The de Havilland Comet 4C G-BDIW made the last revenue flight of the type from London Gatwick Airport on 9 November 1980. Just over 31 years earlier, the Comet I prototype had made its first flight. Early development flying and initial in-service use suggested that Britain had a world-beating aircraft that would be built in large numbers. Unfortunately for de Havilland -- it was the Boeing Model 707 and its successors that captured the lion's share of the market for jet airliners.

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