In an exciting development the Montreal Aviation Museum (MAM) acquired Norseman C-FGYY last summer from Kuby’s Aircraft of Kenora, Ontario. Kuby’s salvage yard was cleaned out for future land use and a trailer load of wings, skis, the fuselage and plenty of parts went east to the museum located on the Macdonald Campus of McGill University in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue (Montreal), Quebec.
Even more interesting are the plans by MAM to restore this Mark VI, serial 427 to static display depicted as CF-AYO, the first Norseman from 1935. The remains of CF-AYO are at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (see 80 YEARS! from February 2016). To showcase a reproduction of AYO is a natural idea considering its birthplace and that of almost every Norseman was only about 20 kilometres northeast in Cartierville at the Noorduyn production plant.
Serial 427 was delivered to the USAAF as 43-35353 in April of 1944 and spent the majority of its airborne years with various Canadian commercial operators. On June 25, 1985 during a take off in high winds the floats buckled on Bishop Lake, Ontario and the airplane overturned. Years of open storage has deteriorated the fuselage and parts significantly and the project will be a major effort of sweat equity, passion and dedication. Using GYY for a reincarnation of CF-AYO will be a momentous occasion and welcome addition to the aviation history of Quebec and Canada.
NOVEMBER 8th UPDATE – As work starts on the restoration process, Mike Alain from the museum has passed on information that a data plate under the pilots floor has serial number 435 and that they have also found 435 stamped on the airframe! Records show serial 435 crashed in France, May 1945 so it seems serial 427 and 435 have a crossed history and highlights how some Norseman are actually combinations taking parts from two or maybe more airframes.