This stunning photograph by Lockheed Martin photographer Dane Wiedmann illustrates how testing of the F-35B Lightning II aboard the new UK aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) quickly progressed into night qualifications. Royal Navy Cdr Nathan Gray and RAF Sqn Ldr Andy Edgell became the first pilots to land F-35s on the flight deck of Britain’s newest carrier, on September 25.
Cdr Gray said: ‘No words can explain how it felt to turn the corner at 500mph and see HMS Queen Elizabeth awaiting the arrival of her first F-35 jets. I feel incredibly privileged.’
The first night sorties from HMS Queen Elizabeth took place just two days after the first landing on September 25, illustrating a high level of confidence in the equipment and the progress of the trials.