British Civil Aviation in 1954

10 January
A British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) de Havilland Comet (G-ALYP ‘Yoke Pete’) crashes into the Mediterranean whilst flying from Rome to London killing all 35 occupants.

11 January
The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) announces the temporary suspension of de Havilland Comet passenger services.

4 February
The 2nd Bristol Britannia prototype crashes during a test flight on mudflats at Littleton-upon-Severn.

10 February
Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft discloses that it has designed and tested a Gloster Meteor jet fighter which can beflown by a pilot in a prone position.

The aircraft has two cockpits one pilot also sitting up to take over in an emergency. Use of the prone position is believed to reduce the strain on pilots produced by manoeuvres at high speeds.

17 March
The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) announces their order of twenty new de Havilland Comet 4s.

23 March
The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) resumes passenger services with the de Havilland Comet .

8 April
A British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) de Havilland Comet (G-ALYY) crashes into the Mediterranean on a flight from London to Johannesburg, killing all 21 occupants.

9 April
The British Certificate of airworthiness for de Havilland Comet jet airliners is withdrawn pending investigations into recent accidents.

11 April
Vickers Viscount propeller-turbine airliners replace older types on several of the British European Airways Corporation (BEAC) routes.

16 April
British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) aircraft are redeployed of as a result of investigations. The service to South America is suspended temporarily.

15 June
A memorial to Sir John Alcock and Sir Arthur Whitten Brown is unveiled at London airport on the 35th anniversary of their first non-stop transatlantic flight.

14 July
The first prototype of the Handley Page Victor crescent-wing jet bomber crashes.

3 August
Captain R.T. Shepherd pilots the first untethered flight of the Rolls-Royce ‘Flying Bedstead’, a test vehicle designed to for explore the possibilities of using thrust for vertical or near vertical flight.

22 September
The first model aircraft flight across the English Channel is made by Sid Allen and George Redlich, who navigate a radio-controlled 7.5 pound diesel-engined monoplane ‘Radio Queen’ on a flight taking 40 minutes at average speed 36mph.

11 November
The Fairey Delta 2 research aircraft, flown by Peter Twiss, exceeds the speed of sound in a climb.

30 December
The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) announces that it carried approximately 1,825,000 passengers in 1954. More than half of these were flying between Britain and continental Europe.