John Wilson was a De Havilland Comet test pilot, who also flew much of the development programme for the DH110.
The British De Havilland Comet first flew in 1949 and is noted as the world's first commercial jet airliner. The Comet 4 series subsequently enjoyed a long and productive career of over 30 years. The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod, the military derivative of the Comet airliner, is still in service.
In 2007 the original decades-old airframes were being rebuilt with new wings and engines to produce the Nimrod MRA 4, expected to serve with Britain's Royal Air Force until the 2020's, nore than 70 years after the Comet's first flight.