Tom Cruise Capt. Maverick Reporting for Flight Duty

9/17/2018 11:16 AM PDT

Tom Cruise Reporting for Flight Duty in 'Top Gun 2'

EXCLUSIVE

Tom Cruise has always looked dashing in a suit ... especially in a G-suit. 

TMZ got this pic of Tom dressed as Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell for the 'Top Gun' sequel. These pics were taken over the weekend at a base in Nevada, where Tom also had time to chit chat with the Admiral there, along with fans.

It's interesting ... Tom flew the chopper by himself in "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" but apparently even the great stunt actor has his limits. The other guy suited up is the actual F-18 pilot Tom flew with from a base in northern California.

He apparently serves as Tom's double based on how the jet's equipped -- the back of the fighter jet (where we're told Tom was sitting) is mounted with cameras facing Tom's POV. If ya didn't know ... Tom's now a flight instructor who mentors Goose's grown son. NICE!!

As for how the guys ended up in Nevada ... we're told the jet experienced a "flap caution" (think check engine light) mid-air. It made an unscheduled landing in Nevada and the duo jumped on another plane headed for Cali.

Good to see the film blasting full-speed ahead. Last time we got a glimpse of Tom getting his need for speed was back in May ... casually riding solo on a motorcycle at a military base in San Diego.

There's clearly no grounding Maverick.