HMS Queen Elizabeth returns to Portsmouth after '˜successful' helicopter trials
'˜GOOD morning Gosport, good morning Portsmouth' '“ these were the words that echoed loudly across Portsmouth Dockyard as the Royal Navy's biggest warship returned home today.
The message was piped out from HMS Queen Elizabeth’s loud speakers as she sailed through the Portsmouth’s historic harbour entrance.
It was the third time the 65,000-tonne goliath had made the journey back into her home port after first arriving in August last year.
Watching the mighty warship’s arrival were mother and daughter Leia and Fiona Curphey, of Cosham.
Keen sailor Fiona, 11, snapped a selfie as Queen Elizabeth sailed into Portsmouth. She said: ‘It’s absolutely humongous. It’s the biggest ship I’ve ever seen.’
Leia, 39, added: ‘It’s hard to believe that it can fit into the harbour.’
Queen Elizabeth’s latest trip out to sea had seen the supercarrier tackling helicopter flight trials off and on her expansive four-acre flight deck.
A thousand successful deck landings were carried out in a range of sea and weather conditions during the trials in the Atlantic.
A team of 56 aircrew, analysts and engineers from the Air Test and Evaluation Centre (ATEC) at MoD Boscombe Down have been onboard the aircraft carrier for the past month with two Merlin Mk2 and two Chinook Mk 5 test aircraft.
During the vessel’s month at sea she also visited Gibraltar for the first time.