THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED

BRUCE HALES-DUTTON EXPLAINS HOW THE EARLY COMET 1 REVOLUTIONISED AIR TRAVEL AND WHY DE HAVILLAND PAID A HEAVY PRICE FOR PIONEERING

The Comet 1 prototypes during the summer of 1950. G-ALVG is below and behind G-ALZK.

Hatfield Aerodrome, 1817hrs, July 27, 1949: commercial aviation was about to make a great leap forward. At the controls of the sleek silver de Havilland Comet airliner waiting at the runway threshold, its engines running up to a shrieking crescendo, was the company’s chief test pilot Gp Capt John Cunningham.

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