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U.S. Navy to Feature New Virtual Reality Experience at the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo
U.S. Navy to Feature New Virtual Reality Experience at
the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo
APRIL 05, 2017 – If you’ve ever wanted to pilot a high-speed assault craft or extract Navy SEALs from enemy territory, you’ll get your chance April 7-9, at the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo at the Aerospace Center for Excellence, where the U.S. Navy will feature its new high-tech, virtual reality experience showcasing what it feels like to be part of today’s Navy.
This immersive, mobile display, built into a state-of-the art 18-wheel vehicle named the Nimitz, will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day of the event. Navy staff will be on hand to answer questions and help visitors navigate the site.
“We are excited to introduce today’s Navy experience to south Texas,” says Navy Recruiting Command Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Doug “Woody” Beal. “This state-of-the-art virtual reality experience will transform and elevate the way people think about the Navy.”
So, what happens inside this display? Participants go through a video briefing before strapping on an Oculus Rift headset and a piece of wearable technology called a SubPac (traditionally used by Club DJs) that percusses in real time to the sounds of the mission, such as helicopter blades whirling and live mortar fire. Participants navigate the mission using a cutting-edge steering wheel and throttle system that replicate the actual sensation of piloting a high-speed assault craft while extracting SEALs. Once finished, participants move to the debriefing station, where they receive feedback and a performance grade.
“This display offers users the most realistic Navy experience possible. Virtual reality has allowed the U.S. Navy to come a long way. Where we once were only able to describe these experiences, now we can present the reality of a Navy mission in an interactive way, using the best technology available,” continues Beal. “It’s a new opportunity to demonstrate how the Navy helps develop and deploy the most technologically advanced equipment in the world,” adds Captain Dave Bouve, National Director of Navy Marketing and Advertising at Navy Recruiting Command. “To reach a high-caliber pool of recruiting prospects, we need high-caliber recruiting tools, and this display is truly state-of-the-art.”
The Navy’s virtual reality experience travels next to Louisville, KY, for the Thunder Over Louisville event, where it will be open to the public on April 22.
For more information about America’s Navy, please visit,, or
About the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo
From April 4-9, 2017, the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), located at 4175 Medulla Rd., Lakeland, FL 33811, will host the 43rd Annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo. The Fly-In is Sun ‘n Fun’s largest fundraiser for the Aerospace Center for Excellence, a 25-acre, 11 building campus dedicated to aerospace and STEM education. Approximately 200,000 guests, exhibitors, volunteers, sponsors and performers, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, are expected to attend. Proceeds from the event support numerous community activities in addition to ACE. For more information and a schedule of events, please visit
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