Trivia Minute May 2, 2015

Episode 63: First Jet Airliner Flight

by Marcus Michelson
A BOAC de Havilland Comet jet airliner, en route to Johannesburg from London, breaks its journey at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. (Photo via Wikipedia)
A BOAC de Havilland Comet jet airliner, en route to Johannesburg from London, breaks its journey at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. (Photo via Wikipedia)

Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the maiden flight of the first jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1.

Here are some things you might not know about early jet travel.

One: The first commercial flight of the De Havilland Comet was a BOAC flight from London to Johannesburg.

Two: About a year after entering service, the Comet began showing signs of weakness. Three Comets broke up in flight, caused by airframe failure due to metal fatigue.

Three: During four years out of service, the Comet was redesigned and would remain in commercial service until 1981 and in military service until 2011.

Our question: BOAC was the first airline to fly the Comet. What did the letters BOAC stand for?

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