For other uses see SC 7 (disambiguation)
Design and development
In 1958, Shorts were approached by F.G. Miles Ltd (successor company to Miles Aircraft) who were seeking backing to produce a development of the H.D.M.106 Caravan design with a Hurel Dubois high aspect ratio wing. 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.
Construction started at Sydenham, Belfast in 1960 and the first flight of the prototype occurred on 17 January 1963, powered by two Continental piston engines. The prototype was re-engined with the intended Turbomeca Astazou turboprop engines later in 1963. The Skyvan is an all-metal, high wing monoplane, with a braced, high aspect ratio wing (similar to that used on Hurel-Dubois aircraft), and an unpressurised, square section fuselage. Production switched in 1968 to the Skyvan Series 3 aircraft, which replaced the Astazous with Garrett TPE331 turboprops. A total of 153 Skyvans (plus the prototype) were produced by the time production ended in 1986.
Skyvans served widely in both military and civilian operations, with the type remaining in service with a number of civilian operators, and in military service in Guyana and Oman .
The Short 330 is a stretched derivative of the Skyvan.
On 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 the 12/13 June. The second aircraft was being used at Pebble Island where it became bogged down in the soft ground and was destroyed by enemy fire on Pebble Island on the 15 May 1982 (see Raid on Pebble Island).
All built by Shorts in Belfast.
As of August 2006 a total of 35 Shorts Skyvan aircraft remain in airline service, with 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), Pink Aviation Services (4), Advanced Air (1), Allwest Freight (2), Arctic Circle Air Service (3), GB Airlink (1), North Star Air Cargo (5), Skylift Taxi Aereo (1) and Summit Air (2).
Specification (Short Skyvan 3)
Data from Jane's Civil and Military Upgrades 1994-95
Published - July 2009
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