Flying the Ark

Photos taken by Ken Willingale during the 1970/1 commission of HMS Ark Royal IV. The days when the UK had a Navy, and the Fleet Air Arm showed the Crabs* how to fly……

The Ark operated 12 Phantoms, 14 Buccaneers, 4 Gannets, 6 Sea Kings and 2 Wessex. The old Invincible class could operate a maximum of around 22 aircraft, but usually only around 8 Harriers and 12 Sea Kings. The new Queen Elizabeth class can carry around 40 aircraft, but will they ever go to sea with more than a handfull?

* Crabs: friendly naval term for the RAF

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