Air Pictorial 1995-04
A.Jackson - Comet I - Success and Disaster
Prototype Comet I in BOAC colours.
‘Yoke Peter’, the first production aircraft which was lost off Elba in 1954.
After the accidents, plans to operate Comet IIs commercially were dropped, those aircraft that had been built being modified for use by RAF Transport Command. XK669 was one of ten operated by No 216 Sqn.
G-ALZK, the second air­craft, takes off on its initial flight on July 27, 1950.
Canadian Pacific received two Comets, CF-CUM later returning to BOAC.
After modification to IXB standard, the two RCAF Comets went on to give some years of reliable service.
Recovering from the publicity, de Havilland showed the Comet II G-AMXD and the improved III G-ANLO at the 1954 SBAC Show at Farnborough.
In February 1953, F-BGSA began regular services between Paris, Casablanca and Dakar.
Comet G-ALYZ after the accident at Rome in October 1952.
Most of ‘Yoke Peter’s’ tail was recovered from the Mediterranean and reassembled at Farnborough for the subsequent inquiry.
More than six month’s work resulted in the salvage of a significant amount of the Elba Comet. As well as the external portions shown shaded, a great deal of interior equipment was also recovered including the four engines. Seventy per cent of the empty weight of the aircraft was eventually recovered.