Skydance and Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick is a box-office smash hit. The Tom Cruise-starrer sped has already clocked $300 million domestic and is on its way to crossing the billion-dollar mark. Although the adrenaline-pumping movie was delayed by more than two years, it was definitely worth the wait. Be its jaw-dropping aerial sequences or the fictitious ‘Dark Star’ aircraft that was created in close collaboration with Lockheed’s Skunk Works, the internet is flooded with rave reviews praising different elements of the movie on US Navy pilots. That’s hardly a surprise considering that very little CGI was used and most of the breathtaking stunts seen in the movie are real. In fact, the movie’s teasers and behind-the-scenes featurettes released over the last two years give us a glimpse of the work that went into capturing the movie’s flying sequences. In the latest behind-the-scenes video posted on Instagram by Top Gun 2’s Aerial Coordinator Kevin LaRosa II, you can see an Embraer Phenom private jet flying a missed approach to the US Navy supercarrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Despite being a diehard aviation nerd, never in my life have I ever seen such bizarre footage.
The video posted by LaRosa shows how some of the aerial shots of the US Navy aircraft carrier were shot for the movie. The video includes footage shot with a hand held camera from inside the cockpit of an Embraer Phenom 300E light jet, giving us a taste of how it feels like while approaching and buzzing over the aircraft carrier. The point where the Embraer makes its first approach towards the USS Theodore Roosevelt against the setting sun for its first pass is simply mind-blowing. Obviously, the Embraer being a private jet meant to land on normal runways didn’t make an attempt to land on the aircraft carrier. The jets that operate from a carrier are specially built for it and have additional equipment to carry out arrested landing.
The Embraer Phenom was one of the four platforms that were used to capture the aerial magic, which also includes an L-39 Cinejet that was used for filming high-octane dogfight scenes. The private jet was kitted out with special cameras to film the shots. LaRosa himself flew the jet along with co-captain Jonathan Spano and camera operators Michael FitzMaurice and David Nowell. “I flew the Phenom extensively on the movie and the platform excelled when we needed extended time on station or the reliability and added safety of two engines for over water operations,” LaRosa posted on Instagram. “It [the aircraft] was also unique in that the Phenom carried two F1 camera gimbals from @team5aerials allowing us to fly two entirely different lens options on the same flight.”
LaRosa is a third-generation aviator and his father worked as a stunt pilot and aerial coordinator in the film industry, which inspired him to follow his dad’s footsteps and become a stunt pilot and an aerial director. His extensive work portfolio includes working on some major Hollywood movies like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and several Marvel movies. LaRosa also piloted the L-39 Cinejet during the filming of Top Gun 2. Have a look at the video; the Embraer making flying over the landing area of the carrier and buzzing three Super Hornets on the way is unmissable! And while you do that, don’t forget to browse through his Instagram which is full of similar behind-the-scenes clips.
[Via: The Drive]b