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The Short-Mayo Composite Aircraft

Nature volume 140, page 539 (25 September 1937) | Download Citation



EXPERIMENTAL flights of the two units of this combination are proceeding successfully at Rochester. Mercury, a four-engined monoplane seaplane, which is to be attached to the top of, and launched from, Maia, a four-engined monoplane flying boat of a modified Empire type, have both flown separately, and have now to carry out trials, taking off, flying and landing as a combined unit. These will be followed by tests involving releasing in the air and landing as separate units, their normal functions. This experiment is one of fundamental importance in the problem of high-speed long-range flight, as it represents one of several possible methods of getting an aircraft into the air with a load which would make taking-off unsafe or even impossible for a machine under its own power. Heavy loads are not only economical from the transport point of view, but also high wing loading is essential for economical power consumption in high-speed flight. Reduction in engine power used not only reduces costs, but also increases the machine's range on a given fuel tank capacity. When this problem is successfully overcome, it will also help in the case of land aircraft, allowing the use of smaller aerodromes for large heavily loaded commercial machines.

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