Helicopter landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth marks centenary event

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A HELICOPTER landed and took off from the gigantic HMS Queen Elizabeth to mark 100 years since the first aircraft landing on a moving ship at sea.

The Merlin Mk2 helicopter landed and took off from the flight deck of the impressive aircraft carrier yesterday at Scapa Flow by the Orkney Islands.

It marked the centenary of Squadron Commander Edwin Dunning’s landing on the flight deck of HMS Furious at Scapa Flow on August 2 back in 1917.

Dunning, 25, was a member of the Royal Naval Air Service and launched his Sopwith Pup from the carrier, then flew around in a circuit as the ship steamed some 26 knots into the 11 knot wind.

The young aviator attempted to repeat the feat five days later but his engine failed and he drowned after his aircraft toppled into the sea.

He is buried at St Lawrence’s Church in Bradfield, Essex.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due in to Portsmouth in ‘just a few weeks,’ a minister has said.