The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world’s first commercial jet airliner to reach production.
The first production aircraft (G-ALYP) flew on January 9th 1951. On May 2nd 1952, this same aircraft ( G-ALYP ) took off on the world’s first ‘jetliner’ flight with fare-paying passengers, beginning scheduled service to Johannesburg.
Tragically on January 10th 1954, 20 minutes after taking off Comet G-ALYP broke up in flight and crashed into the Mediterranean off the Italian island of Elba, with the loss of all 35 on board. The cause was eventually found to be metal fatigue.