Tag Archives: num:ScienceMuseum=1979-758

Flying into Wroughton – thirty years on

Earlier this week I was at our site at Wroughton, Wiltshire, where I met a very special visitor. Joe Wright, together with his family, came to see one of our aircraft, a De Havilland Comet 4B jet. But it wasn’t the first time Joe saw our Comet at Wroughton – he was the very pilot who flew it in, thirty years ago! I was thrilled to meet him and talk about his experience.

Captain Joe Wright, 18 November 2009

Captain Joe Wright, 18 November 2009

The final flight of the Dan-Air-owned Comet 4B number G-APYD was also the last ever flight of this particular type of aircraft, as by the late seventies they had reached the end of their working life. We jumped at the opportunity of buying one (at a knock-down price), and on 1 November 1979 Captain Wright took its controls for the last time to bring it from London Gatwick to Wroughton. The co-pilot, Bryn Wayt, now runs the Dan-Air Staff Association, and tells the story here.

De Havilland Comet 4B jet at Science Museum Wroughton (Science Museum / Science & Society)

De Havilland Comet 4B jet at Science Museum Wroughton (Science Museum / Science & Society)

Thirty years on, the Comet forms a key part of the National Aeronautical Collection alongside such iconic craft as the Douglas DC-3 and the Boeing 247D, which I mentioned in a previous post.