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Shorts 330

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Short 330 (SD3-30)
A Short 330 of Mississippi Valley Airlines at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport in 1985
Type Transport airplane
Manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace
Designed by Short Brothers
Maiden flight 22 August 1974
Introduced 1976
Primary users Air Cargo Carriers

Corporate Air
Number built 330-100: 68[1]
330-200: 57[1]
Developed from Short Skyvan
Variants Short 360
C-23 Sherpa

The Short 330 (also SD3-30) is a small transport aircraft created by Short Brothers. It seats up to 30 people and was relatively inexpensive and cheap to operate 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.[2] The first prototype of the 330 flew on 22 August 1974.[3]

While Shorts concentrated on production 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,[3] which was sold in small numbers, primarily to Thailand, who 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 [3], with the first order, for 18 aircraft, being placed by the United States Air Force in March 1983, for the European Distribution System Aircraft (EDSA) role, to fly spare parts between USAF air bases within Europe.[3]

Operational history

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 U.S. regulations which allowed commuter airlines to use aircraft carrying up to 30 passengers,[4] thereby replacing smaller commuter airliners such as the Beech 99 and the Twin Otter. The Short 330 entered service with Time Air (a Canadian Airline) in 1976. Despite its somewhat portly looks (one regional airline affectionately which dubbed it the "Shed" [5]), 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. [6] The quiet running of the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65R was largely due to an efficient reduction gearbox. [6] 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. [6]

Production ended in 1992 with a total of approximately 136 being built (including freighter and military versions).[7] 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.[8]
  • 330-200 included minor improvements and more powerful PT6A-45R engine.[8]
  • 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.


Civilian operators

In August 2006 a total of 28 Short 330 aircraft (all variants) remain in airline service, with Deraya Air Taxi (2), Freedom Air (2), Emerald Airways (1), Air Cargo Carriers (12), Arctic Circle Air Service (1), Corporate Air (3), Jim Hankins Air Service (1), McNeely Charter Service (1), Mountain Air Cargo (2) and Skyway Enterprises (1).[9]

Military Operators


Specifications (330-200)

Orthographic projection of the Short 330.

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1988-1989[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Three (Two pilots plus one cabin crew)
  • Capacity: 30 passengers
  • Length: 17.69 m (58 ft 0½ in)
  • Wingspan: 22.76 m (74 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 4.95 m (16 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 42.1 m² (453 ft²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 63 series (modified)
  • Empty weight: 6,680 kg (14,727 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 10,387 kg (22,900 lb)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-45-R turboprop, 893 kW (1,198 hp) each



  1. 1.0 1.1 Barnes and James, p. 533-535.
  2. Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 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.
  4. Donald 1999, p. 709-714.
  5. Shorts 330
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Smith 1986, p. 2.
  7. Short 330 Access date: 18 June 2007
  8. 8.0 8.1 Frawley 2003, p. 193.
  9. Flight International, 3-9 October 2006
  10. Scramble on the Web: Thai Armed Forces - Aircraft Order of Battle Access date: 18 June 2007
  11. Scramble on the Web: United Arab Emirates Air Force Order of Battle Access date: 18 June 2007
  • 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.

External links

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See also
Template:Short Brothers aircraft

de:Short 330 ja:ショート 330 sv:Short 330