If you are able, please convey to Pat Malone my congratulations on the exceptional quality of his article ‘Slide rules and sliding from sight’ that appeared in the January 2015 issue of Pilot. Yes... I know I am about a year and a half late in writing this, but my sentiments are nevertheless heartfelt and I suspect he may be pleased to know his efforts do not go unnoticed.
In the article, amongst other personalities, he mentioned my father, Frank Whittle, who would have been equally impressed with what was written.
Pat might also be interested to know that, in my father’s 1949 diary, there is mention of his fears that the square window apertures of the Mk 1 Comet may not have had the necessary integrity to support the stresses inherent in a highly pressurised fuselage. The differential pressure in flight would rise to 8.5-9.0lb per square inch every time the aircraft climbed to its normal cruising altitute. He therefore proposed a ‘temporary fix’ wherein there would be a lattice of stainless steel wire from the frame across the outside of the pressure-bearing panels of the windows. His idea was not taken up by de Havilland although it was tried on the prototype Vickers Viscount.
Although it probably would not have saved the Comet from the disastrous airframe failures, it is interesting to know about the timely concern.