In Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise and the cast went sky-high—literally. To make the film look and feel as realistic as possible, the actors trained to withstand g-force power and actually flew in real fighter jets for the sequel.

“After 34 years, Cruise returns as Maverick,” says original Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer in a behind-the-scenes look at the film. “It’s a love letter to aviation—we’re going to show you what it’s really like to be a Top Gun pilot. It’s amazing what the audience is going to experience. Thanks to Tom, all the actors became accustomed to the g-forces by all the training that they did.”

In the new film, Cruise is back as his iconic character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, working as a test pilot decades after the events of the first movie. When he’s brought back to the Top Gun school to train a new group of young pilots for a specialized mission, he crosses paths with Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his former best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, who died while flying with Maverick in Top Gun.

Earlier in 2019, it was reported that Cruise would be in the cockpit of some real planes for the film, and this new featurette shows exactly that.

“You just can’t create this kind of experience unless you shoot it live,” Cruise says. “In order for us to accomplish this, we have the greatest fighter pilots in the world working with us. It is aggressive, you can’t act that—the distortion in the face. They’re pulling 7-8 G’s, that’s 1,600 pounds of force. I’m so proud of [the actors] and what they’ve done. It’s heavy duty.”

Teller agreed—and gave Cruise credit for making the film as realistic as possible: “Putting us up in these jets, it’s very serious,” Teller says. “That’s why everybody thought it would be impossible. I think when Tom hears that something is impossible or it can’t be done, that’s when he gets to work.”

Here’s a look at Cruise and the cast learning to fly and going airborne in the film:

Along with Cruise and Teller, the film stars John Hamm, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Jay Ellis, Glen Powell, and Monica Barbaro.

Top Gun: Maverick will be released on June 26, 2020.

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