[ Updated: Oct 3, 2016  |  Originally published: April 30, 2015.]

The Film

Aircraft Carrier 3D is now in theaters. Aircraft Carrier 3D focuses on the world of naval power and the astounding activity and air operations aboard a giant Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The film presents the true scale, and drama of carrier and fleet naval operations to giant screen audiences for the first time. A vast RIMPAC training exercise provides the context for Aircraft Carrier. Audiences find themselves aboard a carrier alongside 6,000 highly skilled sea and air personnel in the midst of a giant war simulation. With the participation of 22 allied nations and more than 50 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 military personnel, a RIMPAC exercise is an astounding experience. Aircraft Carrier puts audiences in the center of the action.

About the Project

Aircraft Carrier is directed by Stephen Low and produced by K2 Communications and Giant Screen Films. Principal photography for the project began with extensive coverage of the massive Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in July 2014 and continued through 2016.

The film incorporates unprecedented aerial scenes captured by the production crew on and around the SS Ronald Reagan, a US Navy Nimitz-class super carrier, during exercises 100 miles off the coast of southern California. The onboard crew captured 3D scenes of intense flight activities including night launches and landings as well as POV shots from the cockpit of F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets in flight.

Members of the crew of carrier SS Ronald Reagan and the aerial photography team for Seapower pose on deck.

Members of the crew of carrier SS Ronald Reagan and the aerial photography team for Seapower pose on deck during refuelling of the Spacecam-equipped helicopter. The team were filming over a hundred miles out to sea and needed to land on the carrier both for fuel and to reload film every three min of camera running time. In purple are fuelers. In yellow is a ‘shooter’ tasked to launch and recover aircraft from the flight deck… Including the production chopper.


Protecting and defending the world’s oceans has become exceedingly complex and challenging in the 21st century. Naval aviation is vital to patrolling the seas and being able to intervene in critical situations across the globe. As described by its organizers, the RIMPAC exercise is a training event geared to fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. At the heart of RIMPAC and its naval and air operations is a giant Nimitz-class aircraft carrier—a high-technology air platform and floating city of remarkable capability.

About the Carrier. The SS Ronald Reagan sailed on her maiden voyage in July 2003. Currently based out of homeport San Diego, the carrier serves the Seventh Fleet headquartered at U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, in Yokosuka, Japan—part of the United States Pacific Fleet. Nuclear-powered, the carrier has an unlimited range and houses a ship’s company of 3,200 along with an air wing of some 2,480 personnel and some 90 aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters).