Short 330


The Short 330 (also SD3-30) is a small turboprop 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.

Short 330
A Short 330 landing at Luis Muñoz Marín International, Puerto Rico
Role Transport aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Short Brothers
First flight 22 August 1974
Introduction 1976
Primary users Air Cargo Carriers
Corporate Air
Produced 1974–1992
Number built 330-100: 68[1]
330-200: 73[1][2][3]
Developed from Short Skyvan
Variants Short 360
C-23A Sherpa

Development Edit

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.[4] The first prototype of the 330 flew on 22 August 1974.[5]

The Short 330 is unusual in having all of its fuel contained in tanks located directly above the ceiling of the passenger cabin.[5] There are two separate cockpit doors for pilot and co-pilot for access from inside the cabin.[6]

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,[7] 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,[7] 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.[7] Subsequently, a further 16 were ordered as C-23B Sherpas.[2][3]

Operational history Edit

Mississippi Valley Airlines's Short 330 at Saint Paul International Airport in 1985

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,[8] 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" [9]), 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.[10] The quiet running of the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-45R was largely due to an efficient reduction gearbox.[10] 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.[10]

Production ended in 1992 with a total of 141 being built (including freighter and military versions).[11] As of 1998, approximately 35 were still in service. The 330's design was refined and heavily modified, resulting in the Short 360.

Variants Edit

  • 330-100 was the original production model with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-45A and -45B turboprop engines.[12]
  • 330-200 included minor improvements and more powerful PT6A-45R engine.[12]
  • 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.)

Operators Edit

Civilian Edit

The aircraft is popular with air charters, small feeder airlines, and air freight companies.[13]

Military Edit

  United States
The US Army C-23 is a variant of the 330 model

Former Edit

  United Arab Emirates

Accidents and incidents Edit

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 Short's cockpit and killed one of its pilots.[19]
  • 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.[20][21]

In addition to these three accidents there have been at least 16 hull-loss occurrences, i.e. non-fatal accidents where the plane has been damaged beyond repair.[22]

Aircraft on display Edit

G-BDBS msn SH3001 (production prototype) is on display within the Ulster Aviation Society's Heritage Collection of aircraft at Maze Long Kesh in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.[23]

G-OGIL msn SH3068 is on display at the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum in Sunderland, United Kingdom.[24]

Specifications (330-200) Edit

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1988–1989[25]

General characteristics

  • 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: 350 km/h (220 mph, 190 kn) (max cruise at 3,000 m (10,000 ft))
  • Cruise speed: 300 km/h (180 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) [26]
  • Rate of climb: 6.0 m/s (1,180 ft/min)

See also Edit

Related development

Related lists

References Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ a b Barnes and James, p. 533-535.
  2. ^ a b "1988 USAF Serial Numbers".
  3. ^ a b "1990 USAF Serial Numbers".
  4. ^ Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  5. ^ a b Taylor 1988, p. 304.
  6. ^ "Aviation Photo #0890366: Short 330-200 - Muk Air".
  7. ^ a b c Taylor 1988, p. 306
  8. ^ Donald 1999, p. 709–714.
  9. ^ "".
  10. ^ a b c Smith 1986, p. 2.
  11. ^ Short 330 Access date: 18 June 2007
  12. ^ a b Frawley 2003, p. 193.
  13. ^ Flight International 2011 World Airliner Census, p.22; retrieved 31 August 2011
  14. ^ a b c d e "Arms Transfers Database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  15. ^ "Mining firm donates Sherpa cargo plane to AFP". Manila Bulletin.
  16. ^ "The Donated SD3-30 (C-23) Sherpa Aircraft of the Philippine Army". Pitz Defense Analysis. 26 June 2022. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  17. ^ Scramble on the Web: Thai Armed Forces – Aircraft Order of Battle Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Access date: 18 June 2007
  18. ^ 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
  19. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Shorts 330-200 G-SSWN Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)".
  20. ^ "Update: Yeager Airport runway crash site to be repaved in near future". WSAZ-TV. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  21. ^ Thomas, Alex (5 May 2017). "NTSB begins investigation into Yeager plane crash". MetroNews. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  22. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Accident list: Shorts 330". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  23. ^ "Short SD3-30". Ulster Aviation Society. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  24. ^ "Short SD330-100 'G-OGIL'". Co-Curate. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  25. ^ Taylor 1988, pp. 305–306.
  26. ^ "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. A41EU: Revision 13" (PDF). FAA. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

Bibliography Edit

  • 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.

External links Edit

  • Short 330 page on
  • C-23 page on Global