Top Gun 2’s Ending Plane Has a Deeper Tom Cruise Connection Than You Think

Tom Cruise shares similarities with his Top Gun: Maverick character, and a hidden detail in the film’s ending makes that connection even deeper.

Warning! SPOILERS for Top Gun: Maverick.

A subtle integration into Top Gun: MaverickThe ending creates a deeper connection between Tom Cruise and his character, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. 36 years after the original Superior gun, Cruise returns to star in the film’s belated sequel. Maverick is one of the few returning characters in Top Gun: Maverick from the 1986 film, with Val Kilmer’s Tom “Iceman” Kazansky the other notable returnee. maverick features a host of new characters, including Miles Teller as Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s deceased best friend, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards).


A major story in Top Pistol: Maverick is the relationship between Rooster and Captain Mitchell. Rooster blames Maverick for Goose’s death in Superior gun, but the film ends with the reconciliation of the two. In maverickRooster’s final scene helps restore Maverick’s vintage P-51 Mustang, in which Maverick then flies Penny (Jennifer Connelly) into it. That’s a fitting way to end Top Gun: Maverickbut there is one detail that many would have missed that makes the scene even better.

Related: Top Gun: Maverick Improves Goose’s Death

The P-51 Mustang that Maverick and Rooster are working on at the end of Top Gun: Maverick belongs to Tom Cruise in real life. His passion for aviation was born while filming the 1986 original Superior gun film and in 1994 Cruise became a licensed pilot. The P-51 Mustang used in Top Gun: Maverick was built in 1946 and Cruise has owned the plane, which has an estimated value of $4 million, since 2001. Cruise originally named the plane “Kiss Me Kate” after his ex-wife Katie Holmes, but he has since retired the P-51 name following their split.

Maverick and Penny flying in the P51 at the end of Top Gun: Maverick

Although Cruise did not fly the F-18 during filming Top Gun: Maverick due to Navy restrictions, he was piloting the P-51 Mustang in the film’s final scene. It’s no surprise he was flying the plane, given Tom Cruise’s notoriety for his own stunts. His commitment to realism has been a common theme in Cruise’s career and Top Gun: Maverick isn’t the only time he’s flown a plane on camera. For Impossible mission – To fallrather than relying on CGI or stunt doubles, Cruise took helicopter flying lessons so he could pull off the movie’s biggest action sequence.

As well as the P-51 Mustang used in Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise owns two other planes. His most luxurious is the $20 million Gulfstream IV jet, which includes a hot tub and projection room, but it was not featured in maverick. Tom Cruise and Captain “Maverick” Mitchell are both thrill-seeking daredevils, and Cruise’s subtle inclusion of P-51 Mustang in Top Gun: Maverick made the bond between the two even deeper.

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