The charity, the Fly Navy Heritage Trust is to be formally affiliated with the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest and most powerful warship to enter service with the Royal Navy.
Making the announcement at a reception in London on 10 November, Vice Admiral Ben Key CBE, Fleet Commander and Senior Naval Aviator said, “Our past informs our future. This important affiliation is the golden thread that links our naval aviation heritage with the first of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and the nation’s carrier aviation future.”
“The Royal Navy has been at the forefront of the development of carrier aviation for over a hundred years, pioneering and developing not only the ships and aircraft, but establishing a reputation of British technological innovation, professionalism and engineering excellence that leads the world” continued Vice Admiral Key.
“As HMS Queen Elizabeth enters service, the pioneering innovations of our heritage will inform the lessons of the future and be crucially important as we begin working up the squadrons of F-35B Lightning II jets and maritime helicopters that will operate from the carriers.”
The Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Captain Jerry Kyd Royal Navy said “We are delighted to be affiliated with the Fly Navy Heritage Trust. The ethos, spirit and technological achievement of our naval aviation heritage will inspire today’s pilots and read across directly to the potency, effectiveness and battle-winning edge of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her air group in the decades ahead.”
The Fly Navy Heritage Trust, based at Royal Naval Air Station in Yeovilton, Somerset, relies on the support of public donations to preserve and promote the nation’s naval aviation heritage and keep a collection of iconic historic aircraft flying at air shows and events around the country.
Chief Executive of the charity, Commodore Jock Alexander OBE said “We greatly value this affiliation which recognises the important part the Fleet Air Arm has played in the history of carrier aviation. It not only binds us closely to the ship but will provide an exciting national focus for our major donors and supporters. The charity, which owns the last flying de Havilland FAW2 Sea Vixen in the world and a Hawker Sea Fury T20, is planning to fly a collection of historic naval aircraft over HMS Queen Elizabeth when she enters Portsmouth for the first time in 2017.