Short SC.7 Skyvan
|Skyvan at RAF Fairford, England|
|National origin||United Kingdom|
|First flight||17 January 1963|
|Developed into||Short 330 |
The Short SC.7 Skyvan (nicknamed the "Flying Shoebox") is a British 19-seat twin-turboprop aircraft manufactured by Short Brothers of Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is used mainly for short-haul freight and skydiving.
Design and development
In 1958, Shorts was approached by F.G. Miles Ltd (successor company to Miles Aircraft) which was seeking backing to produce a development of the H.D.M.106 Caravan design with a high aspect ratio wing similar to that of the Hurel-Dubois HD.31. Shorts acquired the design and data gathered from trials of the Miles Aerovan based H.D.M.105 prototype. After evaluating the Miles proposal, Shorts rejected the Caravan. They developed their own design for a utility all-metal aircraft which was called the Short SC.7 Skyvan. The Skyvan is a twin-engined all-metal, high-wing monoplane, with a braced, high aspect ratio wing, and an unpressurised, square-section fuselage with twin fins and rudders. It was popular with freight operators compared to other small aircraft because of its large rear door for loading and unloading freight. Its fuselage resembles the shape of a railroad boxcar for simplicity and efficiency.
Construction started at Sydenham Airport in 1960, and the first prototype first flew on 17 January 1963, powered by two Continental piston engines. Later in 1963, the prototype was re-engined with the intended Turbomeca Astazou II turboprop engines of 520eshp; the second prototype (the first Series 2 Skyvan) was initially fitted with Turbomeca Astazou X turboprop engines of 666eshp but subsequently the initial production version was powered by Turbomeca Astazou XII turboprop engines of 690eshp. In 1967, it was found that the Astazou XII was temperature limited at high altitudes. Consequently, in 1968, production switched to the Skyvan Series 3 aircraft, which replaced the Astazou engines with Garrett AiResearch TPE331 turboprops of 715eshp. A total of 149 Skyvans (including the two prototypes) was produced before production ended in 1986.
Skyvans served widely in both military and civilian operations, and the type remained in service in 2009 with a number of civilian operators, and in military service in Guyana and Oman.
In 1982, two Skyvans of the Argentine Naval Prefecture participated in the Falklands War. Both aircraft were ferried to Port Stanley in April 1982. One aircraft was damaged by British naval gunfire on Stanley racecourse, and did not fly again; it was finally destroyed by shellfire during British bombardments on 12/13 June 1982. The second aircraft was used at Pebble Island, where it became bogged down in the soft ground, and on 15 May 1982 it was destroyed in a British assault (see Raid on Pebble Island).
Skyvans continue to be used in limited numbers for air-to-air photography and for skydiving operations. In 1970, Questor Surveys of Toronto Canada converted the first of two Skyvan 3s for aerial geological survey work.
- Skyvan 1
- prototype, one built. 2 x Continental GTSIO-520 engines.
- Skyvan 1A
- re-engined 1st prototype. 2 x 388 kW (520 hp) Turbomeca Astazou II engines.
- Skyvan 2
- Turbomeca Astazou powered production. 8 Series 2 produced (including the second prototype).
- Skyvan 3
- Garrett TPE331 powered production. 140 produced (of all Series 3 versions) plus 2 Series 2 were converted.
- Skyvan 3A
- higher gross weight version of Skyvan Series 3.
- Skyvan 3M
- military transport version. It can be used for supply dropping, assault transport, dropping paratroops, troop transport, cargo transport, casualty evacuation, plus search and rescue missions.
- Skyvan 3M-200
- high gross weight version of Skyvan 3M (MTOW 6,804 kg, 15,000 lb).
- deluxe all-passenger version.
- Maritime patrol version, (SC7-3M-4022), principally used by the Sultan of Oman's Air Force / Royal Air Force of Oman (SOAF / RAFO)
As of July 2009, a total of 40 Skyvan aircraft remained in airline service, with Pink Aviation Services (5), Sonair (1), Swala Airlines (2), Transway Air Services (1), Deraya Air Taxi (3), Layang Layang Aerospace (1), Macair Airlines (1), Malaysia Air Charter (1), Olympic Airways (1), Pan Malaysian Air Transport (1), Wirakris Udara (1), CAE Aviation (1), Deltacraft (1), Invicta Aviation (2), Advanced Air (1), Allwest Freight (2), Era Alaska (3), GB Airlink (1), North Star Air Cargo (5), Skylift Taxi Aereo (1), Skydive Arizona (7), Skydive DeLand (1), Skydive Lonestar (1), Sydney Skydivers (2), Skydive Pennsylvania and Summit Air (2)., Sustut Air (1), Ryan Air Services, Nomad Air (2), Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland).
- Royal Air Force of Oman - Oman continues to operate five of its original 16 Skyvans in December 2013.
Former military operators
- Argentine Coast Guard, Bought five in 1971, survivors sold in 1995 following replacement by five CASA C-212 Aviocars.
- Malawi Police Force Air Wing
- North Yemen Air Force
- Republic of Singapore Air Force
- 121 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force operated Skyvan 3M for Utility transport and Search-and-locate duties from 1973 to 1993.
Specification (Skyvan 3)
Data from Jane's Civil and Military Upgrades 1994-95
- Crew: one-two
- Capacity: 19 passengers
- Length: 12.21 m (40 ft 1 in)
- Wingspan: 19.78 m (64 ft 11 in)
- Height: 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 35.12 m² (378 ft²)
- Empty weight: 3,331 kg (7,344 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 5,670 kg (12,500 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-201 Turboprops, 533 kW (715 hp) each
- Never exceed speed: 402 km/h, 217 knots (250 mph)
- Maximum speed: 325 km/h, 175 knots (202 mph)
- Cruise speed: 317 km/h (170 knots, 197 mph)
- Stall speed: 111 km/h, 60 knots (69 mph)
- Range: 1,117 km (694 miles)
- Service ceiling: 6858 m (22,500 ft)
- Rate of climb: 500 m/min (1,640 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 136.6 kg/m² (33.5 lb/ft²)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Antonov An-28
- CASA C-212 Aviocar
- De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
- Fairchild Dornier 228
- GAF Nomad
- Harbin Y-12
- IAI Arava
- LET L-410
- PZL M28
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Short Skyvan.|
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