Pasengers travelling on the new De Havilland Comet 1, 1951.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Pasengers relax in a Comet 1 in 1951. The De Havilland Comet 1 was the first commercial jet airliner when it entered service in 1951. Tragically, accidents attributed to presurisation and metal fatigue plagued the early services and by the time the later safe versions were introduced, the lead in airliner production had moved to the USA.