Separation - Short Mayo Composite
Short Mayo Mercury Composite Aircraft Aviation Art Print Painting by Artist Chris French FGAvA
The two parts of the Short-Mayo Composite aircraft separate over
Rochester, Kent in 1938.
The Composite was a piggy-back seaplane/flying boat combination
produced by Short Brothers to provide a reliable long-range air transport
service to North America and other distant places in the British Empire and the
By lifting the upper aircraft 'Mercury' on the back of a larger flying boat 'Maia', Mercury could carry more fuel and payload than it would be able to take off with unaided. This would give it very long range. Only one example was built but Mercury set some non-stop distance records. Other technological advances to increase the range of aircraft rendered the 'piggy back' concept obsolete and with impending war, the project wasn't taken any further.