On the 25th of September Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray landed an F-35B on HMS Queen Elizabeth.
He was followed by Squadron Leader Andy Edgell, RAF, both of whom are test pilots, operating with the Integrated Test Force (ITF) based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“The largest warship in British history is joining forces with the most advanced fighter jets on the planet. This marks a rebirth of our power to strike decisively from the seas anywhere in the world. The historic first landing on the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth is a monumental moment in our country’s proud military history. It is also a statement of Britain’s determination to promote peace and prevent war.”
Shortly afterwards, once a deck inspection has been conducted and the all-clear given, Cdr Gray became the first pilot to take off using the ship’s ski-ramp.