Shorts Skyvan / Shorts 330 / Shorts 360
The Shorts Skyvan, Shorts 330, and the Shorts 360, which all have a box-like fuselage and a rear loading freight ramp, are medium duty cargo aircraft.
Short SC.7 Skyvan
The Short SC.7 Skyvan is twin-engine turboprop cargo aircraft that is capable of transporting up to 19 passengers. The Shorts Skyvan was ruggedly built to haul bulky loads out of short unimproved strips. Affectionally called "the shed" by pilots and crew the Skyvan is a strut braced high wing aircraft with a fixed landing gear. It features a 18ft 7in long and 6ft 6in high by 6ft 6in wide cargo hold with an equal size in-flight opening cargo door. Most Skyvans are SC7 3 Variant 100 Aircraft with a MTOW of 12.500lbs, other Variants like the 3M sport up to 13.700lbs MTOW.
The prototype SC-7 flew in 1963 with two Continental piston engines but these were soon replaced with the French Turbomeca Astazou turboprops. The Turbomeca engines in turn were placed with Garrett TPE-331 turboprops. There are also 2 different versions of engines on the Skyvan. The original engine is the single shaft Garret TPE 331-2-201A. Some Skydiving Skyvans have the -201A Super or -6 Engines that feature a larger compressor which greatly enhance hot-and-high performance of the A/C, as well as climb rate.
The Short 330, or the `Shed' as at least one regional airline affectionately dubbed it, is an inexpensive and reliable 30 seat airliner, if somewhat slower than most of its pressurised competition. The Short 330 is a stretched development of the SC.7 Skyvan. Beginning life designated the SD330, the 330 retained the Skyvan's overall configuration, including the slab sided fuselage cross section, supercritical, braced, above fuselage mounted wing design (lengthened by 2.97m/9ft 9in) and twin tails. Compared with the Skyvan though the fuselage is stretched by 3.78m (12ft 5in), allowing seating for over 10 more passengers.
The Shorts 360 is based on the Shorts 330 with a stretched fuselage and conventional tail. In addition to the 36 seat airline version, the 360 also comes in a freighter configuration. Developed in the early 1980s by Short Brothers of Belfast, Northern Ireland, the Shorts 360 gained a reputation as a reliable, economical aeroplane which is perfectly suited to short-haul regional operations. Production ended in 1991 after a production run of over 160 aircraft.
The wide, spacious cabin gives the aircraft great passenger appeal, whilst the square cabin cross-section, large forward door, and low cabin floor height also make it a favorite with freight customers. Since the type's maiden flight in June 1981, the basic 360 design has been improved with the addition of more powerful engines, higher structural weights, and updated cockpit instrumentation. Two Canadian-built PWAC PT6A engines - probably the most successful turboprop engine in the world - give exceptional reliability and fuel economy. Just over 160 Shorts 360s were built, serving with airlines across the globe.
BAC's aircraft are available in passenger or freight configuration. The ability to rapidly change from a passenger to freight interior or vice-versa gives the aeroplane great operational flexibility. The 30-seat configuration is a limitation imposed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority on non-TCAS equipped aircraft. Aeroplanes fitted with a TCAS system are capable of being fitted with 36 seats (360-200) or 39 seats (360-300). Up to 39 passengers can be transported in one of the most spacious cabins offered in this size of airliner, and within one hour of landing the same aeroplane can be airborne this time carrying up to 3500 kg of cargo. Dedicated freighter versions offer an increase in payload to 3,760 Kg while useable volume is 30% greater than on the 'convertible' aircraft.
The aircraft are fitted with a large cargo door as standard and the low door and floor height above ground level make the aircraft easy to load and unload, without even the simplest ground equipment such as conveyors. Loading is possible through both front and rear doors making for very quick turnarounds. Integral airstairs at the rear passenger door underline the need for limited ground support.
The Shorts 360 can operate comfortably from 1400 meter (4,500 foot) long runways, opening up hundreds of airfields inaccessible by scheduled flights. Cruise speed is about 370 km/h (215 mph), at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The PT6A turboprops are fully ICAO Stage 3 noise-compliant, making the 360 one of the quietest turboprop operating today. Indeed the 360 is subject to fewer restrictions on night flights into the heavily regulated London airports than virtually all the later turboprop designs.
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