Given how similar it looks to modern aircraft, it's easy to forget how far technology has come. Not only does the Comet have a flight engineer, but a navigator as well. The navigator doubled as the radio operator.
A closer look at the deadly square windows. Unbeknownst to engineers at the time, the square windows would create significant stress in the surrounding metal, causing rapid fatigue and eventually structural failure. This aircraft was one of three intended for testing, but the first two were enough to determine what was happening.
Nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder" it was, as you'd figure from that name, made almost entirely of wood. This is actually the prototype from 1940. It was built nearby, and has been preserved here since 1959.
This Cierva C.24 is a unique aircraft, built by the de Havilland company, but using a design by Juan de la Cierva. Most of the parts are from in-era (1930s) de Havilland aircraft like the Puss Moth. As an autogyro, the rotor is unpowered and must have forward motion to maintain lift.
It's fascinating to see these early controls, decades before joysticks or PlayStation controllers became ubiquitous. The controls worked using compressed air created by an air pump, which was powered by the wooden propeller you see in the upper left.