|BC019LTD||De Havilland Comet Single Stamp & Label, unsigned||£35.00||Limited Availability|
|BC019LTDS||De Havilland Comet Single Stamp & Label , signed by Comet Test Pilot, John Wilson||£40.00||Buy Now|
|BC019LTDS3||De Havilland Comet Single Stamp & Label, signd by John Wilson, John Massie & Stephen Wand||£50.00||Limited Availability|
|BC019LTDS4||De Havilland Comet Single Stamp & Label, signed by Wilson, Massie, Duffey & Wand||£55.00||Limited Availability|
Issue Date: 24/11/2008
Issue Name: 50th Ann of Comet's First Flight - De Havilland Comet Single Stamp & La
Producer: Buckingham Covers
It is 50 years since the BOAC Comet 4 Jetliner made her first flight between London and New York on 4th October 1958. We marked this moment in aviation history with a superb limited edition cover. Each features a stamp and label from our Comet stamp sheet, along with a Heathrow Airport postmark (4th October, 2008).
The De Havilland Comet
The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world's first commercial jetliner. Developed and manufactured by de Havilland at its Hatfield Aerodrome, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom headquarters, the Comet 1 prototype first flew on 27 July 1949. It featured an aerodynamically clean design with four de Havilland Ghost turbojet engines buried in the wings, a pressurised fuselage, and large square windows. For the era, it offered a relatively quiet, comfortable passenger cabin and showed signs of being a commercial success at its 1952 debut.
A year after entering commercial service, the Comets began suffering problems, with three of them breaking up during mid-flight in well-publicised accidents. These were later found to be due to catastrophic metal fatigue in the airframes, not well understood at the time. The Comet was withdrawn from service and extensively tested to discover the cause; the first incident had been incorrectly blamed on adverse weather. Design flaws, including dangerous stresses at the corners of the square windows and installation methods, were ultimately identified. As a result, the Comet was extensively redesigned with oval windows, structural reinforcement, and other changes. Rival manufacturers meanwhile heeded the lessons learned from the Comet while developing their own aircraft.
Although sales never fully recovered, the improved Comet 2 and the prototype Comet 3 culminated in the redesigned Comet 4 series which debuted in 1958 and had a productive career of over 30 years. The Comet was adapted for a variety of military roles such as VIP, medical and passenger transport, as well as surveillance. The most extensive modification resulted in a specialised maritime patrol aircraft variant, the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod. Nimrod remained in service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) until June 2011, over 60 years after the Comet's first flight.
Want to see our all the covers in our 1st Series? View them all here