Category:Mayo Composite Aircraft (Dinky Toys 63)

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index
Jump to navigationJump to search

Mayo Composite Aircraft (Dinky Toys 63)

Mayo Composite Aircraft, Dinky Toys 63 (MCat 1939).jpg (i)
BTMM map 022.gif

Arch Two , Area 22
The Hatley Early Dinky Collection (display)

1939 - 1941

A boxed set of the Mayo Composite Aircraft, Dinky Toys 63, consisting of a pair of docking silver four-engined propellor-driven aircraft, a smaller seaplane ("Mercury"), and a larger flying boat ("Maia"), which had both flown for the first time in 1938, and had gotten considerable attention in the press.

The set appeared in 1939, not long before the outbreak of World War Two, and consequently had quite a short run. In 1938, the Mayo composite aircraft had been a dramatic breakthrough in aviation design, and might have been thought to be an indicator of things to come. However, the Mercury was retired and the Maia destroyed by enemy action in 1941, and after the intensive development of aviation technology through World War Two, by the time that Meccano Ltd. resumed production of Dinky Toys in 1947, the idea looked terribly old-fashioned and somewhat "Heath-Robinson". By the late 1940s, even the idea of a flying boat now seemed archaic.

Both aircraft models were also available separately.


  • G-ADHK Maia (Dinky Toys 63a)
  • G-ADHJ Mercury (Dinky Toys 63b)
1939 catalogue image

Dinky Toys No. 63


Scale model of the Composite Aircraft invented by Major R.H. Mayo amd built by Short Bros. (Rochester and Bedford) Ltd., to the order of the Air Ministry for experimental flights by Imperial Airways.

The object of this aircraft is to solve the problem of getting a heavily loaded long-range machine into the air, by lifting it on the back of a larger machine from which it takes off, the lifting machine then returning to its base.

The upper component, the seaplane "Mercury", when launched in this way has a standard range of 3,900 miles at cruising speed. The lower component, the flying boat "Maia", is similar to the Empire flying boats.

Civil aircraft bear nationality and registration marks consisting (with a few exceptions) of five letters. Nationality is indicated by the first or first two letters; then comes a hyphen, followed by the registration letters. The British nationality letter is G.

box lid lineart

The end of the composite aircraft

The Mayo composite two-stage aircraft remained experimental, with no further examples built after Maia and Mercury. Since the smaller Mercury seaplane wasn't able to make the return journey on its own while carrying a payload, to operate it properly would have needed two of the larger lifting aircraft, one at each end of the route, along with a second hoist to put Mercury on top of the second lifting plane.

With only a single lifting craft, once Mercury had reached its destination, it had to suffer the indignity of being returned to base onboard a ship.

With the advent of World War Two, military R&D spending improved the efficiency of larger planes (for long-range bombing missions), and military investment also resulted in the perfection of mid-air refuelling, making the two-plane solution redundant.

External links

Media in category ‘Mayo Composite Aircraft (Dinky Toys 63)’

The following 4 files are in this category, out of 4 total.