The Noorduyn Norseman is a large bush plane that was produced in decent numbers (903) from 1935 until 1959. It was designed by Robert B.C. Noorduyn.
The Norseman is becoming somewhat rare in bush country, but can still be seen ocassionally. It features the same Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial as the deHavilland Otter and is roughly comparable to the Otter, though not as refined.
The Noorduyn Norseman has obtained some infamy in that Glenn Miller, popular Big Band director, disappeared over the English Channel, December 15, 1944. To this day, rumors persist over the exact nature of Miller's disappearence but two things can likely be ruled out: (1) Miller wasn't abducted by space aliens, and (2) the Norseman did not fail because of design flaws.
Like the Otter, the Noosreman is a little too much of an airplane for most private owners. It is typically operated in a commercial or military capacity.
The Canadian Armed Forces used the Noorduyn Norseman in the light utility transport role until it was replaced by the deHavilland Otter in 1953.
John Bourke from New Zealand wrote in to say he wants to build a model of Beaver or a Norseman (both of these are his dream planes)with a six-foot wing span and wants to know if anyone can supply him with the plans to build it. If anyone out there can help John out let us know.
Kent, from Canada, who has been flying 42 years says the best bush plane is the Norseman Mark IV. He gave us some great information on the Norseman, "The Norseman was built in Canada starting I believe in 1937 and is still flying today. It was used as a transport in WW2. The band leader Glen Miller was on one when he went missing flying out of England. I have about 2500 hours flying the Norseman and it is by far the greatest bush plane of them all. Big P&W R1340 radial engine producing 650HP. Mostly used on floats and skis it is all fabric and very rugged. There was one metal version built which I flew, registration CF-UUD and I heard that it crashed but not sure. The Norseman will carry much much more than it was designed to carry and if it will float, it will probably fly. Like most heavy float planes it does not like hot calm afternoons. Contact me if you want more. Kent"
Thanks for sharing your story, Kent. We would love to see some of your photos.
Catch a close-up of this Norseman as it does a low fly-over.
Angus Burn from Scotland shared an interesting personal experience that we thought you would enjoy:
I flew all over Northern Ontario and Northern Manitoba in the mid-1950's in, among others, mainly CF-BHT ( known as "Back Home Tonight" ) Art Atkinson, Chief Pilot for the Hudson's Bay Company. A nicer, kinder man it would be hard to find. A really good safe pilot who always had help. Frequently he and his wife, Margaret, stayed with me at Big Trout Lake when he was flying in the area and returning to Sioux Lookout, where he was based, was too far - or that was the excuse as they liked coming up to Trout as much as I did having them.
Watch this Norseman on floats taking off from Red Lake, Canada.
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