, 2022-12-25 17:30:00,
In 1981, the Short Brothers aerospace company that built aircraft in Belfast, Northern Ireland, began a project to modify its Short 330 airliner for military use. This evolved model, called the C-23 “Sherpa,” was utilized by the United States military in operations in Europe and the Middle East. A total of 60 C-23 Sherpa aircraft were delivered to the U.S. military between 1984 and 1997 and remained in continuous service until 2014.
Let’s take a closer look at the Short Sherpa and the development of its three variants.
From the Skyvan to the Sherpa
The origins of the C-23 Sherpa can be traced back to the Short SC.7 Skyvan, also known as the “Flying Shoebox” for its boxy fuselage, which was a twin turboprop aircraft used mostly for short-haul freight. The Short 330 and 360 passenger aircraft models were longer versions of the Skyvan intended for use as regional airliners. The 330 and 360 retained the hallmark characteristics of the Skyvan, including high-mounted wings, deep slab-sided fuselage, and a raised tail.
The Short 330 had gained a reputation as a reliable, low-cost workhorse for regional passenger flights when Short made the decision in 1981 to create a version for military use. The C-23 Sherpa was designed through modifications of the 330, including a downward-opening rear ramp and an open interior to allow for paratrooper seating along the sides of the fuselage or large, tie-down cargo. The…
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