With the Norseman being primarily designed as a civilian aircraft in 1935 we may not recall that at the time forces of global conflict were intensifying. World War II started in September 1939 and it had a profound effect on Norseman production and longevity.
The war ensued for six years until September 1945 and almost every Norseman coming off the production line during this time was delivered directly to the military. Records indicate the United States Army Air Force was the largest customer taking approximately 82% of the total 902 Norseman built. The Royal Canadian Air Force accounted for about 8%, thus only 1 in 10 Norseman went brand new to civilian users. Put another way, 9 out of 10 Norseman ever produced first took to the sky in the time of WW II.
If this surge had not occurred you likely would not be reading this blog for the Norseman would have faded into the past by now. After the war, with so many now surplus airframes around, new Norseman were competing with cheaper military used versions and production dropped to a trickle in the flooded market.
So while most of us only see this legendary airplane as a floatplane bobbing on a northern lake others see a utility warbird that filled a niche three quarters of a century ago. In the past few years a definite interest by the world warbird community has emerged and more warbird Norseman could be going back to their future.