The Ultimate Guide to Top Gun Maverick Fighter Jets

Even the legendary F-14 Tomcat will make an appearance in Top Gun Maverick, a sequel 36 years in the making.
Top Gun Maverick

Upcoming Top Gun Maverick, the sequel to the 80’s classic, shows Tom Cruise taking on his emblematic role as Maverick, this time as an instructor, after having been a rebellious pilot in his youth.

But beyond the plot, the more important thing is the lightning-fast fighter jets featured in this sequel to Top Gun. 

Super Hornet F/A-18F

USS George H.W. Bush action
USS George H.W. Bush action by Daniel Moore. Public Domain.

The Super Hornet is one of the most important aircraft in the American fleet. It’s an evolution of the F/A Hornet, which had to be modernized for modern warfare resulting in the Super Hornet.


This fighter jet first flew in 1995 and was officially introduced in 1999 to replace the aircraft that Maverick used to fly, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which went out of active service in 2006.

It has an excellent service record and has participated in the Iraq War in different bombing raids and also proved its worth in the Afghanistan War against the Taliban troops.

Super Hornet F/A-18F specs

  • Crew: 1 or 2
  • Length: 18.3 meters (60 feet 1 inch)
  • Height: 4.88 meters (16 feet)
  • Max takeoff weight: 29,964 kilograms (66,000 pounds)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 (1,190 mph, 1,900 km/h) 
  • Range: 2,346 kilometers (1,458 miles) 
  • Combat range: 722 kilometers (449 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 meters (50,000 feet)

Sukhoi Su-57

Sukhoi 57
Sukhoi SU-57 by Vladislav06112019. Licensed under CC by 4.0

In one of the scenes of the trailer, a Su-57 is shown in direct combat with Maverick’s Super Hornet.


The Su-57 is the last aircraft manufactured by Sukhoi, and it’s currently in service for the Russian Air Force, although there are only some prototypes of this aircraft flying in a very limited way due to numerous budget issues facing the Russian military.

In any case, it’s the best Russian combat aircraft right now – and just like the American F-35, the Sukhoi Su-57 is constantly being improved to make it more effective.

It’s undoubtedly a great competitor to any American fighter jet… and if compared to the F-18 that Maverick flies, it has some advantages such as greater range and higher speed.


Sukhoi SU-57 specs

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 20.1 meters (65 feet 11 inches)
  • Height: 4.6 meters (15 feet 1 inch)
  • Max takeoff weight: 35,000 kilograms (77,162 pounds)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 2 (2,135 km/h; 1,327 mph) 
  • Range: 3,500 kilometers or 2,200 miles
  • Service ceiling: 20,000 meters (66,000 feet)

Lockheed Martin F-35C

F 35C
F-35A_flight_(cropped) by U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen. Public Domain.

Apparently, the most modern fighter jet of the United States is also going to be the protagonist in Top Gun Maverick, although its appearance is not confirmed.

The F-35C is the future of US Aviation, and 2,456 F-35s are planned to be built by 2044. So, it will surely be the Navy’s primary jet for the foreseeable future.

It began to be produced in 2006. Because of its impressive features, it operates in a wide variety of countries such as Japan, Italy, Finland, Australia, Canada, South Korea, and the United States, among others.


F-35 specs

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 15.7 meters (51.4 feet)
  • Height: 4.4 meters (14.4 feet)
  • Max takeoff weight: 31,751 kilograms (70,000 pounds)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 
  • Range: 2,800 kilometers (1,700 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 meters (50,000 feet)

Lockheed Martin SR-72 (Darkstar in Top Gun)

The trailer of Top Gun Maverick shows a very futuristic aircraft, and it is believed to be the hypersonic SR-72 AKA “Son of Blackbird.”

This aircraft is expected to have a prototype ready by 2025 and will be the successor to the Blackbird, the fastest aircraft in the USAF’s history. 

Also, it is expected to surpass the Blackbird and be the fastest aircraft in the USAF. It would reach a speed of Mach 6 (4,000 mph; 6,400 km/h), twice as fast as the Blackbird, which had a top speed of Mach 3.3.


The prototype in the movie was so realistic that China thought it was a real aircraft, and even moved its spy satellites to get a better view of it.

Top Gun Maverick features many of the most impressive aircraft in the world

Top Gun Maverick will feature world’s most advanced aircraft that will battle for aerial supremacy.

Seeing an F-35, an SR-72, or a Su-57 so close is one of the most exciting experiences… and now, we all have the opportunity to see their performance, characteristics and take a deeper look at what they are capable of.


Feature image credit: An F-14 by Public Domain.

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