HMS Queen Elizabeth sets sail to tackle helicopter trials at sea

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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BRITAIN’S biggest warship is to leave Portsmouth today on her latest deployment at sea.

Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to set sail from her city home at 10am, passing the Round Tower at about 10.20am.

The 65,000-tonne behemoth and her 700-strong ship’s company are due to be at sea for about two months as she undertakes rotary wing trials.

The 280m supercarrier will be completing tests to land helicopters on her expansive four-acre flight deck.

While alongside in Portsmouth, Queen Elizabeth’s two powerful hangar lifts were put to the test, lifting helicopters to and from the flight deck.

The lifts are capable of hoisting two F-35b jets from the hangar to the deck in 60 seconds, and can take the weight of all the ship’s crew.

This latest deployment comes ahead of the £3.1bn warship’s flight trials of the new stealth jets, which is due to take place off the east coast of America from the end of October.