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
Shorts Brothers 360 Technical Data
All Contents Copyright 2003 - Take Flight Video Productions - The Makers of The Real Life Aviator Video Series