Norseman Pickers

Loaded sky high and ready to roll after an overnight in Dryden, Ontario. Even the crew cab was stuffed!

A trip last month to northern Minnesota and northwest Ontario provided many parts required for a Norseman restoration in Europe. In the photo below, some may recognize the paint scheme of the former Gogal Air Norseman CF-GLI, serial number 365. Over a decade ago a mishap resulted in a bent nose structure which has now been carefully repaired by the present owners. This airframe is located in Nieuw Vennep, near Amsterdam at the Dutch Transport Museum in The Netherlands.

Like most Norseman, this Mk VI started out with the USAAF during World War II and was assigned aircraft number 43-5374. The museum intends to not only give serial 365 its original identity back, plans include flying it to airshows in Europe as an operational piece of history as soon as all the pieces come together.

Right wing underside clearly showing where the 50 imperial gallon fuel tank fits inside.

 

Main wheel with original drum brake installation.

CF-JIN / CF-KAO Status

Red Lakers will recall the familiar sight of former Chimo Air Norseman CF-JIN and CF-KAO. These two aircraft are still present at Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport in southern Ontario, Canada.

The photo above shows JIN stripped down and undergoing a major rebuild back to active flight condition. When completed, JIN will regain its title as the oldest flying Norseman in the world. Originally delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force as #2482 on May 2, 1941 as a Mk IV (serial 55), JIN has undergone at least two or possibly three rebuilds prior to this one! Another claim to fame was the use of CF-JIN in the airborne scenes of the 2003 movie The Snow Walker. As a side note, Norseman GYY (currently being restored for static display at the Montreal Aviation Museum) was used for the ground scenes.

At some point in the many lives of JIN it was converted from a Mk IV to a post WW II, Mk V model. This is thought to have occurred in 1957 and now the serial number reads CC&F 55. This Norseman, approaching 80 years in time should be back in the air next spring or summer of 2020. This historic airplane is offered for sale at $315,000 USD, contact Dennis Ryan – 519-402-2199 or https://www.aircraftforsale.com/listings/piston-amphibious_floatplane

Fabric recovering of JIN with KAO in the left background.

 

CF-KAO is a Mk VI, serial number 636 built for the USAAF in 1944 and presently for sale as is, where is at $135,000 USD. At that price it is a project airplane for a team to give it new wings.

 

2019 Noorduyn Norseman List

The latest revision to the Norseman list details the status of 50 individual aircraft. There are many changes since the previous 2018 version and the trend away from commercial flying continues. Only a dozen Norseman are actively flown at this time although numerous ongoing restoration projects should result in more flying in the future. Thank you to the enthusiastic community of Norseman fans and museums in general who keep aviation history alive for people to experience the past through a present day context. This airplane has undoubtably outlived the designers expectation of longevity and has a small, loyal following a lifetime later.

AIRWORTHY NOORDUYN NORSEMAN 1 August 2019

Natural Reclamation

Here is a reprinted sentence from the January 16, 2019 post titled Look more, Find more;

On April 27, 1970 a Mk VI, serial 478 CF-OBD burnt after an accident (no injuries) and its remains are still behind the hangars to my knowledge.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, here is the proof that CF-OBD still resides in the bush beside the Selkirk, Manitoba airstrip after all these decades. This photo, taken last June 11th shows the trees growing right up through the airframe like a piece of sculpture art!

Another example of Norseman airframes morphing literally into “bushplanes” with the passage of time can be seen at Northland Aircraft in Ignace, Ontario. These frames, facing nose to nose, are identified as CF-HAU (serial 398) and CF-FCU (serial 837) although I’m not exactly sure which one is in the foreground. Photo from July 2.

As noted in the previous post, if we count these as existing Norseman in 2019 there are probably 75 or more presently in the world. No doubt there are carcasses long forgotten in the bush or barren lands being eroded to the earth as the forces of nature take hold.

 

Norseman Information Request

The annual update to the airworthy Norseman listing will be out later this summer due to many ongoing changes with the status of the Norseman fleet. Of the 903 Norseman built there are an estimated 75 still existent, but that is including burnt out fuselage bush wrecks to static museum examples to a couple still in commercial service. The active airworthy number has settled to about 13 in the last few years. Canada, the United States and Norway are the three countries with flying examples with two more expected to be flying from the Netherlands in the next two years. (The Norseman designer, Robert B. C. Noorduyn being from the Netherlands).

If you have any current Norseman news to help update the list please contact Rodney at 250 212-2178 or if you prefer to email; c46commando@hotmail.com  Thanks!

MAM Norseman update

Another stop on the island of Montreal during the recent trip was the Montreal Aviation Museum to check on the restoration progress of Mark VI C-FGYY. For a little background on this endeavour see https://www.norsemanfestival.on.ca/mam-norseman-project/  As reported by Mike Alain at the MAM, work is going well and they are not trying to rush the rebuild.

Of note in the above photo is the aft cabin door which appears to open upward instead of being hinged to open in the usual forward fashion. There is a lot of detailed woodwork going on, especially with the doors and this shows a desire to showcase this future static display as original as possible. Over the years most Norseman have had modifications for larger door openings or thinner and lighter doors using aluminium metal. Some Norseman have had a mod to get a 4′ by 8′ sheet of plywood inside.

Again, in the next photo, the instrument panel is looking authentic in relation to when GYY was 43-35353 with the United States Army Air Forces during WW II.

Many thanks go out to local aviation historian Keith Meredith who gave a tour of this impressive museum and drove us around pointing out the history of the now closed Cartierville airport featured in the previous blog.

NORDUYN now Redux

A couple years ago on this blog a post about the present NORDUYN chronicled the companies involved with Norseman production. See https://www.norsemanfestival.on.ca/norduyn-now/

A recent trip to Montreal provided the opportunity for a drive around the former Cartierville airport which now has almost completed build out as Bois-Franc with new homes, shops, offices and parks. The only remnant is the large Bombardier facility, once belonging to Canadair.

Bombardier CS100 (now named Airbus A220-100) fuselage beside the Bombardier building with a smaller Canadair title below.

Not far from where mass Norseman production took place at Cartierville during WW II sits the NORDUYN operation of today primarily producing trolleys, oven racks, shelves, drawers and baby bassinets for worldwide airline customers. There is no longer any involvement with the famous Canadian Noorduyn bush plane and the name dropped one o.

As part of the airport site redevelopment at least some thought was given to the historical significance and a nearby neighbourhood carries the following street names; Rue Noorduyn and Place Noorduyn.

Seasonal Preparations

Mark V Norseman CF-GSR undergoing annual airworthiness inspection prior to another busy flying season with the Canadian Warplane Heritage based at Hamilton airport, Ontario. Being serial N29-47 and originally delivered to Canadian Forest Products in June 1950, CF-GSR is the youngest flying Norseman in the world. Thank you to Ryan Berryman for the photo.

Norseman News Bytes USA

An airplane familiar to Red Lakers from 1993 to 2010, CF-FQI has been stored in Minnesota for a number of years after a complete rebuild. Present owner, Jeff Voigt is in the process of transferring serial 364 to the FAA registry and getting it flying again. Great news for this Norseman that will incorporate the serial number into the new planned registration of N364FQ, thus preserving some of the past Canadian connection too!

 

Another Norseman physically going stateside in the near future is Mark VI CF-GJN. The plan is to move the aircraft by surface transport to southern Minnesota where restoration will begin to take serial 797 back to its USAAF identity as 44-70532. Northland Aircraft at Ignace, Ontario has stored GJN since the last flight some six years ago. Minnesota is becoming the home state for a few Norseman and the trend toward more warbirds continues.

 

Last but not least, a very interesting development is seeing N78691 on wheels in Alaska being used for mail runs! Based in Bethel, the Mark VI shuttles to outlying area communities and is the only commercially operated Norseman outside of Canada. Late next summer when hunting season gets busy this working Norseman with change back to floats.

In 2019 serial 637 still haulin’ the goods at 75 years of age!

 

 

 

CF-FOX For Sale or Lease

Norseman serial 340, CF-FOX is available for lease or sale. Presently stored at Northland Aircraft in Ignace, Ontario the owner is asking $195,000 CAD for the floatplane as is. This Mark VI has rounded cockpit windows like a Mark V so some modifications have been done over the years, including the useful plywood door opening to accommodate cabin loading and panoramic cabin windows.

Contact Neil Walsten at 807-468-0222 for details. Alternately, email me at c46commando@hotmail.com if Neil cannot be reached or any Norseman news you wish to share. Thanks!

Originally delivered to the USAAF as 43-5349, FOX in the sun as summer arrives last June. (2018)