Aircraft of the Month: Shorts 360

The Shorts 360 is a twin-engine, propeller-driven commuter plane with large freight capacity.

Built by Shorts Brothers in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s, the 360 found success as a regional airline with its ability to comfortably operate from 1,400 (4,500ft) meter long runways. Its ease of service and maintainability has made it one of the most reliable commuter planes in service.

Once in production, the Shorts Brothers manufactured three variants of the Shorts 360 allowing for aerodynamic improvements, higher cruising speeds and improved performances. The variants included the 360 Advanced with 1062kW PT6A65ARs, the 360/300 with six blade propellers and a more powerful PT6A67R engine, and the 360/300F, a freighter configuration of the 360/300. The United States military uses C-23 Sherpa B+ and C, which are military configured variants of the Short 360s. Production of the Shorts 360 ceased in 1991 after a production run of more than 160 aircraft.

The PT6A turboprops on the Shorts 360 make it one of the quietest turboprop aircrafts operating today. Its efficient reduction gearbox permits the propellers to revolve more slowly and therefore more quietly. The PT6A are fully International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Stage 3 noise-compliant.

Operators: Aer Lingus, Federal Express, Pacific Coastal, Philippines Airlines, Thai Airways, US Airways and more.
Manufacturer: The Shorts Brothers, now a division of Bombardier Canada
Country: United Kingdom
First Flight: June 1, 1981
Service Ceiling: 3,500 m (11,500ft)
Range: 1,239km (915nm, 770mi)
Crew: 3
Max Cruise Speed: 390km/h (210kt)
Initial Rate of Climb: 925ft/min
Engine: Two 990kW (1327shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A65R turboprops driving five blade constant speed Hartzell propellers
Height: 7.27m (23ft 10in)
Length: 21.58m (70ft 10in)
Wingspan: 22.80m (74ft 10in)
Wing Area: 42.2m2 (454.0sq ft)
Passenger Capacity: 36 passengers (in a high-density configuration can seat 39)
Operating Weight (Empty): 7350kg (16,600lb)
Maximum Take-off Weight: 11,657kg (25,700lb)

The YVR Connection: Pacific Coastal operates two Shorts 360, making the aircraft a regular sight at YVR. YVR’s Ground Run-up Enclosure (GRE), which is currently under construction, will be utilized by the Shorts 360. The GRE will minimize noise from engine run-ups that are conducted as part of regular aircraft maintenance work.

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