This exhibit is a Comet 4 analogue flight simulator for crew training built for BOAC by Redifon Flight Simulation at Crawley. It used a redundant Comet 2 front fuselage, but with functioning cockpit equipment and instruments installed to Comet 4 standard.
In the Seventies Gatwick was sometimes like the living Museum of the British Airliner. This Beauty came from the original BOAC Comet 4 fleet. On the rooftop above the last N in LONDON you can see the edge of the black ADF windows, fatigue cracks from which caused the Comet I fatigue disasters.
BOAC must have had a requirement to link all the countries of the empire. Its Comets passed through Sydney twice a week bound for Auckland, New Zealand, where Whenuapai airport was unable to handle 707s and DC-8s. It was a leisurely service originating in London with eight intermediate stops. BOAC also operated Comets to Melbourne-Essendon. The opening of Auckland's Mangere airport at the end of 1965 ended Comet operations to Australia. 707s flew to Auckland and Melbourne was dropped from the network. Photographer not known. Photo dated by the Petersham water tower finished in 1965.
A familiar part of the Heathrow maintenance area scenery in the 70s connected to its tuba-like mufflers, moved out onto the field in 1980 as fire practice trainer and broken up after the mid-Eighties. Replaced by a Trident in the same spot by 09L. Reg'd to de Havilland 5.57 and to BOAC 10.59; to Mexicana late 1965 becoming XA-NAB and returned to BOAC 12.69
'DO awaits its next load while Guppy F-BTGV taxies into the early mist behind on one of its early Airbus wing flights. The Comet joined BOAC in 5.59 and wad bought by DA in 5.66. It was one of the first to face the scrapper's axe, getting the chop at Lasham in 6.74