Top Gun, Maverick: The Movie Pilots Love to Love, Tom Cruise

Since the original Top Gun movie came out in the 80's, you could ask most pilots whether or not they saw the movie. Most of them have, and to be honest, most of them loved it. It was very well made and changed movies about flying forever. It quickly set the bar in aviation movies and has yet to be dethroned. (warning, there are a few spoilers here)

If you ask those same group of pilots if they saw the sequel "Top Gun Maverick" You would also get a lot of confirmation that not only did they see the movie, but also a few comments about various scenes. Long story short, the producers of the movie did an amazing job with all the details from the first movie being weaved into the fabric of the storyline of Maverick. It is a love letter to aviation.

The Top Gun Sequel, Finally

Pilots of all experience levels waited a long time for the sequel, and it did not disappoint. Tom Cruise did an excellent job with the preparation of the movie and ensuring the audience grasped the idea that a pilot has this certain "thing" inside that is hard to explain.

Great care was taken to use actual Navy pilots as well as the training of crew and cast. You can see a lot of this in various videos that we will include to give you a overall concept of the preparation and mindset. Just like the first Top Gun movie, it is clearly a competition, and that is just how any pilot would want it.

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So Did military recruitment have a big bump in men and women enlisting?

The original movie claimed a 500 percent bump in enlistments after its release. No one really thought to question that fact since the movie was so inspiring. The big question is if that true or not. There are lots of discussions regarding this topic and we will do our best to link to some and let you decide that for yourself. I am sure this question will become another hot topic in regards to the sequel, will it have a bump in potential new aviators for the Navy and Air Force?

Quote by Major General Edward Thomas

"We expect ‘Top Gun: Maverick' to do the same," he added. "You know, whether people want to aim high or fly Navy, we just want them to get excited about serving the nation in some capacity."

The Military will look for recruitment boost following the Tom Cruise sequel

Military has shortages too

The military has faced recruiting challenges as well from the pandemic and those two years of mayhem affect military pilot levels for years down the road since it takes so long to train pilots. The Navy and Air Force have fallen short of their targets and are in need a boost of enlistments and appointments (officers) to bolster the ranks. A military aviation career is still an excellent career for a pilot whether you move on to the airlines or not.

Maverick' breaks Memorial Day weekend box office records

Military officials believe they can see a similar – though not exact – boost from the sequel film, "Top Gun: Maverick." The new film, which was released over Memorial Day weekend, and gave Cruise his first $100 million opening weekend for a film, raking in an impressive $321 million global total. (reported from Fox News)

What Was Your Favorite Part? Everyone has one.

  • Was it using Val Kilmer in a cameo role?

  • How about a unique mix of modern and classic fighter aircraft?

  • Could it be the tensions of war built in that closely resemble todays events?

  • Future aircraft projects and the need to break Mach 10?

  • Simply just stealing an F-14 which adds a nice bow to the original fighter jet used.

  • The unique story line of Goose's son and how that relationship shapes people and careers (much like the original nod to Maverick's father and his reputation)

  • The music, which includes some of the original tracks that will make anyone sit up straight and get into the "zone"

  • P-51 Mustangs? What's not to love about that?

  • Pilot attitudes and over machoistic behavior, yeah that too, its part of it.

  • High G maneuver's and amazing flying scenes

  • Push ups and volleyball anyone?

  • Some General that does not like Maverick for whatever reason.

  • Bob


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Let me be perfectly blunt, you were not my first choice

There is something about authority and the tendency to rebel against it or be misunderstood that will always generate some box office appeal.  That theme was apparent in the first movie and also carries on into the second.  There is a real hidden gem here that most people may not realize.  Sometimes you have to go against the grain and be yourself. 

The hidden gem of a message

I have seen in my 40 year career in aviation that some pilots may cringe at the point of being called in by a chief pilot or even the FAA as a moment of dread and questioning their self worth.  Over time you will figure it out at that what you bring to the table is value.  Most often management or even government is not concerned over that, they are simply trying to manage a forest fire of issues and expectations.  Its good that this movie subliminally drives home the point that just because someone over you questions your talent, drive or motivation does not mean they are right.

Whether or not this was thought through as a hidden point or concept in the film, it does a brilliant job of portraying the fact that we all have some sort of unique talent, personality or leadership that adds to aviation.  After all its not really about flying, its so much more. 

As my favorite instructor once said "you can teach a monkey to fly if you have enough bananas

Flying is not the issue nor the talent to be focused on, its you as a person and as an aviator that manages the publics impression of aviation.  Who would have thought Hollywood would be so deep right?

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Super Hornet vs Tomcat a Top Gun Maverick Reaction

Now if you really want to get geeky and dive into why the Navy uses airplanes the way they do, this video does a great job of explaining it all.  A really great analogy of a break down in the strengths of both aircraft as well as a look at how the hornet was the aircraft of choice for the mission of this movie.  It also has a very good break down of the maneuvers and even the main mission of the movie and makes it easy for anyone to understand, whether you are a pilot or not.

Be sure to check out the maneuvers section

Of course no decent article about anything would be complete if you did not show (all in one place) some decent behind the scenes footage.  Its really like seeing really good parts of the movie over and over again, but you also get a glimpse of what it was like filming Top Gun Maverick and the process behind each scene. 

Gone are the days where an actor could just show up after memorizing their lines and perform.  The actors in this movie had to work hard and to train themselves to accurately portray their naval aviators characters.

TOP GUN 2 Maverick BEHIND THE SCENES 10 Minutes Footage

What its really like to be a top gun pilot

The Camera's for Top Gun

6 Imax cameras inside the cockpit, this just changed the mission of the film, the ability to deliver amazing footage and details you may have never seen before.  How amazing the advancement in this concept really will change the way hollywood will make movies.


How Val Kilmer Really Feels About His Top Gun: Maverick Role


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