Commercial jet travel began in the early 1950s with the introduction of the de Havilland Comet, the world’s first commercial jet airliner. The de Havilland Comet, developed by British aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Aircraft Company, made its maiden flight on July 27, 1949, and entered commercial service with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in May 1952.
The Comet was a significant technological advancement in air travel, featuring a pressurized cabin, turbojet engines, and a sleek design. It offered faster travel speeds and higher altitudes compared to propeller-driven aircraft of the time.
However, the early years of commercial jet travel were marred by safety issues. The de Havilland Comet experienced a series of tragic accidents related to structural failures, leading to a temporary grounding of the fleet and subsequent design modifications.
Despite the setbacks faced by the Comet, the commercial jet age had begun. In subsequent years, other aircraft manufacturers, such as Boeing and Douglas, introduced their own commercial jet models, including the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8, which further revolutionized air travel. These jets offered improved safety, efficiency, and comfort, leading to the rapid expansion of commercial jet travel throughout the 1960s and beyond.
Since the 1950s, commercial jet travel has continued to evolve, with advancements in technology, larger aircraft, increased range, and greater passenger capacity, making air travel accessible to millions of people worldwide.