Top Gun: Maverick it is on everyone’s lips and will continue to be so for some time to come. But the shocking success of Tom Cruise’s new movie, acclaimed by the public and critics, has also given rise to several comments that are quite far from reality. Among many, that the United States flew the legendary F-14 Tomcat again especially for this movie, which is not true.
That the F-14 Tomcat has a stake in Top Gun: Maverick it’s no secret. After all, the fighter made by Grumman had already been seen very briefly in the trailers, prior to the release of Joseph Kosinski’s feature film. This helped raise expectations about what role the plane that became an icon in the 1980s thanks to the fury of the top gun original.
And while the F-14 Tomcat also has its moment of glory Top Gun: Maverickmost of his screen presence is given thanks to the magic of CGI and visual effects. We explain why.
The United States does not have any F-14 Tomcats in service.paramount
In the decisive part of Top Gun: Maverick, an F-14 Tomcat becomes Maverick and Rooster’s escape route after losing their F-18s. The reunion between Tom Cruise’s character and the historic aircraft is one of the many emotional moments in the film. And the crossbreeding of him with modern Sukhoi Su-57s does not disappoint either.
But unlike the many aerial scenes that were shot with the actors actually in the backseat of a Super Hornet, no combat sequence with the F-14 Tomcat is real. The reason? The United States does not have any units in service. And while it was rumored that a fighter had supposedly been restored and repaired for use especially in the film, it was not true.
Today the only active F-14 Tomcats in the world are in Iran. And, as you can imagine, this is not a country with which Americans have a good relationship. Thus, taking into account the active involvement of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the United States Navy in Top Gun: Maverick, any possible collaboration between the producers of the film and the Iranian Air Force was simply impossible.
In fact, since the aircraft was decommissioned in 2006, the Americans have been especially careful with the scrapping process. This, to prevent Iran from accessing spare parts and key parts to keep the F-14 Tomcat in service.
But beware, this does not mean that the iconic Grumman fighter has not had a real presence in the Joseph Kosinski film. Yes it does, in fact, but never in flight.
end of 2021 official production assistance agreement released between the DOD and the producers of Top Gun: Maverick. In the 84-page document, which covers events dated between 2018 and 2020, it is clearly stated that the relevant authorities agreed to lend an F-14 Tomcat for minor modifications and use in scenes on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
“Subject to approval from the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) and the National Naval Aviation Museum (NNAM), the production company is authorized to borrow a heritage F-14 Tomcat, repaint the aircraft with an NNAM-approved paint scheme, removing ejection seats for on-stage filming, and performing aircraft maintenance so that the control panel and exterior lights are functional in support of filming aboard a CVN [un portaaviones] and in a second location to be determined. All costs related to transportation, painting and maintenance are the sole responsibility of the production company.”
This goes hand in hand with the images that disclosed in early 2019 when an F-14 Tomcat was seen aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during the filming of Top Gun: Maverick.
The scenes of the F-14 Tomcat in Top Gun: Maverick They are amazing, despite everything.
Although the F-14 has never really flown again, the scenes of Top Gun: Maverick that have him as the protagonist are formidable. To the point that they have received praise from fighter pilots and aeronautical specialists. The author and youtuber C.W. Lemoine a former US Air Force and Navy aviator with experience on F-16s and F-18s, called the Tomcat’s inclusion one of the highlights of Tom Cruise’s new film.
“I think some things on the Tomcat look more realistic than the actual plane flying. We know there are none operating in the United States. And they also didn’t go to Iran looking for any of their own, which are the only ones left. But I think all the sequences look great, despite not being real. [El F-14] He still has the same screen presence he had in the first top gun. I was really very impressed […], I think it’s great. They even achieved very small details; if you play DCS and you’re familiar with Tomcat you’ll say, ‘Oh, I know why they did that.’ They achieved those little details that the fans hardcore they will thank you,” he said in a recent video.
Thus, it is more than clear that the F-14 Tomcat has not flown again in the United States, nor will it ever do so. Fortunately, movie magic and visual effects has allowed us to see it once again in all its splendor in Top Gun: Maverick.