HMS Queen Elizabeth has visited Scapa Flow, marking 100 years to the day since an aircraft landed on the deck of a moving vessel.

On the 2nd of August 1917, while performing trials, Squadron Commander Edwin Dunning landed a Sopwith Pup, on board HMS Furious, becoming the first person to land an aircraft on a moving ship.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently engaged in sea trials, these monitor speed, manoeuvrability, power and propulsion as well as undertaking weapons trials and additional tests on her levels of readiness.

Sea trials were planned beginning in March 2017 but minor technical issues delayed her sea trials until the end of June. Prior to the ship’s departure from Rosyth, an extensive survey was carried out of the Firth of Forth by HMS Gleaner and 42 Regiment, Royal Engineers to gather information on the tides, the depth of the river bed, and the height of the three river crossings (Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge, Queensferry Crossing).

Queen Elizabeth sailed on the 26th of June 2017. The first stage of the operation was to move the ship from inside the fitting out basin, via one of the access gates, into the Firth of Forth itself, before taking the ship under the three Forth bridge crossings.

Once this was accomplished, the ship took to the open sea off the east coast of Scotland to undertake the first set of trials, including handling and speed tests. During this period, Queen Elizabeth was accompanied by a pair of Type 23 frigates, HMS Sutherland and HMS Iron Duke, acting as escorts.

The first aircraft to land on the ship was a Merlin HM.2 of 820 Naval Air Squadron on the 3rd July. Following initial runs in and around the Firth of Forth, the carrier was taken further north to the Moray Firth, during which period the ship encountered the Cunard cruise liner Queen Elizabeth.

HMS Queen Elizabeth had her first stopover at Invergordon, where the ship was fuelled and provisioned, and where inspections of the hull were carried out.

8 COMMENTS

  1. You’d think they’d be able to get one of the Type 45 destroyer’s up to escort her, considering that’s their primary role.

  2. indeed – and there is one sitting in Portsmouth doing nothing – so no excuse.

    oh, apart from the fact not enough people to man the fleet properly.

  3. I suspect the fact that Queen Elizabeth is currently a civilian ship until it is Commissioned has passed some folks by …

    But then any excuse to blow some negativity…..

  4. Chris…not negative, commentators on this site, most of whom do know a considerable amount about defence matters, having served in armed forces or just avid followers of military matters. The RN is currently in a shit state. Sorry to swear.
    We have inadequate numbers of warships and growing capability gaps. These are facts.

  5. Two Type 23 Frigates operating as ‘escorts’, in company with the new Carrier were a very good photo opportunity and a great piece of PR for the Royal Navy but that’s where it stops. There will be plenty of time to prepare and train for the first deployment of the new task group when the time comes. For now though, she continues her contractors sea trials which are going very well indeed.

  6. The navy is in an appalling state since my days. All the small ships, the real workhorses have gone. And no diesel subs, seaward defence boats etc. What a shambles. It’s all very well having a couple of big vessels but the true fleet has gone.

  7. Going back to Invergordon on Wednesday 09/08 for 3 days and after that all the way south.
    Not going back to Rosyth. Portsmouth get ready.

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