Short Mayo Composite Aircraft

This is the place to discuss particular Shorts Flying Boat types and post documents, photographs and other relevant information appertaining to these craft.

Re: Short Mayo Composite Aircraft

Postby longshot » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:03 pm

Bronze plaque of Mercury/Maia at Dundee x-posted from the Secret Project thread ... 7afd5.html
Excellent account and thanks for putting it online. I hadn't realised that the first separation of Mercury from Maia wasn't until February 1938, well after 10 transatlantic crossings had already been made, some all the way to New York, by Empire boats. I am intrigued by the S29 catapult flying boat concept...was that a modified S23/S30? I suspect the projected Short long range landplane airliner based on the boats would have been superior to the Ensign.
I'm a cynic and I suspect the British Establishment preferred America at a distance and were half-hearted about the conquest of the Atlantic (until it became necessary in WWII), hence the shilly-shallying with composite aircraft and flight refuelling when the Empire boats could have been developed to provide a mail/courier service as shown in 1940.
Last edited by longshot on Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Short Mayo Composite Aircraft

Postby schneiderman » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:00 pm

The S29 'boat followed Gouge's standard template - S21/S23/S25/S26 - but was an all-new design; smaller and powered by 4 Hercules. I'm certain the landplane airliner would have proven far superior to the Ensign, the design was four years later for a start and was based on a solid foundation of success. IAL definitely had the Atlantic crossing in mind from the outset but timewise were reacting to pressure from Juan Trippe at Pan Am who was determined to establish the first commercial service from continent to continent. Assessing catapults, in flight refuelling and composites probably made sense back in 1934 but technology developed so fast that none were necessary by the outbreak of war. The whole idea of dedicated mail carriers was pretty much a deadend, probably driven by Mayo as much as anyone, and IAL lost all interest once the S23 came into service and could handle passengers, mail or a mix. The Composite, in particular, never really appears to have evoked much interest, hence the delays while other more important projects progressed through Short's works.
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