150 and 25 Years!

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CF-DRD coming in for “landing” over Norseman Heritage Park in Red Lake, Ontario.

This July of 2017 is a doubly big month to celebrate Canada and its achievements.  On the first of the month Canada turns 150 since Confederation in 1867.  Then the Norseman festival will commemorate 25 years since inauguration of this summertime family friendly event.

In 1990 some old time pilots, mechanics and Norseman aficionados got together in Red Lake resulting in the seed being planted for the Norseman Heritage Park.  It all came together with the official opening on July 25, 1992 along with the dedication of CF-DRD (serial 831) and the start of the Norseman festival.

A highlight this year at the festival will be a demonstration by the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team.  As the name implies, this four plane group flies the Harvard advanced trainer that was used to train thousands of pilots during World War II. When looking skyward and feeling that ear splitting roar consider the Harvard uses the same direct drive, 600 HP Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine as the Norseman!  Even more intriguing is C-FNDB with the number 039 on the fuselage.  This Harvard was built by Noorduyn Aviation in Montreal in 1941 !!  Yes, Noorduyn manufactured Harvard’s (a licence built version of the North American T-6 Texan) and the Norseman at the same time during WW II in Montreal area plants so this group is a natural fit for the festival.

 

Airworthy Norseman List

For a detailed breakdown of who and where Noorduyn Norseman are presently flying in the world, copy this link or click on About the Norseman and scroll to the bottom of the page.

http://www.norsemanfestival.on.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/AIRWORTHY-NORSEMAN-in-CANADA-as-of-1-July-2016.pdf

Accordingly, with the airworthy population located in the northern hemisphere and it being the middle of winter, it would be a rare sight to see a Norseman flying now.  In warmer months they reappear like the bumble bees they sound like when take-off power is applied with that ungeared prop buzzing!

Watch for this list to be updated just prior to the 2017 festival in July.

Hibernation

Each winter three Norseman routinely spend the wintery off season with Riverside Aircraft Maintenance at Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada.  Privately owned Mark VI’s CF-IGX and CF-ZMX are protected from the elements inside while Mark V CF-BSB is outside.  Here are a few pictures from December 2016.

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In Alaska N78691 is back at Lake Hood.  Photo credit - Lambert de Guarve.

In Alaska N78691 is back at Lake Hood.  Now with rear door ladders.  Photo credit – Lambert de Gavere.

Norseman Nirvana?

Just southwest of the Ignace airport on Osaquan lake in Ontario sits Northland Aircraft Service owned by Gord and Eleanor Hughes.

With a passion for “rag and tube” bush planes, Gord has restored many of the Norseman that survive in the 21st century. He believes it is still the best choice out there for most utility transport applications in its class.  Around the yard and in the shop are skis, fuselage airframes, wing spars, parts and drawings to help operators or museums keep these stalwart workhorses alive.  Being a knowledgable expert on the type, Gord also takes questions about all things Norseman from fans worldwide who occasionally stop by to meet him in person.

So what airplane does Gord use when the need arises to take his business farther afield?  Well, you guessed it, a Norseman of course!  For over three decades, Mark IV CF-DTL (serial 57) has served Northland well and incorporates modifications that he has developed and used on many rebuild projects.

In the fall of 2016, during a quick visit by the author, no less than 10 distinct Norseman were noted and Gord jokes that Ignace, Ontario deserves the claim to being “The Norseman Capital of the World”!

IMG_0769In the hangar:  CF-DTL and the fuselage airframe of serial 809.  (Not in picture)

Outside:

  1.                 C-FFUU/serial 74 in for winter maintenance.
  2.                 CF-GJN/serial 797 available for sale.
  3.                 CF-JEC/serial 469 pending sale.
  4.                 CF-FOX/serial 340 available for sale or lease.
  5.                 CF-HAU/serial 398 fuselage airframe.
  6.                 CF-FCU/serial 837 fuselage airframe.
  7.                 C-FBHZ/serial N29-13 (Mark V) wing only.
  8.                 N1121B/serial 241 fuselage only on wheels.

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Flight instrument panel of CF-GJN.

Flight instrument panel of CF-GJN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note fuselage of N1121B and tail of CF-FOX in background.

Note fuselage of N1121B and tail of CF-FOX in background.

Mark IV C-FFUU

Mark IV C-FFUU

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Your thoughts/help

If you have any comments or suggestions about this blog, scintillating Norseman news or updates to previous posts please contact the author.  It was decided at the start of this project that this blog would be more of a news feed and less of a forum.  That said, I still welcome all input relating to the current status of the Norseman story.  It has been said that the saga will not be over until the last Norseman is pulled up onto the beach for the last time.  Will there be examples of this classic flying during the 100th anniversary on November 14, 2035?  (My guess is yes)

Thank you to the Norseman festival and everyone that makes it happen for extending the spirit of this airplane.  I truly believe the festival is responsible for a few Norseman returning to the sky by giving this legendary bush plane another breath of life through the minds of supporters worldwide. The challenge now is to pass the story and keep it alive for a younger generation to carry it forward.

Rodney Kozar, e-mail: c46commando@hotmail.com or call my cell to chat: 250 212-2178.

One outstanding question is exactly who owns and where is N164UC, Ex. CF-UUD since it went to the United States this year.  Maybe the new owner wants to remain confidential, but if you can provide any information or have any recent photos of serial 224 please let me know.

 

 

CF-GJN

GJN and BSC still available

  CF-BSC

Mark VI Norseman CF-GJN has had its selling price reduced to $250,000 CAD.  We hope this aircraft that was restored eight years ago will return to active flying soon.

Also, CF-BSC now has a listed price at $500,000 CAD.  This is probably the most authentic and beautiful Mark V out there, a showroom masterpiece in its paint scheme from service with original operator Austin Airways.

For more details see airplanemart.com, click on Amphibian & Floatplane or contact Ryan Berryman, rberryman11@hotmail.com or call 587-433-2972.

N78691 Update

As noted last spring, Norseman N78691 was sold and ferried to Alaska for a new career with Renfro’s Alaskan Adventures out of Bethel in the western part of that state.  Well, serial 637 has finally been converted to floats and flew from Lake Hood, Anchorage to Bethel at the end of August to become the only commercially operated Norseman outside of Canada. Certainly an interesting paint scheme on the airplane with gold coloured metal parts and burgundy fabric.  If you like it, that’s one good looking, panoramic windowed, moose haul’in Norseman!

img_2406Note absence of rear ladders to aft doors.  This likely will be changed when time permits.  Photo credits – Lambert de Gavere.

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Festival Flypast 2016

The afternoon of Sunday, July 24 brought very changeable weather to Red Lake that was literally sunny one minute then raining the next.  There was some doubt if the flypast would go ahead as the aircraft taxied out around 5 PM and another downpour occurred just as they were organizing for take-off.  Fortunately it cleared enough for the group to depart southwest bound over Howey bay in windy conditions.  A large right circuit followed as they flew over Centennial park then low and fast going north over the bay to the delight of the crowd.  A second pass followed, then landing back at the take-off area.  This was the line-up;

Chimo Air Norseman CF-JIN in the lead.

Trout Lake Lodge Norseman CF-ZMX.

Chimo Air Norseman CF-KAO.

Chimo Air Cessna 180 CF-SMS.

Viking Outposts De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver C-GGMB.  (piston)

Excellent Adventures De Havilland DHC-3 Otter C-FBEO with ‘original’ 600 HP Pratt & Whitney R-1340.

Amik Outposts De Havilland DHC-3 Otter C-FHXY with 1,000 HP PZL engine.

Chimo Air De Havilland DHC-3 Turbine Otter C-FODQ.

Superior Airways Cessna 208 Caravan C-FYMT on amphibious floats.

A Beech 18 was also planned to participate but had to cancel due to the inclement weather in the greater area.

A big thank you to the pilots and all involved who faced the challenge and put on an exciting flypast to cap off the fun for this edition of the Norseman festival!

Metal Makeover

In simple terms, the Norseman airframe is mostly made of steel tubing with a wood wing structure and fabric covering. Over half a century ago there were a couple projects that changed this to metal being primary like the aircraft designs that followed the Norseman.  Today only light sport/utility airplanes use the “rag and tube” and wood is a foreign material for critical components, so the Norseman is truly from a different era.

Perhaps even the focused Norseman enthusiast is not aware that a prototype Mk VII was flown in the early 1950’s. It had metal wings and empennage, was stretched 3 feet and retained the same Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine. However, this derivative never achieved certification so never went into production and the sole example was destroyed in a hangar fire at Fort William, Ontario in November 1957.

The other project was more straight forward and involved metallizing the fuselage skin of serial number 224 and using a metal wing instead of wood and fabric.  This was developed by C. R. Ursall of San Antonio, Texas, but once again only a single example was produced.  In 1967, this metal Mk VI came to Canada and was registered as CF-UUD.  Another interesting feature unique to UUD is the oversized cargo door on the left side and the removal of the corresponding right door, thought to be for keeping structural integrity.  Forward to the 1980’s and UUD’s metal wing was transferred to the metalized fuselage of C-FOBE, serial 480 and thus it became the only metal Norseman in the world until a crash at Birch lake on July 3, 2004.

A few other Norseman have had their fuselage skin changed to metal, but they are currently not active, so the “all metal” Norseman is no longer flying and CF-UUD is thought to be the only metal fuselage Norseman flying today.  All this to say that UUD (serial 224) was recently sold at auction, deleted from the Canadian register,  and has returned to the United States to be reborn as N164UC.

IMG_0544Above photo taken on April 19, 2016 at Red Deer airport, Alberta.  Now N164UC, note removal of aft cabin windows and wheel/skis.

 

NORSEMAN SALE!!!

Ever dreamed of owning your own Noorduyn Norseman?  The seller is motivated to find a new home for either CF-JEC or CF-GJN.  Contact Ryan Berryman, 587-433-2972, now.