De Havilland D.H.88 Comet Racer

The D.H.88 Comet was a long-range racing aircraft designed specifically to win the 1934 MacRobertson race for Britain.This was
the longest air race ever staged, requiring aircraft to fly 111,300 miles from Mildenhall, England, to Melbourne, Australia.
De Havilland built three Comets for the race; the first made its initial test flight only six weeks before the event. The aircraft was made of wood, with fabric skinning on the wings. Three capacious fuel tanks were fitted into the long nose ahead of t he enclosed two seater cockpit. The two engines were tuned-up versions of the standard de Havilland Gipsy Six, driving variable-pitch propellers. The Comet looked superb and had a performance to match. When the race began
on the morning of 20 October 1934,  a D.H.88 piloted by Jin Mollison and Amy Johnson took the lead, reaching Karachi in less than 28 hours. But it was the scarlet-painted G-ACSS Grovenor House,  flown by Charles Scott and Tom Campbell Black, that won the overall speed prize, reaching Melbourne on 23 October after a journey of 70 hours and 54 minutes – seven hours ahead of its nearest rival, a Douglas DC-2. Comets went on to make other record-breaking flights, including a non-stop flight from Britain to Egypt in 11 hours and 18 minutes in August 1935.

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