Could the Maverick Really Survive a Mach 10 Ejection? Top Gun fact check
The Mach 10 test flight of the Darkstar jet might be a thrilling sequence, but will Tom Cruise's Maverick really survive Top Gun: Maverick's opening scene?
Maverick's escape from Darkstar's Mach 10 test flight is one of the most exciting moments in Top Gun: Maverick, but the Top Gun sequel does twist reality a bit to make the moment work. Top Gun and its sequel Top Gun: Maverick are not realism movies. While both films depicted a real-life military establishment, the Top Gun films kept altering reality to fit the needs of entertaining blockbusters. The real TOPGUN flight school has no pilot rankings and its classes are held not in empty hangars but in more traditional classrooms.
So it's surprising to learn how much of Top Gun: Maverick's flight is real. Many of the action sequences in the sequel, like Maverick's adventurous trial run, were overseen by experts, making sure to portray the psychology of the scenes as realistically as possible. This makes many of the sequel's flying sequences tense and effective, as the actors look like they're in real danger (occasionally, as Miles Teller's cock slips while the actor is strapped into a real gravity simulator As evidenced by the scene in the movie). However, one of Top Gun: Maverick's best scenes, Darkstar's Mach 10 flight, isn't all that real.
Maverick Probably Couldn't Survive Ejecting At Mach 10
Ejecting at Mach 10 might kill Maverick instead of leaving Top Gun: Maverick's hero has some superficial wounds and a wounded ego. Since Top Gun: Maverick is Tom Cruise's vehicle, few viewers were shocked when the actor's character didn't die in the opening sequence. In reality, however, no aircraft is known to have flown faster than Mach 3, and no manned aircraft has ejected a pilot at speeds higher than Mach 2.5 and lived to tell the story. The relative weight and density of the air outside the aircraft would kill the pilot instantly.
However, some online viewers noted that the fictional aircraft Darkstar may have an ejection bay. This safeguard would give Top Gun: Maverick a lot of leeway in describing Maverick's unlikely existence. A catapult pod that slows down relative to the Darkstar's velocity would reduce the likelihood of instant death, though it's worth noting that Top Gun: Maverick doesn't explicitly state the presence of a catapult pod. Top Gun: Maverick Theory even suggests that Maverick is dead in the opening scene and that the rest of the movie is his dying dream.
It Doesn't Matter That Maverick's Mach 10 Scene Is Unrealistic
Finally, while the catapult pod theory provides a solid rationale for Top Gun: Maverick's Mach 10 scenario, the sequence needs no excuses in the first place. It's a killer action sequence that kicks off an endlessly entertaining blockbuster, and realism isn't a major concern when it comes to fun, entertaining blockbuster spectacle. It's worth noting that Top Gun: Maverick also never mentions the enemy nation where the movie's core mission takes place, which is at least as unrealistic as the Mach 10 scene. In both cases, the creators of Top Gun: Maverick chose to emulate Top Gun, prioritizing entertainment value over realism.