A Short Skyvan with an orange clownfish livery in flight




Microsoft Flight Simulator Releases Local Legend 16: The Short SC.7 Skyvan

The distinctive Skyvan is a utilitarian workhorse in a class of its own.


Microsoft Flight Simulator today introduced the Local Legend 16: the SC.7 Skyvan aircraft that has earned a legendary reputation as a go-to for the world’s toughest air transport missions. The airframe, affectionately dubbed by some as the “flying shoebox,” has a long and storied history of hauling people and cargo into and out of short, austere airstrips throughout the world. It was conceived, designed, and built to carry the largest loads possible in the most demanding environments. Its boxy fuselage optimizes freight stowage while its large rear cargo door and integrated ramp enable fast, efficient loading and unloading. The high aspect ratio main wing and powerful turboprop engines give it exceptional short take-off and landing (STOL) performance. Its rugged tricycle landing gear allows it to operate from all types of airfields, including grass, gravel, and improvised strips.


Short Brothers, based in Belfast, Ireland, began developing the Skyvan in the 1950s to create an aircraft that would prove eminently practical for the widest number of users. They carefully analyzed several cargo and STOL aircraft designs in use at the time and determined the base design would be an enduring standout: it melded a capacious, rectangular fuselage with a high-performance wing and powerful engines. The empennage consists of a single horizontal stabilizer and two vertical stabilizers, one on each end of the horizontal stabilizer. The main wing is strut braced and houses two engines, one on each side.

The prototype of the Skyvan, powered by piston engines, took its maiden flight on January 17, 1963. Short Brothers then fitted the prototype with turboprop engines and flew it with the new powerplants for the first time in October of 1963. The company manufactured a total of 149 aircraft (in several variants) until 1986, producing a total of 149.


Over many decades, operators throughout the world have used the Skyvan for several purposes, including passenger service, general cargo, specialty cargo, geotechnical applications, skydiving, aerial photography, air ambulance, search and rescue, and oilfield support. Notable missions include operations from high altitude airstrips in Nepal, exploration of interior Indonesia, and carrying an antenna for an Apollo mission (from New Jersey to Florida’s Cape Kennedy, not all the way to the moon). Militaries from nearly two dozen nations have even used the Skyvan for logistical support and several of the airframes continue to fly today.

Crewed by one or two, the Skyvan can carry up to 19 passengers, 5,157 pounds of cargo, or some combination thereof. The SC.7 measures 40 feet, 1 inch in length, stands 15 feet, 1 inch tall, and has a wingspan of 64 feet, 11 inches. It is powered by two Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-2-201A turboprop engines that each produce up to 715 horsepower and each powerplant turns a Hartzell 3-blade, variable-pitch propeller. The Skyvan has a range of 693 miles, a service ceiling of 20,000 feet above sea level, and climbs at 1,640 feet per minute. It requires 1,581 feet for take-off and it can land in 1,860 feet. It cruises at 173 mph, has a stall speed of 69 mph, and has a top speed of 201 mph.


The Skyvan has been expertly recreated in Microsoft Flight Simulator for simmers to enjoy throughout the digital twin of the world. Try your hand at landing on a remote beach in New Zealand, lifting into the sky from the side of a mountain in Alaska or Borneo, or even exploring the Sahara Desert.

The Short SC.7 Skyvan comes with sixteen liveries including: Airliner – White, Military – Green, Military – Green Camouflage, Military – Grey, Skydive – White, Skydive – Clownfish, Skydive – Pink, Surveyor – White, and Surveyor – Red.

There are infinite possibilities for adventure and exploration awaiting in the Skyvan. It is available in Microsoft Flight Simulator today for $14.99. The sky is calling!

Microsoft Flight Simulator is available for Xbox Series X|S and PC with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Windows, and Steam, and on Xbox One and supported mobile phones, tablets, and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming. For the latest information on Microsoft Flight Simulator, stay tuned to @MSFSOfficial on X (formerly Twitter).