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Shorts PD.65

alertken

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UK Govt. had owned Short's/Rochester since 12/42 and had merged it in 1948 as Short Bros & Harland. In 1964 the State owned 69.5% and scavenged for work, seeing it as albatross: R.Crossman, Diaries of a Cabinet Minister/3, Cape,1975, P68: “white elephant that has managed to lose more money by (not) producing than any other aircraft factory in the world {he forgot Convair CV880/990: Project loss of $425Mn.} It would be far cheaper (to) pay wages to totally unemployed workers than to go on producing aircraft at the present staggering rate of loss” (the context was the incremental cost of building RAF VC10 fuselages in Sydenham). PD.65 was entry ticket to win Fokker F.28 wing fabrication in 1964. SB&H revisited Regional Jet notions from 1987, despite winning F.100, then F.70 wing in 1983. From 1977 SB&H also had engine pods on BAe.146, thus competing with itself. There was no liklihood of RJX launch investment or Prime Contractor status: Govt. had owned 100%, as Short Bros. Ltd., since 1977 and its intent was to unload. Bombardier accepted £390Mn. debt write-off plus £50Mn. new State capital infusion to adopt the orphan 4/10/89 as a fabrication, not design centre.
 

thebig C

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Hey Gang:)

Does anybody have more detailed info on the PD.65 such as proposed range/no. of passengers.
Also, there are only fleeting references to the Short FJX on a couple of threads....does anybody have any detailed specs?
 

Jemiba

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From Richard Payne "Stuck On The Drawing Board":
PD.65 : Up to 30 Pax (4 abreast), AUW of 32.500 lbs, cruising speed 457 mph and range 1.000 miles
FJX : 44 - 48 Pax (4 abreast), MTOW of 41.300 lbs, range 800 miles
 

robunos

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from Putnam's 'Shorts', pp. 523-525 :-
P.D.65. In 1961 a market need was established for a DC-3 replacement. Initially to be turboprop powered, later turbofans were preferred, *if* they were available at the same cost.
In 1962 two layouts were examined, both in the weight range 25-30,000lbs, one twin Dart powered, having a cruising speed of 270 kts, and the other, by twin Lycoming turbofans givings a 400kt cruise at a 10% higher operating cost.
Following refinement of the design, a layout with a low wing and overwing mounted turbofans in long nacelles was selected. Since the project specification was similar to the deHavilland DH.136, collaboration between the two was discussed, however, no agreement was reached. In June 1965,Shorts spoke to Fokker and VFW, about collaboration on the VFW.614 project. By November of that year, agreement had been reached.as part of this, the British Government was asked to put up 25% of the funding required. At this point, UK Gov. insisted on Shorts being replaced by Hawker Siddeley, whose DH.136 was wholly different to the VFW.614. As a result VFW and Fokker continued development without a UK partner.

Shorts FJX. Following the success of the Shorts 330 and 360, market research indicated continuing growth in the 20-130 seat category into the 21st century. A decision was made to pursue a twin-turbofan commuter, and design work began in 1986, the FJX being revealed in March 1988. Passenger capacity was to be 44. Dimensions are on the image below, source as above.

cheers,
Robin.
 

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toura

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Hi all.
From an old "Air et Cosmos"
 

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thebig C

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Thanks for the replys guys!!
I wonder at what point Shorts decided to switch from wing-mounted to rear-mounted wings? Possibly after their agreement with VFW was torpedoed? I have to say, their illustrated arrangement for the engine mounting is much more stylish then the VFW-614. Given the 614s relative failure I do wonder how the PD.65 would have fared! Argueably it would do betteras a corporate jet rather then a pax airliner.
I am a little surprised at the capacity, or lack thereof, of the FJX. I know that they had some level of cooperation with Embraer during the 1980s, so I had assumed it would be in the E-Jet sphere. But, 44 seats puts it very much in the ERJ capacity. It does raise a few questions, having 4 abreast seating but only capacity for 44 results in a very short and heavy aircraft....would this have been significantly more expensive to operate then an ERJ of CRJ?! With that in mind its surprising that in the late 1980s the FJX was garnering a lions share of attention in the potential regional jet market! Given the relatively short length/width ratio of the fuselage did Shorts havethe intention of stretching the design? Or marketing a bizjet variant?
 

JFC Fuller

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According to press reports at the time Shorts were looking, at the prodding of interested airlines, to rapidly pursue stretched variants of the aircraft. I wish I could find out what further versions they were planning but so far I have seen nothing. Shorts had identified a market for aircraft in the 20-130 seat sector so perhaps that gives us some indication of where they were going. By the time it was cancelled the seating had crept up to 48 but with a 150nm range reduction. It is also worth remembering that at the same time BAe were pushing the 120 seat twin-jet RJX (a 146 derivative) and their all-new New Business Jet (NBJ) to compliment the BAe 125-800/1000. Ultimately there was insufficient capital for any of them despite the usual over-hyped interest from a clutch of small airlines.
 

thebig C

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That would explain why the fuselage was relatively "fat" for such a small passenger capacity. By pushing the pax number to 48, all they are producing is a Hunting 107.....10 years later. The dilema was the more they push capacities beyond 60, the smaller share of a market they have to share with the Fokker f28, BAC 1-11, Caravelle, DC-9 etc. On the flip side, there were quite a few design studies for jet-powered DC-3 replacements in the 1960s but all concluded that given the engines/economics at the time pistons and props still had the edge once you fall below about 50 passengers.
Interestingly, Dassault studied stretched versions of the Falcon 20 (1960s) and even built a prototype of a Mystere 30 ( early 1970s), which was to be a regional jet with 4 abrest seating. It was to come in 30 or 40 seat variants flying 900 and 600nm respectively. Despite being show at Air salons, it never really got off the ground:))) Excuse the pun:)))

C
 

JFC Fuller

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thebig C,

I was talking about the FJX, apologies if I was not clear, the FJX would not have been available to airlines until about 1994 so it is really 20 years after the Hunting 107. The 1-11, Caravelle, and even the F28 were all out of production by then. The main competitor to the FJX would have been the Canadair/Bombardier CRJ series (which probably played a part in Bombardier's decision to buy Shorts) and the Embraer ERJ series.
 

thebig C

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Apologies jfc.....I was writing my reply very late (suffering a bout of insomnia) hence my misinterpreting your post.
Actually, late 80s/early 90s in hindsight would have been a good to to get into the RJ market. The only real competitor would have been the Fokker f100 at the upper end of the scale, and as we know that wouldn't be around for too long. The Bae 146 didn't too long to go either. And the Fairchild Dornier remained at mockup stage. At the lower end of the spectrum the CRJ and ERJ would have an advantage in operating economics but be far inferior in many other aspects. All in all, major competitors either not yet built or nearing the end of production...!!
One wonders how the FJX would have effected the E-Jets series along with the C-Series and MRJ??!!

c
 

JFC Fuller

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The CRJ would almost certainly have beaten the FJX to market, probably by at least two years, though the Shorts aircraft may have beaten the ERJ series. The key distinguishing feature of the FJX was its wide fuselage cross-section, it could certainly have been a player. The problem for Shorts was raising the required capital to make the investment in the first place, ultimately something they could not do and the government privatised them through a sale. The UK Airliner industry in the late 80s was still suffering one of the same problems it had been since the end of the war, it was fragmented with companies and divisions having only singular product ranges often in niche sectors. Shorts was a one trick pony with the 360 series, BAe's divisions were all semi-independent;

Business Jets Division (HS.125): Sold to Raytheon in 1993
Jetstream Aircraft: Made an independent division in 1993, merged with ATR to form the Aero International (Regional) consortium in 1996 and Jetstream production terminated in favour of the ATR family
Avro International (HS.146): Merged with ATR to form the Aero International (Regional) consortium in 1996, staggered on until killed off by the post 9/11 downturn and the growth of the Embraer and Bombardier regional jets

All three proposed radical new developments, just like Shorts, but BAe was never prepared to make the investment or take on the risk whilst sought after partnerships never really happened so they all just died. The BAE ATR relationship collapsed, and the Aero International (Regional) consortium with it, when the Airjet 70 programme failed to materialise in 1998 because of BAe recalcitrance. BAE eventually sold its 20% Airbus stake to EADS in 2006 and is now a major global defence firm and the UK is just a components manufacturer for foreign owned and based civil aircraft companies. The latest news is that the bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft (Raytheon sold Hawker to Beechcraft in 2007) may end up in Chinese hands, rather like Rover did.
 

thebig C

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Interesting read....thanks JFC Fuller!
Yep, I guess Shorts are a microcosm of the post-war British Aircraft industry. Many of the products produced were rigidly to the requirements of local clients almost to the exclusion of the export markets!
The Skyvan/330/360 were actually fairly good products from a sales pov....nothing wrong with being a one trick pony as long as that trick keeps the money rolling in!
As an aside, Hawker Beechcraft should be a great buy. The bizjets are firmly established, Texan ii is well established and could be up-speced/upgraded and Kingair is an institution. The Chinese are just in the lucky position of having money when nobody else does.....as an old friend of my Dads said "When there is a boom, make sure you sit on your hands and don't go near your checkbook"!!
C
 

hesham

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Hi,


and a Model for Shorts PD.65.
 

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hesham

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From Jets 5/6 2016.
 

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