The Norseman’s 9-cylinder radial, air-cooled Pratt & Whitney “Wasp” engine gave it an 800 ft/min climb, a cruising speed of 130 mph, and a range of 600 miles. The original manufacturing company, Noorduyn Aircraft Limited, was formed in early 1933 by Mr. R.B.C. Noorduyn, and a successor company, Noorduyn Aviation Ltd, was later established in 1934. Mr. Noorduyn had been associated with six different aircraft manufacturers in Europe and on the North American continent.
During the later 1930s, the Norseman began to appear in the Northwest Territories, Northern Quebec, and Ontario – wherever pioneers were breaking open the frontier by air. It soon proved itself to be the best air freighter by excellence. The Norseman first made its name by doing the job for which it was expressly designed: helping to open up and supply the Far North.
The sturdy Norseman was the first Canadian-designed, Canadian-built aircraft to be sold extensively outside Canada, serving in a score of countries around the world.
When WW2 began, the Norseman proved its versatility in military service. During 1942, a modernized version of the Norseman was accepted by the U.S. Army for utility transport purposes and on wheels, skis, and floats. When the contract was terminated in 1945, 759 Norsemen had been delivered to the U.S. Forces and only a few still fly in Canada.
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