Aerial training

Saga Top Gun
Movie Top Gun : Maverick Joseph Kosinski (2022)
Already used by Tony Scott in the first film, the Naval Air Station Fallon saw the return of Tom Cruise during the shooting of Top Gun: Maverick. The opportunity to push the limits and to film even more spectacular sequences over the vast desert lands of this region of the United States.
NAS Fallon
NAS Fallon by Bob Lawson. Wikimedia.

“With all due respect sir, I am not an instructor. I wouldn’t want you to get your hopes up.”

Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise)

When the idea of making a sequel to Top Gun is put on the table, Tom Cruise announces the color: for him, it is inconceivable to use digital technology. It is therefore essential to film inside the cockpits of the aircraft in order to deliver a film as realistic as possible. An opinion shared by Joseph Kosinski, the director hired to succeed Tony Scott, as he explained to the New York Times: “You can’t fake the forces that are put on your body during combat. You can’t do it on a sound stage, you can’t do it on a blue screen. You can’t do it with visual effects.

The flight scenes, including those captured over the Naval Air Station Fallon, already used for Top Gun, require a meticulous organization. Two jets equipped with external cameras and a helicopter are in charge of the overall shots. In the cockpits, the actors take place alongside seasoned pilots. Each actor has to take care of his own scenes. Tom Cruise was not allowed to fly a real F-18, but he is at the controls of the other aircraft. For the fight sequences, nothing is simulated and it is sometimes very complicated for Miles Teller and the other members of the cast to remain conscious in such conditions. The price to pay for delivering the best film possible!

In total, Joseph Kosinski spent fifteen months working with the Navy to develop and install six cameras in each F-18 to allow the actors to properly shoot their scenes. To ensure the cooperation of the army, the director can count on specialists who themselves grew up with the first film. Every day, each flight sequence begins with a two-hour briefing to review each plan. Actress Monica Barbaro recalled, again for the New York Times, “Tom just really encouraged everybody, if you are going to throw up, just learn how to do it and move past.”


Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is 58 years old in the film, four years older than the oldest pilot ever to serve in the real Navy.

Top Gun : Maverick entrainement
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in “Top Gun: Maverick.” (Paramount Pictures via AP)

Naval Air Station Fallon

Located near Fallon in the State of Nevada, this airbase gained worldwide notoriety thanks to the movie Top Gun.

The US Navy’s first air-to-air and ground-to-air training facility, Fallon Base was established in 1942 as part of the defense of the West Coast against a feared Japanese attack since the start of World War II. Later used for training Marines, it was heavily used during the Vietnam War and hosted the filming of aerial scenes for Top Gun. In 1996, the real TopGun students were received there as part of their training. It also houses a museum.

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Top Gun: Maverick Limited-Edition Steelbook

Discover the continuation of Maverick’s adventures in this 4K steelbook edition of the Top Gun Maverick movie.

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By Gilles Rolland

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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