Tom Cruise at Air Tattoo: Full story and pictures as Top Gun star makes shock visit

Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise has appeared at the largest military air show at RAF Fairford today.

The actor, best known for action film franchises Top Gun and Mission Impossible, was spotted arriving to watch the impressive air show displays at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) today.

The Red Arrows pilots, who flew in today’s displays, chatted with the film superstar about aviation, teamwork and – of course – Top Gun.

And the air show confirmed Cruise’s arrival tweeting a picture, captioning it: “He can be our wingman any time! Look who just arrived at #RIAT22!”

Stroud News and Journal:

He was captured sporting a beaming smile, a sharp suit and his trademark aviator sunglasses.

READ MORE: Tom Cruise lands at Air Tattoo to delight Fairford crowds

The Maverick star met with a pilot who has walked on the moon. Col. Charles M Duke Jr is a former USAF fighter pilot and lunar module pilot on Apollo 16.

Cruise also spent time with American pilots and posed for photos with members from the RAF Charitable Trust.

Stroud News and Journal: Image: Royal International Air TattooImage: Royal International Air Tattoo

Chief executive Paul Atherton said: “Tom’s visit is something we’ve been trying really hard to keep under wraps but keeping secrets like that is hard when they’re so exciting.

“The Top Gun films and Tom’s famous passion for aircraft and flying have really helped to catapult aviation into the spotlight, which will help promote and inspire future generations of young people.

Stroud News and Journal:

“RIAT is a home for those who appreciate the brilliance and excitement of the aviation world, so I am delighted to be able to welcome Tom to that home.”

Cruise, 60, was not the only celebrity enjoying the display as Countdown’s Carol Vorderman posted regular updates to her Instagram story.

Posting a video at the airfield, the 61-year-old said: “First in. It’s going to be a glorious glorious day. The runway is just literally there, boom.”

READ MORE: Carol Vorderman joins Tom Cruise and Tim Peake at Air Tattoo

On the second day of the event, thousands of people descended onto the air base withstanding scorching temperatures.

Aircraft flying at the show included the US Air Force’s Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey from the 7th Special Operations Squadron in honour of the special anniversary.

Stroud News and Journal: Image: Royal International Air TattooImage: Royal International Air Tattoo

To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the UK Royal Air Force will also fly the Avro Lancaster from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the BAE Systems Hawk T1 from the RAF Red Arrows.

Jets from 17 other Air Forces around the world including Spanish, Jordanian, Swedish and the Republic of Korea will also complete displays in the sky.

The military air show attracts 170,000 visitors over the weekend to see and hear several hundred aircraft of different shapes and sizes spanning the eras and from countries all over the world, its website said.

The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust benefits from the profits of all sales from the show, supporting initiatives including engineering and flying scholarships.

Stroud News and Journal: Col. Charles M. Duke Jr has walked on the moon. Image: RIATCol. Charles M. Duke Jr has walked on the moon. Image: RIAT

Cruise, who starred as Navy pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the 1986 film Top Gun and sequel Maverick this year, has been a licenced pilot since 1994.

Last week the actor was among the crowd on Centre Court who saw Serbian Novak Djokovic, 35, triumph against Australia’s surprise finalist 27-year-old Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon men’s singles final.

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