Above and below the deck of a ship at sea and from the airplanes and helicopters supporting it, a new report from USA Today gives viewers a rare virtual reality look into how a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier prepares for a major combat mission.
The USA Today Network VR team and a reporter from the Pensacola News Journal were provided unprecedented access aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft USS Eisenhower off the Florida coast in April 2016. According to the newspaper, the carrier and its accompanying strike group, more than 7,000 sailors in total, deployed two months later to the eastern Mediterranean to join the fight to contain ISIS and deter threats from Russia, Iran, Syria and others in the region.
USA Today shot multiple 360-degree videos and photos during three days of round-the-clock air operations.
An interactive VR experience for the HTC Vive presents a virtual model of the Eisenhower and users can see photos and videos from above and below deck. An interactive version is also available for Google Daydream headsets. The VR section of the USA TODAY app (iOS | Android) and the USA TODAY YouTube and Facebook channels have the content as well. Samsung Gear or Playstation VR users can find the videos in the Littlstar app.
Users can see the work on smartphones and desktops in the YouTube videos embedded below.
Experience jet launches, landings and high-stakes drills in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean:
See why the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is one of the most dangerous spots in the world to work:
Jump aboard a chopper and hang out on the flight deck of the USS Eisenhower for a rare glimpse of a resupply mission at sea:
Long days and nights are the norm for the 5,000 sailors aboard Eisenhower. Everything from flight operations to trash disposal must run smoothly on this floating city: