top gun flying scenes

How TOP GUN: Maverick Shot Those Thrilling Flying Scenes

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The wait finally came to an end. After 36 years, the second part of Top Gun landed in theatres on May 26. I had already got to see it a week ago during the movie premiere in Berlin and Top Gun: Maverick is an absolute must-see for all Aviators. It was a thrill ride from the moment you are seated in the theatre, with popcorn in your hand. You did not need to be flying in one of those jets on the screen.

In this sequel, the flying ace, Maverick, has to prep a younger generation of pilots for a highly dangerous mission. During the movie, I was wondering: How in the world did they shoot the amazing flying scenes? The answer will surprise you as much as it did me. Spoiler alert: they did NOT use any green screen.

top gun flying scenes

Copyright: Paramount pictures

I Flew Aerobatics 🎢

I once had the chance to fly in an Extra 300 and Albatros L-39 fighter trainer. Personally, it cannot be thrilling enough when it comes to aerobatic flying. Loopings, barrel rolls, twists and tight turns are absolutely fun and easy to withstand for me. I neither had issues with my stomach. But I know that’s fairly unusual. High G-forces can have extreme side effects on your body and flying upside down just makes you throw up! So now I am thinking about the cast, who are not used to flying aerobatics. Plus they not only have to withstand the extreme forces and manoeuvres, they also have to act as if they are elite fighter pilots.

top gun flying scenes

My Connection To Top Gun ✈️

Tom Cruise, alias Maverick, instructs flight students in the new movie. So, like me, he has high responsibility for his cadets. I also have a personal story connected to the movie. Years ago, I had the actress Meg Ryan once on board as a passenger. I was very excited to meet her in person, since I had watched the first Top Gun movie so many times. After the flight, I checked in to the crew hotel, got to my room, turned on the TV and Top Gun was running with a scene starring Meg Ryan.

top gun flying scenes

How Fake Are The Flying Scenes? ❌

Now, you will probably be as surprised as I was when I found out! For the best movie experience, the mission was: How do you convincingly shoot scenes in which actors look like they are flying in jets with extreme G-forces contorting their facial features as the planes perform extreme aeronautical manoeuvres? You get the actors to do it for REAL. That, at least, was the conclusion of Tom Cruise when he began to think about how to shoot Top Gun: Maverick. That’s what they did in the end. All cast members are believably looking in the film like they are really in the skies because they really were in the skies.

The Big Issue of Throwing Up! 🤮

When filmmaker Tony Scott directed the original 1986 Top Gun, he too had hopes of shooting actors in the air but was thwarted when cast members began throwing up whenever they were taken for a ride. The new cast did throw up as well on board. Did Powell throw up over his plane? “Not on the plane,” says the actor. “You’ve got bags obviously. I never missed a shot in the bag.” How did they get this issue fixed: They thoroughly prepared the cast for the extreme flight manoeuvres so they were mentally and physically fit for it.

top gun flying scenes

How Did The Cast Prepare For The Flying? 👨🏼‍✈️

In the years after Top Gun made him a global star, Cruise became a pilot himself thanks to Sydney Pollack, who directed him in 1993’s The Firm and gave the actor flying lessons as a present. Cruise was determined to depict the aerial sequences in Top Gun: Maverick as realistically as possible, an ambition shared by Kosinski.

“That was Tom’s expertise,” says Kosinski about Cruise’s insistence that the actors be properly prepared for the shoot. “He’s a pilot, and he’s done aerobatics, and he was in the first Top Gun. He knew that they wouldn’t be able to get in the plane and hold their lunch down and be able to do these scenes, so he created a training program that they all went through.”

 

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Flight Lessons For The Cast 🎬

The actors began the schedule flying in single-engine Cessna 172 Skyhawks before moving on to the Extra 300, which is capable of more aerobatic manoeuvres, finally graduating to L-39 Albatros single-engine high performance jets, which prepared them for the F/A-18s in which they would be filmed during the shoot.

“You just feel the peril for everyone in the movie in a different way,” says Powell. “If you were using CGI, audiences are very smart, they can tell the difference. When you are whipping through canyons at 650 knots, you can’t fake that, and you can’t fake the Gs on actors’ faces.”

top gun flying scenes

The Great Difficulty Of On-Board Cameras 🎥

While the pilots were preparing to act like real pilots, Kosinski was figuring out how to shoot them doing so. “[That] took a lot of preparation,” says the director. “We had to work for about 15 months with the navy to figure out how to get cameras in the cockpit. We ended up getting IMAX-quality cameras into the cockpit with the pilots and the actor.”

During the shoot itself, Kosinski had the strange experience of “directing” actors who were many miles away during the actual filming.

“I’m there, with the actor, when they’re getting in the jet, I’m setting the cameras up, making sure all the angles are exactly what we need,” says the filmmaker. “But once that jet pulls out onto the runway, they’re gone for the next hour or two. As soon as they landed, we took the footage, we went into the debrief, we put it all in and watched it together. We give them notes on what didn’t work, and we’d cheer when something was great, and then we’d give them notes and send them up again in the afternoon. It was a very unique way to direct, because it was a lot of prep and a lot of rehearsal. And it was very tedious — you’re only getting a minute or two of good stuff every day. But it’s the only way to get footage that looks like this.”

 

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Will There Be Another Sequel? 🎞

So, if Top Gun: Maverick is a success, can Kosinski imagine overseeing more of such sequences in a sequel? “It’s all about the story for Tom,” says the filmmaker. “If we can figure out a way to tell what Maverick’s up to next, who knows?”

Top Gun: Maverick definitely exceeded my expectations and I seriously cannot wait to watch it again! To find out that all flying scenes are real, left me speechless because I know what a huge challenge it was for everyone involved.

Have your paper bags ready while watching it! Do not forget to like the post and leave me a comment with your feedback about the movie. 

Happy and thrilling landings

Your PilotPatrick

Source: here


healthy diet while traveling

How I maintain a healthy diet while traveling

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Hello my Aviator,

my friends and colleagues once in a while call me complicated when it comes to food. Some also think that I am crazy because I carry an extra bag next to the pilot case and my big suitcase. But in my opinion, it is clever what I am doing. Our bodies are precious and that is I why I take good care of it. My food bag allows me to maintain my healthy eating habits while traveling.

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Smoothie cookies by Ultrafrisch

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The difficulty of this job

My career has a pilot just turn eight and already at an early stage of my aviation career, I noticed that it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet as a pilot. All my cockpit jobs required me to spend layovers at different destinations. In a month I am gone from home somewhere between 10-16 days. When traveling non-stop, you have to rely on the food of hotels, restaurants, airline catering and outlets at the airport.

Here another example. Currently, I am in Madrid and the hotel is located close to the airport. It is more than 30 minutes from the city center. There are restaurants close by, but they do not meet my eating habits. Additionally, I waste a lot of time when going to a restaurant.

To stay healthy I fuel my body with the best possible food. I take particular care about the ingredients and the organic quality. My food bag makes me a little bit more independent. So I can enjoy a healthy rice dish out of my food bag tonight.

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Four simple guidelines

I follow four simple guidelines when choosing my food:

  • NO raffinated sugars
  • NO dairy products
  • NO white flour
  • NO saturated fats

Are you vegan?

No. I eat fish and eggs almost on a daily basis. I eat meat, but only once a week. I try to avoid meat during my pilot travels because I can not be sure about the quality. Lately, I tried to be vegan for one week of flying. In my YouTube video, you can see how I managed and find out why veganism is not an option for me.

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What's in my food bag?

I used to carry my food in my suitcase up to the day when a almond milk spilled and ruined my clothes. For years now I am traveling with this cool bag with insulation inside. This way I can bridge the time between refrigerators for perishable food.

Almond milk: only of almonds and water, dairy free, sugar-free version

Cereal: sugar-free and vegan with dried fruits, my favorite Chia Cacao Crunch

Porridge: gluten-free vegan porridge of quinoa flaxseeds, for the super porridge you only need hot water to prepare it

Rice cups: rice dish with vegetables, the product of Davert is ideal for traveling, you only need hot water to prepare it, unfortunately it contains sugar but only about 1g in 100g.

Smoothie cookies: liquid is heavy and smoothies need cooling, smoothie cookies of Ultrafrisch are crunchy and contain only fruits and vegetables

More food: peanut mush (only of nuts), whole wheat crispbread, raw bars of nuts and dried fruits, dates, tea bags, fruit (mostly organic bananas), nuts (unsalted and not roasted), raw chocolate

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Selection of my food I am traveling with

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My daily dose of superfoods

Lemon tea: Rich in natural Vitamin C. The juice is antibacterial, antiphlogistic and digestive. Curcuma water

Curcuma (curcuma longa): contains curcumin and is one of the most significant medical plant. Especially in China and India, it is well known for its antiphlogistic effects.

Spirulina: is an alga which was already consumed by Aztecs. The concentration of vitamins and minerals is the highest which has been found yet.

Check out my superfoods article if you want to find out more about their positive side effects

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More about my superfoods here in my article

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Do you know raw chocolate?

As much as possible I try to avoid food that contains raffinated sugar. Sugar is toxic for your body and fuels cancer cells. A great and natural alternative is XUCKER and coconut sugar. Of course, all sources of natural sugar like from fruits are acceptable. I am not the guy who loves sweet stuff, but once in a while, I have a craving for chocolate. I have discovered raw chocolate for me. Raw chocolate itself is really bitter, but in addition to dried fruits and nuts, it tastes sweet.

 

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Sweet treat: raw chocolate

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Raw bars: 100% natural and only of nuts and dried fruits

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... and besides my food bag?

It sounds like that I am only eating out of my food bag. That is not the case. In the morning I go to breakfast in the hotel. WIth my food bag, I can pimp my breakfast. I am honestly shocked by the bad selection of good and healthy food. Especially during my vegan week, I missed a declaration of the ingredients on the buffet.

To find healthy restaurants, coffee places or supermarkets, I can recommend using the App „Happy Cow“ This app has already led me to many nice places in numerous cities around the whole world.

 

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Pimp my crew meal in London

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On board: sugar free vegan cereal

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I never have the impression that I miss out on any food because there is always a healthy option available which tastes equally good or even better.

Is the whole effort worth it?

Yes, I am convinced that it is worth it. I carry a lot of extra weight, but this way I can eat well even when being busy traveling.  No idea if my body stays healthy for a long time, but If does not I cannot blame myself that I fueled it incorrect.

What's your favorite healthy snack?

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your foodie PilotPatrick

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