(Paramount Pictures via YouTube)

The new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick that dropped last week was indisputably the white-knuckle thrill ride of the summer, a blur of aerial acrobatics and beach volleyball that made us wonder how we ever lost that lovin' feeling in the decades since we first met Pete "Maverick" Mitchell back in 1986.

But it also made us wonder something else: Why is Maverick still flying combat missions in an F/A-18 Super Hornet as a 57-year-old captain after more than 30 years of service?

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Capt. Andy "Dojo" Olson may have one of the best jobs in the Air Force.

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Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun'

California's Rainbow Canyon, nestled on the western rim of Death Valley and lovingly nicknamed the 'Star Wars Canyon' by aviation aficionados, has been a favorite training ground for U.S. military aviators since World War II.

It's also, apparently, the backdrop of at least part of the upcoming Top Gun sequel.

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Recent commentary on the F-35 fifth-generation fighter has centered around its firepower and stealth capabilities, but a recently released demonstration video depicts the fighter jet in a pleasantly different light.

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In 1986, Top Gun flew into theaters — and into our hearts. Sure, Tony Scott's military rom-com opus didn't wow critics and moviegoers when it first premiered, but it quickly became one of America's favorite military classics. I mean, Top Gun has everything. Tom Cruise! F-14 Tomcats! Angry, cigar-smoking staff officers! Sweet motorcycles! Volleyball!

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