Kississing update, Part two

C-FOBR, on the left, and C-FSAP appear to be parts sources for now.

Here is a brief update on the status of the other Norseman with Wings Over Kississing after a visit to Flin Flon, Manitoba on October 28, 2020. For some background information on the fleet, see Flin Flon Visit from November 2017 and CF-BHU was featured in last months post. The following is in order of production;

C-GRZI, Mk VI Serial number 175. Airworthy. Stored for the winter at Flin Flon airport, Bakers Narrows, Manitoba.

C-FSAP, Mk VI Serial number 231. Not airworthy. Stored at Channing airstrip, Flin Flon.

C-FENB, Mk VI Serial number 324. Written off in a landing accident at Big Sand Lake, Manitoba on June 18, 2019. The pilot was the only occupant and thankfully escaped with minor injuries.

CF-BHU, Mk VI Serial number 506. Airworthy. Stored for the winter at Flin Flon airport.

C-FOBR, Mk V Serial number N29-35. Not airworthy. Stored at Channing airstrip, Flin Flon.

Also featured in a recent post, the Pratt & Whitney R-1340 that powers these wooden winged aircraft passed its 95th birthday and the following two pictures are close ups of the engine in OBR.

Kississing update, Part one

The latest Norseman to return to commercial service is CF-BHU after extensive refurbishing started in 2019 into 2020. Operated by Wings Over Kississing in northern Manitoba, Canada, the floatplane was utilized for about two months in the later half of the season before freeze up. To avoid any confusion, this is the second Norseman to be registered in Canada as CF-BHU. The first was a Mark V model, serial N29-8 operated by Ontario Central Airlines that crashed at Sachigo Lake, Ontario in June of 1974 and was damaged beyond repair and reportedly completely scrapped. Link here.

BHU of today is a Mark VI, Noorduyn serial 506 that in common with most Norseman started out with the United States Army Air Force during WW II. Subsequently the aircraft was on the U.S. civil register as N13340 and highlights include service with the U.S. Forest Service from 1949 to 1955, Parachutes Incorporated from 1960 to 1984, and the Lone Star Flight Museum in Texas before coming to Canada in 1999. From April 2001 to July 2006 “BHU number 2” was registered to Grass River Lodge in Manitoba then entered a long period of dormancy until airborne again last year. The owner of the lodge had previously flown the original BHU so he asked Transport Canada if the mark was available!

USAAF data plate shows TYPE as UC64A – ND and SERIAL NO. 43-35432. The military took delivery in June 1944.

Beside the above data plate is the Noorduyn one showing SERIAL NO. 506. All the numbers, type designations and marks for one airplane can get a little confusing!

CF-BHU in winter hibernation at Flin Flon airport, Bakers Narrows, Manitoba on October 28, 2020.

One Century to the Next

On this day 95 years ago, the first aero engine developed by Pratt & Whitney (USA) was first run. This being the R-1340, a single row nine cylinder air cooled radial piston engine. Also known as the wasp series on the civilian side this family of engines ranged from 450 to 3,500 HP and eight of the largest R-4360 powered the Spruce Goose flying boat.

85 years ago on November 14, 1935 the very first Mark 1 model of the Norseman flew, Canadian registration CF-AYO. Originally powered by a 420 HP Wright R-975 Whirlwind, this was soon changed to the R-1340 on production models developing up to 600 HP because the Whirlwind was to small for the new design.

In todays world, where most things are considered obsolete in 5 to 10 years I simply find it amazing that we have an airplane still in use, basically unchanged with 100 year old technology! This speaks to the thought and ingenuity put into the Norseman design. On the other hand, Noorduyn wanted an airplane that used the tried and true methods of the day, that was simple and easy to repair when away from base and incorporated the ideas from daily operations of bush planes in the 1920’s to “30’s.

Another Norseman was recently resurrected and is back in commercial service! (subject for the next blogpost). Even 2020 can’t keep the Norseman grounded and many warbird enthusiasts continue their work on projects with plans to get them flying again.

Canadian Norseman Extraordinaire!

Autumn of 2020 on Forster reservoir in Alberta just before ferry flights to Ignace, Ontario.

If one Norseman exemplifies what the type is about and its connection to Canada perhaps that would be a Mark V model known as BSC.

Serial N29-17 was registered as CF-BSC in June of 1946 for K. V. Gamble and Co, Toronto. This company went bankrupt before delivery and by August the new bush plane was flying at Austin Airways, the start of a 27 year career with the northern Ontario based airline. True to its purpose of design, BSC formed an integral part of transportation and development beyond roads end for many decades. Being utilized for 400 to 600 or more hours per year the airplane amassed almost 14,000 hours with Austin before Cargair in Quebec bought it.

BSC on the front cover of Larry Milberry’s authoritative volume 2 book about the Noorduyn Norseman. Photo by Rich Hulina.

Here BSC was used in the James Bay area during construction of Quebec Hydro dams. By the end of 1974 this well used Norseman was taken apart and put in storage.

After passing through a couple more owners the aircraft was donated to the Canadian Museum of Flight and Transportation in 1983. It was restored to Austin Airways’ classic red and black colours and shown on static display at the Expo 86 world fair in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Eleven years later in May of 1997 Collin Oliver of Brooks, Alberta purchased BSC and the restoration work became more serious with the intent of having the airplane fly again while further detailing to take the airplane back five decades as if in a time warp. Considering you can’t rush perfection another 15 years passed before BSC took to the sky in July 2012 after nearly 38 years on the ground! Gord Hughes, owner of Northland Aircraft Service in Ignace, Ontario completed the job and it wowed the crowd at the Norseman festival that summer.

It has been on book covers, a model, and seen at no less than a world’s fair. Now with just over 15,000 hours of flight time and having always resided in Canada, BSC is offered for sale in Ignace to a serious collector who will hopefully keep this famous bush plane flying in Canada for many years to come.

Contact Eleanor or Gord Hughes for information at 807 934-6394 or email: cfdtl@hotmail.com

Norseman News Bites

In the USA, Norseman N164UC (Noorduyn Serial 224) was finally sold and flown to southeast Idaho by its new owner. Scroll down a few blog posts to learn more about this unique Norseman and link to Metal Makeover. The airplane is now based at the Driggs-Reed Memorial Airport and for now will maintain the same registration. N164UC is a play on the USAAF designation of UC-64 for the Norseman. Flown privately on wheels or wheel/skis in this high mountainous region, this rugged aircraft will be suited for the environment.

As Covid-19 continues to change schedules all over the world, the work on Red Lake’s iconic CF-DRD has slowed due to staffing shortages. July 16, 2021, at the opening of the Norseman festival is the date to have everything completed and a rededication event mark a “re-birth” for this community supported monument and the festival in general. The original dedication and first official Norseman festival took place in July 1992 and this anticipated annual weekend has only missed 2011 and now 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. In 2011 a related Rock the Runway festival was held instead at the Red Lake airport marking the opening of a new air terminal building.

Over in Europe restoration work is progressing on USAAF Serial 44-70509 with the attachment of the wings and adjustments to flight controls. Also, the electrical system is coming together and engine runs are planned for next summer. A big thank you to Raymond Oostergo of the Aviodrome for this update and providing the following pictures.

Looking factory fresh on a different continent and 76 years later!

Fly into the Future

BSB gets airborne at Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Photo credit – Matt Cairns

Even in these times of uncertainty most Norseman that can, continue to fly although not likely as many hours as a typical year.

In the latter half of July CF-BSB was flown by Turner Thomson over southeast Manitoba and on into Ontario lake country. During the past few years, even in the Norseman Capital of the World it is rare to see more than one tied to the same dock. Thanks for stopping into Red Lake and visiting!

Hopefully next year the Norseman Festival can go ahead as planned and a freshly restored CF-DRD will be back up for all to admire!

ZMX (Mk VI, Serial 669) and BSB (Mk V, Serial N29-15) share a dock on Howey bay, Red Lake. Photo – Turner Thomson

Airworthy Norseman List 2020

The legendary Noorduyn Norseman is arguably the oldest, essentially unmodified transport design in the world that continues to fly in its intended role, although we are now moving into the private collector, warbird, nostalgic flights and air show phase.

There are currently 37 Norseman on the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register, but 17 are not actively flying and 11 have had their Certificate of Registration cancelled.

Find out which ones are still flying and which ones are not here…

Here is the list of Airworthy Norseman in 2020

AIRWORTHY NOORDUYN NORSEMAN 1 July 2020

Southern Skies

The rugged Norseman is no stranger to flying south of the equator, even having operated over the continent of Antarctica as early as 1947 during the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition. This was serial 634, USAAF number 44-70369. Many countries used the Norseman in the military or civil, on wheels, floats or skis. Some of these are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Lesotho, Peru, Paraguay, and the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas).

In 2020 there is only one location in the southern hemisphere with known Norseman activity, although the project has been dormant for some two years now and is available for purchase. In Mar del Plata, Argentina, aircraft restorer Pablo Colombo (PACAir Projects) was working on serial 668 with Argentinian registration LV-FFH. This Mk VI owned by Alejandro Moschkovsky was being brought back to flightworthy condition. It started as USAAF 44-70403, went to Argentina in 1947 becoming LV-XYV, then LV-FFH.

If anyone has any information on Norseman in museums “down under” or the present world status of airworthy examples please contact me for updating of the annual Norseman list due out at the beginning of July. Please send to email; c46commando@hotmail.com or voice call 250 212-2178 Canada. Thank You!

N164UC (Formerly CF-UUD) For Sale

Referencing a July 2016 post titled Metal Makeover, the present owner of N164UC wants to find a good new home for this truly unique Norseman that has been operated privately for the past 27 years. It has an oversized cargo door, metal skinned fuselage and metal wheel skis. Lovingly maintained, it had $50,000 US plus invested during 2016 in the interior overhaul and other work bringing this classic to showroom condition.

A UC-64A model (Mark VI), serial #224 was originally a warbird delivered to the USAAF in 1943. If you or someone you know are interested in this airplane located in Minnesota, please contact Rodney Kozar at phone number, 250 212-2178 anytime or email c46commando@hotmail.com

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Only Norseman with extra large door.

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I am SAM I am

Beautifully restored Mark V, CF-SAM in the Western Development Museum.

The province of Saskatchewan in Canada and the Noorduyn Norseman played a pioneering role in the use of aircraft for air ambulance service. Though this may be a surprise to some, keep in mind the Saskatchewan government, led by Tommy Douglas, introduced the first provincial hospital insurance program in Canada during 1947.

With the inaugural flight on February 3, 1946, the service is the oldest organized non-military air ambulance service in North America. On day one, the first and only aircraft was Norseman CF-SAH, a Mark IV, serial number 21. In September of 1946, Saskatchewan purchased serial N29-27, a brand new Mk. V for the air ambulance program and registered it CF-SAM.

Fast forward to 2020 and the airplane can be seen wearing its original identity on static display at the Western Development Museum (WDM) in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. SAM spent almost all air time over the north half of the province for the government, then subsequent commercial operators before being donated to the WDM.

In 1982 CF-SAM was commemorated on a Canadian 60 cent postage stamp.

 

 

 

 

 

The WDM is a collection of four separate museums located in Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Saskatoon and Yorkton that record the social and economic development of the province. Located at the north side of town, the WDM Moose Jaw branch focus is on modes of transportation and is easily accessed off the Trans-Canada Highway. Well worth a visit!

Noorduyn built hundreds of Harvards ( licenced production of the North American AT-6 ) and Norseman during World War II in the 1940’s.   Western Development Museum collection.