Shorts 360 er en forlænget og forbedret
version af Shorts 330 med større kapacitet. Kan fx
medføre 36 sæder i stadet for 30. Den relative succes med den hårdføre
Shorts 330 fik producenten, som er placeret i Nordirland, til at undersøge og
senere udvikle en forlænget version.
The relative success of the rugged Shorts 330
prompted the Northern Ireland based manufacturer to study and subsequently
develop a stretched derivative. Shorts 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 Shorts 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.
Shorts 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.