Final Flight - October 14, 1997
"The Britannia program ran into lengthy delays following the maiden flight of the prototype in August 1952. A second prototype, incorporating a number of design modifications, flew in December 1953. Further problems were found in the Proteus 705 turboprop engines (reduction gear failures), as well as wing flap mechanism failures, and extensive testing on the pressurization system was required after the Comet 1 crashes. The first two production models were finally delivered to BOAC in December 1955 but commercial service was further delayed by engine flameouts caused by ice ingestion into the combustion chambers; the engine problems were resolved with the introduction of the Proteus 755. BOAC finally launched Britannia service in February 1957. Only 85 production models were built and most saw about 20 years of service before retirement."