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The de Havilland Comet was a four-engine British airliner built by de Havilland. It was the first jet airliner to enter production.


The design of the DH.106 was developed from the recommendation for a jet powered transport aircraft, which had been issued by the Second Brabazon Committee towards the end of 1943. This recommendation, known as Type IV, was passed in early 1944 to de Havilland, who received authorisation to proceed with the aircraft in February 1945. After detailed discussion about the design with BOAC, the Ministry of Supply ordered two prototypes in September 1946, with BOAC submitting an order for eight aircraft in January 1947.[N 1] The type received the name Comet in December 1947.[1]

Design failures[]

  • After a long underwater pressure test, the explosion of the Comet inside the tank revealed that the rivets in the body were too close to the passenger windows, plus the enormous size of the windows weakened the structure of the aircraft, which answered the question of why there were so many accidents involving metal stress.


The basic design of the Comet was used as the starting point for design of the British Aerospace Nimrod.



  1. BOAC had originally stated a need for 25 aircraft. A subsequent order for six aircraft, submitted by British South Africa Airways, was cancelled when BSAA merged with BOAC, who increased their order to nine aircraft.


  1. World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 468 Sheet 1 (World Civil Aircraft:de havilland DH.106 Comet - A British Dream)