Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada 150 Vignette – 127 of 150
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
Aircraft - The Noorduyn Norseman

Although it became one of Canada’s favourite aircraft, it found a limited role in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Over a 24 year production period, more than 903 Noorduyn Norseman were produced by the Noorduyn Aircraft Company Ltd., Canada Car and Foundry Ltd. (1946) and a second version of the Noorduyn Aircraft Company (1952). The first Norseman was completed in November 1935. Of the 903 total made, 101 Norsemen were acquired by the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1935 to 1959. In actual fact, 79 were acquired by the RCAF and 21 went to the Royal Canadian Navy. Another two, bought from private owners, were added to the RCAF fleet.

The RCAF’s initial order of 38 Norsemen Mk IV Ws were deployed to the BCATP where they were used at Navigation, Wireless and Bombing & Gunnery Schools in very limited numbers. When a second batch of 60 was added by the RCAF, Mk VI variants, their use became widespread among a number of domestic and overseas squadrons as transport for cargo and humans as well as in special assignments such as photo-reconnaissance.

The Royal Australian Air Force acquired 14 Norseman during World War II. This aircraft was very popular with the United States Army Air Force, especially for use in Alaska. Sixty-eight countries in the world have registered usage of the Norseman during and after World War II. It has also seen duty in the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the world.

Depending on configuration, the Norseman can be crewed by as little as one – a pilot. It has a capacity of 10 passengers. It is 32 feet long by 51 feet wide by 10 feet high. Initially the Norseman was powered by a Pratt & Whitney nine cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine with 600 horsepower. Subsequent variations were given more powerful engines. The Norseman can cruise at 150 mph, has a stall speed of 68 mph, a range of 932 miles and can fly up to 17000 feet. As a high wing monoplane, it gives easy access for cargo and passengers whether it is configured with fixed landing gear, floats or skis. It is economical to fly and superior in performance to its contemporaries.

A number of significant events are associated with the 
Noorduyn Norseman as RCAF 3538 on floats.
RCAF Norseman 3538 on skis.
Photos - CANAV Book Blog
Canada Post Commenmoration of the Norseman
1979-1982 issue.

Noorduyn Norseman. Aircraft UC-64A, a Norsemen based in England, while in flight with pilot  F/O John R.S. Morgan, was lost in the British Channel with Major Glenn Miller, the famous American band leader. Although never proven, two theories exist as to the circumstance of the demise of this aircraft, Morgan and Miller - carburetor icing or hits from bombs jettisoned by Royal Air Force Lancasters returning home from an aborted raid in Europe.
The first Norseman, sold to Dominion Skyways Ltd. in January 1936 and registered as CF-AYO, was leased in 1942 by Warner Brothers Studios to be used in filming aerial sequences for the movie Captains of the Clouds. It was lost in a crash in Algonquin National Park in 1952. The wreckage is now on display at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.
The most successful Canadian pilot during World War II, flying ace George ``Buzz’’  Beurling was killed in a Norseman at the Urbe Airport in Rome, Italy in May 1948 while ferrying the aircraft to the Israeli Air Force.