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 Short 360 – “The Shed”

I am constantly surprised by what comes up whenever I begin to research a story for our newsletter. Ideas frequently come from unexpected sources at times when I least expect them.

At a minor league playoff hockey game between the Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals (my friend’s grandson plays for the Giants) a large advertisement balloon of a Pacific Coastal Airlines aircraft was floating around the arena between periods. I was reminded of this small commuter airline and the unusual design of one of the aircraft in its fleet.

So, when I dove in to the internet to research the “Short 360”, I learned that it was manufactured by ‘Short Brothers plc’ of Northern Ireland and that this was the actual first company in the world to make production aircraft.

The company began in London in 1908 and moved its main base to Belfast in 1948 where it developed aircraft with ‘flying boat’ designs beginning in the 1950’s.

This was my first impression of the Short 360’s operated by Pacific Coastal Airlines that I watched taxiing on the YVR tarmac. Regrettably, I have never flown on one. 

Time Air of Lethbridge, Alberta, which became CP/CDN's regional partner, was the first airline in Canada to operate the Short 360. It was also the launch customer and the world's first operator the Short 360's predecessor, the Short 330 which had a different tail structure.

They later operated the Short 360 before Pacific Coastal. Both types were only useful in areas that didn't involve crossing mountain ranges, like Time Air's routes in Alberta, and Pacific Coastal's routes between Vancouver and points on Vancouver Island, since they were both unpressurized.

As far as I know, none of these aircraft remain in service in Canada. However, there is still a prominent Canadian connection; Short Brothers was bought by Bombardier in 1989 and is today the largest manufacturing concern in Northern Ireland.

Reference:
Short Brothers at Wikipedia

Special thanks to Ken Pickford for additional info and clarification.

Click Here for photo of a Time Air Short 360 during a fuel stop at Reykjavik, Iceland on the delivery flight in 1985.
Click Here for a photo of a Time Air Short 330 at Calgary in 1979 with the different double-tail structure obvious.
Click Here for a photo of the Short 330 demonstrator that performed at the Farnborough Airshow in 1976 painted in Time Air livery.

Click the image below for a video of the Shorts 330 and 360 series of ‘flying boats’
  short 360 video

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