TOM Cruise, best known for his role as Top Gun’s Maverick, relied on a team of expert aviators from Oxfordshire for his latest movie.

Futuristic film Edge of Tomorrow, out in cinemas now, shows Cruise and co-star Emily Blunt pitting their wits against an alien race hitting the earth in an unrelenting assault.

In a dramatic opening sequence, Cruise, who plays Major William Cage, is helicoptered in to London’s Trafalgar Square – by a crew from RAF Benson near Wallingford.

The Oxford Times:

The crew from RAF Benson.

The Oscar nominee said: “Landing a helicopter in Trafalgar Square was one of those exceptionally cool moments in a career spent in locations all around the world. It was great fun for all of us.”

Nikki Hamilton, spokeswoman for the air base, said: “A Puma HC Mk1 from RAF Benson was tasked to support a commercial contract on behalf of Warner Brothers.

“The crew chosen for the task were some of the most experienced – Squadron Leader Brad Hewitt (aircraft captain), Squadron Leader (then Flight Lieutenant) Chris Burgon (handling pilot), and Flight Sergeant Al Clulow (crewman).”

Squadron Leader Brad Hewitt, currently Officer Commanding B Flight of 230 Squadron, said: “Working with Mr Cruise was something that I never thought I would do when I joined the RAF.

“The Puma was an absolutely fantastic aircraft for this task. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, flying into Trafalgar Square past so many of London’s iconic monuments. I think it’s a great advert for the RAF – this is what its personnel and its aircraft are capable of.”

Crews from RAF Benson have also helped in the filming of BBC productions Top Gear and D-Day: The Last Heroes.

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