Aircraft Carrier Visit | Hampshire

As a bonus trip for those that signed up to our European tour next month, the club members were invited to a money-can’t-buy tour of the UK’s flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

A gargantuan ship that can hold up to 60 aircraft including the F-35B Lightning II, the Marine Corps variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.

F-35B Lightning II on the HMS Queen Elizabeth

About HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers and the Fleet Flagship of the Royal Navy. She is the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy, capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft.

The carrier is 284 meters long and 73 meters wide, with a displacement of 65,000 tons. She is powered by two Rolls-Royce Marine Trent MT30 gas turbines, which give her a top speed of 25 knots.

After a delicious lunch, we were split into two groups. This meant that sadly there are not many photos from the second group. However, the feedback was tremendous from both parties.

The tour included the two towers on the top deck, the forward one for piloting the ship and the mid-based one which is the flight deck for monitoring and controlling all incoming/outgoing flights.

Whilst our tour seemed to include unrestricted access to even the most sensitive areas of the ship, understandably there were plenty of areas where photos were not allowed, so our photography doesn’t really do the tour full justice.

What a once in a lifetime opportunity to get anywhere near a front line military base, let alone such an exclusive tour of the country’s strategic deterrent and a military masterpiece!

With Thanks

The visit was thanks to our European tour partner Torque Events, who has helped us develop a bespoke tour, uniquely for FMSC for 2023.

Please note: some of the images used in this blog are used under licence UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

This candid 360-degree photo shows club members inside the flight deck. This is essentially the control, tower for the ship’s incoming and outgoing flights.

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