Filming has generated significant local buzz because of its star: Tom Cruise. The 56-year-old leading man has been spotted riding a motorcycle around Coronado as various locations have been selected by Paramount and Skydance Pictures for a sequel to the popular "Top Gun."
The original film grossed $350 million and starred Cruise as Naval aviator Lt. Pete Mitchell. The film was selected by the Library of Congress as one of the 25 annual films of 1986 that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.
While Cruise was not present, some Peninsula residents learned earlier in the day of the planned appearance of a Blue Angels aircraft over the area. Just minutes past 5 p.m. on Oct. 31, filming began along the road to Cabrillo National Monument with a full half-mile of equipment trucks and buses parked in front of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
A Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet with tail number 5 appeared over the Pacific Ocean, heading directly east while leaving a trail of smoke behind. Flying low and relatively slowly, the blue and gold jet flew just feet above the highest trees in the cemetery before making a sharp turn to the south over San Diego Bay and heading west out over the ocean.
The Blue Angels' website notes smoke from the plane is produced by pumping biodegradable paraffin-based oil directly into the exhaust nozzles of the plane. The oil is instantly vaporized into smoke. The smoke poses no hazard to the environment.
The jet approached minutes later and the scene was repeated more than a half dozen times as military police and civilians on the military base tried to catch photos of the shiny but fast aircraft.
While the jet was under low power during this exercise, the F/A-18 Hornet can fly at about 1,400 MPH and climb at a rate of 30,000 feet per minute.
Variety magazine reports the Top Gun sequel will be released July 12, 2019, 33 years after the original. Cruise is reporting the sequel's title as "Top Gun: Maverick" while Paramount studios lists the title as "Top Gun 2."
The plot reportedly is set in a world of drone technology and fifth-generation fighters along with exploring the end of the era of aerial dogfighting.