According to the aviation site Aerocorner, a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet used by the U.S. Navy, costs the US government $67.4 million. Surprisingly, this isn’t a bulk deal, it’s per plane. That’s why, it’s no surprise to anyone that Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, and other actors didn’t really pilot the planes we see in Top Gun: Maverick.
A three-month boot camp from hell
Cruise knew from experience how physically taxing the forces of extreme flight can be. That’s why the cast of Top Gun went through an intensive training program in the run-up to production, starting with smaller prop planes to actual F-18s. The Department of Defence loaned the filmmakers the planes for $11,000 an hour. Though they never learned how to actually fly the planes, they learned how to mitigate the ill effects of flight. The three-month boot camp helped them avoid air sickness. “There was never a time on Top Gun: Maverick where we had to delay or stop filming because somebody felt sick,” said Kevin LaRosa II, the aerial stunt coordinator.