HMS Queen Elizabeth Returns From Carrier Trials

Posted on December 11, 2018

More than a thousand members of the ship’s company are being welcomed back in Portsmouth by family and friends.  Three Merlin Helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron have already returned, landing yesterday at RNAS Yeovilton. HMS Queen Elizabeth left Britain in August to begin flight trials in the United States, allowing two F-35B fighter jets to conduct 500 takeoffs and landings. In total, the aircraft carrier cost £3bn to build and the Ministry of Defence spent £190 million on each F-35. At full capacity, the ship will be able to carry 72 F-35s at once. Whilst at sea, F-35s performed a variety of manoeuvres designed to test the jets’ ability to work with the aircraft carrier. RAF test pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell landed backwards on the flight deck, describing it as “briefly bizarre to bear down on the ship and see the waves parting on the bow as you fly an approach aft facing.”

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