View Full Version : Shorts Shoe Box

21st Apr 2003, 18:47
It was in the days of fun, not seriousness in flying. The first Shorts 330 to come to Oztraliya checks in on SMC after landing at YBTL.....Black Dick, the SMC and my Ocker Mate, welcomes our very prim, proper and pucker Pom. " G'Day fellas, nice plane"...reply.."Well thank you "...Black Dick..."Did ya make it yourself???"....All quiet...

22nd Apr 2003, 00:15
Actually, what we Aussies said was, "So you flew that thing all the way here, and still left it in the box?"

22nd Apr 2003, 00:47
TWR:'Global 123 number 2 to a Shorts 360, do you have him in sight ?'
G123:'Affirm, no wait. He just flew over a trailer (caravan) park. We lost him'.

S360 GPWS: 'Pull up, pull up. Pull up your Shorts'.

22nd Apr 2003, 00:54
I saw my first Skyvan in the Middle East in the 1960s and it had already won the nickname "the musical shoebox". I had always assumed that this was because it looked like a bl**dy shoebox!

The first time I saw a 330 at anything like close range I was given to wonder how any designer could start off in the morning with a clean piece of paper and a sharp pencil and end up with such a beautiful aerodynamic design. It just has to be the result of an exceedingly good and liquid lunch!

Mind you, the Irish invented the bagpipes and gave them to the Scots for free. The Scots haven't seen the joke yet.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
22nd Apr 2003, 02:47
Guys, it's the Shed (at least in UK). And the 360 was the Super Shed.

There used to be loads of them buzzing into Guernsey, Leeds, and lots of UK regional airports. Where have they gone?


22nd Apr 2003, 03:49
I have seen a Skyvan at Helsinki which is owned by the Helsinki University of Technology. It has HUT painted on the side in large letters. I suppose huts came before sheds!

Genghis the Engineer
22nd Apr 2003, 05:34
I keep seeing one at Kidlington, no idea what it's doing there. Also we used to get one in at BDN occasionally for cheap air-dropping if we'd run out of money at the end of the FY and couldn't afford a Herc.


22nd Apr 2003, 09:08
In Aus, it's also known as the "Irish Concorde".
PMSL ....

Compass Call
23rd Apr 2003, 01:58
In Oman we called it "The Five Ton Budgie".


23rd Apr 2003, 02:22
Also known as 'The Transit Van with wings'. There is a story about an American lady who boarded a Loganair 'Transit' at night and thought it was the bus to take her to the aircraft, so when it left the ground she started screaming at the top of her lungs :ooh:

23rd Apr 2003, 03:15
I once met an FAA inspector who had something to do with a company on the West Coast who had bought 330s. He reckoned that the propwash on the twin fins created some interesting oscillations which earned it the nickname of the Vomit Comet!

23rd Apr 2003, 04:04
Whilst I agree that the Shed could be added to that list of 'Designed at the office Christmas party' aircraft, with the Clockwork TriStar aka BN Trislander, are our Oz cousins qualified to criticise?

After all it was they who gave us the slender lines of the GAF Nomad and (perhaps more appropriately in this Forum) desecrated the good name of de Havilland with the Drover!:D

23rd Apr 2003, 04:39
Now that opens up an entirely new subject. I have heard that the aforementioned was called the NAF Gonad. If anyone needs a translation then seek a dictionary.

My guess is "don't worry about your ba**s, worry about the beautifully designed wings coming off"!

23rd Apr 2003, 04:53

23rd Apr 2003, 05:03
Just two words for our antipodean friends...

Transavia Airtruk (http://users.chariot.net.au/~theburfs/airtrukMAIN.html) :p

23rd Apr 2003, 06:40
Mr Tiger - the Airtruck? An early Rutan, surely... !

There was actually another version, Wasp powered I fancy, name totally escapes me now... Bennett? Aerohack, ball's in your court...

The only one I ever saw was when I was but a nipper, at Nairobi's Wilson Airport. Fascinated I was... How could it fly? Not for long. "Oh, the Airtruck's crashed" said me Dad. "And what happened?" said I (thirty or so years gives one an adult's perspective!). "Oh, it rolled into a ball" said he...

Funnily enough, I always referred to the SD-330 as the Short Shoebox, but everyone else seemed to refer to it as the Shed as Shagggy says - so was the Skyvan really the Shoebox?

This calls for another thread - aircraft nicknames...

23rd Apr 2003, 06:57
Talking of Skyvans, I wonder who decided that the flight deck doors should be hinged at the rear. It was inevitable that sometime one of the doors would come open in flight - as it did in Oman. It went straight through the No.1 prop - but lucklily someone had decided the props should be made of wood so the pilot just got a bit windy and the aircraft a fine dusting of sawdust....

23rd Apr 2003, 07:37
Amongst all these yarns there are more than a few 'tall stories'!!!:D (not to mention a bit of confusion).

The Skyvan was the SC7, that was the one in Oman, Abu Dhabi etc. in the '60s. The SD330 and 360 came later and had much smoother lines.

The two nick-names I remember for the SC7 Skyvan were 'Melody in Metal' and 'The Whispering Nissen Hut'

Don't ever remember wooden props either!;)

(flew the SC7 for about three years).

P.S. Nearly forgot, the bagpipes originated in Turkey!

23rd Apr 2003, 15:13
Here's another one they forgot to take out of the crate before flying it ;)


23rd Apr 2003, 16:05
WUB - that looks like a vac fom plastic kit that someone hasn't made properly!

23rd Apr 2003, 19:01
thats the work up to the B2 isn't it???? saw them flying it in a documentary on wings the other night.... strange one me thinks!! ;)

23rd Apr 2003, 19:51
Hey it looks like the Shorts/GAF/Harbin first JV jet.....:cool:

23rd Apr 2003, 21:07
I used to know a fella from Gill Aviation, who told me that they had a 330 that had been taken out of use, which they actually did use as a shed!! Just whipped the wings off and used it to store bits and pieces in....

Love the Skyvan - of course it is just a box with wings on, but can anything else that size take a Land Rover in one piece?

Mind you, they weren't the first; remember the Miles Aerovan?

23rd Apr 2003, 22:47
Well, sort of.

In early 1969, operated an SC7 full of vital P&W engine parts up to Seattle for the Boeing folks. The 747 was well behind schedule due to engine 'ovalation' (not remaining perfectly round) and these parts were needed...pronto.
Arrived at 3am and were met by at least forty folks who proceeded to unload said parts and install same on three parked 747 aeroplanes, all grounded due to P&W engine problems.

SC7 to the rescue...for sure!

24th Apr 2003, 00:27
Another vague (and probably highly innacurate) memory - isn't the Skyvan directly related to the Miles Aerovan by way of the Miles HDM-105? As I recall, that was a larger version of the Aerovan with Hurel-Dubois' high-aspect ratio wing... I'll do some research later tonight...

Fris B. Fairing
24th Apr 2003, 18:18

Regarding your rearwards opening flight deck doors on the Skyvan (which I didn't know about until you raised it) could it be a design feature to remind the pilots not to walk aft into a still turning prop? Also, looking at a photo of the aeroplane, there doesn't appear to be much structure to hinge the door from the leading edge. Whatever the reason, I thank you for encouraging me to dig out a photo of a Skyvan, for the 330 is now beginning to look strangely attractive!


Hap Hazard
29th Apr 2003, 03:26
:yuk: Nice one Paper Tiger.
But then I suppose they are immensely proud of that flying lawn mower that they used to bash out on the factory floor as well?
Such refinement can only come from being out in the heat for far too long!
Sorry, but having said that the Shorts wont win any beauty contest either! :yuk:

29th Apr 2003, 06:24
BBC Northern Ireland broadcast a super documentry to mark 40 years of the Skyvan earlier this year. Great to see the aircraft still flying, I can remember as a child one flying at the Ulster Airshow at Newtownards in the early 70`s.

Troy Tempest
30th Apr 2003, 05:05
Good to see, though, that some of the "Sheds" are being preserved for future generations to marvel over!

I know at least two are presently undergoing restoration in museums (in NI and Sunderland). Any more under long term preservation??

30th Apr 2003, 15:49
I did see a very well drawn plan for a Shorts "trilander" with a third engine on the tail, the guy who drew it sent it to "Flight International" for April 1, unfortunately they were to scared of upsetting Shorts to publish it - would have been a good April fool though;)

30th Apr 2003, 19:10
The Shorts 450

This was a proposal for a strectched 360. It had bigger (PW 100?) engines and a greater span. Capacity increased to 45 seats. It also had a completely redesigned, conventional, cockpit featuring a central internal access door and mainstream central console, etc.

When asked if the price per seat, 45 against 36, would come down as a conseqeuence of the economies of scale, the answer from a Shorts representative was negative as the designers wished to do things like the new cockpit, thus, the unit price of the 450 was more or less exactly 45/36ths of the 360 price!
Shame really, as the 360 was a terrific profit - maker in it's day, although the formula may have already been dead by then.

When the suggestion was put to Shorts that they should simplify the 360 by removing most of the hydraulics, fairing in the wheels and removing one of the aircon packs (at least for temperate climates), they were unimpressed and could not see the logic of removing this complication and "adding lightness".
As far as I remember, there was only a reduction of about 5 kts IAS with the wheels down, so faired, fixed gear should have been no problem and the flaps could have been electrically operated.

At the time the 360 was built, Shorts certainly acknowledged the Heurel Dubois connexion of lifting struts and the high aspect-ratio wing.

Shame they couldn't have developed the 360 along cheapo lines as the cost of the thing was one of its main selling points.

I suppose that the Shorts designers were, by that time, too involved in pushing on with their ground-breaking FJ30, or whatever their Regional Jet was to be called. Had they not been bought by Canadair and could have afforded the development, all might be different by now......

Oh, back to the thread. I seem to remember that the aircraft was indeed nick-named the Shoe Box originally but became the Shed when rougher types began to operate it!!!!!

4th May 2003, 17:36
Two Skyvans, G-PIGY and G-BVXW, are bassed at Oxford operated by Babcock HCS, a division of Hunting Contract Services. They are contracted by the MoD to provide lift for the 57 Partroop Traning School at RAF Brize Norton. They sepnd a lot of time operating between Brize and Weston on the Green although I have also seen one oprtaing at Hucknall.

It appears Nomads are starting to invade UK airspce.
One arrived at Chatteris in late 2001 operating for the London Parachute Centre, N6302W. It reaplced the original Islander G-OWIN. A very colourful An 28 YL-APB also appeared for a short while in June 2000 but as far as I know was never used. (Problems with the CAA?) The Danish Black Turbo Beaver was also used for a short period before the Nomad arrived. I belive a Noamd has now also appeared at Hinton in the Hedges for papra droping.