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Two F-35B Lightning II fighter jets have successfully landed onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time, laying the foundations for the next 50 years of fixed wing aviation in support of the UK’s Carrier Strike Capability.
Royal Navy Commander, Nathan Gray, 41, made history by being the first to land on, carefully manoeuvring his stealth jet onto the thermal coated deck. He was followed by Squadron Leader Andy Edgell, RAF, both of whom are test pilots, operating with the Integrated Test Force (ITF) based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.
Shortly afterwards, once a deck inspection has been conducted and the all-clear given, Cdr Gray became the first pilot to take off using the ship’s ski-ramp.
| British Armed Forces News
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Photographer: PO Arron Hoare