The de Havilland Comet developed and manufactured by de Havilland, first flew in 1949 and was the world's first commercial jet airliner to reach production. Considered a landmark British aeronautical design, after a successful introduction into commercial service, early Comet models suffered from catastrophic metal fatigue, causing a string of well-publicised accidents, The Comet was withdrawn temporarily and redesigned.
The new Comet 4 series subsequently enjoyed a long and productive career of over 30 years, although sales never fully recovered. The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod, the military derivative of the Comet airliner, is still in service. In 2007, the original decades-old airframes were being rebuilt with new wings and engines to produce the Nimrod MRA 4, expected to serve with Britain's Royal Air Force until the 2020s, more than 70 years after the Comet's first flight.