De Havilland Comet

The D.H.106 Comet was the world’s first jet airliner,offering for a brief and glorioui moment – the fastest, most stylish passenger
travel on the planet. Designed to appeal to a select clientele, it carried
just passengers.
The first jet passenger services, from London to Johannesburg and Colombo, were inaugurated by Comet 1s of BOAC in 1952. The
heavier and longer-range Comet 1A followed, and then the Comet 2, with Rolls-Royce Avon engines.
Flying higher and faster than any other airliner, the Comet seemed
assured of worldwide sales. But in 1954 two Comets inexplicably broke up while dying at high altitude off Italy. The whole fleet was grounded.
An investigation eventually found that cumulative structural fatigue
had caused the metaI to crack around the airliner’s square windows. By the time the much-improved Comet 4 entered service with BOAC in 1958, larger and faster American jet airliners were setting a new standard in air travel. The British lead had been lost and was never regained.