Supersonic flight in VR: New Quest movie puts you in the cockpit
The latest VR film from Felix & Paul Studios takes you on a flight normally reserved for fighter pilots and NASA 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 to practice supersonic flights since the 1960s. The aircraft’s top speed is 1,358 km/h.
But you won’t fly that fast. The jet you take off in flies at an average speed of 965 km/h, well below the supersonic limit of 1,236 km/h. There is no real Top Gun feeling, probably out of consideration for your stomach.
A great VR flight experience
The virtual flight is quite something visually: The co-pilot cockpit and the landscape were captured with a high-resolution stereoscopic 360-degree camera. You’ve most likely never taken off in virtual reality with such high image quality, even if you can see soft spots here and there that cover up rough edges.
The VR experience is so realistic at times that I inevitably wanted to stick my head out and push against the cockpit window to see more of my surroundings. Unfortunately, that is not possible.
Not only the flight, but also the take-off of the plane is a great experience: when the jet takes off and turns to the right, I had a bit of a feeling that I was following this turn.
It didn’t make me feel sick. But that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone and may be the reason the studio refrained from higher speeds and daredevil maneuvers in the style of Top Gun.
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Supersonic Flight is part of the documentary Space Explorers
The VR film goes by the name Supersonic Flight and is a new special episode of the Space Explorers VR film series, the most elaborate documentary shot in space to date.
Filmed largely by astronauts on the ISS, it provides an intimate look at the work and lives of space pioneers. Aspiring NASA astronauts must complete flights on the Northrop T-38 Talon, hence the recent special episode.
Space Explorers was co-financed by Meta and is only available for Quest headsets.
You can find all episodes of the movie series linked below. My advice is to download Supersonic Flight in advance instead of streaming. This allows you to watch them in the best possible quality. You can find instructions below.
The Journey Begins (filmed on Earth):
The ISS Experience:
- Space Explorers: The ISS Experience – Adapt (Episode One)
- Space Explorers: The ISS Experience – Advance (Episode Two)
- Space Explorers: The ISS Experience – Unite (Episode Three)
- Space Explorers: The ISS Experience – Expand (Episode Four)
The ISS Experience Special Sequences:
- Space Explorers: Special Feature – Home Planet
- Space Explorers: Special Feature – Spacewalkers
- Space Explorers: Special Feature – Spacewalkers Extended
- Space Explorers: Special Feature – Supersonic Flight
- Space Explorers: ISS Tour with Victor Glover
How to watch the Supersonic Flight in the best quality:
- Open Meta Quest TV. Enter 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 Save in High Quality first, then Cache. You may be asked to give permissions for caching.
- If you have done everything correctly, the movie will be downloaded in the best quality. This version has a higher resolution than the streamed version.
- Once the download is complete, click on Your Media in Meta Quest TV. After the download, 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 from Cache and then Delete.
- Alternatively, you can add the VR movie to your watchlist via the browser.