A Commando Wildcat from 847 Naval Air Squadron has landed on the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time, say the Royal Navy.

“Queen Elizabeth sailed from Portsmouth last week to begin the latest stage of her training in preparation for her maiden deployment leading a carrier task group next year.

Pilots and a crewman from the Yeovilton-based squadron joined the carrier to ensure they remained qualified for operating at sea – requiring 24 safe landings by day and night (the latter with the aid of night vision goggles – and to ensure they’re ready for immediate operations if called upon.

They’d already performed a number of training ‘sorties’ in at the state-of-the-art simulators at their home base before heading out over the Channel to join the future flagship.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth recently sailed from Portsmouth to begin the latest stage of her training in preparation for her maiden deployment leading a carrier task group next year.

“The massive flight deck of the Queen Elizabeth gives us lots of space to manoeuvre the aircraft,” explained Petty Officer Aircrewman Arron Tobin.

“But it can also get very busy with lots of activity and so proves excellent training. We have made considerable gains in our knowledge and experience of operating at sea and it has been great to see everyone, engineers and aircrew alike, working together to achieve the qualification.”

 

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Andy P

Is it just me or does it look like that WAFU is holding up that Wildcat ?

julian1

like the Leaning Tower of Pisa classic!

Geoffrey Roach

SUPERWAFU…but shouldn’t his pants be over his trousers!

Andy P

Its maybe not dhoby day…. 😉

Cam

Wildcats look great, I loved the lynx more tnough, I really liked the skids on lynx It looked badass. What ever happend to our hundreds of lynx!, and could a striped down wildcat beat the lynx speed record?

Bill

Agree with that. A fantastic aircraft and much more handsome than the stubby looking wildcat. Bagpuss more like!

Lusty

A Wildcat first landed on QE during Westlant 18. It’s good to see her continue to progress & crews gaining first hand experience. The aircrew certainly had more room than the pilots of the Merlin which recently made a landing on HMS Medway!

Lusty

* Should have added, the Wildcat was an HMA2, flown from HMS Monmouth.

Daniele Mandelli

Nice to see you post Lusty.

Not seen you for awhile.

And on your fav subject. 😁

Lusty

Thanks, Daniele. Been a bit busy helping with the COVID response.

My favourite subject indeed! Hope all’s well.

Gavin Gordon

Looks like it means business with the latest aerodynamic weapons wing fitted

Lusty

It sure does! And regarding the weapons trials – I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of 20 Martlets.

Herodotus

I was a little taken aback by the pictures of a Wildcat loaded to the gunnels with ordnance! How un-British is that….surely it should have been a single tube flare dispenser 🙂

Steve

which picture is that?

Herodotus

Not sure that you will be able to view this without signing up to flight international (it’s free)…Wildcat looks very impressive with the full load of 20 Martlets!

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopters/weapon-wing-integration-keeps-wildcat-on-target-for-carrier-protection-role/137104.article

Steve

No need to sign in.

It does look very impressive, although i wonder what the flight time would be with that level of weight added.

Gavin Gordon

If I was likely to be on the receiving end I would not be looking at my watch wondering why the delay in my obliteration. Wing lift effect is ingenious, though. QE left Stokes Bay this morning after isolation to begin next iteration of flight trials.

Steve

Its more a question of whether carrying that number of missiles is realistic outside a photo op. If it can’t get to the target to launch the missiles then looking pretty doesn’t help.

Gavin Gordon

Mmm. Yet one would hope that the people clever enough to come up with such an inspired design would take such issues into consideration, Steve. Also been trialled by the RN before order, like as not. I appreciate it’s not the point you’re making but, as to the design of the attachment itself, if one takes the figures as they stand for mass alone then the wing lift is cspable of bslancing the weight of three out of four Venom, comfortably exceeds that of a full complement of Martlet, and only just falls below the lift required to counter a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Has not seen that. Looks good.

Reading the article says the RN has 24 and the Army 28? 28 and 34 were delivered originally, making 62. What has happened to the others?
I’m not aware of Any write offs.

Lusty

I’m not aware of any reductions in numbers, particularly for what is still a relatively young aircraft. 28 and 34 are still operated by the RN and Army respectively, though the article may have drawn from ‘in service’ numbers, which don’t include those undergoing minor works, maintenance, unforseen issues and weapons trials. None have been lost.

That said, the number is still short of what was originally planned and far short of Lynx numbers.

Daniele Mandelli

Concur. I also took it to be first line fleet.

Numbers? It’s a joke, as we both know. I count 8 Lynx Squadrons with land variant, replaced by 3, in 1 Regiment.

Think RN fleet was 88 originally?

Lusty

That sounds about right.

60 HAS 2 were procured for the RN. 3 were lost in the Falklands, with other losses due to crashes and attrition. 30 HAS 3 airframes were ordered as new in ~1982, with the remaining HAS 2 cabs converted to that standard.

Of course, it should be noted that the HAS 3 would later serve as the basis for the Ice Patrol Ship modifications, allowing them to go on an Ice Patrol Ship (Endurance). So for a few years, there were a few variants in use.

Gavin Gordon
Steve

Just a shame that neither missile is currently in service, its nuts that there is yet again a capability gap, especially in a period where they would be really useful in the gulf.

Trevor

I have just read about German military procurement shambles. And others are not much better. Loads a money wasted down the toilet. Amazed as an e.g. to see what a mess they have made of procuring a new rifle to replace what is frankly a reasonably good one

Herodotus

“Wildcat lands on QE”…..was it a tight fit then?