Aeroplane Monthly 1993-11
T.Nelson - Falling stars (2)
The first production Comet 1, G-ALYP, was delivered to BOAC in March 1952.
An aerial view of the Hatfield water tank in December 1955. The filled section, containing the Comet 2 fuselage, held 220,000 gal of water. The empty end portion had a capacity of 70,000 gal. A reservoir of 330,000 gal may be seen in the bottom right-hand corner.
The ill-fated first production Comet 1, G-ALYP, at the time of its first flight in January 1951.
Comet 1 G-ALYY at Frankfurt-Main on April 21, 1953. First flown on September 9, 1952, this aircraft crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Stromboli on April 8, 1954.
Comfort, coupled with efficiency and economy, was the hallmark of the Comet’s passenger cabin and seating. The failure of early Comet fuselages started at windows identical to the one seen here.
Reduxed window frame of a Comet 1 during construction in 1951. Rivets mean holes, and holes mean leaks, and Comet designer R. E. Bishop originally decided on extensive Redux bonding, which saved the weight of rivets and allowed the use of thinner plate. A combination of riveting and bonding was used on the Comet.
Left, a detail of the starboard front corner of the rear ADF aerial window recovered from the wreckage of the Elba Comet (G-ALYP) reveals cracks and drill holes in the skin. Right, detail of the crack and drill holes in a reinforcing plate from the same ADF window.
The wreckage of one of the passenger seats of one of the Comets, exhibited at the Court of Inquiry in October 1954.