The scaffolding around the bow of the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth has been removed, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance said on its Twitter account.
The scaffolding was mounted so as to give the next generation aircraft carrier her new paint job. The giant aircraft carrier is undergoing final touch-ups so as to get ready for her naming ceremony. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will attend a celebration in Rosyth on Friday 4 July, where she will name the ship.
HMS Queen Elizabeth reached her maximum height with the addition of her final mast last week. The gigantic carrier now stands 73 metres (239ft) tall – eclipsing Tower Bridge, Nelson’s Column and, if it were possible, a Hunt or Sandown-class minehunter turned on its end.
With a draught of just shy of ten metres (33ft) it means the aircraft carrier will tower 63 metres (206ft) above the waterline.
Since she’s too tall engineers have come up with an ingenious solution to allow HMS Queen Elizabeth to pass safely beneath the road and rail bridges. Namely, the pole mast is lowered until it is almost horizontal – before being raised again once safely through.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will be the centre piece of Britain’s military capability and will have increased survivability as a result of the separation and distribution of power generation machinery throughout each ship.
The class has been designed with twin islands, which separates the running of the ship from the flying operations resulting in greater visibility of flying operations. The Highly Mechanised Weapon Handling System enables a streamlined crew to operate a vessel much larger than the carrier which it replaces, meaning that each ship will have a total crew of 679, only increasing to the full complement of 1,600 when the air elements are embarked.
The ships will use an electric propulsion system that enables the prime movers to operate more efficiently and therefore burn less fuel, saving running costs.
Naval Today Staff, May 28, 2014; Image: Aircraft Carrier Alliance