A virtual auction of genuine Top Gun movie props will be held next month and one of the items up for grabs is Tom Cruise’s iconic “Maverick” flying helmet used in the 1986 Top Gun film.
The HGU-33/P flight helmet worn by “Maverick” is probably the most famous and distinctive thing in the first Top Gun movie. So much so, it also made its appearance in the photo used by Tom Cruise to tease “Top Gun 2” (actually, “Top Gun: Maverick”) when the filming of the sequel to the blockbuster 1980s movie featuring Capt. Pete Mitchell and the U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat, started in May 2018, even though the old-fashioned Gentex HGU-33 has long been replaced within the U.S. Navy and other air arms around the world by the more modern Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System or HGU-68/P helmets.
Interestingly, the original HGU-33/P (or at least one of the helmets used in the movie) will be up for bids during The Prop Store’s August 26 and 27 virtual auction
In the first Top Gun movie, Cruise wore a customized U.S Navy-issue Gentex HGU-33 helmet with “Maverick” emblazoned across the visor-cover.
The helmet was more than just a costume prop, Cruise and his co-stars wore individualized helmets during back-seat rides in the F-14 Tomcat during filming. Cruise likely had access to more than one of the helmets in case any were damaged.
A number of Navy pilots also wore identically-customized HGU-33s for continuity, so it’s likely a few of these genuine items exist.
For the forthcoming sequel, Top Gun Maverick, Cruise switched to the modern HGU-55 helmet, featuring the same iconic stenciling and color design.
A number of companies offer replica versions of both of these helmets, but this auction features the real deal. The helmet is expected to fetch around $50,000, but these estimates are often far below where the final bidding ends up.