Short SC.7 Skyvan

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SC.7 Skyvan
Short skyvan sc-7 g-beol cotswoldairshow 2010 arp.jpg
A Skyvan on parachuting duties at the Cotswold Air Show
Role Utility aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Short Brothers
First flight 17 January 1963
Status Limited Service
Produced 1963-1986
Number built 153
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 Skyvan is a high wing, twin-engined all-metal monoplane with a mid-mounted tailplane and twin rudders. The first flight of the Skyvan, the Skyvan 1, was on 17 January 1963. It is called "the shed" by pilots and crew.[citation needed]

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. They developed their own design for a utility all-metal aircraft which was called the Short SC.7 Skyvan. 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 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 turboprop engines. The Skyvan is an all-metal, high-wing monoplane, with a braced, high aspect ratio wing, and an unpressurised, square-section fuselage. In 1968, production switched to the Skyvan Series 3 aircraft, which replaced the Astazou engines with Garrett AiResearch TPE331 turboprops. A total of 153 Skyvans (plus the prototype) 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).[3]

Skyvans continue to be used 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 prototype. 2 x 388 kW (520 hp) Turbomeca Astazou engines.
Skyvan 2
Astazou powered production. 8 series 2 produced.
Skyvan 3
Garrett TPE331 powered production. 145 produced (all series 3 models)
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 (M-TOW 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)


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).,[4] Sustut Air (1),[5] Ryan Air Services,[6] Nomad Air (2), Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland).

Military operators[edit]


Former military operators[edit]

Austrian Air Force Skyvan
 North Yemen
 United Arab Emirates

Specification (Skyvan 3)[edit]

Data from Jane's Civil and Military Upgrades 1994-95[12]

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists



  1. ^ "Airliner price index". Flight International. 10 August 1972. p. 183. 
  2. ^ "Your Place And Mine - Topics - Transport - The Flying Shoebox - The Shorts Skyvan". 
  3. ^ Burden, Rodney et al. Falkland: The Air War. London: Arms and Armour, 1986. ISBN 0-85368-842-7.
  4. ^ Flight International, 3–9 October 2006
  5. ^ "Short SC.7 Skyvan." Retrieved: 8 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Short SC.7 Skyvan." Retrieved: 8 January 2012.
  7. ^ Hoyle 2013, p. 38.
  8. ^ Hoyle 2013, p. 43.
  9. ^ Taylor 1982, p. 271.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Michell, Simon, ed. Jane's Civil and Military Upgrades, Second Edition, 1994-95. London: Jane's Information Group, 1994. ISBN 0-7106-1208-7.


  • 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.