De Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C at Museum of FLight Restoration Center - 2010
This Comet 4C Registration N888WA, was the first Comet 4C built and was originally used for flight testing before being handed over to Mexicana in 1960 as their first jet airliner. It carried between 80 and 120 passengers, had a range of 2,650 miles, and was the ultimate Comet. However by the time it was built in 1959, it had been eclipsed by the Douglas DC-8 and Boeing 707, in spite of its good safety record after the grounding of the Comet 1 in 1953 following several tragic accidents due to metal fatigue.
This plane was to be used by Paine Field based Richmond Air after Mexicana sold it in 1970, though these pans never materialized. It was eventually acquired in 1977 by Everett Community College, and then eventually donated to the museum. Since our last visit in 1999, the cabin is almost completely and very impressively restored though the wings, engines, and exterior are years away from completion. In fact, the vertical stabilizer (tail) is off the plane temporarily while it is partially in the hanger. It is being restored and on display in BOAC livery (which it never flew in) at the restoration facility of the Museum of Flight at Paine Field next to Boeing's Everett, Washington widebody plant. It will eventually be repainted to its original Mexicana livery and interior.
It is not being restored to flyable condition with the goal being to truck it down to the main Museum of Flight Airpark in Seattle as a static display. Volunteers should contact Bob Good RobtHood@aol.com to help on this remarkable restoration job, now the only Comet in the America's.
Special thanks to: Terry "TC" Howard and Tom Cathcart for the tour.