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Nov 07, 2017, 03:05 PM
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Doug Bartley's Avatar
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Noorduyn mark 4 norseman

After quite a bit of soul searching, I have decided I will not attempt to build a Twin Otter at this time. The costs and complexity of another twin right now is too much to deal with now. Too many twins and way beyond what I feel I would like to take on at this time.
SO< Steve T was kind enough to send some very detailed plans or the Noorduyn Norseman a couple of years ago. It was designed by Robert C Sweitzer and very detailed. It will have a wingspan of 84", fuselage approx 50", be powered by a SUppo 4130-6 (430kv) motor, thru a Turnigy TZ85a Esc, for a single 6S/4400/70C battery.
I have already made a steel prop adapter and an aluminum spinner nut for the motor. Once I get to motors that can make more than 1500watts, I prefer a steel adapter. This motor has shown it can make over 2000watts with certain props. Prop will likely be a 17/10 Apc cut down to 16" to achieve a rounded tip to look slightly more scale.
I began today by tracing the parts for the rudder and vertical stab. It will take a while to decipher some of the plans, as parts are spread out over 4 large sheets (36 x 96") requiring some back and forth between to get dimensions. Pics to come when I have something to show.
I want to thank Steve T once again for sending me these plans, looking forward to building the Norseman now. It will still take me all winter as I know I'm not able to work continuously every day as before. At least I have a start Doug B
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Nov 07, 2017, 07:52 PM
Oh no, not again!
jhspring's Avatar
Otta be fun to watch Doug. The Norseman is a very under-modeled workhorse.

Nov 07, 2017, 10:40 PM
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Doug Bartley's Avatar
Hi jhspring! For many years the Norseman was the only heavy hauler in the single engine category. God only knows what the pilots loaded them down with and flew to so many remote locations. Until the Beaver came along it was the loadmaster in Canada, many where built over its lifetime. I believe there are still 2 currently flying in the Ontario northland still, possibly out of a place called Red Lake.
The Norseman was originally built in Quebec. Doug B
Nov 08, 2017, 01:32 PM
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The Norseman is a great choice Doug. I guess you have seen Captains of the Clouds. There is a good book by Captain Don McVicar with lots of photos of the Norseman he flew on the exploratory flights to prove the northern aircraft delivery routes to Europe in 1941. It's called Ferry Command Pilot and it is pretty interesting reading. What an aircraft! I will be watching this, John
Nov 09, 2017, 09:56 AM
CH Spring
I agree, the Norseman is a great choice. There are so many options. All of which I include below is from memory. Someone else can fact check and correct if necessary.

The lineage and the history of the Norseman is also quite interesting. For instance, its designer had worked for Anthony Fokker, and Bellanca Aircraft.

Pratt and Whitney set up a repair facility also in Longueil, Quebec to service their products, most notably the Wasp, which, among other things powered the Norseman. It was the Canadian Division that lobbied Hartford hard to allow the design of a follow on to the Wasp. It had to be about the same horsepower, no more than 24 inches in diameter, no heavier, easily maintained, and a gas turbine. Their 6th iteration produced the propellor turbine 6, PT6 for short.

Glenn Miller, was killed in one crossing the Channel to do a concert for the troops just after the Normandy Invasion. My dad had tickets to a concert he was to play in London. we still have the tickets. Miller was a no show.

Buzz Buerling was killed in one ferrying it to Israel after the war. Sabotage was suspected.

When I went north the Norseman had pretty much had its day. There were still a few around.

One company I worked for had just lost their last one when it caught fire just after turning away from the dock. One person drowned as a result.

Another company had bought up surplus Harvards and salvaged them for engines, propellors and instruments to keep their Norseman fleet going.

Debate always raged as to which was the better aircraft, the Norseman or the Otter. I had flown both the Beaver and Otter, but never a Norseman, so I had nothing to add to that conversation. It would appear to me though that the Norseman probably fit somewhere in between.

No matter how you cut it though, it was a great aeroplane, and a very suitable modelling subject.

Good luck with the build.

Nov 09, 2017, 10:36 AM
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Doug Bartley's Avatar
Hi Spring Thanks or the unique look into the past with reminisis of Norseman days. They where used for all kinds of purposes, all over the world, just like the Beaver and Otter later.
This barrel chested beauty is going to be a challenge to build for sure. Doug B
Nov 09, 2017, 06:52 PM
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Interesting the mention of the Glen Miller aircraft. I have a friend at the club where I fly who used to own a trawler based in Weymouth. He fished all around the British Isles but the Channel off Weymouth was his home ground and like all good fishermen he knows the fishing grounds in great detail. We were standing on our flying field by the hanger that houses an L4 Cub that has been restored to its wartime markings. It flew with the Free French Army in US markings and it reminded him of an aircraft that he once caught in his trawl except that it had been much larger than the Cub and was painted silver rather than olive drab. He said they were fishing south of Portland Bill when the trawler just came to a stop and when they hauled the trawl up, there was a large high wing cabin monoplane, fabric covered with US markings, in the mouth of the trawl. It had a big radial engine and a large cabin door to the rear that was open with a parachute deployed from the door with its shrouds wrapped around one of the wings. The fabric was intact and the aircraft was more or less complete. As they hauled it clear of the water, one of the wings detached and sank. Back then he wasn't flying model airplanes and he wasn't really up on aircraft recognition. Trawlers were always dredging up wartime detritus - bombs, mines, old Merlin engines so catching a whole airplane wouldn't have been so novel, but this one was exceptionally well preserved. Anyway, radioing the Weymouth Harbour Master didn't didn't raise any interest because it obviously wasn't a recent wreck and he couldn't find anyone who thought it had any scrap value. He had a brand new trawl damaged and in need of repair and a crew standing around wasting precious fishing time, so he dumped it. Of course, those of us who heard the story immediately recalled the Norseman of Glen Miller. The description of the aircraft matched the Norseman but it wasn't olive drab and grey, so it sounded post-war and besides, there had been a recent news story locating the Miller aircraft much further east near Dover.

But out of curiousity, I went home and found this web site, which details the histories of every Norseman made. It indicated that the Miller aircraft was one of the first Norsemen delivered to the Army in overall aluminum dope. Searching the individual histories, I couldn't find a note of any Norseman lost over the Channel except for the Glen Miller aircraft. But the thing that caught my attention was the description of the weather that day. It was a dark winter's day near Christmas when it would have been dark by about 5 PM . The ceiling was very low, right down on the tops of the hills on this side of the Channel with the possibility that the cliffs and high ground on the other side in France would also have been covered by cloud. So how would a pilot fly to Paris in such conditions? Well he might fly west of London, down to the coast near Weymouth following railway lines and valleys and take his departure from the Portland Bill and its prominent lighthouse and head due south to the mouth of the Seine at Le Havre and follow the river valley to Paris by about the only route that avoided high ground obscured by cloud. Who knows? But there is a lot of history associated with the Norseman. You picked a good topic Doug, I think I'll go and watch Captains of the Clouds for the 100th time, John
Nov 10, 2017, 09:09 AM
CH Spring
When you watch Captains of the Clouds, watch for the scene where the Norseman overflies the girl and lands out onto the lake in glassy water conditions. You'll see the Norseman porpoise several times, then they cut to the next scene. The very first time I saw it, I was horrified to watch.

Later, I worked with a guy who had formerly worked for Laurentian Aviation. He knew all about the bush flying sequences used in the movie.

Laurentian had leased the aeroplanes used to make the movie thinking they would provide pilots also. It seems the film company had other ideas and brought their own pilots from the US. Some had little float flying experience.

Glassy water landings are always challenging. Landing out into the lake with little/no visual references as was done in that scene is asking for trouble.

The reason the scene cuts when it does is because the result was nearly predictable. The third hit broke the front spreader bar and the forward fuselage fell between the floats. The aircraft was nearly a write off.

Nov 10, 2017, 09:29 AM
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I remember that landing, a classic! That movie is kind of addictive.
Nov 10, 2017, 12:44 PM
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Doug Bartley's Avatar
Now I have got to go and try to find that movie "Captain of the Clouds". Always keen on seeing any old movie involving aircraft, esp old time stuff.
Studying plans now, a little confusing as parts ot be cut are spread out over 4 sheets or the uselage. I also have to convert as I go to electric, so bulkheads and firewalls are needing changes.
Cowl is on different sheets, with a redo of one former attached to a 4rth sheet - what fun!!!! Doug B
Nov 10, 2017, 03:45 PM
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Rick K.'s Avatar

And I'll bring the "stuff" tonight.
Nov 15, 2017, 12:01 PM
Onward and Upward
CatManDu's Avatar
Excellent, Doug. I've always liked the Norseman as we were interested in buying one at one time. The operating costs were a different matter, though. It is a noisy airplane, to say the least.
I'll be following with interest.
Nov 16, 2017, 10:23 PM
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Thunder Chicken's Avatar
Looking forward to your progress Doug!!!!
I have a unionville Norseman, albeit with a zenoah G20 in it
I flew a Mark IV for a few years and loved to hate it and hated to love it!! Look into the history of the ‘marks’. The 6 was made before the 5, they saved the V model till later in the war.
Once the beavers and otters came along the Norseman was the fastest boat on the water, but I’m convinced it was a far cheaper plane to operate than a beaver despite burning more fuel. We rarely had a snag with a Norseman all season long, hardly an ‘AD’ on the airframe either.
I believe the last few Norseman in Red Lake won’t be flown again after hail damage this past summer. Not worth the cost to repair. Very sad.
Still a few others in northern MB still being flown and a few private ones. The Canadian Warplane Museum in Hamilton has one you can get a ride in (on wheels). I believe it’s a Mk5. (CF-GSR)
Nov 17, 2017, 08:16 AM
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Doug Bartley's Avatar
Hi fellas Thanks or looking in. I'm still working thru the plans trying to disect them to the point I understand the build. I have a bunch of formers cut out but nothing assembled. And of course the plans call for materials I dont have . The plane was designed to crash, not fly in 1971, so going thru everything using newer building techniques (lighter). Originally designed for a 90-120 glow stroke, its over built to an extreme. Hopefully I'll have some thing to show in a few days. Doug B
Nov 17, 2017, 09:10 AM
CH Spring
Doug. The mere fact that you are back at it must be an indication you are feeling a bit better.

We look forward to whatever progress you make...on both fronts.

Good on ya'.


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