What life is like onboard Britain’s enormous new £3.5 billion aircraft carrier

HMS Queen Elizabeth at her home port in Portsmouth.

caption
HMS Queen Elizabeth at her home port in Portsmouth.
source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

The HMS Queen Elizabeth is the most powerful aircraft carrier in British history.

On Thursday, the warship was visited by its namesake – Queen Elizabeth II – to officially welcome it into the Royal Navy fleet.

The warship set sail for the first time in June, conducting sea trials around the North Sea, and arrived at its home port in Portsmouth in August. It is scheduled to conduct flight trials off the US east coast in October 2018.

The ship is home to 900 people – 700 Royal Navy members and 200 industry personnel.

And thanks to HMS Queen Elizabeth’s official Twitter account, we can get a glimpse into what life is like on board.

Take a look at the photos below for some behind-the-scenes action on Britain’s mega-ship.


Welcome aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth. It took eight years to build and cost the Royal Navy £3.5 billion ($4.6 billion).

source
Aircraft Carrier Alliance

The ship is longer than the Houses of Parliament and has a flight deck that would fit 60 tennis courts.


Its namesake, Queen Elizabeth, visited the ship to officially welcome it into the Royal Navy fleet on Thursday.

source
Matt Cardy/Getty

It is home to about 700 Royal Navy members and 200 industry personnel. Here are some of them, waving from the ship.

source
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

All 900 crew members share the ship’s facilities, such as the canteen, gym, and medical resources, a Ministry of Defence spokesman told Business Insider UK.


Earlier this year it visited Scapa Flow in the Orkney islands to commemorate Edwin Dunning, the first pilot ever to land an aircraft on a moving ship.

source
Royal Navy in Scotland/Twitter

On August 2, 1917, Squadron Commander Dunninglanded a Sopwith Pup, a British single-seater fighter biplane on HMS Furious in Scapa Flow.

Moving deck landings at the time were a complicated task: While deck crew today secure planes with cablesto ensure a safe landing, Dunning had to rely on deck crew to grab the wings of the plane to help him land safely.


These days, safety precautions are much higher. Here, crew test firefighting foam sprays on deck.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

The foam in this picture is environmentally friendly, the ship’s Twitter account notes.


When they’re at sea, crew walk over six miles a day to get around the ship. They also climb the equivalent of 80 ladders.

The average Briton walks less than half a mile a day, the Department for Transport found in 2016.


Some even go on morning runs around the flight deck.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

Here are three crew members on a run around the ship’s flight deck at 6.45 a.m.


The ship also has its own gym for people who prefer to work out indoors.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

There’s also a boxing ring, where people can let off steam with their fists.

source
SeniorDoo1/Twitter

Boxing coaches are on hand for those with less experience. Here is one of them leading a women’s boxing session.

source
SeniorDoo1/Twitter

The mega-ship also has a ping pong table — much like many trendy startup companies around the world.

source
VAdmJWoodcock/Twitter

On a clear day, you might even find crew playing bucketball on the flight deck on a Saturday afternoon.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

Because who needs a beach, or a backyard, if you have a flight deck large enough to fit three football pitches?


The warship even has its own rugby team. Here they are, playing on the flight deck while the ship is anchored.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

Phew! That’s a lot of exercise. Here’s some food to recover with.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

This meal was served in April this year, while preparations were still being made for the ship’s maiden journey.

Steak Night is a morale-boosting Saturday evening tradition at the Royal Navy, HMS Queen Elizabeth’s official Twitter account noted.


To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s visit on Thursday, the ship’s staff made a massive cake.

source
Chris Jackson/Getty

It even has figurines of the Queen standing among the ship’s crew, holding signs that say “HMS Me”!


As you can see, HMS Queen Elizabeth’s crew members are a creative bunch. Here’s a marine engineer painting a “Despicable Me” Minion on a tank in the underbelly of the ship.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

…and here’s the finished product.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

HMS Queen Elizabeth also hosted GCSE and A-level exam sittings for its crew members earlier this summer.

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

Crew members also get to read about themselves in the paper, albeit four days late…

source
HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

Articles about the ship’s departure were brought on board by contractors.


And with occasional views like this, it’s no surprise that the Royal Navy is so proud of its ship.

source
blue4ever09/Twitter