Aircraft Carrier 3D

The Film

Set against the stunning panorama of the world’s largest international naval exercise, Aircraft Carrier immerses audiences in action-packed air operations aboard a city-sized Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Created for giant screens by the director of Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag and Rocky Mountain Express—Aircraft Carrier is captured in ultra high-definition digital 3D.

Film Synopsis

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 USS Reagan. The film presents authentically, the true scale and drama of carrier and fleet naval operations to giant screen audiences for the first time.

Viewers find themselves aboard a carrier alongside some 5,000 highly skilled sea and air personnel in the midst of a giant war simulation as part of the vast Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) training exercise. With the participation of 22 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.

The film reveals the remarkable inner workings of the giant carrier via live action coverage and engineering visualizations, and features aircraft such as the F-35C Lightning, the F35A, as well as the F-18 Super Hornet, and the Osprey. The film depicts the ships of many navies and highlights the range of roles played by naval and air power in a complex, turbulent world: from deterrence to aerial combat and special ops, to piracy prevention and support for humanitarian assistance.

Theme Background

Protecting and defending the world’s oceans has become exceedingly complex and challenging in the 21st century. Naval aviation is considered 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).

Making Aircraft Carrier

Aircraft Carrier 3D 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.

Production Update

Aircraft Carrier is in final production and slated for release in IMAX and other giant screen theaters beginning May-June 2017 (launching Memorial Day weekend in select U.S. markets). Aircraft Carrier will be available in both 40-minute and 20-minute versions and in all digital 2D, 3D and IMAX® theatrical formats.

Principal photography for Aircraft Carrier began with extensive coverage of the massive Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in July 2014 and continued through 2016.

Filming onboard the Nimitz class carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Members of the crew of carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the aerial photography team for Aircraft Carrier 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.

About the Project

  • Releasing: 2017
  • Produced by: Super Carrier LLC
  • Distributed by: K2 Communications Inc. and Giant Screen Films Inc.
  • Length: 45-min. and 20-min versions
  • Formats: Available in all digital 2D, 3D and IMAX® theatrical formats


    • Written and Directed by: Stephen Low
    • Produced by: Mark Kresser, Mark Krenzien, Pietro L. Serapiglia
    • Executive Producers: Robert Kresser, Don Kempf
    • Editor: James Lahti
    • Director of Photography: Sean MacLeod Phillips A.S.C.