A new press release by Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., features the mysterious hypersonic test aircraft teased by “Top Gun: Maverick” trailer.
New details about the upcoming, long-awaited “Top Gun” sequel are emerging almost every week, as we finally approach the release date of May 27, 2022, after multiple delays caused by Covid-19 pandemic. We already knew that a (computer-generated) stealthy experimental hypersonic aircraft would be part of the plot, as its presence in “Top Gun: Maverick” was first teased by the shots taken on set showing Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell wearing an all-black high-altitude pressure suit similar to the actual ones worn by high altitude reconnaissance pilots in aircraft like the U-2 and SR-71, along with the patch of a possible hypersonic aircraft test program, and then confirmed by the movie second trailer that was released in December 2019.
A new hint at the shape of the movie’s mysterious aircraft was then in then provided by the popular toy brand Matchbox that in its “Top Gun: Maverick” line available since Jun. 1, 2020, included the hypersonic test article along with the Grumman F-14 Tomcat (appearing in both the original and the 2020 version of the action movie), the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet, as well as the F-35, the P-51 Mustang (that also appears in the trailers) and the Russian Sukhoi Su-57 “Felon”.
On Apr. 19, 2022, a new press release by Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., that issued a press release to highlight the presence of their Ninja sportbikes in the upcoming movie.
“There are few motorcycle movie scenes more iconic than Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell riding his Kawasaki Ninja GPZ 900R along the flight line at United States Navy Fighter Weapons School in Miramar, California back in 1986,” the press release says. “That scene helped cement Mitchell’s “Maverick” image as a Top Gun hero. 36 years later, Maverick is not only back at Top Gun, but back riding a Kawasaki, only today he chooses to ride the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon in the new Paramount Pictures blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick opening May 27, 2022.”
“Working with the Top Gun: Maverick team has been amazing,” said Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA, Vice President, Marketing, Chris Brull. “When we had the chance to jump onboard and see our Kawasaki Ninja motorcycles on the big screen again, we had to be involved. We know that Maverick is a dedicated Kawasaki rider and we made sure he had a full garage of Kawasaki models.”
“A total of four supercharged Ninja H2 Carbon machines and restored two Ninja GPZ 900R motorcycles were provided to the Top Gun: Maverick production team along with some additional surprise models that may appear in Maverick’s personal hangar featured in the film.”
Interestingly, Kawasaki Motors Corp. press release also include an interesting image, featuring the nose section of a sleek, stealthy, hypersonic aircraft (with “Captain Pete Mitchell ‘Maverick’” written on the canopy rail) and, once again, we can’t but notice it seems to have been inspired by the concept images of the SR-72, released by Lockheed Martin in 2013.
Unofficially dubbed the “Son of Blackbird“, the Lockheed SR-72, a successor to the iconic SR-71, is an unmanned hypersonic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and strike platform designed for Mach 6. Very little is known about this aircraft besides some alleged sightings, rumoured every now and then, a presumed date for a first flight possibly in 2025, and a possible shape teased in a USAF video last year.
Anyway, hypersonic stealth aircraft aside, with all the flying scenes, the presence of an F-14 dogfighting with Russian Su-57 aircraft (see tweet below), let’s hope “Top Gun: Maverick” keeps up with the all the expectations!
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.