This is a page about the nineteen thirties 00-0 Meccano Aeroplane Constructor sets. In 1932 following the success of the Aeroplane Constructor outfits in the previous year Meccano launched two new, smaller, less expensive outfits. The new sets were numbered "00" and "0" the only difference was the latter set included two floats to build a seaplane. The new range was not compatible with the existing  Aero sets, being a lot smaller. The wing span was 27cm and length 25cm. The 1934/35 products catalogue showed an additional set 01P this was the contents of the "0" set packed in an attractive tinplate aircraft hanger instead of a carton. The aircraft are really delightful with their slightly swept back wings and in may ways they look better than their larger brothers. There seems to have been no specific advertising for these sets when introduced other than in Meccano catalogues. The method of construction of the parts was very different to the earlier larger range. The 00 - 0 have a a one piece fuselage, the underside is of heavier gauge metal with tapped holes to take the tiny 6BA bolts used to fit this part to the fuselage. The other parts were assembled using 6BA nuts and bolts these were nickel plated with an attractive low dome head. The undercarriage wheels are die cast with a tapped 6BA hole and screw on a rod with a pulley This could be connected to a prop shaft also with a fitted pulley and driven by a rubber band. The initial colour schemes were red/cream/, blue/cream, green/cream these had diagonal or curved finishes to wings and tail surfaces. Other colours were later produced such as red/silver and blue/silver,  sets were also introduced with civilian registration letters on the sides and wings. In 1940 during the second world war sets were also made available in an overall grey finish or camouflage brown and green. These sets are rare as they were produced for only a short time. The sets were also produced at the Meccano factory in France between 1932 -1942.  There was not a conversion set to upgrade set 00 to 0 nor were spare parts available as with the larger Aeroplane sets.  The 00 and 0  sets were not produced after the second world war in either France or the UK. My interest in these sets came about after I purchased an Aeroplane Constructor No. 1 outfit that included most of the parts for an "00".  I spent several years locating parts to complete the set. In early 2017 I was fortunate in being gifted a large quantity of parts from a Meccano enthusiast in Holland. I was overjoyed as I then had enough parts to assemble at least four aircraft. The 00 instruction sheet is shown on the left the 0 set built the same configuration aircraft but with floats, other variations were possible of course. I stripped and resprayed parts that were in poor condition I was then able to build the four aircraft shown on the left representing one of each of the main types that could be built with the sets in time I will build others. Only one of my models is 100% original that is the biplane ,the other three have the small props from the Aero Constructor 2 sets these are of a similar size and are actually  more attractive than those in the 00/0 sets. The mid wing mono- plane has modern 1/2” pulleys with tyres. After completing the aircraft I built a Meccano model with an electric motor driving rotating arms to display the four models. You can see this in action on YouTube by clicking on the picture below.
Picture above of 00 set in RAF colours and the boxed 0 set top of page courtesy of Vectis Auctions Limited
Advertisement from July 1940 Meccano Magazine announcing the introduction of new colours. This is the only ad I have seen showing the just the 00-0 range, this was possibly in response to the many other model companies such as Frog and Skybirds advertising wartime aircraft in the magazine.
Page created January 11 2019 Revised January 28 2019