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Top Gun: Maverick ‘Mach 10’ Darkstar is Inspired by This Real Life Hypersonic Plane

Tom Cruise lead Top Gun: Maverick blessed our screens on 27 May 2022 and since then it hasn’t stepped back in creating history. It broke all the records and bagged immense love from viewers worldwide. Aviation fans have been noticing Maverick’s sleek black jet since the film’s initial teaser, guessing about its origins. It turns out that the aircraft depicted in Top Gun: Maverick’s terrifying opening scene has a real-life counterpart.

Top Gun: Maverick
Poster of Tom Cruise led Top Gun: Maverick

Capt. Pete Mitchell flies an experimental hypersonic plane named “The Darkstar” on an illegal test fly in the first minutes of Top Gun: Maverick. A low-flying triangular aircraft blowing by a lonely guard station on the desert floor will be noted by anyone who has seen the trailer — or the movie at this point. The flyby practically knocks the roof off the shack in half a second. Many of the aircraft in Maverick are either actual or modified copies of real planes, as the core of the film is based on reality rather than CGI. However, some viewers have questioned the Darkstar’s origins owing to its capabilities and looks.

Top Gun: Maverick Darkstar jet is based on the SR-71 and SR-72

The hypersonic Darkstar jet used in Top Gun: Maverick has some intriguing real-life connections. The appearance of the triangular black jet is very similar to that of the SR-71 Blackbird, one of the world’s fastest planes. The SR-71 has a top speed of Mach 3 and can outrun missiles. The SR-71 is merely a partial influence for Maverick’s Mach 10 aircraft, despite the fact that the Darkstar is remarkably similar to it. In reality, the Darkstar is modeled on a far fancier plane: the SR-71’s unreleased successor.

Darkstar Jet in Top Gun: Maverick
Darkstar Jet in Top Gun: Maverick

Director Joseph Kosinski said that the planes in Maverick (including the Darkstar) are based on experimental aircraft developed by Skunk Works, Lockheed’s advanced development program. With all of this in mind, it’s quite possible that Top Gun: Maverick drew inspiration for the Darkstar from the unreleased hypersonic SR-72. The SR-72 is the successor of the SR-71 and is capable of flying at six times the speed of sound.

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Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick 
Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Despite the fact that the Darkstar is based on the SR-72, Tom Cruise does not get to fly one in Maverick. Demonstrations of the SR-72 aren’t slated to begin until at least 2023, so it’s unclear if the jet is even ready to fly. Operating an SR-72 would also raise national security issues of a magnitude that would be unreasonable for a film. Furthermore, the SR-72 has no windows and is unmanned, which distinguishes it from the Darkstar. The Darkstar jet in Top Gun: Maverick is inspired by the SR-71 and SR-72, however, it isn’t a flyable replica of the famed unreleased plane.

Top Gun: Maverick directed by Joseph Kosinski is now playing in theatres starring Tom Cruise.

Source – Deadline


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Written by Varshit Sharma

Marvel did what Mathematics didn't - it helped me find the value of X, which turned out to be 'Beware spoilers ahead!!'