Category Plane crash

John Derry & the speed of sound

It was on Monday 6th September 1948 that John Derry became the first British pilot to exceed the speed of sound. The de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen was designed during the late 1940s at its facility in de Havilland’s Hatfield site and was a carrier-based fleet defense fighter that served into the 1970s.  In September […]

An airplane crossed the English Channel

It was on Sunday 25th July 1909 that Louis Blériot became the first person to cross the English Channel in a airplane. Blériot was a graduate of the École Centrale in Paris who had met and married Alice Vedène while performing military service as a lieutenant of artillery. He had built up a modest fortune […]

Britain’s Jet Age of travel begins

It was on this day – Thursday 2nd May 1952 – that the world’s first passenger jet service from London to Johannesburg took off.  It was a BOAC De Havilland Comet Yoke Peter with 36 fare-paying passengers on board. The journey was some 7,000 miles with stops at Rome, Beirut, Khartoum, Entebbe and Livingstone.   At […]