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Comet 4 at BOAC

Old 15th Aug 2011, 09:26
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Comet 4 at BOAC

Hope you all don't mind me starting another BOAC thread!

The Comet 4 started it's career with BOAC in 1958 and flew through to 1966. The 707 was introduced in 1960 followed by the VC10 in 64. Was the Comet 4 being used on charter flights at the end of it's career at BOAC? I know they flew migrant charters into SYD in the mid-60s.

They were a beautiful aircraft type, apparently held in high regard by the pilots who flew it.

B.O.A.C.'S COMET FLIGHT TO SOUTH AMERICA - British Pathe

This video has some lovely air to air footage of the Comet, as well as the inflight service. It was a very small cabin! I wonder if the Cabin Crew liked it.
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Old 15th Aug 2011, 12:10
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Google Life photo archive has photo-essay of the departure of the first Comet 4 transatlantic service in Oct 1958
jet kauffman - Google Search
kauffman comet - Google Search
atlantic kauffman - Google Search
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Old 15th Aug 2011, 18:53
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One of my earliest memories is flying in a BOAC Comet 4 from Kano to Lagos in September 1962. Beautiful aircraft.
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Old 15th Aug 2011, 19:38
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Flew out to Malta in an RAF Transport Command Comet 4 in 1957ish from Norholt.
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Old 16th Aug 2011, 07:38
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Er ... if RAF - that would be a Comet II in 1957. See the Lyneham thread.
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Old 16th Aug 2011, 08:11
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I flew Heathrow to Hong Kong in about May 1964 in a Comet,I think there about 5 stops en route including Rangoon and New Delhi,the others I can't remember,I'm confusing them with the return trip 15 months later in a 707.
Colin.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 13:31
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BOAC Comet Services To Auckland NZ

on the 11th of May 1964 I flew on a BOAC Comet 4 from Sydney to Auckland. The aircraft was G-APDD flown by Capt. Creigh (according to my BOAC Junior Jet Club logbook). My father booked us First Class. It was the first jet airliner I had ever travelled in and I was amased at the angle and rate of climb after takeoff. By then I was a seasoned traveller in Ansett-ANA and TAA Viscounts.Being a 12yo boy in First Class gave me the opportunity to visit the flight deck. I still have fond memories of the flight. The steward and air hostess served our meals from a little trolley. I still have the menu, Junior Jet Logbook and the inflight magazine which explained how to use the call button, airvent, reading light and seat recline.Also in the book were similar instructions for the Bristol Britannia and the B707, route structure and a promotional brochure on the yet to be introduced VC10. I wonder what this stuff would be worth these days. Not that I would want to part with it. The Comet 4 looked a sleek in those days and so did the air hostesses!!
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 14:24
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Your age cannot be correct or your childhood memories are truly phenomenal!
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 14:25
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Didn't they have a number of CFIT with them - and got away with it? ISTR one made a perfect touchdown on the only flat bit of Nairobi Game Park one dark night - the only damage being to the local cheetah's pride.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 15:00
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Gruntie,

There were several incidents where contact with the ground in the wrong place occured.

The one in the Nairobi game park was actually a touch and go as they climbed away and landed at the correct airport shortly afterwards!! The tire marks on the Cheetahs playgraound were clearly visible!! Jimmy Nightingale was the F/O and handling pilot.

Another did a gear up in Rome (forgot I beileve)

Another left part of the flaps on a mountain close to Madrid and also landed at the right place shortly afterwards.

There may be more but my Comet days were long ago!!

Brian.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 15:29
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Speedbird,

That must be why GPWS stands for Game Park Warning System!
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 18:18
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Was it a Comet that landed at the wrong airport in India at the end of an inaugural flight? They had to take all the seats out so they could get it to the right airport.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 02:18
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Fareastdriver,

You are correct one did land at, I believe, Dum Dum, but it was in good company as there was already a DC8 (Japan Air) sitting there. I don't believe the DC 8 did fly out although the Comet did??

Speedbird 48.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 07:51
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I think the DC8 was landed at Juhu a bit nearer the coast and a lot shorter than Bombay.

It also had the same? runway qdm as Bombay 09/27.

I remember passing it on my first trip to Bombay (1971) as it was on the way to the crew hotel (Juhu Beach?).

Ah brings back memories of great days and alcohol permits!!!
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 11:45
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There's a wiki for Juhu( runway 08 mistaken for Bombay 09)
Juhu Aerodrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

visits by BOAC Comet I 1953, Garuda CV990 1968, Japan Air DC-8 1972...last 2 ran into ditch, DC-8 written off
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 12:07
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The Comet 4 was indeed used worldwide across the BOAC network, Transatlantic, to Australia, etc. Notably it could get into the old Melbourne airport at Essendon which the 707 could not, giving something of an advantage (I believe something to do with runway strength as much as length) until Comets came off the run, when it was unserved until the current Melbourne airport was opened. By the end in 1966 Comets had come down to medium-haul trips to Africa. They were effectively replaced by the standard VC10s, which got into the performance-limited airfields of Africa which the BOAC 707s could not.

Regarding cabin crew, a TV programme a while ago (maybe the Heathrow 50th anniversary in 1996) had a former C4 cew member saying that the Comet in the rear galley (remember how close the exhausts were to the fuselage) was the noisiest aircraft ever, and they had to resort to standardised handsignals among themselves.

Although they were all withdrawn by 1966 one was kept for a few years as an engineering trainer at Heathrow, in BOAC livery, and appears with a 747 on the cover of a book about BOAC (not advertising the book just showing the historic photo)

BOAC: A History (Revealing History)

Nowadays you would say this was Photoshopped as the early BOAC 747 in the foreground did not overlap with the Comet in the right background by several years, but it was quite possible.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 12:43
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Although the Comets were gone when I joined BOAC in 1967, the previous year I had been on a week-long ‘careers course’ with the company and there were still Comets (and DC-7s) lurking around Hatton Cross.

I struggle to remember the engineering Comet airframe, but on that careers course I had the honour to ‘drive’ the Engineering Apprentices’ Argonaut G-ALHJ – that’s to say, sit in the left-hand seat and work the throttles after two of the engines had been fired up.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 14:43
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Flew on a Dan-Air Comet IV on a package holiday to Corfu in 1977 - you could still see the RAF markings under the paint!
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 15:59
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Originally Posted by The SSK
I struggle to remember the engineering Comet airframe
The book linked to above provides the answer: G-APDT c/n 6420. Delivered 19.10.59. Leased to Mexicana as XA-POW 25.11.65. Returned to BOAC 6.12.69 for apprentice training at Heathrow. Then to Heathrow Fire Service.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 16:08
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The SSK

I struggle to remember the engineering Comet airframe, but on that careers course I had the honour to ‘drive’ the Engineering Apprentices’ Argonaut G-ALHJ – that’s to say, sit in the left-hand seat and work the throttles after two of the engines had been fired up.
The Comet arrived in 68/69 from Mexico IIRC and was repainted in the VC10 hanger. I too had the pleasure of an engine run on ALHJ also the 'pleasure' of manually pressurizing the hydraulics before we started the fun stuff.
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