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Comet G-ANAV for mags


Date: May 6th, 2016

WITH the arrival of another of the historic Comet of the 1950s the de Havilland Aircraft Museum now has four examples of the Hatfield-designed and built world’s first commercial jet passenger aircraft.

The nose section of the Comet, registered to British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as G-ANAV, has been donated to the museum by the Science Museum, and it is planned to make it a major “hands-on” attraction at the popular family day-out venue at Salisbury Hall, London Colney.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Science Museum has donated such a historic aircraft to the museum,” said marketing director Mike Nevin.

“The Comet was such an important aircraft to Britain and the British aviation industry, giving the country the world lead in commercial jet airliners and we are proud that here at Salisbury Hall we can tell that story with the last two Comets from the first production batch.”

Comet G-ANAV with build number 060013 was the first Comet 1A off the production line. It made its first flight at de Havilland’s Hatfield factory airfield on August 11th 1952 Initially sold to Canadian Pacific as CF-CUM it was reregistered as G-ANAV and delivered to British overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) on August 12th 1953 when the sale to Canadian Pacific fell through. BOAC subsequently leased the aircraft South African Airways for for the London to Johannesburg route.

With the rest of the Comet 1 fleet it was grounded in 1954 following two fatal crashes.

It was one of four of the Comets delivered to the RAE at Farnborough for water pressure tank testing to determine the cause of the accidents and its fuselage burst in the tests.

The museum’s second Comet 1A, or more accurately Comet 1XB, F-BGNX, built for Air France, was another of the Farnborough Four and is currently under restoration; it is the only complete fuselage still with its original “rectangular” windows.

It is planned to re-equip the cockpit of G-ANAV to provide an interactive and fun experience for children and young adults. With all engine starting systems, instrumentation, fuel cocks and throttles operational and a synchronised soundtrack it will be able to simulate starting all four de Havilland Ghost jet engines in sequence, taxying to and executing a fast run down the runway before returning to the stand and shutting down its engines.

The museum’s two other Comets are the front section of an ex-RAF Comet C2R and a sadly no longer functioning Comet 4 flight simulator.


The nose section of de Havilland Comet 1a G-ANAV. To the left can be seen the fuselage of Comet F-BGNX. Photo: GARRY LAKIN



The museum, a privately owned registered charity, With a Board of Trustees it is run completely by unpaid volunteers, among them many former employees of both de Havilland and another aircraft company, Handley Page at Radlett.

With its development plans for a large new hangar well under way, the museum is looking for more volunteers with a wide variety of skills from engineering to painting, retail to carpentry and to become Stewards at each of the aircraft on display. Details can be found on its website


Contact for more information:

Peter Jeffery

Public Relations Manager

De Havilland Aircraft Museum

Salisbury Hall

London Colney

0775 987 9966 / 020 8366 0337