De Havilland DH–88 "Comet"

Flight Notes - how to fly the de Havilland DH–88 "Comet"

The Comet's entire reason for being was to race. It was specifically designed for the McRobertson race from England to Australia in 1934 and it was a winner, taking first place and fourth place. Remarkably, the aircraft was designed, built, and tested within nine months. Of five examples built, only two survive: Grosvenor House (restored to flying condition, and flown in 1987 and 2002) and Black Magic (awaiting restoration at this writing).

It's difficult to see over the long nose of the Comet and you have to take this into account during taxiing, takeoff, and landing. The flight controls are very powerful but not as responsive as a smaller aerobatic plane like the Extra. It requires a long runway when fully loaded and the Comet has a nasty habit of swinging wildly during ground handling with the power applied.


U.S. Metric
Maximum Speed 237 mph 206 knots 382 km per hour
Cruise Speed 188 mph 163 knots 302 km per hour
Engine Two 230 horsepower de Havilland Gipsy 6R
Propeller Ratier pneumatic airscrews
Maximum Range 958 mi 1,542 km
Service Ceiling 22,800 feet 6,950 meters
Fuel Capacity 258 gallons 1,032 liters
Empty Weight 2,930 pounds 1,329 kilograms
Maximum Gross Weight 5,250 pounds 2,381 kilograms
Length 29 feet 9 meters
Wingspan 44 feet 13.4 meters
Height 10 feet 3 meters
Seating 2
Useful Load 2,320 pounds 1,052 kilograms