After the flight lifted off from Heathrow's runway 27L (okay, it was called runway No 5 back then), the Comet climbed to an initial cruising height of 36,000ft (FL360) and a speed of 525mph (845km/h or 460kt TAS), and later climbed as high as FL400. Passengers on tonight's flight BA57 to JNB on board a 747-400 will no doubt be experiencing a not dissimilar flight profile (but without the five refuelling stops!).
The onboard environment is of course a different story. The Comet's narrow cabin (above, via British Airways) was one area that harked back to the immediate post-war era in which it was spawned. It had just 36 seats arranged in a fairly cosy layout, with a club eight arrangement in a forward, private cabin (often the preserve of the Hollywood set, apparently) and the remaining 28 seats in the main cabin - all four abreast. Aft of the cabin was the entry foyer and "dressing rooms and toilets - ladies port and gentlemen's starboard".
It added: "Swift and secure high-altitude flight is no longer the prerogative of the specialist few, for the Comet has brought it to the multitude, and many thousands of everyday travellers have already experienced the wonders of jet flight at eight miles a minute in a magic world eight miles above the levels of the oceans."
I couldn't have put it better - de Havilland, the Comet and BOAC: We salute you!
Read Flight's news report on the World's first jet airliner service, in its 9 May 1952 edition,here (from our archive)