Memories of Hatfield's Comet jet airliner

SIR – Regarding your story about the first flight of the Comet aircraft 60 years ago. I served my apprenticeship at Hatfield from 1961 to 1966. During the first couple of years the last Hatfield-built Comets passed through the erecting shop. From then

SIR - Regarding your story about the first flight of the Comet aircraft 60 years ago.

I served my apprenticeship at Hatfield from 1961 to 1966.

During the first couple of years the last Hatfield-built Comets passed through the erecting shop.

From then on they were built at Chester. When they first flew from there, they were unable to land so they came to Hatfield for pre-delivery checks and delivery.


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During my apprenticeship, I worked in the flight test department when the last Comets came through for delivery.

I managed to get two flights during that time period. The first was on October 8, 1963, in Comet 4C XS235 for two hours 20 minutes. This aircraft was delivered to Boscombe Down and is still at Bruntingforth.

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The second flight was in Comet 2E G-AMXK for two hours 25 minutes. This aircraft was being used by Smiths for autoland trials.

De-Havilland Propellors also had a Comet. It was a Comet 1B Serial XM823, This a de-Havilland Ghost powered aircraft.

Unfortunately I do not have any photographs of them.

One observation in the newspaper report. Your heading photo of a Comet in flight registration G-ANLO is not a Comet 4, but the only Comet 3 that flew.

Pete Watson,

via email.

If you have any memories of the Comet and its time at Hatfield email whtimes@archant.co.uk

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