|A Short 330 of Mississippi Valley Airlines at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport in 1985|
|National origin||United Kingdom|
|First flight||22 August 1974|
|Primary users||Air Cargo Carriers|
|Number built||330-100: 68|
|Developed from||Short Skyvan|
|Variants||Short 360 |
The Short 330 (also SD3-30) is a small transport aircraft produced by Short Brothers. It seats up to 30 people and was relatively inexpensive and had low maintenance costs at the time of its introduction in 1976. The 330 was based on the SC.7 Skyvan.
The Short 330 was developed by Short Brothers of Belfast from Short's earlier Short Skyvan STOL utility transport. The 330 had a longer wingspan and fuselage than the Skyvan, while retaining the Skyvan's square-shaped fuselage cross section, allowing it to carry up to 30 passengers while retaining good short field characteristics. The first prototype of the 330 flew on 22 August 1974.
The Short 330 is unusual in having all of its fuel contained in tanks located directly above the ceiling of the passenger cabin. There are two separate cockpit doors for pilot and co-pilot for access from inside the cabin.
While Short concentrated on producing airliners, the design also spawned two freight versions. The first of these, the Short 330-UTT (standing for Utility Tactical Transport), was a military transport version fitted with a strengthened cabin floor and paratroop doors, which was sold in small numbers, primarily to Thailand, which purchased four. The Short Sherpa was a freighter fitted with a full-width rear cargo door/ramp. This version first flew on 23 December 1982, with the first order, for 18 aircraft, being placed by the United States Air Force (USAF) in March 1983, for the European Distribution System Aircraft (EDSA) role, to fly spare parts between USAF bases within Europe. Subsequently a further 16 were ordered as C-23B Sherpas.
The basic Short 330 was a passenger aircraft intended as a short-range regional and commuter airliner, and had been designed to take advantage of US regulations which allowed commuter airlines to use aircraft carrying up to 30 passengers, thereby replacing smaller types such as the Beechcraft Model 99 and the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter. The Short 330 entered service with Time Air (a Canadian airline) in 1976. Despite its somewhat portly looks (one regional airline affectionately dubbed it the "Shed" ), it soon proved to be an inexpensive and reliable 30-seat airliner.
The 330 was somewhat slower than most of its pressurised competition, but it built up a reputation as a comfortable, quiet and rugged airliner. The quiet running of the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-45R was largely due to an efficient reduction gearbox. The cabin was the result of a collaboration with Boeing engineers who modelled the interior space, fittings and decor after larger airliners. The use of a sturdy structure complete with the traditional Short braced-wing-and-boxy-fuselage configuration also led to an ease of maintenance and serviceability.
Production ended in 1992 with a total of 141 being built (including freighter and military versions). As of 1998, approximately 35 were still in service. The 330's design was refined and heavily modified, resulting in the Short 360.
- 330-100 was the original production model with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-45A and -45B turboprop engines.
- 330-200 included minor improvements and more powerful PT6A-45R engine.
- 330-UTT was the Utility Tactical Transport version of the 330-200, with a strengthened cabin floor and inward-opening paratroop doors.
- Sherpa was a freighter version of the 330-200 with a full width rear cargo ramp.
- C-23 Sherpa A, and B variants are military configured Short Sherpas. (NB The C-23B+ is a conversion of 28 Short 360 airframes.)
A total of 24 Short 330 aircraft (all variants) were in airline service as of August 2008, with Air Cargo Carriers (13), Corporate Air (3), Arctic Circle Air Service (2), Deraya Air Taxi (2), Mountain Air Cargo (2), Freedom Air (1), and McNeely Charter Service (1). As of July 2011 the number in commercial service had decreased to 15 with the same seven operators; Air Cargo Carriers operating seven and the remaining eight aircraft in service with the other six.
Former military operators
- Tanzanian Air Force (former UAEAF 330-UTT)
- Royal Thai Army
- Army Aviation Center (Short 330-UTT)
- Royal Thai Police
- Venezuelan Air Force (Short 330)
Accidents and incidents
As of May 2017 the aircraft type has suffered three fatal accidents in civilian use:
- 3 August 1989: an Olympic Aviation Short 330, operating as Olympic Aviation Flight 545, crashed on a hillside in Samos island, Greece, while attempting a landing approach in thick fog. All 3 crew members and 31 passengers were killed.
- 25 May 2000: a Streamline Aviation Short 330 G-SSWN was hit by a departing aircraft (F-GHED, an MD-83 of Air Liberte) when it entered an active runway at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. The wingtip of the departing plane slashed through the Shorts cockpit and killed one of its pilots.
- 5 May 2017: a Short 330 cargo plane owned by Air Cargo Carriers and operated as Air Cargo Carriers Flight 1260 crashed after suffering a hard landing at Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia. Early reports stated that the left wing made contact with the surface of the runway, and separated from the fuselage, causing the aircraft to cartwheel off the runway and down a heavily wooded hillside. Both pilots died in the crash.
In addition to these three accidents there have been at least 16 hull-loss occurrences, i.e. non fatal accidents where the plane have been damaged beyond repair.
Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1988–1989
- Crew: Three (two pilots plus one cabin crew)
- Length: 17.69 m (58 ft 0 in)
- Wingspan: 22.76 m (74 ft 8 in)
- Height: 4.95 m (16 ft 3 in)
- Wing area: 42.1 m2 (453 sq ft)
- Airfoil: NACA 63A series (modified)
- Empty weight: 6,680 kg (14,727 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 10,387 kg (22,899 lb)
- Fuel capacity: 2,546 L (560 imp gal; 673 US gal)
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-45-R turboprop, 893 kW (1,198 shp) each
- Propellers: 5-bladed Hartzell constant-speed
- Maximum speed: 352 km/h; 219 mph (190 kn) (max cruise at 3,000 m (10,000 ft))
- Cruise speed: 296 km/h; 184 mph (160 kn) (econ cruise at 3,000 m (10,000 ft))
- Stall speed: 135 km/h; 84 mph (73 kn) (landing gear and flaps down)
- Range: 1,695 km; 1,053 mi (915 nmi) (no reserves, passenger version, 1,966 kg (4,334 lb) payload)
- Service ceiling: 6,100 m (20,000 ft) 
- Rate of climb: 6.0 m/s (1,180 ft/min)
- Barnes and James, p. 533-535.
- Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
- Taylor 1988, p. 304.
- "Airliners.net – Aviation Photography, Discussion Forums & News".
- Taylor 1988, p. 306
- Donald 1999, p. 709–714.
- Shorts 330
- Smith 1986, p. 2.
- Airliners.net: Short 330 Access date: 18 June 2007
- Frawley 2003, p. 193.
- "World Airliner Census", Flight International, 19–25 August 2008.
- Flight International 2011 World Airliner Census, p.22; retrieved 31 August 2011
- Scramble on the Web: Thai Armed Forces – Aircraft Order of Battle Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Access date: 18 June 2007
- Scramble on the Web: United Arab Emirates Air Force Order of Battle Archived 16 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine Access date: 18 June 2007
- "Update: Yeager Airport runway crash site to be repaved in near future". WSAZ-TV. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Thomas, Alex (5 May 2017). "NTSB begins investigation into Yeager plane crash". MetroNews. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Ranter, Harro. "Accident list: Shorts 330". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Taylor 1988, pp. 305–306.
- "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. A41EU: Revision 13" (PDF). FAA. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- Barnes C.H. and James Derek N. Shorts Aircraft since 1900. London: Putnam, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-819-4.
- Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of Civil Aircraft. London: Aurum, 1999. ISBN 1-85410-642-2.
- Frawley, Gerard. The International Directory of Civil Aircraft, 2003/2004. London: Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-875671-58-7.
- Smith, P.R. Shorts 330 and 360 (Air Portfolios 2) London: Jane's Publishing Company Limited, 1986. ISBN 0-7106-0425-4.
- Taylor, John W.R., ed. Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1988–1989. London: Jane's Information Group, 1988. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.
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