In their breathtaking aerial action scenes, Top Gun and its sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, serve as showcases for a variety of fighter jets. Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) attended the prestigious Fighter Weapons School, often known as “Top Gun” to the skilled navy aviators who train there, in the original 1986 movie. In Top Gun: Maverick, which picks up more than three decades later, the titular pilot has been promoted to Captain and has been posted to the school as an instructor after a disastrous test flight of a hypersonic jet. The fighter jets are just as important to the series as the pilots who operate them since both movies place a strong emphasis on realism.
One of the first outstanding American fighters of World War II was the P-51 Mustang. During the war, the aircraft saw extensive use and downed more than 5,000 German fighters. The P-51 was deployed in the Korean War as well, but because other planes were being created, it was used primarily as a bomber.
In Maverick’s collection, the plane is the oldest. The US military officially ended its use of the P-51 in 1957. In the Dominican Republic in 1984, the aircraft made its final mission flight.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
One of the newest planes in the US military is the F-35 Lightning II. Only in 2019 did the Navy start using the aircraft. As a result, there haven’t been many battles there. A pilot flying for the Israeli military achieved the F-35 Lightning II’s first aerial victory in 2021. The planes will be around for a while because the American military is anticipated to continue using them until 2070.
The F-35 Lightning is present in Top Gun: Maverick, however, it is not heavily used. It appears that there is a cause for that. Most of the action in the Top Gun series involves pilots flying as a team even though the aircraft is only intended to carry one pilot.
The United States Navy has a lengthy and outstanding experience with Grumman’s F-14 Tomcat. The aircraft saw action in several missions during the 1970s and 1980s after making its initial deployment in 1974. The Tomcat was employed in strike escort and reconnaissance missions during the Gulf War.
The F-14 Tomcat holds particular meaning for both Maverick and the devotees of the 1986 movie. The majority of his time was spent piloting one of these aircraft as Cruise’s character. The F-14 was retired and replaced by more modern aircraft twenty years after the first movie’s debut. But Top Gun: Maverick also has the aircraft.
Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
One of the more modern models in the 2022 movie is the Super Hornet. The jet’s initial service start was between 1999 and 2001. The F-14 Tomcat, which Cruise’s character Maverick flew for most of the first movie, was replaced with the still operational fighter. The F/A-18E/F has been modified in several ways, despite not being as quick as the Tomcat.
Maverick is tasked with training new pilots on the new aircraft in the movie. As a result, the jet is frequently shown in the movie, and the F/A-18E/capabilities F’s are integrated into the story.
Sukhoi SU-57 Felon
In the first Top Gun movie, Navy pilots faced off against MiG 28s built in Russia. The enemies in the most recent movie have been upgraded to the Sukhoi SU-57 Felon. In 2020, the fighter jet made its debut and is now in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces.
In Top Gun: Maverick, the antagonist’s name is never made public, but the Sukhoi SU-57 looks like a suitable fit for them. The aircraft has more than enough power to compete with the greatest fighters the American military has to offer.
The Hypersonic ‘Darkstar’ Jet
Top Gun’s commitment to accuracy is one of the reasons for its ongoing success. As a result, virtually every aircraft used in the movie is based on a real aircraft. The Darkstar jet, based on Lockheed Martin’s SR-71, is featured in Top Gun: Maverick.
The plot is driven by the aircraft. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise, is a test pilot tasked with flying the pricey and top-secret new aircraft. His attempts show that despite being considerably older, Maverick still has the same rebellious streak.
Although an aircraft with the same level of technological development as the Darkstar hasn’t yet been created, one is probably not too far behind. In reality, according to producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the Chinese government captured satellite images of the plane believing it was real.