Shorts 330, Sherpa and 360 – what made them successful?

While they didn’t win many beauty prizes, the Shorts 330, Sherpa and 360 were one of the most successful British-built turboprop families of all time. Stephen Skinner chronicles their design, development and ultimate demise

After the launch of the Skyvan, with its limited appeal as an airliner, Shorts Brothers considered a commuter airliner development, better suited to the passenger market and with a greater passenger capacity to improve the company’s financial viability. It would compete with – and offer better standards of comfort – than the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Beech 99 and Swearingen Metro. The concept was to provide a passenger cabin with the comfort levels of an airliner, albeit without pressurisation.

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