Comet 4 pilot re-lives the day he made history

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Herbert Leedham at the controls of the Comet 4 he was co-pilot and flight engineer of when it completed the first ever transatlantic flight in 1958.

THIS month marks a highly significant, never to be forgotten moment in British aviation history when the Brits beat the Yanks for the coveted prize of hosting the first transatlantic flight by a jet engine and Herbert Leedham (Bob) from Gaydon was co-pilot on that very flight in October 1958.

Now 96 years-old, Bob recalls how the US airline Pan Am promised to beat BOAC with the first non-piston flight from New York to London but were beaten by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) by several weeks in a de Havilland Comet 4 aircraft, one also flew from London to New York on the same history making maiden flight which hit the front pages of British national press.

Full story in this week’s Herald.