The World's First Jet Airliner, which dissapeared after the arrival of the Boeing jets. In February 1999, the British Post Office included the Comet as one of Britain’s great innovations during the millennium [...]
|Book cover finish
|Hardcover with jacquette
|Close to new
|28 x 22 x 1 cm
|R.E.G. Davies and Philip J. Birtles
|Airlife Publishing Ltd.
The year 1999-27 th of July to be exact-marks the 50th anniversary of the dramatic first flight of the de Havilland D.H. 106 Comet airliner. The full drama of the event was not completely realized at the time, even though it was recognized as one that was certainly significant. Aviation folk everywhere, not least in the United States, then believed that jet propulsion could not be reconciled with commercial airline operations. The jets said are too fuel-thirsty, and whilst acceptable for military applications, where cost is not critical, air transport operations will be economically impossible.
The faith of the de Havilland company, the inspired intuition and combined design and engineering skills of the Comet team, and the dedication of both de Havilland and the launch customer, the state airline, B.O.A.C., proved all the specialists and experts wrong. In May 1952, the Comet took the message into the world, as B.O.A.C. built up its jet network. The Jet Age had begun.
Sadly, after two years, a design fault was discovered, one which no previous experience in building commercial airliners (or any other aircraft) had revealed. Both the manufacturer and the operator paid a heavy penalty for being first, as it was literally a case of ‘back to the drawing board’. Four more years were to pass before the rejuvenated Comet had the honour of starting the world’s first transatlantic jet airline service. And, as described herein, it acquitted itself well thereafter.
Since then, the world has never looked back. In February 1999, the British Post Office included the Comet as one of Britain’s great innovations during the millennium. This book also pays tribute to that beautiful aeroplane. The Comet changed the course of air transport progress, and, in spite of the problems it encountered, will still, on the wings of the derivative Nimrod (the same wings, in fact, as those on the first Comet), fly into the next millennium, more than half a century after it first took to the air.