AVIATION: Comet's Tale

Ever since Britain's De Havilland Comet screamed across the sky last summer in its first 500 m.p.h. test flight, U.S. airline operators have wondered how the first jet airliner would perform as a fare-earning carrier. Last week, De Havilland gave out a detailed report on 150 hours of test flights.

The Comet, said De Havilland, has a gross weight of 105,000 lbs., a cruising speed of 490 m.p.h., and a practical commercial range of 2,645 miles, with a payload of 12,000 lbs., including 36 passengers and their...

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