71 Years Ago, The De Havilland Comet Took To The Skies

Me too, these retro aircraft have always Intrigued me. Thank you!

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Well we haven’t reinvented it yet, but it’s leaps and bounds better, and really only resembles it in its core design principles. It is crazy though, but just goes to show how awesome the jet engine was…

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Yeah. It may be vastly different, but in many ways it’s still the same too. The jet engine was something that was just as revolutionary as the piston engine, cause before then, there was no way to power aircraft efficiently.

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it looks futuristic tbh

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It’s 71 years old, but still looks modern — no other plane can claim that. We saw this design only in this time period, and then designs just went stale. I know all aircraft look different, but engines under the wings gets old after awhile.

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You know your an a geek when you have two books, by two different people, with two different pictures, taken by two different photographers, just seconds away from each other…
(From one of my long ago topics)

I do love this plane. It’s a shame it went down so soon.

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I walked around the one at the Duxford museum a few years ago - it’s literally like taking a step back in time. It was quite lamentable…


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ngl, I think it looks more modern than anything we have today.

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Now that’s just beautiful! I’d love to there and see it.


@N2628P, that’s quite a coincidence. 😂

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I have to agree with that, @AvioesEJogos. We’ve never seen an airliner like this since the Comet.

Sice the B-52, nothing has really changed, other than Concorde and Tu-144



Lokk how the basic design is exactaly the same, except for the wings position and the gear design (not visible on that B-52 photo)

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I think people forget that after the initial issues were solved the comet was actually a very good aircraft. In fact the comet 4 was in use by the RAF up until about 2010 as a maritime patrol aircraft (Its better known as the Nimrod) It’s such a shame we no longer build any aircraft here in the U.K.

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Well, no pain no gain

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Yep. It was renamed the Nimrod MR.2. Very good aircraft!

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Ya. Technically it’s a different technology, this used the Commet 50 turbo jet, which in the simplest terms is a zero bypass turbo fan engine, turbo fans being what you see on more or less every jet today. The last true turbo jet was the Concord. Turbo Jets don’t have the fan at the front, in the simplest terms the air more or less goes right into the compressor. In a turbo fan air first goes through the fan (that big propeller looking thing at the front of more or less any jet engine you can think of) and some of it bypasses the compressor. Early ones were usually 0 < bypass ratio > 2, and are now considered “low bypass turbo fans” todays engines are generally 5 < bypass ratio > 10, ya, you read that right in some engines like the GE9X I believe will set a new record at 10.2:1, that means for every part of air that goes through the compressor 10.2 bypass it. There’s a complicated answer as to why that is the more efficient option, and since I’m certainly no expert I’ll let you look into that on your own. That’s also not to mention the thousands of improvements in material science, and other fields that make a modern jet engine much better, but this plane was a very important step, crazy to think that it’s already 70 years old.

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The Comet pioneered in not only jet technology, but structural design of aircraft. Such as round windows are better than square windows. After the kinks were worked out, it was amazing, but it wasn’t as popular due to its reputation.


Thanks for the info, @KPIT! 🙂

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Well, the biggest of PW1000G series (PW1100G) has a bypass ratio of 12.5:1

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I can always count on @Butter_Boi to give me some good aviation history.

Good read!

Thanks! I guess I’m the official IFC historian now (oh wait, that’s @RotorGuy). 😂

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If I’m not mistaken, the last commercial Comet flight was in either 1995 or 1997.

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