|Chino (the "Optics Dude")|
Carrier: Fortress at Sea
If you prefer to stay with a CRT, there are several videos that bring carrier aviation to life on your TV screen. Although there are many movies that depict naval aviation at various points in history, these two videos are both documentaries. Carrier: Fortress at Sea is a 90 minute video that was first broadcast on the Discovery Channel about 5 years ago. It was filmed during a 6 month deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), and contains brief interviews with many different crew members, from the captain of the ship to the pilots to the sailors cleaning the heads. I especially liked several talks with an LSO.
For the most part, though, it focuses on action, including catapult launches and arrested landings. We even get to see an actual ejection when an F-14 suffers an engine fire during a supersonic fly-by of the ship (such fly-by's are rare events, so many of the crew as well as the video team are on hand to witness this emergency -- both pilot and RIO ejected safely and were quickly recovered). For sim pilots, one of the highlights is the footage taken from aircraft-mounted camera pods during carrier operations. It looks just like Jane's F/A-18!