Comet! The World’s First Jet Airliner

Graham M. Simons

Date Published :
February 2014
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
150 color and mono illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781781592793
Pages : 304
Dimensions : 10.75 X 8.5 inches
In stock
Also available as an ebook:
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo


This new volume from the respected and well-regarded aviation historian and author Graham Simons is sure to appeal to all aviation enthusiasts, including as it does a wide array of historical sources and archival information drawn together into one consolidated volume – the closest to a definitive study of the craft than any produced before.

Extensively illustrated throughout, the book features details lifted directly from enquiry and salvage reports, much of which has never been published before and offers a unique insight into the failures and tragedies that blighted the early days of development, laying down lessons that were ultimately to benefit later designs. As part of his research into the book, the author met and interviewed Harry Povey, the De Havilland Production Manager and John Cunningham, the Comet test pilot who would be the first to experience flight at the helms of the iconic craft. Both of these firsthand accounts are relayed in the book, adding a deeper sense of authenticity and a more personalized account of proceedings than facts and reports alone are able to achieve.

Attention is also paid to the derivative Nimrod design, and the book features an interview that the author conducted with the aircraft commander of the last ever Nimrod operational flight. Interviews of this kind are supplemented by the author's own narrative of proceedings, setting personal experience within historical context and exploring the themes and historical topics that the interviews evoke.

About The Author

English professional aviation writer, publisher and historian Graham M Simons is one of the founders of the world famous aviation museum at Duxford near Cambridge where his interest was piqued watching the making of the ‘Battle of Britain’ film there in the late 1960’s and from the days when you could go ‘aircraft spotting’ at London Heathrow and other airports.


The lavishly illustrated volume sports dozens of B&W and color photographs, drawings, maps, art, portraits, and even cartoons and memorabilia.  A selected bibliography and index neatly wraps things up.  And – ta! da! – Simons correctly calls the Old Testament "Tanakh"!

- Cybermodeler

"A solid book of such scope that you’ll probably consult it for a lot more than just Comet material"


"The book is well worth the price and will provide many hours of intriguing reading and research support. It is a good addition to one’s aviation bookshelf."

- Air Power History

More from this publisher