Is tom cruise a pilot?

In this brief article we are going to answer the question ‘’Is tom cruise a pilot?’’  we will find out if this great actor from Top Gun: Maverick can fly his own planes. 

Is tom cruise a pilot?

Yes, Tom Cruise is a pilot. Tom Cruise had his Pilot License in 1994 and has been active in the flying community ever since, actually owns quite a few aircraft, including a WWII-era P-51.

As part of the promotional campaign for the release of the movie Top Gun: Maverick starring Tom Cruise, the actor performed a spectacular sketch for The Late Late Show with James Corden, in which Tom showed off his good sense of humor and his skills as a jet pilot.

Top Gun: Maverick is the sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun, which also starred Cruise, who returns 36 years later to continue the character of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. This new installment will hit theaters this May 25, and as Tom Cruise’s films usually are, it promises a lot of adrenaline and action.

It is under this context that on this occasion James Corden accompanied our beloved Tom for a ride through the desert sky in the United States, and they made not only one trip but two: the first in an old fighter plane and the second in a jet, and both aircraft were piloted by the Mission Impossible actor, while Corden was the co-pilot praying for his life.

In the 15-minute video, titled Tom Cruise Terrifies James in ‘Top Gun’ Fighter Jet!, the comedian is seen waiting to be picked up by Cruise at a runway in Burbank, California, at 4:56 a.m., and when the 59-year-old actor arrives, he tells him it’s going to be a great day because he has a surprise in store for him.

But when they arrive at their destination and Tom tells him that he will take him for a ride in a fighter plane and that he will be the pilot, James begins to doubt about the abilities of his companion and decides to make a getaway, but Cruise reminds him that they are in the middle of the desert?

This is how this adventure begins, in which Tom Cruise proves that he is an actor who likes adrenaline and has developed multiple skills that, today, place him as a legend in cinema and action movies, as we know perfectly well that he has shot several stunts without using stuntmen.

Tom Cruise is a real airplane pilot

Yes, that’s right. Back in the 1980s, for the original Top Gun movie, Tom Cruise still had to rely on stuntmen. This didn’t sit well with him: Cruise is Mr. Do-It-Yourself when it comes to stunts. He hates “green screens” and wants everything to not just look real. It has to be real. So in the early 1990s he took flying lessons and Cruise became a licensed pilot.

As demanding as he is of himself, the acting legend is just as demanding of his co-stars: he insisted that they too take flying lessons before filming Top Gun: Maverick. He didn’t expect them to get to his level and fly their own planes, but he did expect “his crew” to feel totally at ease in a cockpit, to know which buttons do what and to appear as natural as possible. In a world full of CGI superhero movies that look very fake, Cruise’s commitment to keeping things realistic is terribly refreshing.

In addition, to perform the spectacular aerobatics in the planes featured in 1986’s Top Gun, the actors did not become experts, but they did get into the aircraft and fly with pilots trained for the filming of the movie. But for Top Gun: Maverick the actors spent several months training to withstand the G-forces they would experience in the air so they could film the scenes in real F-18 fighters.

According to the film’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise was the only one to withstand the G-forces of flying a fighter jet, where you can experience up to eight and nine times the force of gravity. In the more than 30 years it took to film the sequel to Top Gun, the Interview with the Vampire actor became a real pilot, in fact he received an honorary naval aviation certificate for his role as the expert pilot “Maverick” in Top Gun.

Is tom cruise a pilot?

How much did Tom Cruise pay to the US Navy?

During the filming of the movie, a sequel to the 1986 classic, the crew wanted to try out a real fighter and get the same feeling as a real pilot. To fulfill the wish, Tom Cruise paid the U.S. Navy a whopping $11,374 for each hour of use of Boeing-built F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters.

The Navy did, however, set one stipulation for Cruise and the rest of the cast. None of them could touch the controls of the fighter planes. Although the actor wanted his colleagues to be able to fly, they all rode in the back and experienced first-hand some of the effects of flight: the G-force and the vibrations that occur on board.

During the film, the cast simulated that they were in fighter jets and the result at the visual level is highly praised by critics.

In the U.S. alone, it grossed $124 million, making the new Maverick adventure the best Tom Cruise movie opening of his career.

Legendary presentation: Cannes Festival

Top Gun: Maverick was presented worldwide at the Cannes Film Festival, which is currently taking place on the French Riviera.

The protagonist entered the stage as only he knows how: piloting his own helicopter. Once there, he allowed himself to be photographed, received an honorary award and spoke to the audience in the largest hall of the festival.

In his speech, he focused on conveying the message that movies should be seen in theaters: “Watching a movie on TV is not the same as the big screen experience. Going to the cinema is what matters most to me.”

Yes, Tom Cruise flies real planes. He’s raced real cars. He jumps off real buildings and once embarked on a short-lived career as a waiter to prepare for a role….. He’s a crazy guy, but he’s a good crazy guy. Cruise always goes the extra mile.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Tom Cruise a Pilot?

Can Tom Cruise fly planes?

Tom Cruise graduated as a pilot in 1994, nearly three decades ago. Cruise reportedly owns several planes, including a luxury Gulfstream jet and his beloved P-51 Mustang, a World War II fighter that will appear in Top Gun.

Does Tom Cruise actually fly in Top Gun 2?

Yes, Tom Cruise flies in Top Gun 2, albeit as passengers, not pilots.


Chege Karomo. (2022, May 26). Is Tom Cruise a real pilot? All about his flying dream – TheNetline. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from TheNetline website: