Commended for its captivating action sequences and brilliant portrayal of next-gen aerial dogfighting, Top Gun: Maverick Quickly became a huge success at the box office. But the makers couldn’t do that without leveraging the expertise of some of the world’s leading experts in aerospace, and that includes having Lockheed Martin Skunk Works engineers in mind to craft their physics-bending Darkstar hypersonic jet.
Without wishing to divulge any details of the plot, Darkstar Planes as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (played by Tom Cruise) at the beginning of the film fulfills his duties as a test pilot for the US Navy. The futuristic fighter jet is a jaw-dropping introduction to the film’s surrealist aesthetic, but may also strike a familiar chord with aviation enthusiasts because of its resemblance to one of history’s most iconic aerial vehicles, the SR-71 Blackbird.
The Darkstar hypersonic jet featured in Top Gun: Maverick is the result of a collaboration with Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division.
Seeking some expert assistance in building the Darkstar aircraft, the film’s producers were pointed in the direction of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division, which was responsible for the SR-71, its upcoming successor the SR-72, and the U-2 spy plane. . The collaboration created a new outlet for expression for Skunk Works’ covert conceptual designers, in the sense that this particular aircraft design was one they could share with the world – as conceptual designer “Jim” explains in this video. Huh.
Meet the Creators of Top Gun: Maverick’s Darkstar – Jim
The division’s engineers then transformed these designs into a full-size prototype aircraft with a structurally sound body and functional cockpit. The film’s producers say they scaled the plane down a bit to make it appear sleek and fast, but praised the “mind-blowing” design of the cockpit and the compelling visuals that helped create the film’s opening scenes.
You can hear more about the collaboration from the makers of the film in the video below.
Behind the scenes of Top Gun: Maverick
Source: Lockheed Martin