cmdr. Ron Flanders, Public Affairs Officer, Naval Air Forces as saying, “A great deal of the flying in this film will be done by Lemoore based aviators.”

Enough rumors also flew fast and low earlier this week about the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” to make you spill your coffee in the tower. But just like any target rich environment, in a matter of minutes, the most interesting- and as it later turned out- accurate rumors, disappeared from social media like a MiG-28 on afterburner. We’d tell you more, but we’d have to… you know. Most of the rumors that were acknowledged as accurate mentioned locations for filming the low flying sequences of the film. TheAviationist.com was asked not to reveal these locations.

Photos of U.S. Navy aggressor aircraft never before photographed in specific western U.S. low flying areas began surfacing on social media. Similar or identical aircraft were used in the first “Top Gun” movie in 1986. The photos sparked rumors and speculation about set locations for the movie. After responses to our inquiry about the photos we were asked not to say anything more. Our post on social media inquiring about the location disappeared after the information was privately confirmed.

What we can report is that better photos have surfaced of the aircraft that is going to be used for Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the movie, as played by Tom Cruise. We first ran unattributed photos rumored to be “Maverick’s” plane on September 13 after they appeared in at least two Hollywood entertainment gossip blogs. Within hours the rumors were at least unofficially confirmed and more photos surfaced- the one shown here.

Then, more interesting news appeared online:

No “Top Gun” sequel would be complete without the need for speed, and photos have surfaced of Tom Cruise being filmed as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell riding a new Kawasaki Ninja H2R motorcycle on a runway for a possible title sequence that reprises the original 1986 sequence. This new Kawasaki Ninja H2R replaces the Kawasaki GPZ900R that he rode in the original 1986 film. “Maverick”’s new Ninja H2R displaces 998cc’s and has a top speed of (seriously) Mach .327 or between 206 and 249 MPH.

Fox News and other Hollywood gossip sites have ran spy photos of Tom Cruise as “Maverick” filming a possible title sequence on a new 200 MPH Kawasaki Ninja H2R. (Photo: Via Fox News/Facebook/Kawasaki)

Raven-haired Hollywood hottie Monica Barbarow has been cast in the role of a pilot trainee in “Top Gun: Maverick” and will fill a major part of the female cast of the film as the love-interest of another pilot in the film, “Bradley Bradshaw” as played by actor Miles Teller. Barbarow is a formally trained ballerina who left dance to pursue acting full time. She has appeared in the NBC television legal drama “Chicago Justice”.

Filming for “Top Gun: Maverick” has also been taking place onboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) during August. Film crews from Paramount and Bruckheimer Films were aboard the carrier until Sunday, August 26.

Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was spotted shaking hands at NAS Lemoore in California. (Photo: Via Facebook/Eggs, Bacon and Joey Morning Show)

The release date for the film has been pushed back nearly a year until June 26, 2020 from the original release date of July 2019. Entertainment writer Anthony D’Alessandro reported in Deadline.com that the film is being delayed to, “Work our all the complex flight sequences so that the pic can be great.”

The delay has led to speculation about the plot for “Top Gun: Maverick” that is already said to include remotely piloted aircraft and the Navy’s new F-35C Lightning II. The Navy has confirmed the F-35C will be included in the movie.

Top image: Several websites leaked photos of a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet with special markings that could be for Tom Cruise’s character “Maverick” in the upcoming Top Gun sequel (Photo: Via RevengeOfTheFans.com courtesy of Mario-Francisco Robles)

Is This “Maverick’s” New F/A-18F Super Hornet for Filming “Top Gun” Sequel?

Hollywood Gossip Site Leaks Photo of F/A-18F With Special Markings.

Even though all of us feel the need for speed to get the new Top Gun sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick” released it sounds like Paramount Pictures has requested another flyby even as photos of a newly painted U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet that may be linked to the film’s production have been leaked.

While Top Gun fans can’t bring back that lovin’ feelin’ fast enough for their taste, Paramount Pictures announced in late August that the release of the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” will be delayed until (gasp…) June 26, 2020.

Even though this news is worse than having a MiG-28 stuck on your six it may also suggest that the Navy is working on something truly special in cooperation with Paramount Pictures for the new film. Video has surfaced on social media of U.S. Navy F-35s practicing “buzzing the tower” off U.S. aircraft carriers with references to the Top Gun script in the posts.

The U.S. Navy’s official VFA-125, the “Rough Raiders” Facebook page, “Home of the F-35”, posted video clips two weeks ago showing aircraft forming vapor cones and performing almost exactly the same low altitude, high speed pass made famous in the F-14 Tomcat in the first Top Gun film. The video may (and also may not) hint that the F-35s appearance in the film could be significant. There was no confirmation if coffee was spilled during any of the fly-bys, but plenty of flight deck crew were out taking video with smartphones.

In a USA Today story written by Bryan Alexander published on August 29, 2018, Alexander reported that, “The studio dropped the bomb [heh…] Wednesday that the release date for Tom Cruise’s anticipated sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” would be delayed one year to June 26, 2020.”

While the announcement of the delay is disappointing, Alexander did go on to provide a tantalizing teaser for readers who know naval aviation, “The extra time will give filmmakers the opportunity to work out the logistics of presenting flight sequences with new technology and planes, according to a Paramount statement.”

Translated into fan speak, that may very well mean we’re getting the Navy’s big, wide-winged F-35C in more than a cameo appearance in “Top Gun: Maverick”.

Meanwhile, Hollywood reporter Michael Briers over at the fan site “WeGotThisCovered.com” leaked photos of what may be Tom Cruise’s new ride as “Maverick” in the Top Gun sequel. Based on the watermark, the photos appear to come from an article on website “RevengeOfTheFans.com”. We got the permission from Mario-Francisco Robles at “Revenge Of The Fans” to publish the photo here at The Aviationist.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet was photographed with special markings including Capt. Pete Mitchell “Maverick” stenciled on the right cockpit rails. The aircraft may have been at Naval Air Station Fallon, as suggested by aviation and defense journalist Tyler Rogoway of “The War Zone” this morning when he posted that, “The jet has Topgun’s iconic seal on its tail, which means it would belong Naval Air Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) at NAS Fallon. So it looks like Maverick is an instructor at the school, which is not surprising.”

Capt. Pete Mitchell “Maverick” stenciled on the special colored Super Hornet. Credit: Revengeofthefans.com

While speculation about the specifics of the film and its plot continue and news of the delay is disappointing, the promise of getting a look at some of the Navy’s newest aircraft along with a special livery F/A-18F Super Hornet is very exciting. Now all we need to do is get the Navy to fly Maverick’s new Super Hornet through Star Wars Canyon for a photo-op, preferably, while inverted.

Top image: Several websites leaked photos of a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet with special markings that could be for Tom Cruise’s character “Maverick” in the upcoming Top Gun sequel (Photo: Via RevengeOfTheFans.com)