HMS Prince of Wales: Royal Navy aircraft carrier hits top speed in second weeks of sea trials

Share this article

SAILORS have pushed HMS Prince of Wales to her limits as they hit top speed.

The £3.1bn aircraft carrier, due to be based in Portsmouth, reached 25 knots in the North Sea.

Britain's newest aircraft carrier has hit top speed as she tested her engines to the max in the North Sea. HMS Prince of Wales thundered through the sea at 25 knots as her diesel generators and gas turbines were pushed to full throttle during only her second week of trials. Picture: LPhot Alex Ceolin''

Britain's newest aircraft carrier has hit top speed as she tested her engines to the max in the North Sea. HMS Prince of Wales thundered through the sea at 25 knots as her diesel generators and gas turbines were pushed to full throttle during only her second week of trials. Picture: LPhot Alex Ceolin''

The 920ft-long carrier was at full throttle as sher diesl generators and gas turbines used up 109 megawatts of power for her six engines.

That pushed the 65,000-tonne warship along at full speed during ther second week of trials.

Warrant Officer Rob Firth said: ‘I felt privileged to be the first Propulsion Warrant Officer to take HMS Prince of Wales to full power making use of the majority of her 109 megawatt generation capacity – but this couldn’t have been achieved without the considerable effort of the whole department.’

READ MORE: Portsmouth naval base receives 95-tonne upgrade to accommodate Royal Navy carrier

Britain's newest aircraft carrier has hit top speed as she tested her engines to the max in the North Sea. HMS Prince of Wales thundered through the sea at 25 knots as her diesel generators and gas turbines were pushed to full throttle during only her second week of trials. Picture: LPhot Alex Ceolin''

Britain's newest aircraft carrier has hit top speed as she tested her engines to the max in the North Sea. HMS Prince of Wales thundered through the sea at 25 knots as her diesel generators and gas turbines were pushed to full throttle during only her second week of trials. Picture: LPhot Alex Ceolin''

Around 170 people in the marine engineering department maintain the four diesel generators and two gas turbines.

They run them from behind a computer screen using the integrated platform management system.

'I feel more like a computer operator than a marine engineer at times, but to be part of the first marine engineering department on Prince of Wales is very exciting,' said Engineering Technician Connor Cope.

READ MORE: Royal Navy warships secure seven million tonnes of British shipping in Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf

Britain's newest aircraft carrier has hit top speed as she tested her engines to the max in the North Sea. HMS Prince of Wales thundered through the sea at 25 knots as her diesel generators and gas turbines were pushed to full throttle during only her second week of trials. Picture: LPhot Pepe Hogan''

Britain's newest aircraft carrier has hit top speed as she tested her engines to the max in the North Sea. HMS Prince of Wales thundered through the sea at 25 knots as her diesel generators and gas turbines were pushed to full throttle during only her second week of trials. Picture: LPhot Pepe Hogan''

'The ability to operate the myriad of complex systems on such a huge scale with so few people is highly dependent on modern technology.'

There are around 600 sailors led by Captain Darren Houston and 400 civilian contractors onboard during the trials.

Sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth is in Amercia for F-35 Lightning trials.

HMS Prince of Wales will carry out nine weeks of trials in the North Sea.

READ MORE: Families reunited as HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth after almost 7 months in the Mediterranean and the Gulf

Engineering department head Commander Peter Buckenham said: 'I am immensely proud of the achievements of the marine engineering team.'

'From the very beginning they have rallied, bringing together the wisdom and experience of mature watchkeepers, the enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge of the junior engineering technicians and our close relationship with our industrial colleagues.

'The culmination of these efforts and the sheer dedication over the past three years have brought us to this historic moment.'