In the late 1930s the British found themselves with a serious shortcoming to compite with the Americans, mainly, in the North Atlantic airmail service: Imperial Airways latest Short C-Class flying boats lacked the range. Gladly, the airline technical manager R.H.Mayo had the vision and the boldness to find a very original solution. He thought that a small long-range floatplane could be taken in the back of one of those C-Class and then launched at the limit of mothership’s range to continue the flight with his own fresh supply of fuel. The unlikely contraction that resulted worked like a charm….a stopgap solution, granted, but gimme more like this.
Imperial cutaway of the iconic Flight magazine.