With time to spare, kinda

The last Royal Navy carrier launch by a fixed-wing British-owned military aircraft was 24 November 2010 when four GR9 Harriers took off from the Invincible-class light carrier HMS Ark Royal, then operating in the North Sea, to land at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland.

It was expected to a decade from then to the time that British-flown F-35B Lightnings would fly from the then-unbuilt HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08).

That timeline actually just took eight years and 11 months as combined Royal Navy/RAF aircrews landed British-flagged F35s on HMSQE last week in preparation for continued flight ops during Westlant ’19 trials 

Images were taken by LPHOT Kyle Heller, RN:

On Tuesday, elements of the RAF’s 617 “Dambusters” Squadron, based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, jumped from the new British carrier.

They do look funny accelerating to the ski jump rather than being launched via catapult. Note the nozzle orientation. 

“The UK will declare Initial Operating Capability for HMSQE’s Carrier Strike by the end of 2020. The first operational deployment for HMS Queen Elizabeth, 617 Squadron, and a squadron of US Marine Corps Lightning jets is due to take place in 2021.”

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