Showing posts with label Comet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comet. Show all posts

Thursday 4 October 2018

A moment in history.........60 years since the first jet engine flight between Europe to New York.

Peggy Thorne at the British Airways Global Learning Academy, with
 Sophie Picton (L) and Nadine Wood (R)
Sixty years ago, the British Overseas Airways Corporation,  -  BOAC, the forerunner to British Airways became the first airline to fly a turbo jet engine aircraft between Europe and New York. 

It was on 4th October 1958 that BOAC flew two de Havilland Comet 4 aircraft, one from New York to London and the other from London to New York. One of the original cabin crew members, Peggy Thorne, 91, had joined BOAC in 1950 and was hand-picked to serve customers on the first flight.


First jet engine flight across the Atlantic

Yesterday, British Airways hosted Peggy, and Captain Hugh Dibley FRAeS, a former Comet 4 navigator, at an event to celebrate the historic achievement. “It was marvellous” Peggy remembers. “We were used to travelling to New York on Boeing Stratocruisers which took up to 20 hours. We couldn’t believe the flight was possible in such a short time.”


Peggy Thorne with the crew of the first transatlantic jet engine flight 
Despite 60 years having passed, Peggy fully recalls the inaugural flight: “It was so exciting to be the first – it was wonderful. There were all sorts of dignitaries on board, press and the chairman of BOAC. It was a thrilling experience. We served customers Madeira biscuits and coffee when they came on board, followed by cocktails and canapes, and then a five-course lunch with wines. Petit Fours followed and then there was Afternoon Tea! Our customers loved it – they ate and drank from when they got on board until the time they got off.”

Hugh said: “The Comet 4 was delivered to BOAC on the 30th September and flew across the Atlantic on the 4th October, which was quite a surprise to some people, not least because it was so fast!"

"The Comet 4 was a firm favourite with pilots, as it was nice to fly and the design meant it was quite easy to make smooth landings. It also had great passenger appeal due to it's beautiful appearance and take-off performance."