Exhibition shows life on board new aircraft carriers at Yeovilton
By Western Daily Press | Saturday, November 02, 2013, 05:00
The Navy's two giant new "future carriers" may still be in the dockyard, but visitors to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton in Somerset can experience what life will be like aboard ship and for their new generation of fighter pilots.
The Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers will carry will carry Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II fighters
A new permanent exhibition on HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales has opened at the museum near Yeovil. It plots the history of Royal Naval flying from its earliest days and features films showing the unique 'building block' construction process of the new carriers, which are the largest and most powerful surface warships ever built for the Royal Navy. Interactive displays allowing the user to manoeuvre aircraft on the flight deck and take off.
The ships will measure 920 feet long, and displace around 65,000 tonnes. They will carry Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II fighters as part of an air group.
The order for the two carriers was placed and 2008 and they are due to begin sea trials in 2017, and air trials in 2018.
Each ship will have a crew of 679 which will increase to the full complement of 1,600 when the air elements are embarked.
Unlike previous carriers, the new carriers have been designed with two 'island' structures on the flight deck for air operations and the ship's navigation for greater visibility and flexibility. The Royal Navy's first F35 pilot, Lieutenant-Commander Ian Tidball is contributing to a blog in the new gallery.