I wonder how the plane stunt from Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is even possible, because planes travel at the speed of more than 750 miles per hour. He is just hanging with his hand in the holes. How was this stunt performed?

  • 1
    Commercial airplanes only travel 550 miles an hour. Some small planes can stay in the air at only 60 miles an hour. This plane was probably traveling 100 miles an hour. (It's still an awesome stunt!!) Jul 2, 2015 at 18:56
  • The plane in question was a A-400M , designed as a military transport to replace older ones like the C-130 Hercules. It has propellers not a jet engine, and is STOL capable. The take off speed as BrettFromLA suggests would be much lower than 750mph, it's STOL capacity means it has a low stall speed.
    – Sarriesfan
    Sep 2, 2016 at 14:08
  • Jets fly at 750 mph, not propeller planes Sep 2, 2016 at 17:57

3 Answers 3


There's a Post online exists similar to your question.

How Tom Cruise Did That Insane Plane Stunt For Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

How did this stunt actually get done? The star and director Christopher McQuarrie have revealed all in a recent interview.

The filmmaker explained,

"While searching for different locations, the production designer James Bissell bought me a model of this Airbus airplane and presented it as something we could use in the movie. I suggested to Tom, ‘What if you were on the outside of this thing when it took off?' I meant it as sort of a half joke, but he said back to me, ‘Yeah I could do that!’"

From there it was all about figuring out a way to attach a camera to the side of the airplane that would A) get an appropriate angle on the shot, and B) not detach during take-off and smash into Tom Cruise. The actor met with not just a test pilot, but the guys who created the A400m Airbus, and made sure that everything was doable and safe.

There's also a video in the post showing the stunt performed.

This clip from youtube clearly explains how the stunt was performed, it was only images but it shows everything about the stunt you want to know.


Here he is talking about it on Jimmy Fallon...

He did 8 takes, and was really strapped on the outside of the plane.


Of course there's no way that Cruise wasn't wearing a securing harness - it simply wouldn't make sense not to - so I'm quite sure he didn't need to maintain a grip on those hand-holds to prevent himself from falling to his death! Also, as others have said, the A400M will be able to take off at relatively low speeds since it's a STOL aircraft - the military has conducted tests to determine what its Vmu (minimum 'unstick' speed) is, but I couldn't find the results of those.

It's worth noting that recreational skydivers routinely hang on to the outside of aircraft as a means of making room in the door for others while the plane is making its jump run, so allowing everyone to exit in as tight a group as possible. Those jump planes are often flying at 70mph or more while this is happening, because the pilot keeps the power on in order to prevent a stall. Obviously the aircraft doesn't take off with people hanging on the outside, but the principle is similar.

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