A few lucky Pratt & Whitney employees recently got a taste of Hollywood during the world premiere of the IMAX® movie, "Aircraft Carrier: Guardians of the Sea 3D," which was held at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on May 24. "Aircraft Carrier" presents authentically the true scale and drama of carrier and fleet naval operations to giant screen audiences for the first time, and the Pratt & Whitney-powered F-35 has a starring role in the film.
The movie reveals the inner workings of carrier operations with live action coverage and engineering visualizations, and in addition to displaying spectacular footage of the F-35C and F-35B, viewers also see a 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.
The goal of the movie was to put the audience at the center of the action of a giant war simulation known as Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), a training exercise that involved 22 nations and more than 50 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft, and 25,000 military personnel.
Gen. Jack Dailey, director of the National Air and Space Museum, and Acting Secretary of the Navy, The Honorable Sean J. Stackley, welcomed attendees to the world premiere. The project was presented by Bob Kresser, CEO, K2 Communications, with an introduction by the film's director, Stephen Low. Pratt & Whitney and other F-35 industry partners sponsored production of the film.
"This IMAX film experience was remarkable, and provides a realistic view of the Navy and Marine Corps mission that Pratt & Whitney supports every day," said Susanne Reed, Pratt & Whitney vice president of Communications. "Whether you served previously in the military, or you are a young adult considering the military or the aerospace industry as career options, this film is sure to be inspirational. We're proud to have supported the production of 'Aircraft Carrier' and can't wait for audiences to see it."
Pratt & Whitney F135 Field Service Representatives Jake Barson and John Raulf came to the premiere from nearby Naval Air Station Patuxent River, where they support engine-related inspections and maintenance for F-35 flight test operations. Even though they get to be up close and personal with the F135 engine in their day-to-day job and see routine F-35 operations, they still admitted to a certain "cool factor" in seeing it on the big screen.
"They showed a number of really cool shots of both the F-35B and F-35C and their engines on launches. Seeing them take off on the big IMAX screen you really felt the power of the engine as it launched off the deck," said Barson. "They mentioned the thrust and said the F135 is the most powerful engine a fighter has ever had, and I think the shots of the engines really spoke for themselves. It was a great experience!"
The film is now playing in theaters nationwide. Filmed in 15/70 motion picture film and ultra-high-definition digital 3D, "Aircraft Carrier" is available in both 43-minute and 24-minute versions, in IMAX® Laser / 12.0 and in all digital 2D and 3D formats.