Short SC.7 Skyvan

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SC.7 Skyvan
Short Skyvan SC.7 (G-BEOL) arrives at RIAT Fairford 12July2018 arp.jpg
Skyvan at RAF Fairford, England
Role Utility aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Short Brothers
First flight 17 January 1963
Status Limited Service
Produced 1963-1986
Number built 149
Unit cost
US$650,000 (1972)[1]
Developed into Short 330
Short 360

The Short SC.7 Skyvan (nicknamed the "Flying Shoebox")[2] 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.

The Short 330 and Short 360 are stretched models of the original SC.7, designed as regional airliners.

Design and development[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4] 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.

Skyvan 3 converted for survey work by Questor Surveys

Construction started at Sydenham Airport in 1960, and the first prototype first flew on 17 January 1963, powered by two Continental piston engines.[5] Later in 1963, the prototype was re-engined with the intended Turbomeca Astazou II turboprop engines of 520eshp;[6] 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.[7] 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)[8] was produced before production ended in 1986.

Operational history[edit]

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.

SC.7 Skyvan at Oulu Airport

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).[9]

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.

Variants[edit]

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.[10]
Skyvan 3A
higher gross weight version of Skyvan Series 3.
Company military demonstrator in 1982
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).
Skyliner
deluxe all-passenger version.
Seavan
Maritime patrol version, (SC7-3M-4022), principally used by the Sultan of Oman's Air Force / Royal Air Force of Oman (SOAF / RAFO)

Operators[edit]

Civilian operators[edit]

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).,[11] Sustut Air (1),[12] Ryan Air Services,[13] Nomad Air (2), Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland).

Military operators[edit]

 Guyana
 Oman

Former military operators[edit]

 Argentina
Austrian Air Force Skyvan
 Austria
 Botswana
 Ciskei
 Ecuador
 Gambia
 Ghana
 Indonesia
 Japan
 Lesotho
 Malawi
 North Yemen
 Mauritania
 Mexico
   Nepal
 Panama
 Singapore
 Thailand
 United Arab Emirates
 Yemen

Specification (Skyvan 3)[edit]

Data from Jane's Civil and Military Upgrades 1994-95[19]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Airliner price index". Flight International. 10 August 1972. p. 183. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "Your Place And Mine - Topics - Transport - The Flying Shoebox - The Shorts Skyvan". Archived from the original on 20 August 2004. 
  3. ^ Barnes 1989 pp477-478.
  4. ^ Barnes 1989 pp478-481.
  5. ^ Barnes 1989 p481.
  6. ^ Barnes 1989 p482.
  7. ^ Barnes 1989 pp486-487.
  8. ^ Barnes 1989 pp531-533.
  9. ^ Burden, Rodney et al. Falkland: The Air War. London: Arms and Armour, 1986. ISBN 0-85368-842-7.
  10. ^ Barnes 1989 p488.
  11. ^ Flight International, 3–9 October 2006
  12. ^ "Short SC.7 Skyvan." Archived 24 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine. sustutair.com. Retrieved: 8 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Short SC.7 Skyvan." Archived 20 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. texrus.com. Retrieved: 8 January 2012.
  14. ^ Hoyle 2013, p. 38.
  15. ^ Hoyle 2013, p. 43.
  16. ^ Taylor 1982, p. 271.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  19. ^ Michell, Simon, ed. Jane's Civil and Military Upgrades, Second Edition, 1994-95. London: Jane's Information Group, 1994. ISBN 0-7106-1208-7.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Barnes C.H. and James Derek N. Shorts Aircraft since 1900. London: Putnam, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-819-4.
  • Hoyle, Craig, "World Air Forces Directory". Flight International, 13–19 December 2011, pp. 26–52.
  • Hoyle, Craig. "World Air Forces Directory". Flight International, Vol. 184 No. 5419. 10–16 December 2013. pp. 24–51. ISSN 0015-3710.
  • Jackson, A.J. British Civil Aircraft since 1919 (2nd edition). London: Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-370-10014-X.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83. London: Jane's Yearbooks, 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0748-2.