Image of the Day: First jetliner's maiden flight 61 years ago

Credit: British Airways

The de Havilland Comet 1 was the first commercial jetliner and its maiden voyage took place on May 2, 1952. The Comet 1 left from London and arrived safely in Johannesburg, South Africa. Not long after, though, Comet 1s began malfunctioning due to "metal fatigue." In fact, the very Comet 1 that had journeyed successfully to Johannesburg, crashed into the Mediterranean off the Italian island of Elba on January 10, 1954.

The Comets were grounded for redesign and didn't return to the skies until 1958. But it was too late, as airlines were already showing a strong preference for both the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8.

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