Actor Tom Cruise has tweeted a photo entitled ‘FEEL THE NEED’ to announce that he has started production work on a new TOPGUN movie. The sequel to the 1986 smash hit is reportedly named ‘TOPGUN Maverick’ is due for release in July 2019.
So what does this image tell us? Quite a lot actually.
Cruise is depicted looking at a Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, suggesting that this is Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell’s mount for the movie. Not an F-35C as some might have predicted.
The trees in the shot suggest that this isn’t at NAS Fallon, the current home of the real TOPGUN school.
Mitchell is wearing a TOPGUN blue patch, having graduated from the course in the first movie. He is also wearing CAPT rank tabs — suggesting that he is probably a ‘CAG’ — Carrier Air Group (Carrier Air Wing) commander as he is still clearly in a flying role.
Unusually, CAPT Pete Mitchell has retained the old style flying helmet as opposed to a modern Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System or the standard HGU-68 — it would be tough to get ‘Maverick’ emblazoned on the front of one of those.
Combat Aircraft has recently visited TOPGUN, which is part of the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center at Fallon. We will tell the full story of how Naval Aviators graduate from the school in a special supplement in our September issue. We also have a taster feature in the forthcoming Navy and Marine Corps Air Power Yearbook, which will be on sale in June.