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HMS Queen Elizabeth

The embarkation of a pair of F-35B Lightnings on board HMS Queen Elizabeth off the east coast of the US marks a major step forward in the regeneration of the UK Carrier Strike capability. Richard Scott joined the carrier at the end of the First Of Class Flight Trials to find out how aircraft and ship performed together.

Testing included a period of work with external weapons installed, illustrated here as Maj Michael Lippert accelerates down the deck with GBU-12s for the first time on October 9
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Mid-morning on September 25 over the deep blue Atlantic waters off the east coast of the United States. Cdr Nathan Gray, a Royal Navy pilot assigned to the F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) at NAS Patuxent River, brings F-35B BF-05 into a hover alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08). Translating laterally across the flight deck, he executes a textbook vertical landing on spot 3 in front of the ship’s Flying Control (FLYCO) office.

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