HMS Ark Royal 1978 - 2011

Aircraft carrier, Vessel
born in:
Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, England, United Kingdom

1978 - built by Swan Hunters Ship Builders' yard at Wallsend, became the fifth RN vessel to bear the name Ark Royal.

1981 - launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. 1985 - accepted into service and finally commissioned.

1993 - deployed to the Adriatic during the Bosnian War.

2003 - sailed to the Persian Gulf for the Invasion of Iraq.

2006 - completed an extensive refit.

2010 - during the air travel disruption after the Mt Eyjafjallajökull eruption, the Ark Royal assisted in helping stranded travellers across the English Channel.

2011 - formal decommissioning occurred at Portsmouth.

HMS Ark Royal was 211.4 metres (693 feet) long. She had a maximum beam of 35 metres (114.7 feet) and a displacement of 20,235 tonnes. 4 Olympus gas turbine engines (like Concorde's) were used to propel the ship, which give a maximum speed in excess of 30 knots. A steeper ski jump than in the other ships of this class was fitted at the forward end of the flight deck.