(Photo source unknown. Please contact us if you
History: In the mid 1930s, Noorduyn Aviation
Ltd. of Canada began design work on a rugged transport aircraft which would be suitable
for anything the severe Canadian environment could throw at it. It needed to have the
capability to be fitted with floats, skis, or wheels; carry large, bulky loads; have
excellent rough and short-field capabilities; be reliable and easy to service; and be a
true "bush" airplane in every respect. The prototype Norseman I
first flew on 14 November 1935, powered by a 420-hp Wright R-975 engine.
The first production model, designated Norseman
II, soon followed, but it was soon realized that the airplane was
underpowered. This led to the production of the Norseman III,
powered by a 450-hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, and the Norseman IV,
powered by the 550-hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp. With the larger engine, the
airplane now lived up to all expectations.
When WWII created a need for versatile and tough utility
aircraft, the Norseman was purchased by both the Royal Canadian Air Force and the U.S.
Army Air Force (USAAF), under the name Norseman VI (the number "V"
having been reserved by chief designer Bob Noorduyn for the first civilian model produced
after "V-Day.") The USAAF aircraft adopted the name C-64A, and
later UC-64A. 764 were delivered to the USAAF alone. Three of
these were eventually transferred to the U.S. Navy, which called them JA-1s.
In 1946, the Canadian Car & Foundry company acquired the production and sales rights
for the Norseman, and continued to build the airplane until 1953.
Used in military service by at least 10 nations during its
life, a Norseman is a relatively rare sight outside of Canada, but the ones which are now
flown in military colors as privately-owned warbirds attract a lot of attention wherever
Nicknames: Miller-Killer (referring
to the disappearance of big-band leader Glenn Miller in December 1944 while flying in a
Engines: One 550-hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp radial piston engine.
Weight: Empty 4,680 lbs., Max
Takeoff 7,400 lbs.
Wing Span: 51ft. 6in.
Length: 32ft. 0in.
Height: 10ft. 3in.
Range: 1,550 miles
Number Built: 903
Number Still Airworthy: ~35.
Resource Center: Norseman Photo Walkaround
Enthusiast Corner: UC-64A Norseman Page
Museum Norseman Page
Canadian Bushplane Heritage
Centre: Norseman CF-BFT
Noorduyn Norseman, Inc. --
Thought they no longer manufacture airplanes, the company is still very much alive, and
they honor their heritage on this site.
Noorduyn Norseman Website -- A Web
tribute from the great-granddaughter of the airplane's designer, and a good source of
Norseman Floatplane Festival
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All text and photos Copyright 2006 The
Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
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