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Shorts SC-7 Skyvan


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.