First F-35B lands on HMS Queen Elizabeth


Blackleaf
+1
#1  Top Rated Post
Landing a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier at sea is one of the biggest challenges a pilot can face.

But when Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray landed the Lightning F-35B on HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time, he made it look almost effortless.

For not only was his vertical landing aided by a vast array of high technology in the world's most advanced stealth fighter jet, he had also practised it several thousand times on a simulator beforehand.

Speaking aboard the carrier off the east coast of America, where the aircraft is beginning flight trials, he said: 'I was immensely proud. I couldn't find the words so I punched the air several times. I had to pinch myself coming around the corner to land.'

Touchdown! First Royal Navy pilot to land an F-35B stealth fighter on Britain's brand new 3.1bn HMS Queen Elizabeth tells his incredible story


Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray landed the Lightning F-35B jet on sea carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

He practised the landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth dozens of times in simulator prior to yesterday's landing

Speaking aboard the carrier, Commander Nathan Gray said he was 'immensely proud' of the achievement


By Larisa Brown Defence And Security Editor For The Daily Mail
29 September 2018

Landing a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier at sea is one of the biggest challenges a pilot can face.

But when Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray landed the Lightning F-35B on HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time, he made it look almost effortless.

For not only was his vertical landing aided by a vast array of high technology in the world's most advanced stealth fighter jet, he had also practised it several thousand times on a simulator beforehand.

Speaking aboard the carrier off the east coast of America, where the aircraft is beginning flight trials, he said: 'I was immensely proud. I couldn't find the words so I punched the air several times. I had to pinch myself coming around the corner to land.'

The Daily Mail watched as US jets flown by UK test pilots took off from the 3.1billion carrier and returned to land.

The first F-35 Lightning fighter jets landing and taking off from the largest British warship the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Commander Nathan Gray lands on board the HMS Queen Elizabeth, making history to be the first to land the stealth jet on a battleship

Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray making the first ever F-35B Lightning II jet vertical landing on the UK's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Two F-35B Lightning II jet preparing to make the first ever vertical landings on the UK's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth will be on global operations from 2021 with British F-35s. Pictured: The F35B Lightning II jet about to make one of the first ever vertical landings on HMS Queen Elizabeth

The supersonic stealth jet which can reach speeds of Mach 1.6 (1,217mph) has the ability to evade enemy air defences with the lowest possible radar signature.

It has a lift fan behind the cockpit that gives it short take-off and vertical landing capabilities, working in tandem with rotating jet thrusters at the rear.

Cdr Gray, 41, from Stoke-on-Trent, who has test flown warplanes around the world, said of the jet: 'The F35 is a quantum leap it's the world beater.

'Anybody who wants to face off with us should be very, very nervous and should think twice.'

Two of the UK's new F-35B Lightning II jet preparing to make the first ever vertical landings on the UK's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

An aerial shot of an F-35B Lightning II jet on the flight deck after successfully taking off from the carrier

A F-35B Lightning II jet preparing to make one of the first ever vertical landings on the UK's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth out at sea following the landing. Cdre Andrew Betton added: 'The Queen Elizabeth Class carriers have been specifically designed and built to operate the F-35 Lightning, offering an immensely flexible and potent combination to deliver military effect around the world'

Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray looks pensive after making the landing. Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, Cdre Andrew Betton added: 'Conducting these trials is a critical and exciting step on this journey and I applaud the many thousands of civilian and military personnel who have played a part in bringing the strategic ambition to reality'

Commander Nathan Gray was followed by Squadron Leader Andy Edgell, RAF, both test pilots landing on the HMS Queen Elizabeth deck

He flew the first F-35B from Pax River, a US naval station southeast of Washington DC, on Tuesday. The flight to the HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is purpose-built to work with the jet, took 20 minutes. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: 'The largest warship in British history is joining forces with the most advanced fighter jets on the planet.

'The historic first landing on the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth is a monumental moment in our country's proud military history.' More than 500 take-offs and touch-downs are set to take place during the next 11 weeks in a range of weather conditions.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will be on global operations from 2021 with both US and British F-35s.

Commanding Officer, Capt Jerry Kyd, who was also the captain of HMS Ark Royal when the last Harrier took off from a carrier, said: 'I am quite emotional to be here in HMS Queen Elizabeth seeing the return of fixed wing aviation, having been the captain of the aircraft carrier which launched the last Harrier at sea nearly eight years ago.

Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray making the first ever F-35B Lightning II jet take off from the UK's new aircraft carrier

Thumbs up: Commander Nathan Gray RN, gives the thumbs up after making the first ever F-35B Lightning II jet vertical landing on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

Lift off: F-35B Lightning II fighter jets successfully landed on board HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time, laying the foundations for the next 50 years of fixed wing aviation in support

Observers from the bridge of HMS Queen Elizabeth watching Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray making the historic landing

The first F-35 Lightning fighter jets landing and taking off from HMS Queen Elizabeth II

'The regeneration of big deck carriers able to operate globally, as we are proving here on this deployment, is a major step forward for the United Kingdom's defence and our ability to match the increasing pace of our adversaries.

'The first touch-downs of these impressive stealth jets shows how the United Kingdom will continue to be world leaders at sea for generations to come.'

Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, Cdre Andrew Betton added: 'The Queen Elizabeth Class carriers have been specifically designed and built to operate the F-35 Lightning, offering an immensely flexible and potent combination to deliver military effect around the world.

'Conducting these trials is a critical and exciting step on this journey and I applaud the many thousands of civilian and military personnel who have played a part in bringing the strategic ambition to reality.'



Commander Gray said: 'I was immensely proud. I couldn't find the words so I punched the air several times. I had to pinch myself coming around the corner to land'

Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray looks on after making the first ever jet vertical landing

Royal Air Force Sqn Ldr Andy Edgell after making the second ever F-35B Lightning II jet vertical landing on the UK's new aircraft carrier

'We'd win': Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth vows Britain would be victorious in a naval battle with Russia as he warns Putin's aggression will only get worse

The threat from Russia is only going to get worse after the Salisbury poisoning, the captain of Britain's biggest ever warship has warned.

Commanding Officer Capt Jerry Kyd said Moscow's actions must be taken seriously by having credible armed forces that are ready to respond.

Speaking onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, he said: 'Novichok and Salisbury has yet again demonstrated that you must maintain credible, balanced and ready forces.'

He said this must be maintained 'across all three services, not least aircraft carriers at sea, to enable us to protect the security of our people'. Senior military officers added that with the new aircraft carrier and its jets, Russia with its 'limping' ships would be no match for Britain in a naval battle. Their comments come amid rising tensions between Britain and Russia after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK.

It emerged this week that one of the two suspects in the Salisbury poisoning is a highly-decorated officer in Russia's military intelligence service (GRU).

Capt Kyd warned that the threats facing the UK from Vladimir Putin must be taken seriously, as he warned against any future cuts. He said: 'What we are seeing now is a resurgent Russia which is presenting a credible threat again to the western states and the rules-based system and that must be taken seriously.'

Asked if there was a naval battle between Britain and Russia who would win, Rear Admiral Keith Blount, assistant chief of the naval staff, said: 'We would.'

And Air Vice Marshall Harvey Smyth, air officer commanding No 1 group, said Russia was no match for the UK when it came to aircraft carriers. It emerged earlier this year that Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic has increased tenfold in recent years.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art....html#comments
 
White_Unifier
#2
I see the royal credit card isn't maxed out yet.
 
Walter
#3
F-35 will be the platform for the next few decades.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#4
What a wonderful demonstration of the master-servant relationship.
 
Blackleaf
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

What a wonderful demonstration of the master-servant relationship.

How are you getting on with those 72 Harrier Jump Jets?
 
Walter
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

How are you getting on with those 72 Harrier Jump Jets?

Brilliant comment.
 
Hoid
#7
because Mcdonnel Douglas is a British company.
 
Blackleaf
#8
Of course, the F35B features many British-made components and 15% of all the jets being sold globally were manufactured in Britain.
 
Hoid
#9
Yes thats how the US arms industry functions.