Comet creator – insights from de Havilland’s chief designer

The man who designed the revolutionary Comet jetliner, R E Bishop, wrote this exclusive article for ‘The Aeroplane’ which was published the same day as the aircraft’s first commercial service on May 2, 1952


Mr. R. E. BISHOP, C.B.E., F.R.Ae.S., chief designer and director of the de Havilland Aircraft Co., Ltd., in this article written specially for us, discusses the design of the Comet

AT the end of the War we were faced with the problem of catching up the American lead in transport aircraft. We felt that to embark upon the design of an aeroplane similar to the Lockheed Constellation or the Douglas DC-6, or even a little in advance of those designs, would be fruitless, since our aircraft would inevitably be five years late. We also felt that the American airliners would be able to take advantage of engine developments up to the stage of the propeller turbine, and that we should always be trailing along behind them and striving to catch up.

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