Re: Questions about the DH Comet

Date:         28 Aug 97 22:33:34 
From:         Graham Glen <>
Organization: Ain't nobody here but us chickens
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1997.1934@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Trond Olav Berg
<> writes
>I am curious about the first commercial jet airliner: the british Comet.
>When was this project started?

The events which eventually led to the Comet started in early 1943, but
the basic specification was drawn up in August & September 1946. First
flight of the prototype was 27th July 1949.

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

I don't have the production dates, but the first flight was as above,
the last Comet 4C had it's first flight on 4th February 1964.

They were built at Hatfield and Hawarden (Chester).

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

Including the two Comet prototypes and the two Nimrod prototypes a total
of 117 were built. One of these, 6402 became a structural test specimen
in an effort to find the cause of the two aircraft lost to structural

The Nimrod prototypes were converted from Comet 4C airframes that were
stored after the end of production. The second of these made it's first
flight on 23rd May 1967. The aircraft prior to these two (ie the last
aircraft built and flown as a Comet) made its first flight in February

>How many years was it in traffic, and which routes did they fly mostfrequently?
>Was it a safe plane?

Ignoring route proving flights and sales related flights, the first
scheduled flight carrying paying passengers took place on the 2nd May
1952, from London to Johannesburg. The last revenue earning flight was
on 9th November 1980.

I can't help you with any more information, but I can recommend the book
from which I have taken all of this information:

Classic Civil Aircraft: 3 De Havilland Comet
Philip J. Birtles
Published by Ian Allen
ISBN 0 7110 1947 9


Graham Glen

".. and it always was possible to measure the distance between so-called
management and the so-called creative by the time it took for a memo to go
in one direction and a half-brick to come back in the other."
        Dennis Potter