The fifth vessel to bear the proud name. Ark Royal was built by
Swan Hunters Ship Builders’ yard at Wallsend in December 1978 and
launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. HMS Ark
Royal was accepted into service on July 1 1985. HMS Ark Royal is larger
than her 2 sisters, Invincible and Illustrious, at 210 metres (683
feet) long. She has a maximum beam of 36 metres (117 feet) and a displacement
of 20,000 tonnes. 4 Olympus gas turbine engines (like Concorde’s)
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 is fitted
at the forward end of the flight deck. HMS Ark Royal is planned to
remain in active service until 2015 when the next generation of aircraft
carriers will enter service. The Ship's motto is 'Zeal Does Not Rest'