Airworthy Norseman List 2021

AIRWORTHY NOORDUYN NORSEMAN as of 1 November 2021 Page 1 of 3

(Double) click the above PDF link for this years list.

Note – As of October 24, the Transport Canada website has not been updated to show CF-BSB when doing a quick search so only 25 records will be found.

The list (page 1 and 2) reflects the policy change where Norseman with a cancelled Certificate of Registration can only be found on the historical register search. This is why page 2 is considerably shorter than the 2020 list.

With the airworthy status of individual Norseman often changing there can be ambiguity as to how many are airworthy. If one has not flown for more than one year I consider it not active and will move it to page 2. A couple have moved back to page 1 as they become active again. The number of airworthy Norseman appears to be growing at this time.

Anyway, enjoy Norseman fans! If you have a question send me an email – c46commando@hotmail.com or call.  Thanks!

Norseman Revivals!

Fuselage of CF-NJK leaving Red Deer, Alberta for the long road trip north to Yellowknife.

There has been a flurry of Norseman activity lately as another Canadian winter approaches. This post will touch on three more exciting events that bode well for the continuation of Norseman activity in the skies.

Joe McBryan of Buffalo Airways fame is a serious enthusiast of the type and for the last few years I have heard he was planning to revive another Norseman to airworthy condition and we appear to have the proof. Joe already has CF-SAN, a Mk V in Yellowknife for personal use and for reference regarding his Red Deer airframes, see; https://www.norsemanfestival.on.ca/keep-them-flying/ from February 2019. Update – The Norseman in that blogpost thought to be CF-GTM was identified near Winnipeg, Manitoba in April 2021 belonging to the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada. So the best guess as to the silver fuselage airframe at Red Deer is now CF-GOB, Serial 421. Recently CF-NJK, Mk VI Serial 242 was moved to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and early reports indicate that it will be restored to operational status!

In another post from 2019 (https://www.norsemanfestival.on.ca/look-more-find-more/) we see a picture of a Mk IV, Serial 44 airframe. This was also recently moved, from Silver Falls, Manitoba to the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum at the Saskatoon airport/CYXE. If dreams take flight, this Norseman will fly again and would become the oldest airworthy example in the world.

Over in Ontario, CF-BSB flew again in the Sioux Lookout area after approximately 10 months on the ground at Selkirk, Manitoba. Usually this float equipped Norseman winters at Selkirk so it should fly back there any day now.

“Pouring the coals” to CF-BSB, a post WW II Mk V model, Serial N29-15.  BSB photo credits – Dominic Kozar.

On a somber note, the first owner of BSB was Eldorado Mining & Refining Co Ltd. in 1946. This company supplied uranium from northern Canada to develop nuclear weapons that forced Japan to surrender during the summer of 1945.

Down The Rabbit Hole

Identifying old airframes can be a lot of fun when a mystery is solved to one’s satisfaction and it can be a dive deeper into confusion at the same time! This was the case when visiting a museum storage facility at the end of April.

The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada is waiting to move into a brand new, purpose built location at the Richardson International Airport in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At present, the aircraft collection is stored at various indoor and outdoor sites. Immediately west of St Andrews airport are a couple buildings and storage yard where three Norseman airframes are located and the goal was to positively identify the two weathered frames out in the yard.

Initially the airframe we thought was CF-CRT turned out to be CF-GTM! The mystery airframe right beside it was actually CF-CRT.

CF-GTM, Serial 828 is a Mark VI and the next picture shows what remains of its fuselage airframe.

Now it gets more interesting because CF-GTM was believed to belong to Joe McBryan and stored at his Red Deer, Alberta maintenance base. See Keep them Flying? from February 2019. So now another project starts! Although trying to be accurate and confident in identifications, there’s always the possibility records will be crossed up and some parts will just need to languish in the mystery category.

Last airborne over 72 years ago, CF-CRT is a Mark IV model, Serial 15 and was also with the RCAF as 696 and prior to then registered as CF-BFR.

Inside the storage building is CF-BTC, Serial 29 and longer term plans are to have this Norseman fully restored for static display to complement the museums extensive focus on the early days of Canadian commercial aviation.

CF-BTC fuselage. The wings appear to be in great shape and are on an upper storage shelf.

Noorduyn Serial 365

Steady progress is being made on the restoration of Norseman Mk VI, serial 365 last registered in Canada as CF-GLI until 2014. For some background on the project see; www.norsemanfestival.on.ca/norseman-pickers/

These recent photos were sent by Arno van der Holst of the Nederlands Transport Museum and show the top quality work that will send this Mk VI back into the sky after a mishap in northern Manitoba, Canada during 2010.

When completed this Norseman will have the number 35374 across the rudder and fin as it was USAAF serial number 43-5374 upon completion at the Noorduyn factory in Montreal. This reflects a growing trend in the Norseman community where airframes are being restored to their original appearance and identity from military service. Of all the 903 Norseman ever built it is estimated close to 90% left the production facility directly to the two largest military customers, the United States Army Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from 1938 to 1945.

For a look at the ongoing restoration of a RCAF Norseman that will hopefully fly before the end of 2021 see; www.huronvintageaircraft.ca

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.

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

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!

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.