Re: Questions about the DH Comet

Date:         28 Aug 97 15:40:37 
From:         Marc Schaeffer <>
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Trond Olav Berg wrote:
> I am curious about the first commercial jet airliner: the british Comet.
> When was this project started?

It was started with the Barbazon comitee in Jun 43, which proposed 5 a/c
to be built by GB. On of which was the DH 106 alias Comet.

> How many years was it manufactured, and where was it built?

It was built in Hatfield (GB). First flight of the prototype was on 27
Jul 49.

> How many planes were built, and when was the last one assembled?

A total of 113 planes were built. The last one was delivered to United
Arab Airlines on the 26 Feb 64.

> How many years was it in traffic, and which routes did they fly most
> frequently?

Most frequent routes were the empire routes. India, South Africa to GB.

> Was it a safe plane?

No, there were 20 crashes with Comets. De Havilland underestimated the
forces and stress at high altitude and speed. However there were no
references at that time so the constructor can't (fully) be blamed. Also
calculators and computers were not existing .. After solving the
structural problems the Comet4 was pretty safe, meaning that most
incidents could not directly be blamed on design defects.

> How did jets inside the wings perform, compared to the jets on the 707 etc?

This design was unique. It was very nice for the eyes, meaning the a/c
was superb to observe with this one of a kind design. However an engine
mounted in a wing is not very safe. Think that the engine is running at
high speed and that in the wing you have that huge amount of fuel. So if
a blade separates, you will have a nice explosion. After the YP crash
the shielding around the engines were reinforced, just in case of ...
None of the Comet crashes was due to engine explosion.

As you might see I am fascinated by this grandma. I'm working hard to
launch my DH Comet pages on my website next month.

Marc Schaeffer, Luxembourg //
---->>>>> Comet homepage coming soon  <<<<<----