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Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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First flight of Comet 4B

06/25/2007 3:59 PM

Comets were the first passenger jet airplanes to cruise at 800 km/h and an altitude of 33,000 Ft.

I still can remember how deeply impressed I got by this elegant airplane when I first saw it landing at Buenos Aires Airport, being a little child!

The initial success of this airplane got unfortunately stopped after a couple of crashes caused by lay-out faults that lead to stress-cracks in the cabin. Once the 2 years long investigation ended, the new series of Comet, called 4A (short range) 4B (middle range and 4c (long range) were built.

In the same period Douglas and Boeing launched the DC-8 and B707, which eventually won the favor of the public.

Forty-eight years ago (June 27th, 1958) was the maiden test flight of the first Comet 4B. Some months later, this airplane made it´s first passenger flight from London to Tel Aviv.

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Speke,Liverpool
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#1

Re: First flight of Comet 4B

06/26/2007 5:32 AM

What a classy aircraft,I had the pleasure of helping to maintain four of these aircraft toward the end of my RAF career (1975) They were to be sold to India don't know how things turned out but as we waved goodbye to the last one off the runway the pilot decided to test the emergency braking/reverse thrust,heart stopping moment as he had reached the point of no return going down the runway in Leconfield Yorkshire.Everything worked OK and after taxiing back took off with no further excitement.The engines (Rolls Royce) were inspected by a civilian and given a clean bill of health,not bad for their age, our Chief Tech reckoned even with only 60% power they could keep the aircraft flying.

Enjoyed working on them.

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Guru
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#2

Re: First flight of Comet 4B

06/26/2007 8:24 AM

I flew in RAF Comets several times while serving in the Royal Navy, good aircraft. Some were later converted to long range reconnaissance and renamed the Nimrod. Whether they are still flying, I haven't a clue.

Due to the engine position, they would probably not get a flying certificate today!!!

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Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: First flight of Comet 4B

06/26/2007 8:40 AM

Hi Andy,

12 will be delivered to the RAF between 2009 and 2012.

Below is a picture of the new version. Engines are still in the same position!

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Guru
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#5
In reply to #3

Re: First flight of Comet 4B

06/26/2007 4:19 PM

You mentioned:- Engines are still in the same position!

I guess because either they have a C of A for it or are they just renovating old airframes and updating to Nimrod 2?

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Guru

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: First flight of Comet 4B

06/26/2007 5:17 PM

Hi Andy,

the info I have about Nimrod's is quite limited. Should you be interested in more info, just double click on the image pasted in my previuos posting!

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Power-User

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#4

Re: First flight of Comet 4B

06/26/2007 2:03 PM

During the Second World War, the Brabazon Committee studied Britain's postwar airliner needs. Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, (head of the de Havilland company) was a committee member and used his influence and the company's expertise with jets to include mention of the need for a transatlantic jet mailplane called the Type IV or DH.106.[3] British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) found the Type IV's specifications attractive and in December 1945 agreed to buy ten aircraft.

Design work began in 1946 under Ronald Bishop, who had been responsible for the Mosquito fighter-bomber. Several configurations were considered, including twin booms and a swept-wing, tailless design but a more conventional design was eventually chosen and announced as the Comet in December 1947. First deliveries were expected by 1952.

The first flight of a prototype DH.106 Comet lasted 31 minutes on 27 July 1949. The pilot was de Havilland Chief Test Pilot John Cunningham, a famous wartime night-fighter pilot. The aircraft was publicly displayed at the 1949 Farnborough Air Show and then began flight trials. A year later the second prototype made its maiden flight. On 2 April 1951 this aircraft was delivered to the BOAC Comet Unit at Hurn under the registration G-ALZK and carried out 500 flying hours of crew training and a route proving programme. But it would all have been for naught if the Germans had not been so prolific during WWII which caused the need for de Havilland's great works on fighter aircraft which led the way to transports of the same genera

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