The Short 360 is a stretched, larger capacity and improved 36 seat derivative of the 30 seat Short 330.
The relative success of the rugged Short 330 prompted the Northern Ireland based manufacturer to study and subsequently develop a stretched derivative. Short 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 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 US in November 1982.
The two Short 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. Power is supplied by two 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.
Short 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.
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