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Tom Cruise's Fighter Jet Was Tracked By Chinese Satellite While Filming New Top Gun Film

by : Emily Brown on :
Tom Cruise's Fighter Jet Was Tracked By Chinese Satellite While Filming New Top Gun Film
Tom Cruise's Fighter Jet Was Tracked By Chinese Satellite While Filming New Top Gun Film (Paramount Pictures)

Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer has revealed a jet used in the new film looked so realistic that it caught the attention of a Chinese satellite.

Pete Mitchell is set to fly back on to the big screen with the release of Top Gun: Maverick later this month, with the action likely to be more intense than ever thanks to Tom Cruise's insistence on performing real stunts.

The actor is known for taking on some extreme challenges for the sake of entertainment, and he previously revealed in an interview with Empire he was 'not going to do the CGI stuff' when it came to creating the new film.

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As a result, Bruckheimer said Cruise can really be seen in the film flying a P-51 propeller-driven fighter plane as well as some helicopters, but there was one aircraft creators had to fake on set – Cruise's secret hypersonic jet Darkstar.

Both Bruckheimer and director Joseph Kosinski have revealed they worked with engineers from Lockheed Martin’s aircraft manufacturer Skunk Works to come up with the design and to build a full-scale model of Darkstar, with the collaboration resulting in a prop so realistic it managed to dupe those in charge of a Chinese satellite.

In an interview with Sandboxx News, Bruckheimer said: “The Navy told us that a Chinese satellite turned and headed on a different route to photograph that plane. They thought it was real. That’s how real it looks."

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Kosinski credited Skunk Works with making Darkstar look as convincing as it does, explaining the reason he approached the manufacturer in the first place was because he wanted to make the 'most realistic hypersonic aircraft we possibly could'.

Darkstar was co-designed by Skunk Works. Credit: Paramount Pictures
Darkstar was co-designed by Skunk Works. Credit: Paramount Pictures
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"We built it full-scale in cooperation with them,” Kosinski told Sandboxx News, adding: "But the reason it looks so real is because it was the engineers from Skunk Works who helped us design it. So those are the same people who are working on real aircraft who helped us design Darkstar for this film.

"It had to look just as real as the F-18s, the P-51 and everything else in the movie in order for you to buy it, so that’s why we worked closely with them.”

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Though Darkstar was not a real plane, the actors in the film did ride in the cockpits of actual US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets while shooting scenes, resulting in real G-force experiences caught on camera.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University before going on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems. She joined UNILAD in 2018 and now works as Senior Journalist covering breaking news, trending stories and longer form features with a focus on human interest stories.

Topics: Celebrity, Tom Cruise, Film and TV, Entertainment