HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Second Giant Piece Rolled Out
Another giant piece of the jigsaw that is the Navy’s future carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is finished with her aft island rolled out of the construction shed. The second of two islands on the 65,000-tonne leviathan, the aft one will control flight deck operations by her F35 jets, Merlin helicopters and other aircraft.
From this 753-tonne structure, flight deck operations on HMS Queen Elizabeth will be directed: fhis is Flyco – Flying Control, effectively the carrier’s equivalent of an airport control tower.
Workers at BAE’s Scotstoun yard on the north bank of the Clyde have completed the iconic structure; it’s now being prepared for its journey from Glasgow’s great artery to the rest of the ship, which stands more than two-thirds complete at Rosyth.
The forward island was installed in April after a journey from Portsmouth. It houses the ship’s bridge and 100 or so other compartments.
The aft island is slightly heavier and larger: 52m (170ft) long, 14m (46ft) wide and 31m (101ft 6in) high.
Inside are some 110 compartments, 1,000 pipes and 44km (27 miles – or just longer than a marathon) of cabling.
The section is due to be moved around Scotland by barge in mid-June and then fixed into place on the flight deck at the end of the month.
That’s not quite Queen Elizabeth complete outwardly. Still to be added are her ski ramp to launch her F35 jump jets and a few final sponsons to finish the flight deck.
In a few weeks’ time, the team from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance will begin to give the carrier her battleship grey appearance; right now she’s a mish-mash of colours, with the flight deck a very un-RN-like crimson.
Although the islands are painted grey, they’ve yet to have the final coat of paint applied. Indeed, the only part of the ship which is in the final livery are the window frames on the forward island – and that’s because the panes had to be installed.
In all, Queen Elizabeth requires 1½ million square metres (over 16 million square feet) of paintwork… which is slightly larger than Hyde Park.
RoyalNavy, May 13, 2013