An F-35 fighter jet has made history after performing the first Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) on board HMS Queen Elizabeth.
SRVLs allow the jets to approach the runway at speed; they then use the thrust from the nozzle and lift from the wings, allowing the F-35s to slow down and then land on deck.
Although considered more dangerous and complex than conventional landings, SRVLs permit landings with heavier fuel loads, meaning they no longer have to dump fuel and weapons prior to landing.
“I’m excited and thrilled to have achieved this, the whole team is,” Mr Wilson told the US Department of Defence.
“It’s an inherently risky manoeuvre.
"We have always understood it is safer to stop before you land than it is to land before you stop and the prime reason for that is that if something goes wrong with the aeroplane it is far better for it to be stationary than a rolling wreckage.”
“I’ve worked on this for the past 17 years; it’s fantastic to know that it’s matched the modelling and simulation we have done over the years.
"I’ve flown over 2,000 SRVLs in the simulator, and am honoured to have been able to do the first one on board HMS Queen Elizabeth here today.”
The aircraft carrier left its home port of Portsmouth in August to continue its flight trials on the other side of the Atlantic.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to be deployed on global operations from 2021.