Air cadets visit new carrier


A group of cadets have visited the UK’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales. 

The cadets and staff from 161 (1st Highland) Squadron, 379 (County of Ross) Squadron and 2405 (Dingwall) Squadron of Highland Wing, RAF Air Cadets, visited the ship while she was berthed in the Cromarty Firth at Invergordon.

HMS Prince of Wales is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier for the Royal Navy. She will be commissioned at the end of 2019, and be ready for front-line duties from 2023.

The cadets and staff on the ship’s 280-metre long flight deck.

HMS Prince of Wales will operate V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) aircraft. The ship is currently planned to carry up to 40 F-35B Lightning II stealth multirole fighters piloted by both Royal Navy and Royal Air Force pilots, along with Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare. 

Both HMS Queen Elizabeth and now the Prince of Wales have utilised the deep water port at Invergordon while carrying out sea trials around the north of Scotland.

The group is given a tour of the bridge.

29 staff and cadets from Highland Wing were given a tour of the ship by Lieutenant Commander Graeme Flint and Lieutenant Martin Wardle. The naval officers guided them through numerous decks including the main control room, hangar deck, flight deck and control tower. 

The massive hangar deck.

Squadron Leader Andy Dobson RAFVR(T) Retired (Civilian Instructor with 379 (County of Ross) Squadron) said: “The cadets and staff thoroughly enjoyed the visit, gaining such coveted access to the Royal Navy’s newest ship. It is always possible that one of our young cadets today could be flying off this aircraft carrier in the years to come.”

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