Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
National Flag Graphic

Short Skyvan

Military / Civilian Utility Transport Aircraft


Despite its modest production numbers, the Short Skyvan has been a well-liked fixed wing platform for many users worldwide.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Short Skyvan Military / Civilian Utility Transport Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 4/4/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
Logistics has always been the standing challenge for wartime and peacetime economies alike. The former was proven time-and again throughout the many campaigns of World War 2 (1939-1945) and this continued to be the case heading into the Cold War years (1947-1991). Short Brothers of Northern Ireland, having made a name for itself in the Second World War as a fine producer of oversized flying boats for the British military, was invited by F.G. Miles Limited to partner on a new utility-minded transport venture to potentially serve both military and civilian market circles. The result of this work became the Short SC.7 "Skyvan".

The design took on a very distinct appearance: a boxy fuselage was used which incorporated the cockpit overlooking a short nose section at the front and a raised empennage at the rear. Under the tail was a cargo loading/unloading ramp. The wing mainplanes were fitted high atop the fuselage and braced by thick struts, their placement allowing for excellent drag-and-lift properties particularly for short-field operations. The tail unit incorporated a twin-plane arrangement reminiscent of the old British World War 2 bombers. For ground-running, the aircraft used a conventional wheeled tricycle undercarriage that was fixed in flight - reducing complexity and lowering procurement costs. These non-retractable members were short in length so as to give the aircraft a shorter ground profile - facilitating loading / unloading cargo. Each wing mainplane was home to a single engine nacelle to be used to power the aircraft through the sky.

The initial prototype, "Skyvan 1", flew with 2 x Continental GTSIO-520 series engines for the first time on January 17th, 1963. The follow-up form, "Skyvan 1A", appeared with French-made 2 x Turbomeca "Astazou" engines of 520 horsepower each. This led to the production-quality "Skyvan 2" of which eight were built.

The variant was then followed by the Garrett AiResearch TPE331-powered "Skyvan 3" which saw production reach 145 units. The model was crewed by two and could carry up to nineteen passengers. Dimensions included a length of 40 feet with a wingspan of 64.10 feet and a height of 15 feet. Empty weight was 7,345lb against an MTOW of 12.500lb. The Garrett engines outputted 715 horsepower each, propelling the aircraft to speeds of 250 miles per hour up to altitudes of 22,500 feet and out to a range of nearly 700 miles.

Increased hauling capabilities greeted the improved "Skyvan 3A" and the "Skyvan 3M" was developed to satisfy the military market. "Skyvan 3M-200" became another military-minded offshoot featuring a higher gross weight of 15,000lb. Two more notable forms were the luxury "Skyliner" passenger hauler and the "Seavan", an overwater performer operated by Oman.

The versatile Skyvan went on to be used by a plethora of powers seeking a budget-conscious multirole product. These ranged from Argentina and Austria to the UAE and Yemen. Total production was 153 units before the end and manufacture ran from 1963 until 1986. While largely retired from most nations, the Skyvan still serves actively (2018) with Guyana and Oman (in a military role).


YEAR: 1963
STATUS: Active, Limited Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Short Brothers - UK
LENGTH: 40.06 ft (12.21 m)
WIDTH: 64.90 ft (19.78 m)
HEIGHT: 14.76 ft (4.5 m)
EMPTY WEIGHT: 7,341 lb (3,330 kg)
MTOW: 12,500 lb (5,670 kg)
POWER: 2 x Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-201 turboprop engines developing 715 horsepower each.
SPEED: 249 mph (400 kph; 216 kts)
CEILING: 22,507 feet (6,860 m; 4.26 miles)
RANGE: 696 miles (1,120 km; 605 nm)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,640 ft/min (500 m/min)
OPERATORS: Argentina; Austria; Botswana; Ciskei; Ecuador; Gambia; Ghana; Guyana; Indonesia; Japan; Lesotho; Malawi; North Yemen; Mauritania; Mexico; Nepal; Oman; Panama; Singapore; Thailand; United Arab Emirates; Yemen

Variants / Models

• Skyvan - Base Series Name
• Skyvan Mk.1 - Prototype designation covering single example; fitted with 2 x Continental GTSIO-520 engines.
• Skyvan Mk.1A - Fitted with 2 x Turbomeca Astazou engines of 520 horsepower each.
• Skyvan Mk.2 - Turbomeca Astazou engines; eight examples.
• Skyvan Mk.3 - Fitted with 2 x Garrett TPE331 engines; 145 examples.
• Skyvan Mk.3M - Military transport variant
• Skyvan Mk.3M-200 - Increased gross weight
• Skyliner - Passenger transport variant.
• Seavan - Maritime patrol platform for Oman Air Force.

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (249mph).

Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Short SC.7 Skyvan's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (153)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo