Royal Navy aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, sails back into Portsmouth today, after successful completion of initial fast jet trials in America, marking a new era in UK Carrier Strike capability.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth is the first of the Queen Elizabeth class of Aircraft carriers. The ship is the largest ever warship built for the Royal Navy and capable of carrying 40 aircrafts. The ship has state of the art weaponry and communications systems and a flight desk that covers four acres.
The 65,000-tonne carrier’s first transatlantic deployment, which began in August, saw her embark two F-35B Lightning II test aircraft, from the Integrated Test Force (ITF) based out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. She also conducted an historic, week-long visit to New York.
During the Development Trials, the jets conducted 202 takeoffs from the ship’s ski ramp, 187 vertical landings, and 15 shipborne vertical landings (SRVL) —a landing technique unique to the UK. They also dropped 54 inert bombs, testing the weight loading in a variety of weather conditions and sea states. The operating envelopes will be further expanded during Operational Trials, scheduled for next year.
Facts & figures
Total length: 280 metres
Total weight: 65,000 tonnes
Top speed: 25+ knots
Captain Steve Moorhouse
Fun Facts: Two huge aircraft lifts can move two combat jets from the hanger to the flight desk in 60 seconds.
500 Tonnes of fresh water is produced daily onboard
More steel was used to build the ship than was used in Wembley Stadium
To cater for the 1500 crew there are 40 chefs
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Photographer: LH Johnson
LH Louise George Chapman
PO Phot Dave Jenkins
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