Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has announced that the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier will be making her maiden voyage to New York in September. This will be one of her first major overseas trips and a chance to show off the 65,000-tonne supercarrier's flat-top frame in Manhattan.

The new fleet of F35bs are still undergoing tests at a US Naval Air Station. 15 jets will soon be ready to launch from HMS Queen Elizabeth’s 4-acre flight deck in their first set of flight trials. 
She completed rotary wings flight trials earlier this year, working with both Chinook Mk5 and Merlin Mk 2 aircraft, helping technical staff to draw up ship helicopter operating limits. Amphibious warfare trials have also been completed. 

“Every month sees a graduated increase in the capability the ship can deliver,” Rear Adm. Keith Blount, the Royal Navy’s Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Aviation, Amphibious Capability and Carriers, said last month. 
“With over a thousand helicopter deck landings already under our belt, we’re developing more expansive clearances for helicopters than we have ever seen before.

Next up are the jets and the ship is being fitted with all the kit and communication systems required to ensure the aircraft and carrier can work together as a system. This is highly technical and time-consuming stuff and our sailors, airman and shipyard workers are doing a great job in piecing it all together,” Blount continued.

Various fixed-wing landing aids are being installed during the capability insertion period (CIP). She is also being fitted with her funnel badges before she makes her transatlantic voyage. 

Carrier strike full operational capability for HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled for 2020, and the first operational deployment is planned for early 2021.