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“Want Mach 10? Let’s give ’em Mach 10.”
That line, delivered by Maverick (Tom Cruise) in the long-anticipated, and already quite popular, sequel to “Top Gun,” may help to prepare audiences for the fact that things have become a little bit more updated in the sky since the 1986 original.
This early sequence has Maverick arriving to discover that the hypersonic flight test he was meant to perform has been canceled by an admiral (Ed Harris), who would prefer to spend on drones.
But “canceled” is not in Maverick’s vocabulary, and he proceeds with the test as planned, aiming to reach Mach 10 speeds.
Discussing the scene, the director Joseph Kosinski said that he and his crew designed the sleek aircraft in conjunction with Skunk Works, a division of Lockheed Martin.
It is based on an aircraft “that may or may not exist,” he said. The shots of it in the hangar are “a full-scale mock-up that we built with their cooperation.”
Kosinski said the scene was meant to “take a turn and take ‘Top Gun’ into the future. Here we see Maverick on the very cutting edge of aviation.”
Pay close attention to the final shot of the scene, where Maverick takes off. It had to be done by one of the few Navy pilots cleared to fly what is called a low-altitude transition maneuver. The pressure wave the maneuver created destroyed a piece of the set, which meant the crew was only able to do the shot once.