Shorts Brothers 360 Regional Airliner

Developed in the early 1980s by Short Brothers of Belfast, Northern Ireland, the Shorts 360 has gained a reputation as a reliable, economical airplane which is perfectly suited to short-haul regional operations.

The first production 360 flew in August 1982 and certification was awarded on September 3 that year. The 360 entered service with Suburban Airlines in the United States in November 1982. The wide, spacious cabin gives the aircraft great passenger appeal, whilst the square cabin cross-section, large forward door, and low cabin floor height also make it a favorite with freight customers.

The Shorts Brothers 360 is a stretched, larger capacity and improved 36 seat derivative of the 30 seat Shorts 330. The relative success of the rugged Shorts 330 prompted the Northern Ireland based manufacturer to study and subsequently develop a stretched derivative. Shorts announced it was developing the new airliner in mid 1980, and a prototype 360 flew for the first time almost a year later on June 1 1981. The two Shorts airliners are very close in overall dimensions and size, but the later 360 is easily identified by its new conventional tail unit mounted on a revised rear fuselage. The 360 is also 91cm (3ft) longer than the 330, allowing two more seat rows and six extra passengers to be carried, while the extra length reduces drag. Additionally, the 360 maintains higher structural weights and updated cockpit instrumentation.

Power is supplied by two Canadian-built Pratt & Whitney PT6A65Rs, and the 360's wing span is slightly greater. Otherwise the 330 and 360 are very similar, and share a high degree of commonality. Shorts marketed a number of 360 developments, the first of which was the 360 Advanced with 1062kW (1424shp) PT6A65ARs. The 360 Advanced was introduced in late 1985, but was soon followed by the further improved 360300, which entered service in March 1987. The 360300 introduced advanced six blade propellers, more powerful PT6A67R engines giving a higher cruise speed and improved hot and high performance, plus other aerodynamic improvements. The 360300 was also built in 360300F freighter form.
Just over 160 Shorts 360s were built, serving with airlines across the globe.

The Shorts 360 can operate comfortably from 1400 meter (4,500 foot) long runways - opening up hundreds of airfields inaccessible by scheduled flights. Cruise speed is about 370 km/h (215 mph), at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The PT6A turboprops are fully ICAO Stage 3 noise-compliant, making the 360 one of the quietest turboprop aircraft operating today. The Cessna 208 prototype first flew on December 9th, 1982. Intended to give Cessna a large portion of the bush plane market by replacing the established piston engine types, it featured three abreast cabin seating, a horizontally-divided port side cargo door, and three further access doors.

Shorts Brothers 360 Technical Data

  • TYPE: 36 seat regional airliner
  • COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom
    • Wing span 22.80m (74ft 10in)
    • Length 21.58m (70ft 10in)
    • Height 7.27m (23ft 10in)
    • Wing area 42.2m2 (454.0sq ft)
    • 360 - Two 990kW (1327shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A65R turboprops driving five bladed constant speed Hartzell propellers.
    • 360300 series
      Two 1062kW (1424shp) PT6A67Rs driving six bladed props.
    • Operating empty 7350kg (16,600lb)
    • Max takeoff 11,657kg (25,700lb)

    360300 series

    • Typical operating empty 7870kg (17,350lb)
    • Max takeoff 12,292kg (27,100lb).
    • Max cruising speed 390km/h (210kt)
    • Range at max cruising speed with 36 passengers 426km (230kt)
    • Range with max fuel 1055km (570nm)

    360300 series

    • Typical cruising speed 400km/h (216kt)
    • Initial rate of climb 925ft/min
    • Range with 36 passengers and reserves at typical cruising speed 745km (402nm)
      with 31 passengers and reserves at 337km/h (182kt) cruising speed 1178km (636nm)
    • Flightcrew of two.
    • Typical passenger seating for 36 at three abreast and 76cm (30in) pitch in 12 seat rows. Optional seating for 39 in a high-density configuration.
    • Freighter 360300F can house up to five standard LD3 containers or pallets.
    • Production ceased in 1991 after approximately 165 had been delivered. Roughly 110 were in airline service in late 1998.


Visit the Pacific Coastal Airlines page to learn more about our new DVD featuring the Shorts 360





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