Driving on the M40 recently just south of Banbury, England, I saw a distinctive smallish plane I'm trying to identify — probably military from the dull grey/green color.

It looked a lot like the Islander, but:

  • It had a tailplane and twin fins
  • The tail boom was narrower in proportion to the body, and more distinct from the body than the Islander's is (I think I'm misremembering or mis-saw that part — I was driving on the motorway, after all)
  • The body may well have been a bit bulkier (or that may have been an illusion caused by the narrowness of the tail boom)
  • The wings had a normal-looking span for the size of the aircraft but were shorter front-to-back than seemed normal (to my very-much-not-expert eye)

Like the Islander it was a twin prop with a fairly pointy nose.

Does anyone have any idea what it was?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Could it be a Short Skyvan? $\endgroup$
    – Monolo
    Feb 25, 2015 at 16:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Or possibly a Short Sherpa? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Feb 25, 2015 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Monolo: Thanks. It looked a lot like that, but there was a distinct tail boom, rather than the body extending back to the tailplane. $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2015 at 16:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are US airbases in the UK as well. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Feb 26, 2015 at 11:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @T.J.Crowder - I think it's a good question. Certainly well detailed with more information than some other ID questions on here $\endgroup$
    – SSumner
    Feb 26, 2015 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


It sounds an awful lot like a C-145, or maybe the 'civilian' version (it's primarily used by militaries), the PZL Skytruck.


It's used by the U.S. Air Force, so seeing it in Britain would not be surprising - all 3 of the U.S. Air Force's RAF joint use bases are within 100 air miles.

  • It's twin-engine, with a tailplane and twin fins
  • Its tail boom does narrow somewhat and distinguish itself, as seen here
  • It does have somewhat of a chunky body
  • The wings are fairly thin (front-to-back)
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That has to be it, thank you! Goes to prove what memory is like (and seeing something only in glances -- I was driving on the motorway, after all). I could have sworn the tailboom was more distinct from the body, but looking at the pictures, this is the plane. $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2015 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ @SSumner Can you provide the image source for the picture in your answer? $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2015 at 8:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @sentryraven - done $\endgroup$
    – SSumner
    Feb 27, 2015 at 22:05

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