This is the story of the rise and fall of the De Havilland Comet – the world’s first passenger jet airliner. At the height of World War II, a secret committee of visionary British scientists set about designing a revolutionary new aircraft that would launch a new era in aviation. When it came into service in May 1952, the revolutionary Comet was an instant hit with passengers. But then, in the space of just four months in early 1954, two Comet aircraft blew up in mid-air, killing all the passengers and crew. The catastrophic loss of these aircraft was as sudden as it was mysterious and the future of passenger jet aviation hung in the balance. On the direct order of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, a British team of leading aviation experts was assembled to discover what went wrong, and as part of the process of solving the mystery, they wrote the rulebook of modern air crash investigation, with many of their pioneering techniques still being used today.
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