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Aviation / Aerospace

Short Skyvan

Military / Civilian Utility Transport Aircraft [ 1963 ]

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

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/04/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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).©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

In Limited Service.


National flag of Argentina National flag of Austria National flag of Ecuador National flag of Indonesia National flag of modern Japan National flag of Mexico National flag of Oman National flag of Singapore National flag of Thailand National flag of the United Arab Emirates National flag of Yemen 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
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
Special Forces
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.

40.1 ft
(12.21 m)
64.9 ft
(19.78 m)
14.8 ft
(4.50 m)
Empty Wgt
7,341 lb
(3,330 kg)
12,500 lb
(5,670 kg)
Wgt Diff
+5,159 lb
(+2,340 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Short SC.7 Skyvan production variant)
Installed: 2 x Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-201 turboprop engines developing 715 horsepower each.
Max Speed
249 mph
(400 kph | 216 kts)
22,507 ft
(6,860 m | 4 mi)
696 mi
(1,120 km | 2,074 nm)
1,640 ft/min
(500 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Short SC.7 Skyvan production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
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.

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