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Plymouth Dockyard and he didn't at first spot the 55,000 ton aircraft carrier... Marriage, Misery and the Mediterranean : 'Seaballs' : A Story by Bob Le Vaillant bob@levaillantowen.com

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Loved the F4 since being simultaneously excited by and frightened of them as a kid. The Royal Navy version was the best of all of them. The Rolls Royce Speys were so powerful that they would buckle and blister the deck plates of the American carriers that were used to conduct early sea trials. "Ark" had extremely beefy water cooled blast deflectors that could handle the huge heat from both engines on full burner. If I could have any job in history it would probably have been to fly these…

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Royal Navy fighter pilot Lord Alexander Hawke's Harrier in the skies over Baghdad in the 1st Iraq War. His squadron was based on the HMS Ark Royal.

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HMS Ark Royal, taken from a Merlin HM1 whilst the ship and squadrons were building up for a Joint Warrior exercise. The Four Harriers had just recovered back on the deck after a low level mission through Wales.

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The Royal Navy Ark Royal Class Aircraft Carrier. The mighty flagship of the Royal Navy has now been decommissioned leaving the fleet without a carrier until the replacement, expected 2020, is ready.

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