Mike Delaney:

Anecdotes from a “Test Instrument Engineer” at Hatfield working for/with, amongst others, Charles Caliendi, John Marshal and Vic Chambers

Mr Dick Durand III

For material and images of Westernair Comets

Phil Jones 

For Cosford photographs

Peter Bois

Test Pilot – de Havilland Aircraft Company from 1950 – 1956

On the use of ‘Sprite‘ rocket in assisted take-offs here

On Dave Davis – ARB Chief Pilot – and Certificate of Airworthiness here

Flutter incident while crewing with John Cunningham here

Testing icing conditions – testing at high altitude here

Evaluate increasing the forward centre-of-gravity – hazardous incident here

Determining stall characteristics – extensively evaluated here

The loss of Yoke Zulu and the Canadian PA Mk1A – an explanation for the losses here

Theory on the loss of  the Canadian Mk1 here

Peter Bois Theory on the loss of Yoke Victor here

Peter describes a typical test flight with RAE personnel here

Peter McKeown

Capt. Peter McKeown – Senior Line Training Captain for BEA and one of a small team of pilots sent to Hatfield to initiate BEA’s preparations for Comet introduction.

Peter on the three pilot option favoured by BEA here and here

Peter on his first flight in the Mk3B – G-ANLO here

Demonstration flights in G-APMB with John Cunningham, Peter Buggé, Peter Wilson and Ted Young, as flight engineer E1 here

Problems with slush on the 4B here

Final thoughts on flying the Comet here

Ken Emmott

BOAC Training : Comet 1 Development Unit at Heathrow, London

Were jet-crews seen as an elite? here

Developing new methods of navigation for the Comet here


A special thank you to the following copyright holders who have given permission for images to appear on this site:

And Mike Hooks

Also a special thank you to the staff at Dan Air Engineering, Lasham who gave great support in the 1990s when this website was first launched

Additional information

Eric Anderson, Victoria, B.C. Canada –  photograph of G-APDO taken by  Dr. Lewis Anderson at Lagos in 1963

John Switzer for additional information  on 6407 XV814, 6422 G-APMB & 6443 N777WA

Rob Hood for information on XA-NAS

Trevor Friend for correction / information on fuselage at Farnborough [G-ALZK] and water-testtank at Hatfield

Bart Koop on Air Ceylon and G-APDC

Excellent additional Reference – Frank Halford

Major Frank Bernard Halford CBE, FRAes, MSAE 

This is an excellent website dedicated to the amazing Frank Halford – the man behind the Goblin jet engines used by de Havilland in numerous aircraft. 

Please visit   Aviation – The Halford Napier and De Havilland Engines (

This is a non profit information website about an interesting part of aviation history.


Copyright © David Young 2021