Maverick’s “Darkstar” Mystery Plane Has Real-World Relatives – Deadline

Spoiler alert – this is the story Top gun: Maverick Plot points: In its opening moments Top gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise’s Captain Pete Mitchell takes an experimental hypersonic plane called “The Darkstar” to conduct an unauthorized test. Those who have seen the trailer – or the movie, at the moment – will think of a low-flying triangular plane flying past the lone guard post on the desert floor. Within half-a-second, the flyby literally blew the roof off the hut.

A glimpse of the scene in an early backstage trailer sparks the blogsphere of the aircraft – and not just because of the mind-blowing scene. The unusual shape of the aircraft raised eyebrows. Some have claimed that it could be the legendary SR-71 Blackbird, which was once called “the fastest aircraft ever”. The high-altitude reconnaissance plane at Mach 3 could literally outperform a missile fired by a Russian MiG.

Others speculated that it might be something more bizarre: the near-mythical hypersonic SR-72, a descendant of the rumored Blackbird, designed to fly at six times the speed of sound.

In 2013 Lockheed Martin unofficially announced plans for the plane. Not much has been heard about the so-called “son of Blackbird” until the Lockheed engine test was confirmed in 2017. Some reports have suggested that the SR-72 “could be rolled out for beginners.” Flight demonstrations by 2023. “Lockheed, in its original announcement, claims that the game-changer could be operational by 2030. Oh, and it has set development costs at 1 billion.

SR-72 Darkstar

An artist’s SR-72 rendering
Lockheed Martin

Nothing more has been officially revealed about the SR-72. This, along with its game-changing speed, only added to the mystery of the aircraft.

It was strange then that Lockheed CEO James Taillett publicly posted on LinkedIn this month that he had partnered with the company’s ultra-secret Skunk Works, which manages most of its border-expansion projects, including the SR-72. Of the top gun Producers to bring sophisticated, futuristic technology to the big screen, including technology in the vicinity of “Hypersonic Flight”. He also shared a picture of himself at the premiere of the film.

John Nilsson, Lockheed Martin’s director of communications for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, made this clear in a recent tweet: Top gun: MaverickIn the May 27 movie, ockLockheedMartin SR-72, the super-impressive SR-71 Blackbird’s successor is shown with a secret peek. This still image of the promotional material seems to support that idea. “

So this is what the fabulous “son of a blackbird” featured Top gun: Maverick? The answer is, “Somehow.”

Producer Jerry Brookheimer told the military blog Sandbox News that director “Joe [Kosinski] Worked with Skunk Works and Lockheed [Martin] To design the plane that is there. “

Kosinski revealed that the details of the plane were, in fact, taken “from the actual test aircraft” from Skunk Works.

“For me, just like an aviator, and always love that world, the idea of ​​people peeking behind the scenes of secret projects. Let’s do it, “he told this week. “So, based on the reality of every detail of it, the functionality of the aircraft, as it turns out, all the switches and sticks are taken from the actual test aircraft.”

And in the spirit of creating many Top gun: Maverick’s Real World vs. Digital Influence, “We’ve created a full-scale model, a full-scale mock-up of the Darkstar aircraft that you saw Maverick fly in the movie. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either Top gun Movies, but once he gets on that jet, I also want to know that we’re telling a whole new story, and that sequence helped set that tone for the movie. “

A very good shot of Darkstar is shown in the video of Lady Gaga’s song for the film “Hold My Hand”. See it below.

Darkstar top gun

Maverick’s Darkstar in the hangar
We know

“The reason it seems so real is because the engineers at SkunkWorks helped us design it,” the director told Sandbox News. “So those are the same people who are working on the real plane.”

So, did Cruz – or anyone – actually fly a hypersonic plane for the film? The short answer is probably “no”.

Not just the SR-72 – if a prototype actually exists – would be prohibitively expensive to operate even on a blockbuster-level budget, such a plane would have an impact on national security when it comes to open space.

At that point, Brookheimer made the news earlier this month when he told Sandbox that the Chinese government was monitoring the aircraft used in the film.

“The navy has told us that a Chinese satellite is orbiting a different route to take pictures of the aircraft. They thought it was real. See how real it is. “

According to production documents obtained and verified as authentic by Deadline, scenes involving Darkstar were scheduled to be shot between November 7 and 9, 2018, near Ridgecrest, in the Mozave Desert at Naval Air Weapon Station China Lake.

The Darkstar was filmed both inside and outside a hangar on China Lake, with VFX plate shots and hypersonic clone drone shots rolled over Tarmac. The plane was kept out overnight, but under a “temporary hangar”, probably frustrated interested parties abroad.

If it had been visible, those interested parties might have noticed a significant difference between what we know of the SR-72 and Cruise’s Captain Pete Mitchell’s plane that flew in the film: Lockheed’s plane is unmanned and has no windows, which would be a naval aviator. A problem for a wow-factor aircraft in the film. Another big difference is that Darkstar, being Tom Cruise’s plane, goes to the Mac10.

To get a closer look at the inside and outside of Maverick’s Darkstar, here is a video review of the expansion pack for it that was just released on Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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