Top British Pilot Hoping to be the First to Fly off HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘Exhilarated by F-35
This proud RAF pilot is hoping to be the first to fly an F-35 fighter jet off HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain's brand new aircraft carrier.
Squadron Leader Andy Edgell, one of Britain's top airmen, is currently testing our 11 new F-35s in the United States ahead of their sea trials on the warship next year.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, the 37-year-old father of three said he is 'exhilarated by every flight' in the 1,200mph attack planes equipped with bombs and heat-seeking missiles.
Photo via UK Daily Mail
'She's marvellous,' Edgell said of the F-35 from the air base in Maryland where the testing is taking place.
'She has an incredible amount of thrust but it's more than just brawn that makes her so fantastic to fly - it's the brains behind her as well,' he added, referring to the plane's control law - or Claw - technology which keeps it stable in the air even at frightening speeds.
'The idea is to make the jets very easy to control so the pilots can focus on carrying out their mission,' he said.
'She's a masterful piece of engineering and it makes her so effortless to fly.'
The F-35, a multi-role supersonic stealth aircraft, is fitted with a Pratt & Whitney F-135-600 engine which generates up to 50,000 pounds of thrust, enough to thrill even the most experienced of pilots.
'It's impossible not to be exhilarated every time,' Edgell said, describing the rush he gets when taking off in the jet.
'She's a beast when you want her to be and tame when you need her to be,' he summarised. 'She's beautiful.'