Image: Felix and Paul Studios
The latest VR movie from Felix & Paul Studios takes you on a flight normally reserved for NASA fighter pilots and astronauts.
You board a Northrop T-38 Talon. Produced since 1961, this jet is a so-called hypersonic trainer that future pilots have been using since the 1960s to practice supersonic flights. The maximum speed of the plane is 1,358 km/h.
But you won’t fly as fast. The jet you take off is flying at an average speed of 965 km/h, well below the supersonic limit of 1,236 km/h. There’s not really a Top Gun feel, probably out of consideration for your stomach.
A great VR flight experience
The virtual flight is something visual: the co-pilot’s cockpit and the landscape were captured with a high resolution 360 degree stereoscopic camera. You’ve probably never taken off in VR with such high image quality, although you can see weak spots here and there that cover the rough edges.
The VR experience is sometimes so realistic that I inevitably wanted to stick my head out and push against the cockpit window to see more of my surroundings. Unfortunately, this is not possible.
Not only the flight, but also the takeoff of the plane is a great experience: when the jet takes off and turns to the right, I feel like I am following this turn a bit.
It didn’t make me sick. But that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone, and that may be why the studio has refrained from higher speeds and Top Gun-style daredevil maneuvers.
Supersonic Flight is part of the Space Explorers documentary
The VR movie is called Supersonic Flight and is a special new installment in the Space Explorers VR movie series, the most elaborate documentary filmed in space to date.
Filmed largely by astronauts on the ISS, it offers an intimate look at the work and life of space pioneers. NASA astronaut wannabes are scheduled to fly on the Northrop T-38 Talon, hence the recent special.
Space Explorers was co-funded by Meta and is only available for Quest headsets.
You can find all episodes of the linked movie series below. My advice is to download Supersonic Flight in advance instead of streaming it. This allows you to watch them in the best possible quality. You can find the instructions below.
The Journey Begins (filmed on Earth):
The ISS experience:
The special sequences of the ISS experience:
How to watch supersonic flight in the best quality:
- Open Meta Quest TV. Walk in supersonic flight in the search window in the upper right corner. Scroll through the search results until you find the VR movie.
- To watch it in the best possible quality, follow these steps: Click on the three dots in the image and select Record in high quality first then Hidden. You may be asked to give permissions for caching.
- If you did everything correctly, the movie will be downloaded in the best quality. This version has a higher resolution than the streaming version.
- Once the download is complete, click Your media in Meta Quest TV. After downloading, the episode should appear here under Cached Media.
- If you want to delete the episode from the device, click the three dots again and select Delete of hide then Wipe off.
- Alternatively, you can add the VR movie to your watchlist through the browser.