HMS Queen Elizabeth: 'Bizarre' wrong-way landing as F-35 fighter jet sets down on £3bn carrier

A PILOT has carried out a 'bizarre' landing backwards on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Portsmouth-based £3bn aircraft carrier tested the manoeuvre as it approaches the end of nine weeks of jet trials.

HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York earlier this year. Picture: Royal Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York earlier this year. Picture: Royal Navy

RAF test pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell carried out the landing, which saw him fly the F-35 Lightning facing the stern of the boat, bring it to a hover and then bringing it down, slip across the flight deck and then bring it down on the carrier.

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Squadron Leader Edgell said: 'It was briefly bizarre to bear down on the ship and see the waves parting on the bow as you fly an approach aft facing.

'It was also a unique opportunity fly towards the ship, stare at the bridge, and wonder what the captain is thinking.'

Once on the landing spot the rest of the manoeuvre is almost identical to a routine landing, the navy said.

Squadron Leader Edgell said 'the aircraft handled beautifully'.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due back in Portsmouth from the Westlant 18 deployment in mid-December.