Is Tom Cruise a Better Pilot Than Han Solo & Other Iconic Movie Pilots

Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, is one of the most intriguing pilots to watch. And, most recently, his skills were showcased in the blockbuster film Top Gun: Maverick. Tom Cruise is without a doubt one of Hollywood’s most talented actors. Jerry Bruckheimer serves as Executive Producer, while Joseph Kosinski of Oblivion serves as Director for the film, which is a sequel to Top Gun (1986).

However, Tom Cruise isn’t the only talented actor we look forward to. There are many more to bless our screens. Be that Jason Cadieux from Iron eagle or Will Smith in Independence Day, they’ve left us all awestruck with their performance. Yes, we know listening to Will Smith now we get flashbacks from the Oscar but we cannot overlook his acting skills and abilities. Let us now have a look at other iconic movie pilots that for sure will leave us all surprised.

Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

This masterpiece taking the topmost slot of this list isn’t a surprise. When it comes to Tom Cruise’s aviator abilities, he has flown planes before, albeit this is likely his first experience flying fighter jets in the film Top Gun: Maverick. Maverick is occasionally spotted flying the fictitious Hypersonic “Darkstar” jet and a Boeing F/A 18F Super Hornet jet. When Pete is reunited with Penny at the end of Top Gun: Maverick, he takes her for a ride in his rebuilt P-51 propeller plane. In real life, Tom Cruise owns the P-51 Mustang seen in Top Gun: Maverick, allowing him to fly it in the film’s finale. 

Independence Day

Will Smith lead Independence Day

One of the pilots who can knock down a UFO and drag it across the desert for miles is legendary. Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) is a US Marine Corps F/A-18 pilot in Independence Day, a film that can be credited in part for popularising the Area 51 conspiracy theory. Hiller leads an alien attack to the Grand Canyon, where he skilfully glides between the rocks and causes it to crash land in one of the greatest moments in the film. He then subdues the alien and carries it to Area 51, where he learns about a government UFO conspiracy dating back four decades.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Alden Ehrenreich in Star Wars

Flying a spaceplane without hesitating to admire the marvelous creature, Chewbacca that sits by your side requires a lot of concentration. However, when the pilot is from Planet Corellia, everything they accomplish is simply out of this world. Han Solo generally pilots the Millenium Falcon in Star Wars films. He is not only an excellent pilot, but he can also fight when necessary. Harrison Ford has portrayed the role most of the time, with Alden Ehrenreich portraying a younger version of the character in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Perhaps, as Scorsese did with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino, they should just apply anti-aging technology to Ford.


Denzel Washington in Flight

Denzel Washington’s Whitaker successfully flies a commercial plane upturned. Whip Whitaker utilizes a range of talents in Flight to crash-land SouthJet Flight 227 when it experiences a technical breakdown, saving 96 of the 102 passengers on board. He had personal troubles, but the manner he landed the plane was nothing short of amazing.  Another noteworthy scene in the film is when Whip’s son asks, “Who are you?” and Whip replies, “That’s a good question.” Clearly, Washinton’s Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for this film was well-deserved. The Alaska Airlines Flight 261 plane disaster in 2001 served as a source of inspiration for the film.

Iron Eagle

Jason Cadieux in Iron Eagle

Doug was denied by the Air Force Academy, yet he nevertheless managed to enter a Middle Eastern country in an F-16 fighter jet with the aid of only one person to save his father. When you consider that he had recently graduated from high school, you have a true monarch of the sky in front of you. Doug takes on the challenge of rescuing his father, Col. Ted Masters, who was shot down and arrested while patrolling the Mediterranean Sea in the imaginary country of Bilya. Col. Charles “Chappy” Sinclair, another pilot who had a positive connection with Doug’s father many years ago and is fond of him, is assisting him. They are penalized for the deadly task, but Doug is finally accepted into the Air Force Academy.

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