HMS Queen Elizabeth: Fast jets land on aircraft carrier at night for the first time

FAST jet pilots flying F-35 Lightning planes have landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth at night.

Flights were carried out on the £3.1bn aircraft carrier with and without night vision.

F-35B Lightning II jets conducting nighttime developmental trials on board HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Royal Navy

F-35B Lightning II jets conducting nighttime developmental trials on board HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Royal Navy

The Portsmouth-based carrier is currently off the east coast of the United States conducting test flights.

Commander James Blackmore is the Commander Air on the ship.

He said: 'The concept of night flying isn’t difficult for us.

'What we are looking at is what the new lights on board HMS Queen Elizabeth look like at night from the perspective of the F-35s.

The F-35 Lightning above HMS Queen Elizabeth

The F-35 Lightning above HMS Queen Elizabeth

'We’ve already done that with the rotary wing aircraft earlier this year, but now it’s crucial that we understand how suitable they are for the F-35s to operate at night from the carrier.

'First indications are that they are in good order for both the aided and unaided perspectives.'

Royal Navy Commander Nathan Gray and RAF Squadron Leader Andy Edgell were the first pilots to make history by landing their aircraft on the flight deck last week.

The carrier left Portsmouth in August.