The big blockbuster movie Top Gun - Maverick opens this Memorial Day weekend.  It has been a long time coming.  The film is getting great reviews.  It will also feature a plane that was made in St Louis, Missouri.  Seriously.

F/A-18 Super Hornet in flight
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The plane is called The Super Hornet.  It is an F-18 and it is the plane that Tom Cruise flies in the film.  It is at the height of technology.  According to Wikipedia:

The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twin-enginecarrier-capablemultirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet.

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. John Braun
U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. John Braun

The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm M61 rotary cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air-to-air refueling system.

Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Low-rate production began in early 1997 with full-rate production starting in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. The Super Hornet entered fleet service with the United States Navy in 1999, replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which was retired in 2006; the Super Hornet has served alongside the original Hornet. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which has operated the F/A-18A as its main fighter since 1984, ordered the F/A-18F in 2007 to replace its aging General Dynamics F-111C fleet. RAAF Super Hornets entered service in December 2010.

On Wednesday night, Boeing employees who help make the F-18 plane got a sneak peek of the film and sat in a simulator to fulfill their need for speed. Tom Cruise takes to the skies once again in the new film “Top Gun: Maverick,” taking the highway to the danger zone and flying the Boeing Super Hornet.  You can read more about this story HERE.  I have more of an interest to see the film now.  Yes, I feel the "Need For Speed" and I think many of you will too.  Knowing that the plane is made in our state should also give us more of sense of pride.  Better see it in IMAX.

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