DH Comet 1 Prototype

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The DH Comet first flew in July 1949 registered G-ALVG.

After extensive use and testing it was broken up at Farnbourgh in July 1953.

Does anything now exist of this aircraft in parts.

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Profile picture for user cometguymk1

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I don't know I'm afraid but various Comet bits (Including a fuselage) escaped being scrapped at Farnbourgh so it is possible. 

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cometguymk1, would it not be worthwhile contacting FAST at Farnborough for any infomation they might have? 

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I'd love to see an entire Comet I.

Considering its role in aviation history and the national pride it have the U.K., it's hard to believe someone didn't keep one.

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From wikipedia;

 

"Since retirement, three early-generation Comet airframes have survived in museum collections. The only complete remaining Comet 1, a Comet 1XB with the registration G-APAS, is displayed at the RAF Museum Cosford.[184] While painted in BOAC colours, it never flew for the airline, having been first delivered to Air France and then to the Ministry of Supply after conversion to 1XB standard;[184] this aircraft also served with the RAF as XM823. The sole surviving Comet fuselage with the original square-shaped windows, part of a Comet 1A registered F-BGNX, has undergone restoration and is on display at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum in Hertfordshire, England"

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There was an Air France Comet 1 fuselage at Farnborough for many years which is now preserved at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum.

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There is indeed a MK1 at the DH museum i spent a happy summer spraying anti corrosion wax over the inside in places such as the luggage bay and equipment bay. 

My avatar is of her before the current restoration got really going. If you haven't visited please do in the new year to see the progress on the whole museum (but especially the Comet :) ) 

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Just how many Comets including cockpits survive in the UK?

 

 

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Interesting Question.

At the DH museum there are 3 noses (1 MK1, a Mk2 and a MK4) and a Fuselage (MK1)

The Raf museum has a modified MK1 at cosford

The Science museum have a MK4 in store

Duxford and East Fortune have MK4s on display 

Bruntingthrope have a Running MK 4

Brain cant remember any others at the moment but im sure someone will correct me.  

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OH Boscome Down museum have a MK2 front fuse!

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The cockpit of mk 4 XV814 ( G-APDF ) still exists afaik, it was in private ownership and had been converted into a full scale flight simulator

And the cockpit of 4C G-BEEX, at the North East Land, Sea and Air Museums, Sunderland .

 

Also cockpit of XV148, which was built as a Comet but converted to a Nimrod prototype

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By the late 1960s, there were four Comet 1 remains to be seen at Farnborough. Two cocooned fuselages, a fuselage in BOAC markings in use as some sort of clubhouse, and a truncated centre fuselage. In the early 2000s I exchanged a few emails with a Comet researcher. Unfortunately, they've vanished into an internet black hole, so I've got to go from my memory. The gist of the information  was that F-BGNX, now at Salisbury Hall, was one of the cocooned fuselages. The other cocooned fuselage was identified, although I've forgotten the details, and the incomplete fuselage was reckoned to be a surviving chunk of the prototype G-ALVG. The identity of the clubhouse was still a mystery, though. I took the attached picture at the 1968 Farnborough, with the possible remains of G-ALVG in the background . The next show I attended was 1974, by when there was nothing to be seen apart from a fuselage in the far distance somewhere at the Laffans Plain end. Can anyone else throw some more light on things?

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I recall seeing one cocooned fuselage at Farnborough in '78, from memory it was from the western end of the crowd line and the aircraft was around where the TAG Engineering hangars are now. That was supposed to be F-BGNX.

There was quite a dump, I think the remains of the Staines Trident PI were visible from the north side of the airfield during an earlier visit in '77.  On that occasion we were treated to a aerobatic practice by Neil Williams' Jungmann, presumably flown by the Maestro himself.

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The two in the picture are F-BGNX on the left, and G-ALYW on the right.

'YW survives, but heavily modified, having been converted into a Nimrod mock up for the Exhibition flight. Last heard of in Holland I think.

The partial fuselage may have been the prototype.

de Havilland Museum also have the nose of G-ANAV, ex CF-CUM.

Information courtesy of the Martin Painter book, published by Air Britain. A while since I opened its covers!!

 

Bruce

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Although not in the UK and not the prototype, one might mention the nose and cockpit of Mk 2R XK655 (the former first production Comet 2 G-AMXA) that is housed, and well looked after, in the Al Mahatta museum in Sharjah, UAE. It is the one that damaged its undercarriage landing at Strathallen and was finally scrapped, except the front end that was on the roof at Gatwick for ten years from 1995. Now in BOAC colours after a very nice restoration.

Laurence

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Bruce, thanks for that information. It's jogged my memory that it was Martin Painter that I exchanged emails with years ago and who fed me the information about the fuselages' identities.

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The Comet nose at the Al Mahatta museum in Sharjah, UAE. looks superb!! Thanks for the photo. I remember this well from the Gatwick spectators viewing area. Now just need the HP Herald to be restored to such a standard. If memory serves me well isn’t there a D.H Comet somewhere in Mexico? 

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You might be thinking of the Comet 4c at the Museum of Flight in Seattle (XA-NAR) which is ex Mexicana Airlines?

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A bit of digging has disclosed that the Comet clubhouse fuselage I referred to earlier in this thread was the second prototype G-ALZK, with some additions from an unidentified ex-RAF Comet. I must admit that it seems strange that major parts of the world's first two purpose-built jet airliners were sent for scrap as late as the late 60s/early 70s but ho hum, what's done has been done. https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1194223

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 I must admit that it seems strange that major parts of the world's first two purpose-built jet airliners were sent for scrap as late as the late 60s/early 70s but ho hum, what;s done has been done.

Even worse that the first Mk.2 G-AMXA/ XK655, referred to by l.garey above, was scrapped in the '90s! Certainly it's location at Strathallan didn't make it easy to save - incapable of being flown out and therefore requiring a long road trip on small country roads sealed it's fate (and that of Shackleton VP293). Good that the cockpits sections survived, at least and nice to see the Comet one back in its BOAC scheme.