The largest aircraft carrier in Britain left Portsmouth Harbour yesterday. Destination unknown. The Queen Elizabeth-nicknamed Lizzie- was much bigger than I expected. In fact, she was huge, taller than some of the local buildings. Here are some pictures and details of such an awe inspiring ship.
Only one previous ship bore the name HMS Queen Elizabeth. She fought in the Dardanelles and supported the Gallipoli campaign.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy and has a displacement of 65,000 tons. She is capable of carrying forty aircraft.
The Queen Elizabeth Class carriers - HMS The Prince of Wales is yet to come - have attracted great attention. And that's what was intended. They are to be a conspicuous force throughout the world, a deterrent. With a lifespan of 50 years, the two massive ships will continue to have an impact around the world as she safeguard the UK's interests well into the future.
But what does it take to build the largest British warship.?
One special crane was made - 68 meters high and 120 meters across. Six shipyards were involved as no single yard was big enough to build such an amazing ship. Over 250,000 km of electrical cable and 8,000 km of fibre-optic cables were used.
Approximately, 3,000 people in Rosyth, and another 8,000 people were working at sites around the country. Hundreds of companies in the UK were involved. Creating so many jobs was unprecedented for a single project in the 21st century.
And what about the size of the ship?
At 280 meters the Queen Elizabeth is longer that the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. And its length is greater than the height of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth - 170 meters.
HISTORY AND FUTURE
The history of combining naval might with airborne capability is long and fascinating. From the earliest recorded instance in 1806, where the Royal Navy used kites deployed from HMS Pallas to spread anti Napoleonic leaflets over France, the journey to the modern day aircraft carrier is one where necessity and ingenuity push the boundaries of technology.
At the same time, the name HMS Queen Elizabeth carries a distinguished heritage. The current ship is only the second one to bear that moniker. Its predecessor fought many well known campaigns. But the highlight of her career came in 1918 when Admiral Beatty accepted the German fleet’s surrender on board the ship. At the time, she was docked in Rosyth – just half a mile from where the new HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently being built. A fitting way to connect the glory of the past with the hope for the future.
BEST OF LUCK LIZZIE