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Aviators set to take-off again: ‘Top Gun 2’ rumours

The 1986 film franchise, that first popularised the Ray-Ban Aviator 3025, is on its way back, bringing its iconic style along with it.

Hollywood megastar, Tom Cruise is heavily rumoured to be reprising his lead-role in the long-awaited sequel to ‘Top Gun’.

Rumour has it that Cruise’s character Maverick will, this time around, be a test pilot for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This theory was, recently, backed up by the program manager of Lockheed Martin, Tom Burbage, during National Aeronautics Association lunch event. Burbage intimated that the start of filming, at the aerospace company’s base, was imminent.

It’s interesting to note that, in the two-and-a-half decades since the original ‘Top Gun’ was released, un-manned crafts have taken over the world of warfare. So much so, that the F-35 may well be the last piloted fighter aircraft to be made in the Western world. The choice to feature the West’s last manned fighter in the movie sequel could truly capture a moment in time.

Nowadays, a drone pilot is said to see more action in a week than a traditional fighter pilot does in a month. Entire squadrons of US military fighter pilots have made the transition from using manned aircraft to using, the safer, remote-controlled drones. Many of the best test pilots now graduate already armed with extensive drone experience.  The classic F-14 Tomcats, flown by Maverick and Iceman in the original movie, were retired from operational service in 2006.

The ‘Top Gun’ crew’s real life counterparts, the Naval Air Forces, have begun testing the futuristic X-47B drone, which is likely to end up flying alongside the last of the manned fighter jets. It’s possible that such drones will be a feature of ‘Top Gun 2’, when it hits the silver screen. Indeed, if it’s to be grounded in reality, the movie will need to throw light on the challenges faced by modern fighter pilots. In the age of the drone, writers Christopher McQuarrie and Peter Craig must find a balance between the robotic nature of modern warfare and the glamourous dog-fighting of the original film.

Meanwhile, unlike manned fighter planes, Aviator shades are irreplaceable.