Tom Cruise's Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell may still be flying in Top Gun: Maverick, but the Grumman F-14 Tomcat he flew in 1986's Top Gun is long retired, and a set photo of Cruise's new fighter jet has leaked (on RevengeOfTheFans.com) for us to enjoy.
Maverick's new ride is a Boeing (originally McDonnell Douglas) F/A-18F Super Hornet, whose increased agility should provide him a tactical advantage compared to his old Tomcat when tangling with those dreaded 'MiG 28s' (actually, awesome-looking blacked out Northrup F-5s) he shot down last time.
The new plane sports a blue stripe and Maverick's name and call sign on the side of the cockpit, along with three silhouettes potentially representing his three air victories depicted in the original film. A curious thing is that those silhouettes look like his own F/A-18 and not the MiGs he encountered, but maybe that will be explained in the movie.
Maverick's F/A-18F is the two-seat version of the Super Hornet, so someone will be riding in the back seat in the new movie, even if it won't be Goose. Boeing says the plane has a top speed of mach 1.6, or 1,227 mph.
The attention the Navy gets from the film has apparently spurred some rivalry from the Air Force, which took to Twitter to point out that its F-15 Strike Eagle is faster, saying "If Maverick really had a need for speed, he could hop into one of our F-15E Strike Eagles! #DYK: They have a top speed of 1,875 miles per hour."
Boeing owns the former McDonnell Douglas company that builds both of the jets, so they win either way. And so does Tom Cruise, who gets to fly around in cool jet fighters.
And on his days off, Cruise is also flying, in his personal P-51 Mustang fighter. But we're not envious. Nope. Not us.