Tomcat Fighter Jet -- Final Take Off

9/25/2006 5:30 PM PDT
The famous Navy F-14 Tomcat fighter jet took its last flight over the weekend in Virginia Beach, VA. The plane, made famous by Tom Cruise who flew them in the movie "Top Gun," made a final taxi down the runway at Oceana Naval Air Station.

The ceremonial flight was attended by 3,000 guests and given a final farewell by aviators, mechanics, and guests. The jet joined the Navy fleet in 1972 and was used to defend U.S. aircraft carriers from Soviet bombers.

Interesingly, the F-14 is now a household name because of the hugely successful movie, but the flying antics by Maverick (Tom Cruise), and his rival Iceman (Val Kilmer) is what put the Tomcat into Hollywood history. Recently, the plane has used as a pet name for Tom and his fiancée Katie Holmes -- TomKat.

A Navy spokesperson tells TMZ that after the movie came out in 1986 there was a spike in Navy recruiting, and the Navy still gets calls about becoming a pilot after the movie airs on television.