Norseman News Roundup

One of the last commercially operated Norseman in Canada sporting the latest Wings Over Kississing titles. BHU is a Mk VI, serial 506 based at Channing waterdrome, Flin Flon, Manitoba.

The restoration project of Norseman serial 668, LV-FFH in Argentina has come to a halt. Fortunately the airframe is stored in a hangar and awaits a new owner to complete it. Hopefully one day this Norseman will return to the air as the sole example flying in the southern hemisphere.

In Europe, work continues to return three UC-64 (Mk VI) Norseman to airworthy status. LN-TSN, serial 780 operated by the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation is in need of a routine engine overhaul and could be airborne in the spring of 2023. Across the North Sea in the Netherlands, serial 365 and 774 are being worked on by the Dutch Transport Museum and the Aviodrome, respectively. All three Norseman will be operated as warbirds and carry markings from their original military service.

Norseman N164UC (Note – 64UC is a play on UC-64) made another appearance at Oshkosh last summer and is presently the only flying one in the Lower 48 since N364FQ ferried up to Alaska from Minnesota in June 2022. As in Europe, there are three Norseman warbirds under restoration in the USA. These are Noorduyn serial 139, current civil registration N420QN; Noorduyn serial 163, N61853 and Noorduyn serial 797, N797TS.

Yet another project in the works is located in northern Canada at Yellowknife where owner of many Norseman airframes, Joe McBryan plans to get one flying again. This timeline was stalled by the recent chaos of the last 2 plus years and should get started shortly. Elsewhere, in Sarnia, Canada preparations continue with CF-JIN/RCAF 2482 for its inaugural post restoration flight. This aircraft originally built in 1941 as a Mk IV is on rebuild number four after sustaining major hail damage at Red Lake, Ontario in July 2017. Speaking of Red Lake, the 2022 Norseman Festival itself was absent of a flying example but C-FFUU and CF-ZMX were seen in the area over the summer. Being that they are no longer operated commercially, these private Norseman are flown on a limited basis and might not be at Red Lake during festival time.

Mk IV C-FFUU, June 7, 2022.

Mk VI CF-ZMX, August 21, 2022. Howey Bay, Red Lake.

Subject: Norseman List 2022

Please email me for the latest listing on the status of 38 Norseman in the world today. Another list from last year gives the additional locations of 18 Norseman in museums or mounted on pylons in Canada and the USA.


Mk IV, Serial 44 as seen at the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum on August 31, 2022. This restoration is gaining momentum and hopefully a fully operational engine will allow ground runs to bring this artifact of history alive. The aircraft served during WW II as RCAF 2471. See,

CF-AYO Replica

Restoration work appears to be moving along at a greater pace in the Montreal Aviation Museum with their Norseman C-FGYY. This Mark VI, serial 427 was originally USAAF number 43-35353. The museum acquired the aircraft in derelict condition during 2017 and decided to depict it in the colours of AYO’s first commercial operator, Dominion Skyways who named it Arcturus.

For authenticity, this new static display has replaced GYY’s Pratt & Whitney R-1340 with the Wright Whirlwind R-975 that first powered AYO. When viewing this completed project, the observer will be seeing a replica of the Norseman serial 1, CF-AYO as it looked in early 1936. If one wishes to see the wreckage of the actual AYO you will need to travel almost 1,000 km’s to the west where it is located at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Note how the rear door hinges upward. This is not a feature of AYO and is unique to GYY. Normally this door would hinge forward.

The wings are the last major airframe structure getting restored.

This is an exciting addition to the museum that also has a large aviation art gallery. If you are visiting Montreal, the city where the Norseman was created in 1935, check out the fantastic job the dedicated volunteers are doing with this Norseman display.

Memory Lane

From 1935 to 1959 Norseman were in production at the Cartierville airport in Montreal. By the 1990’s this property was prime land for redevelopment as the city grew to cover almost all of the Island of Montreal. See and

Very near the spot where the huge complex rolled out the Norseman utility airplane by the hundreds during WW II, now reside townhouses in the Bois-Franc neighbourhood. In a nod to the history of the prior land use, this housing is called Square Norseman. It is likely few, if any new homeowners realize the significance or reason why Norseman is in the name. This is the last corner of the old airport site to be redeveloped and little evidence exists other than the remaining large Bombardier aviation building. This too will probably shrink in the next few years as Bombardier has downsized its scope of operations.

Signage pointing to the SQUARE NORSEMAN townhouses. February 21, 2022.

Speaking of downsizing, I plan to post less frequently going forward. Perhaps four times a year depending on fleet activity with more of a focus on just where the airplanes are moving to with new owners, etc. It has been a great six year run and many Norseman or related subjects have been covered. The only constant is change itself and formats appear to have changed from webpage blogposts to more popular social media, whether legacy sites or alternative news.

If anyone still has questions about the Norseman or Noorduyn Aviation please email; and I will do my best to answer. Also, I plan to keep the active Norseman list up to date on a yearly basis. Email me for a current copy if you do not see it at the Norseman Festival website.

Thanks Norseman fans and I hope you enjoy the posts as much as I like writing them!

DRD is Back !

Kurtis Weddel photo.

As we start a new year, our thoughts often focus on change, new beginnings, new habits and goals. By now, most people in Red Lake will have seen the town’s beloved Norseman floatplane on display again by the head of Howey bay. Carefully, on October 15, 2021 it was put back up in the park where it previously “flew” for nearly 26 years. Having been off its perch for over three years, the reappearance is like a soft reopening for the popular annual festival.

For the background story on what happened to DRD and why it needed to be taken down and rebuilt see these posts from this blog; and


June 20, 2018 DRD’s wings were trailered to Northland Aircraft Service in Ignace, Ontario for refurbishment. Gord Hughes and Duane Riddell discuss their condition. Note Gord’s yellow Mk IV Norseman CF-DTL in the background.

A major fundraising drive went into effect to not simply patch DRD up, but rather to have the foresight to do a proper job and tailor the restoration for longevity in the elements as a static display. As such, the airplane is no longer operational and access points, inspection panels and spaces for opportunistic birds are sealed or netted off. The airplane should easily last another 23 years and celebrate its 100th birthday! DRD first went up and was dedicated at the first official festival in July of 1992 attended by Bob Noorduyn Jr., son of the Norseman designer.

Red Lakers and enthusiasts worldwide can be justifiably proud of all the hard work that went into the team effort to have this community symbol and historic aircraft start a new chapter in its legacy. Having served the area at various times before retirement, the decision was made to keep the restoration work as local as possible. The wooden wings went to Ignace, Ontario where Gord Hughes tackled the damage and this resulted in his usual excellent craftsmanship. Those that have expertise in critical wood aircraft structures are getting few and far between. Superior Airways of Red Lake donated hangar space for work on the floats and Red Lake Seaplane Service brought the end result all together as we see it now. Of note, in 1992 and 2021 this was the same final assembly location and when DRD is rededicated next summer it will be almost exactly 30 years later.

So Norseman Festival 2022 will sort of be reinvigorated and there is talk of a pilots/AME reunion among the events. Thank you to all who donated and/or volunteered in the rebuild project and we can look forward to a fun, successful festival next summer full of community spirit!

Noorduyn serial 831, CF-DRD in mid-December 2021. Photo credit – Kurtis Weddel.