Carrier update June
As you might expect, with the naming ceremony only days away, the painting of the hull is almost finished. The scaffolding has been removed from both islands. The photo of the islands shows the mock-up of an F-35 on deck ready for Friday. Will the real thing perform a fly-past? We hope so. Lt Cdr Ian ‘Tidders’ Tidball is one of three UK pilots who have flown the F-35B and will be a guest at the naming ceremony. We do know Merlin, ASac Sea King and Hawk aircraft are flying from Culdrose for the flypast and no doubt Lynx, Wildcat and Commando Helicopter Force Sea Kings will make a showing from Yeovilton. HMS Illustrious will also be in the Forth for the naming.
The forward and aft aircraft lifts have been lifted into position. The SPN-41 sponson was successfully lifted and welded into position on the stern of the ship. This marks a massive achievement from all elements of the ACA; to take a concept design from start to finish within six months. The MOD granted a Limit of Liability in November 2013 to progress the rapid installation of the sponson before the ship floats up and leaves the reach of the Goliath crane. Since November, the ACA has generated detailed designs, structural finite element analysis and calculations, whilst working with Lloyds register for approval and build certification. The sponson and enclosure will eventually receive the SPN-41 Instrument Carrier Landing System a vital component to the safe recovery and landing of the Lighting II aircraft which was identified as a critical design requirement following the decision to revert to STOVL aircraft. A huge congratulations to all involved for their hard work in achieving this milestone within the time constraints.
The bell from the original Dreadnought battleship, HMS Queen Elizabeth was with Chatham Dockyard Historical Society and will return to active duty on the aircraft carrier of the same name, currently being built at Rosyth. The bell will be housed in the officers' mess of the new HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The first warship to bear the name HMS Queen Elizabeth was launched on 16 October 1913, the lead ship of an important and innovative class of battleships which were powered entirely by oil. She served with distinction gaining Battle Honours in Dardanelles in 1915, Crete in 1941, Burma in 1944-5, and Sabang 1944 and East Indies 1945. The new carrier will inherit these honours. You might be interested in this video of crowds visiting Admiral Beattie’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth shortly after WW1. There is no sound on this video. 70 years ago Victor Merry served on board the first HMS Queen Elizabeth he speaks about his experience in this video.
The float-out of the ship, when she will be moved out of dry dock and into the basin at Rosyth, is planned to take place in the weeks following the naming ceremony. No firm date has been set for float-out as it is weather and tide dependent, but the operation is likely to begin in the hours of darkness and take around 30 hours to complete. Following float-out the ship will remain in Rosyth as she undergoes the testing, fitting and setting to work of the equipment necessary for her to take her place as the nation’s flagship.
Carrier alliance video CPO ‘Taff’ Moult, Air Engineering department
Carrier alliance video Rod Steel, Head of Aviation, Bristol
All the Carrier Alliance videos are available on their You Tube video channel
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Link to The News, Portsmouth newspaper article.