Friday, November 25, 2016

The Short Mayo composite

Henry R Palmer, The Seaplanes, Leonard Morgan Publishing, 1965

Seemed like a good idea at the time...
The 1937 Short Mayo Composite was an experiment in long distance seaplane flight. The smaller Mercury seaplane, loaded with a 1000lb payload and enough fuel for a trans-ocean trip could not lift off the water and this was the ungainly solution. The launch was a success- the Mercury flew from England to Montreal and was the first commercial Atlantic crossing by a heavier-than-air craft. In 1939, the Mercury was launched in the same way and flew non-stop 5998 miles from Dundee, Ireland to South Africa for a new long distance seaplane record. Needless to say, this method of launch was too expensive, tricky and dangerous and was soon abandoned.

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