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 John Schmidt (dc8schmidt@twc.com) | Home > 
The Amazing Comets May 2018
In 1945 the first jet airliner was conceived. DeHavilland undertook the enormous task of developing, and delivering a revolutionary airliner that was ultimately to transform air travel in little more than a decade. On July 27, 1949 a prototype took to the air. By May of 1952 the Comet 1 was in service from London to Johannesburg.
  The succeeding events are well known, but step by step the Comet design was refined to its final iteration, the sleek Comet 4s. The airliner was first (barely) on the North Atlantic, and introduced jet service over most of the world.
  Following are cards showing the Comets that led the way, and by overcoming many technical issues, facilitated the rapid introduction of Jet airliners world wide.
Album by John Schmidt. 1 - 94 of 94 Total. 15350 Visits.
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Enlarge photo 1
DeHavilland Comet 1
July 26, 1949, the Comet Jetliner first flew. It would be 10 years later before  Comet 4s were safely and reliably operating jet services around the world.  In the years between many setbacks were encountered and ultimately overcome.

Enlarge photo 2
Air France Comet 1
Air France received their first of 3 Comet 1s on June 12, 1953, operating only until April 1954 following the early crashes. It was placed in service on the Paris to Rome to Beirut route, with future services planned to Brazzaville via Tripoli and Kano.

Enlarge photo 3
Air France Comet 1 #2KCF
In addition to Mediterranean destinations, Air France had the Comet scheduled for Stockholm flights.
The card is from a vintage, unidentified numbered series, shared by Kuo-Ching Fu

Enlarge photo 4
British Overseas Comet 1 #3
G ALZK shown on this excellent Van Leer issue was the first production Comet, completed on October 24,1951, but did not actually operate for BOAC.

Enlarge photo 5
British Overseas Comet 1 #4
The "Ciel de France" series of Editions PI featured the new Comet in 1953.

Enlarge photo 6
British Overseas Comet 1s
This very nice Jaeger issue shows the early Comet fleet in flight. G ALYP, in the foreground was the first catastrophic failure, breaking up over the island of Elba in January of 1954.

Enlarge photo 7
British Overseas Comet 1 #1
The BOAC Comets quickly transformed intercontinental travel, with routes from London to Johannesburg, Singapore and Tokyo, as well as 13 additional intermediate destinations.

Enlarge photo 8
British Overseas Comet 1 #2
By the time this card was issued, the Comet 1 was doomed, in the wake of two earlier crashes, and the mid air disintegrations of G ALYP, and G ALYY.
Numerous conditional orders for the Comets would quickly evaporate.

Enlarge photo 9
British Overseas Comet 1 #5
A rare collector card showing BOAC's sleek new Comet in happier times.

Enlarge photo 10
British Overseas Comet 1 #7 KCF
Another great view of G ALZK, on the unidentified numbered series.
"Card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 11
British Overseas Comet 1 #8 KCF
A vintage Bridge House issue of the Comet 1, by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu

Enlarge photo 12
British Overseas Comet 1 #11 KCF
A rather dramatic view on a Valentine's issue.
"By courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu"
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Enlarge photo 13
British Overseas Comet 1 #12 KCF
Finally, a very rare vintage Japanese issue of the Comet 1, by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 14
Canadian Pacific Comet 1w
Although Canadian Pacific had big plans for Comet services in the Pacific, their first Comet crashed on take off en route to a sales demonstration for Qantas. Qantas bought more Constellations, and Canadian Pacific scrubbed the Comet.
   The card is a very rare Canadian Pacific issue from my want list.

Enlarge photo 15
Royal Canadian Air Force Comet 1 #2 KCF
Canadian Air Force 5301 was the 17th Comet delivered, in March of 1953. It served until October of 1964, after being converted to the 1XB in September 1957.
"An excellent RCAF issue by c..."
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Enlarge photo 16
South African Comet 1 KCF
A rare South African issue, using the image of G ALZK with South African titles applied. This aircraft did not enter service, but a similarly configured aircraft, G ALYY broke up in flight while operating a South African flight to London, bringing an end to the Comet 1's commercial service.
"This image by courtesy of Ku..."
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Enlarge photo 17
U A T Comet 1 #1
U A T really committed to the Comet despite only acquiring 3. Initial services were to Casablanca, Dakar and Abidjan, with subsequent services to Tripoli, Kano, Brazzaville and Johannesburg.

Enlarge photo 18
U A T Comet 1 #6
This is my favorite of the UAT art cards, probably pre- delivery, but rather widely circulated.

Enlarge photo 19
U A T Comet 1 #2
U A T began Comet services on February 19, 1953, ultimately extending the route to Johannesburg. It's incredible that the Comet jet services were actually replacing DC-4s.
Shown on the card is F BGSA, delivered in December 1952 and grounded in April 1954.

Enlarge photo 20
U A T Comet 1 #5
The first Editions PI card featuring the Comet was actually this one, #14, showing UAT's Comet 1A

Enlarge photo 21
U A T Comet 1 #4
Another view of UAT's Comet was on this Marseilles Airport issue,

Enlarge photo 22
U A T Comet 1 #3
F BGSB was the 2nd UAT aircraft, delivered in February of 1953. The image is a remarkably modern looking Avimage card.

Enlarge photo 23
British Overseas Comet 2 #1 KCF
The 1st Comet 2 (aircraft #23) was completed in August of 1953, but never flew for BOAC. It ultimately operated for the RAF.

Enlarge photo 24
British Overseas Comet 2 #2 KCF
An excellent Rudolf Suter issue of G ALYT in BOAC Colors. G ALYT was the 6th Comet produced, which was converted to the 2X configuration. It did in fact operate for the RAF.
A rare card by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 25
Royal Air Force Comet 2
XK 697 was the 32nd Comet, an updated model 2, similar to the 1, but employing the rounded windows and other improvements. Delivered to the RAF in December 1956, it operated until 1972.
"This is a photo, not a postc..."
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Enlarge photo 26
Royal Air Force Comet 2 #1 KCF
XK 669 was a C2 model delivered to BOAC as G AMXB in January 1954, and sold to the RAF in March of 1955. It did not operate in BOAC service.
Card is a Spanjersberg issue by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu

Enlarge photo 27
British Overseas Comet 3 #2 KCF
A rare look at the only Comet 3. G ANLO first flew in June of 1954, and accomplished the first around the world jet flight in December of 1955. Potential orders for the Comet 3 were dropped ( including Pan American), or were changed to the 4 model, so none ever flew in commercial service. This aircraft went to the RAF in 1973.
"Card is an unidentified Dutc..."
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Enlarge photo 28
Aerolineas Argentinas Comet 4 #2
The first airline to operate the new Comet 4 (after BOAC) was Aerolineas Argentinas. In December of 1959, their new Comet 4s were operating Trans Atlantic services, as well as flights from Buenos Aires to The US via Trinidad.

Enlarge photo 29
Aerolineas Argentinas Comet 4 #6
Aerolineas Argentinas served London, Frankfurt, Rome, Paris, and Madrid from South America with the new Comet 4s. This card is an excellent Rome Airport issue.

Enlarge photo 30
Aerolineas Argentinas Comet 4 #3
A rather unusual card of LV PLM, Aerolineas Argentina's first Comet 4, published by Hipocampo. Some describe this as Airline Issued

Enlarge photo 31
Aerolineas Argentinas Comet 4 #5
The same image of LV PLM was used on this Walter Zuerl issue.

Enlarge photo 32
Aerolineas Argentinas Comet 4 #4
This later oversized Aerolineas Argentinas issue shows their 1st Comet with its later registration, LV AHN. The next delivered, LV AHP crashed after 3 months of service in August of 1959. LV AHR crashed in November 1961. The remaining 3 went to DanAir in 1971

Enlarge photo 33
Aerolineas Argentinas Comet 4 #1
A nice color view of LV PLM, in flight, on a Manche issue

Enlarge photo 34
Aerolineas Argentinas Comet 4 #7 KCF
An extraordinary Aerolineas Argentinas issue of LV PLM, from their Dutch office. Card by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 35
AREA Comet 4 #1
AREA of Ecuador replaced DC-7s on their Quito- Miami service with the Comet 4 in 1966. HC ALT, shown on this very rare Area issue was originally a BOAC aircraft, delivered in March of 1966, and operating for 2 years until replaced by the Convair 990.

Enlarge photo 36
British European Comet 4B #1
British European received the first of their Comet 4Bs in November of 1959. The higher capacity, but shorter range version was developed for Capital Airlines, which ultimately could not take delivery.
   The card is the sole BEA issue of the Comet 4, although it does appear on a fleet card

Enlarge photo 37
British European Comet 4B #2
The BEA airline image was used on the vintage Plastichrome card of the Comet 4B as well.

Enlarge photo 38
British European Comet 4B #3
Perhaps the best in flight view of the BEA Comet 4B was on the Editions d'art Yvon issue shown here.

Enlarge photo 39
British European Comet 4B #4
A vintage Werner Friedli Issue of the BEA 4B

Enlarge photo 40
British European Comet 4B #5w
This is a splendid Gibralter Airport issue of G APMC, a 4B delivered in November 1959. It later served with BEA Airtours  from 1971-1973, and was then sold to Dan Air.

Enlarge photo 41
British European Comet 4B #7 KCF
An excellent Vintage AV Fry issue, provided by Kuo-Ching Fu. This beautiful 4B, G APMA operated from delivery in Dec. 1959 until scrapped in 1972

Enlarge photo 42
British European Comet 4B #8 KCF
The BEA 4B appears in the British Airways historical series. Most of the BEA 4Bs flew for Dan Air.

Enlarge photo 43
British Overseas Comet 4 #1
Remarkably, this is the only BOAC issue of their Comet 4. The airliner launched Trans Atlantic jet service, and introduced jet travel to most of BOAC's world wide network. But, by 1965, BOAC was unloading Comets with sales or leases.

Enlarge photo 44
British Overseas Comet 4 #2
BOAC operated 18 Comet 4s, which later served to populate the fleets of a number of other airlines. This one, shown on an outstanding GM issue, later flew for Malaysia-Singapore, and ultimately flew for DAN Air in 1970.

Enlarge photo 45
British Overseas Comet 4 #5
A classic postcard view of the 1st BOAC Comet 4 from AV Fry

Enlarge photo 46
British Overseas Comet 4 #4
An excellent in flight view of G APDA on a vintage Japanese publisher card. This aircraft also flew for Malaysia Singapore and DAN Air.

Enlarge photo 47
British Overseas Comet 4 #6
An uncommon vintage Plastichrome card of G APDA.

Enlarge photo 48
British Overseas Comet 4 #7
One of my favorite Comet cards is this dramatic take off view on an over-length card from a Japanese publisher.

Enlarge photo 49
British Overseas Comet 4 #9 KCF
The very nice Valentine's issue of G APDA, by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 50
British Overseas Comet 4 #10 KCF
An excellent modern card of the BOAC Comet 4, which has the appearance of an airline issue. Unidentified publisher

Enlarge photo 51
British Overseas Comet 4 #11 KCF
A final in flight view of the BOAC Comet 4 on a Frontier Productions issue.

Enlarge photo 52
Dan-Air Comet 4
This is a splendid Dan Air issue of G APDJ, delivered to BOAC In 1959. It served for 8 years before going to Dan Air in 1967. Retired at the end of 1972

Enlarge photo 53
Dan-Air Comet 4C
G -AYVS was a 4C model, acquired from Kuwait in 1971. It operated for Dan Air until WFU in Jauary 1977.
Card is an Aviation Hobby Shop issue.

Enlarge photo 54
Dan-Air Comet 4B #1
An excellent take off view of G APMB, a 4B model delivered new to BEA in November 1959. It served with Channel Airways before joining Dan Air in 1972. It was one of the last operating Comet Aircraft, operating through 1978.

Enlarge photo 55
Dan-Air Comet 4B #2
A nice Skilton issue of G APMG, another BEA Aircraft delivered in 1960. It operated with BEA Airtours from 1970-1972, and joined its brothers at Dan Air in 1973. WFU Nov. 1977.

Enlarge photo 56
Dan-Air Comet 4C #2TH
A spectacular card from Terry Hale showing G BDIT, a Dan Air 4C model which was originally delivered to the RAF in 1961. Dan Air acquired it in 1975, and operated it through 1980.
Card is an Avimage issue.

Enlarge photo 57
East African Comet 4 #1
An outstanding East African Issue of their Comet 4 in flight. Their first Comet was delivered in early 1960, operating for 10 years before sale to Dan Air.

Enlarge photo 58
East African Comet 4 #2 KCF
A very rare East African issue of VP KPJ on the ramp provided by Kuo-Ching Fu. East African took delivery of 3 new Comet 4s, and leased an additional aircraft in 1965.

Enlarge photo 59
Egyptair Comet 4C #1
This is an excellent view from WGA of SU AMV, delivered to United Arab in 1961. United Arab became Egyptair in 1971.  This aircraft operated for Egyptair until 1976, and was sold to DAN Air for parts.

Enlarge photo 60
Guest Comet 4 ad
During the early 1960s, Aerovias Guest leased Mexicana Comets for Trans Atlantic services. Later, the Comets were replaced by leased DC-8s. Guest titles were applied to the aircraft, but not as shown on this flyer.

Enlarge photo 61
Kuwait Comet 4C #1
Kuwait Airways took delivery of 2 new Comet 4Cs in 1963, the 65th and 74th aircraft off the line. The airline later leased a Comet 4 from BOAC. This card is the common Kuwait issue.

Enlarge photo 62
Kuwait Comet 4C #3
Both of the Comet 4Cs went to Dan Air in 1971. This card is a rather rare Kuwait issue of 9K ACE, the second to last Comet built.

Enlarge photo 63
Kuwait Comet 4C #2
An excellent Editions P I card of Kuwait's 9K ACE at Le Bourget.

Enlarge photo 64
Kuwait Comet 4C #4 KCF
This is an excellent Frontier Productions issue showing 9K ACA, the first 4C delivered to Kuwait.
"Card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 65
Kuwait Comet 4C #5 KCF
Finally, this is a modern card, which features Kuwait logos on the back similar to the original airline issue. The photo obviously is from the series that produced #3. A great card, but somewhat mysterious.

Enlarge photo 66
Malaysia Singapore Comet 4 #4w
A rare in flight view of an MSA Comet 4, on an airline issued postcard sized photo. This should have been a color card!
9V BAT was the 3rd BOAC Comet 4, delivered in 1960.  It operated for Malaysia Singapore until joining the other Comets at Dan Air in 1969. Retired in April 1973, it is now restored in BOAC colors.

Enlarge photo 67
Malaysia Singapore Comet 4 #2TH
This is a great view of the aircraft that became 9V BAT shown in the previous image. Delivered to BOAC as G APDC, this  aircraft had an incredible history. It operated the first Trans Atlantic jet flight from London to New York on Oct. 4, 1958. It operated on lease to Qantas from 1959 - 1963 wearing Qantas titles, then operated similarly for Air Ceylon. It went to Malaysian in October 1965, continuing as Malaysia - Singapore in 1967.
"There was never a 9M ACO as ..."
"Card is a Collection Vilain ..."
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Enlarge photo 68
Malaysia Singapore Comet 4 #1
A Singapore airport card, featuring an MSA Comet 4.

Enlarge photo 69
Malaysian Comet 4 #1w
The first Comet 4s arrived at Malaysian Airlines in 1965, wearing a modified BOAC  livery. This sad looking art card is a Malaysian issue. They later adopted the beautiful MSA livery.

Enlarge photo 70
Mexicana Comet 4C #1
The first of three Mexicana issues of XA NAS, a 4C model delivered in January 1960, and operated for a little over 10 years.

Enlarge photo 71
Mexicana Comet 4C #2
XA NAS was the 25th Comet 4 delivered, shown on the ramp in this Mexicana issue.  In 1970 it was bought by short lived Westernair of Albuquerque NM, but never operated.

Enlarge photo 72
Mexicana Comet 4C #3
An excellent Mexicana issued in flight view of XA NAS. Ultimately, this aircraft became the Dick Drost aircraft that sat idle at O'hare  for years.

Enlarge photo 73
Mexicana Comet 4C #4
Another interesting Mexicana issue was this window view, featuring the Golden Aztec service logo used by the airline.

Enlarge photo 74
Mexicana Comet 4C Int #1 KCF
This is a very rare and absolutely unique Mexicana issue, shared by Kuo-Ching Fu, showing passengers balancing coins on their tray tables, thus confirming the smooth flight of the new Comets.

Enlarge photo 75
Middle East Comet 4C #1
The first Middle East Comet 4C was delivered on December 19, 1960. By the end of 1961, four were operating. They covered Middle East's network until the 1968 raid on Beirut.
This card is a less common Middle East issue.

Enlarge photo 76
Middle East Comet 4C #2
This Middle East issue shows OD ADS, the 47th Comet 4 on the ramp at Beirut. This was one of the Comets destroyed

Enlarge photo 77
Middle East Comet 4C #3
In my view the greatest of the Middle East Comet cards is this outstanding in flight card of OD ADR, delivered In December 1960, and destroyed on December 28, 1968.

Enlarge photo 78
Middle East Comet 4C #5 KCF
Only OD ADT survived to serve from 1961-1973, when it was sold to DAN Air. The card is a rare German Middle East issue, by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 79
Misrair Comet 4C
An uncommon Misrair issue of their newly ordered Comet 4C. By the time of delivery Misrair had become United Arab Airlines.

Enlarge photo 80
Nigeria Comet 4
Nigeria chartered a BOAC Comet 4 for services to the UK in 1962. It is unclear if a single aircraft was used, or if Nigeria titles were placed on the airliner as shown in this excellent Nigeria Airways issue.

Enlarge photo 81
Olympic Comet 4B #1
A classic Olympic issued card of their beautiful 4B, SX DAK. Originally delivered to BEA, It operated from May 1960-November 1969, before going to Channel Airways. Later became one of the last operating DAN Air Comets.

Enlarge photo 82
Olympic Comet 4B #5
This  vintage Editions PI "Ciel de France" issue shows SX DAK still wearing its original BEA registration, G APYC

Enlarge photo 83
Olympic Comet 4B #2
In 1962, Olympic's routes reached from London and Amsterdam on the west to Cairo, Tel Aviv, and Beirut on the East. The international routes were all being flown by Comets. Shown is a more common Olympic issue.

Enlarge photo 84
Olympic Comet 4B #3
A very similar Olympic issue

Enlarge photo 85
Olympic Comet 4B #4
The Comets continued to fly all international routes until 1967, when 707s were introduced initiating Trans Atlantic flights. The Comets were gone by 1970.
Shown is a vintage Valentine's issue.

Enlarge photo 86
Pan Am Comet 4
Pan American held on to Comet options for nearly a decade. Their Comet 3 options were converted to 4s, but by the time 4s were available, DC-8s and 707s were ready for service.

Enlarge photo 87
Royal Air Force Comet 4 #1 KCF
The RAF was a significant Comet operator, including a number of 4Cs. XR 398, shown on this oversized information card was delivered in 1962, operating until sold to Dan Air in 1975. Dan Air operated this beauty until January of 1980. Now on display at a museum in Dusseldorf.

Enlarge photo 88
Sudan Comet 4 #1
A splendid Sudan Airways issue of ST AAW, delivered on Nov. 20, 1962. This beauty operated for Sudan until April of 1975, when sold to Dan Air.
This card appears both with deckled edges and straight edges.

Enlarge photo 89
Sudan Comet 4C #2
An excellent publisher card of SU AAW.  Sudan only operated 2 Comet 4Cs, both of which went to Dan Air in 1975.  SU AAX flew with Dan Air through 1979

Enlarge photo 90
U K A&AEE Comet 4C #1 KCF
The UK Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment operated the last airworthy Comet. This amazing card is actually a description issued by an auction company to sell the aircraft. This was Comet 4 # 73, delivered to the RAF in 1963, and last operated 10/30 1997.

Enlarge photo 91
United Arab Comet 4C #2
United Arab took delivery of 9 Comet 4Cs, five of which were written off in crashes. The remaining 4 were sold in 1976 to Dan Air for parts.
Shown in this airline issue is their first Comet 4C, delivered in 1960. It flew until 1971, crashing in a sandstorm in Libya.

Enlarge photo 92
United Arab Comet 4C #3
A somewhat iconic Airline issue from United Arab.

Enlarge photo 93
United Arab Comet 4C #4
Shown in this Cairo Airport card is United Arab's SU ALE, which was delivered in 1960, and crashed at Munich in early 1970.

Enlarge photo 94
United Arab Comet 4C #1
A nice view of SU ALM,  delivered in 1962, which operated for14 years before sale to DAN Air for parts.
United Arab  took delivery of the final Comet 4 on Feb 26, 1964, which was written off at Addis Ababa in 1970.

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