The Noorduyn Norseman is one of the truly Nobel light transports of Second World War and aviation history.  They flew for 18 different nations, including the militaries of Canada, America, Norway, Brazil, Sweden, Indonesia, Australia, the Netherlands, the East Indies and it was Israel's first military transport.  It's  territory ranged from the parched Australian outback and the jungles of New Guinea to the Middle East deserts and the Swedish arctic circle.  Oddly enough, before the war, Canadian Norseman and German JU-52's served side by side in the largest airlift in history (to date) when they were used to ferry in massive amounts of oil drilling equipment to the newly discovered fields in New Guinea. 

It was the first of two times that Norseman went to Papua.  14 Norseman/UC-64As were given to the Royal Australian Air Force, some of which were sold to Bobby Gibbes for the airline he formed after the war for operation in Papua New Guinea.

The civilian Norseman and the US Military versions, the UC-64 and JA-1s, are ten place, single engine utility transports manufactured by the Noorduyn Aviation Ltd., Carterville, Montreal, Canada.  It is a mixed metal/fabric aircraft, most commonly with a single 600hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN1 radial engine (with both two and three blade metal props) and easily carries 9 jumpers to 12,000 feet.  (Note: the commercial configuration was 8 passengers and two crew)

"PI" found and bought 2 of them from Alaska in 1959/60.  They modified the doors and steps (photo left) for jumping as well as making metal special benches with depressions for your butt so the jumpers would not slide around on the seats. (Click to see photo)  They also added a control panel to tell the pilot what final corrections to make on jump run and put photos of the DZ )in grids) over the door.  It may have been a slow, noisy, fabric (it is canvas not linen) covered AC with a big radial engine but it was the only available aircraft that could fit the bill in that day.  The Fairchild Model 71 had the same engine and jumper capacity but they were not that numerous that a "fleet" could be assembled.

After a few good opening years, PI used N13340 (now repainted to white with blue trim) at Orange and sent N69795 to open it's new Center at Ryan Field in Hemet, California.  795 was brought back to Orange for the 62 World Meet leaving only a rented Cessna 180 to run the DZ.

When PI won the bid for the 6th World Meet, it bought 2 more Norseman (N61853 and N1207) from Wein Alaska Airlines (a Bush Flying Service that operated out of Anchorage).  Wien operated 7 single engine aircraft by 1958 (Norseman and Vegas) and was about to upgrade its fleet of DC-3's and  C-46's with F-27's

Along with the aircraft came a boatload of spare parts, skis, engines and engine containers for the R1340's.   PI had an old red storage hanger in the North corner of the airport and stored the parts there till needed.  They had to clean out the building in the mid-70's when it was converted into a really rough, self service, honor system lounge called "The Out".  This red hangar was one of the original hangars when the old airport was by the road side in the 30's before the airport as we know it was built up during WWII.

Once all 4 aircraft were ready for the World Meet they did a mass flyover which was quite impressive to town folk and people at the airport alike.

After the meet PI decided not to maintain Hemet and instead opened Lakewood Sport Parachute Center and flew N69795  and N1207 there in April 1963.

When PI opened another DZ in Indiana and flew N69795 there to open the Center.

In the 70's, N69795 and N61853 were sent to Elsinore, California to open that Center and they returned to Orange after being replaced by the DC-3's.  853 eventually returned to Elsinore and stayed there till the company closed it's doors in 1984.

1207 was written off after a crash at Lakewood in 1970 and N69795 crashed and burned near Orange in 1979.  A fifth Norseman (N7990K, formally N79902)) was found to replace 1207 but it also had a landing accident in 1974 and returned to Canada to be restored by collectors.  It eventually ended up back in Alaska.

PI had good reason to believe in the Norseman as a jump plane.  It saw considerable post war service in Canada and America with the "Smoke Jumpers".  It was economical to fly, could use short grass strips and carried a good load of (smoke) jumpers and their equipment especially for its size.  It's door (which by the way was designed to pass a 55 gallon drum) was large enough for a fully equipped smoke jumper carrying a wide and bulky load to exit the aircraft. (Mouse-Over on the photo to enlarge it).  The largest USFS Norseman concentration was at Deming, NM in 1953 with another in Missoula, MT.  plus a third one in Boise. Id..  They were phased out by the introduction of the Twin-Beech (C-45).

The Norseman was produced between 1935 and 1959 and was the only design of Dutch born, Robert B.C. Noorduyn F.R.Ae.D., A.I.F.Ae.Sc..  Robert was the son of British and Dutch parents and as such could move freely between the two countries.  He spoke both Dutch and English well. 

He began his career at the Sopwith factory in England in 1913 and emigrated to the USA in the Early 20's.  By 1933 he had become interested in  "Bush Flying" and started work designing the ultimate aircraft for the Canadian bush. 

Canada was ripe for aircraft advances.  During the First World War thousands of Canadians were trained as pilots, aircraft mechanics, designers and  builders.  The number of pilots alone exceeded 2000!  Unlike America, Canada was mostly unexplored in 1919 and this surplus military experience provided a spring board for bush flying and later for Canadian commercial airline services in the years between the wars.

At a time when Alcock and Brown flew non-stop across the Atlantic and Lindbergh made his famous solo Atlantic crossing, Canadian Bush Pilots were making quiet history opening up the Canadian Frontier in every area from Mineral exploration to settlement.  The sky became a Canadian highway and the thousands of lakes became ready made airports.

One of the main aircraft that was opening the way was the Curtis HS-2L sea plane.  Though efficient and with an enclosed cockpit to protect the pilots from the icy weather, the Curtis didn't have the capacity desired by bush pilots and operators.  Noorduyn saw the need and designed an aircraft to replace the Curtis.  He managed to get backing and moved to Montreal in 1933. 

His original company, Noorduyn Aircraft Limited, was formed in early 1933 and a successor company Noorduyn Aviation Limited, was later established in 1934. By that time Robert Noorduyn had been associated with six different aircraft manufacturers in Europe and the North American continent including Armstrong-Whitworth, British Aerial Transport Sopwith and Sopwith in England and then for Fokker USA (Atlantic Aviation division), where he worked on the F.VII/3Min Holland as well as Bellanca and Pitcarin in the US.
First flown on November 14, 1935 with a 420hp Wright engine, the Norseman was designed for rugged Canadian North Territory bush country operations and could be equipped with wheels, floats, or skis. Change over to any variation was only a matter of hours.  The prototype MK I, reg #CF-AYO  was in fact first flow on floats from the St. Lawrence River!  By the late 1930's Norseman began to appear in the NW Territories, Northern Quebec and Ontario, in the hands of pioneers who 

were opening up the frontier by air. It soon proved itself to be a very excellent freighter and the Norseman first made its name doing the job for which it was expressly designed for, that of helping to open up and supply the Canadian North.  It was a Canadian design for an essentially Canadian job.  Click for construction details.

The project was totally Canadian funded and Noorduyn Aircraft (later renamed Noorduyn Aviation) used the old Curtiss-Reid Aircraft factory, built in 1929, on Carterville airport 8 miles northwest of Montreal.  Before WW II, the facility produced 69 Norseman for the Royal Canadian Air Force (who called them the Norseman Mark-IV) as navigational and radio trainers.  After the war, production continued with the improved Commercial Mark-V and Mark-VI models.

The RCAF kept about 100 Norseman on strength between 1940 and 1957, the largest concentration during the war was with No 13 Sqd. RCAF.  No 13  Squadron formed May 1940 as a Seaplane and Bomber Reconnaissance Training School at Sea Island, British Columbia. It also served as an Operational Training Unit from June 1942 and was ultimately disbanded Nov. 1942. The Squadron was re-formed as 13(P) Sqdn. attached to No.7 (Photographic) Wing in May 1944.

The Norseman was also operated by the 412th Transport Sqd. RCAF (formally the 412th Fighter Sqd).  (Click) here for short Sqd. history.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police operated the Norseman for search and rescue.  It acquired its first Norseman, CF-MPE, to replace one of it's Dreagonflies in 1938.  It was moved to the Arctic in 1939 and damaged that same year at Sioux Lookout, Ontario.  It was deregistered and stored but due to war time needs it was rebuilt over the winter of 1943-44 and reregistered as CF-MPF.  It was the only RCMP aircraft that wasn't transferred to the RCAF during the war and was used for internal security missions including flying around Hudson's Bay destroying civilian fuel caches fearing that German U-Boats or aircraft would use them.  It was retired from service in May 1949, sold on the civilian market and used till 1967 when it was destroyed by fire in Ignace, Ontario.

A second Norseman,  Mk V, CF-MPL, was purchased in February 1949 from Canadian Car and Foundry Co. Ltd. as part of the 1946 reactivation plans for the RCMP Air Division.  It was delivered in a very dark blue with yellow trim scheme as shown below.  It was traded into DeHavilland in May 1959 for a new (single engine) Otter (CF-MPY). Project PI originally thought that PI's N13440 was in fact MPL but it appears not to be the case. (CLICK for details) (Photo of CF-MPL in RCMP Air Division colors below)


After service testing seven YC-64s (below), which were Mk IV's, the U.S. Army Air Force adopted the aircraft as a light transport in 1942 and placed an order for 749 Mk VI's as the C-64A Norseman.  Three of these were diverted to the U. S. Navy as JA-1s, and the Army Corps of Engineers bought an additional six UC-64Bs fitted with twin Edo floats.

The USAAF  assigned Noorduyn the following USAAF work numbers for the 1942 production runs of the Harvard and Norseman including 6 YC-64's and the first C-64A  production model:

42-464/963 Noorduyn AT-16-ND
42-12254/12553 Noorduyn AT-16-ND
42-13602 Noorduyn C-64A Norseman
42-5044/5049 Noorduyn YC-64 Norseman
The third Norseman accepted by the USAAF, S/N 42-5046 is displayed at the National Aerospace Museum and was accepted by the Army on September 21, 1942.  .

YC-64 (USAAF-25046) awaits delivery to the USAAF on the Carterville flight line.  Note the sticky paper still on the windows.  The photo appears to have been shot with a red filter which makes the sky a dramatic dark shade but it also turned the red tail white.  Click on image to enlarge.
Noorduyn produced 762 Norseman for the USAAF before the war ended and the Canadian Harvard (AT-6 trainer) was also produced on a parallel production line with the Norseman at Carterville.  Both Aircraft used the same 600hp engine.  (The Harvard became the mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan as well as Noorduyn's profit structure during the war.  Harvard IIBs were first ordered from Noorduyn in Montreal in January 1940.  Noorduyn eventually built 2,800 Harvards for the RAF and RCAF.  Canadian Car and Foundry made 550 Mk.4s for Canada and the United States in the 1950s.) 

Designed for the worst of conditions, the Norseman was also employed in Europe and the Pacific as well as in the U.S. during the war. On Dec. 15, 1944, a UC-64A disappeared on a flight from England to France with the famous band leader Major Glenn Miller on board. The aircraft was only recently found.  Miller was on a flight from US Air Station 547 with a stop at RAF Cranfield/Twinwood Farm to Bordeaux to set up a show for military personnel in the area.  The band was to follow a day later in a C-47.  There is reason to believe it was accidentally blown out of the sky when a British Lancaster bomber returning to England from a scrubbed mission,  which jettisoned its' bombs right on top of the Norseman.  (Click for more info on the Miller flight)

At the end of the war, Norseman production ended and Candair took over the Cartierville Plant.  We are not sure when, but some time after WW2 the rights to the Norseman were sold to "Canadian Car and Foundry" who produced it in small numbers. 

In 1953, Bob Noorduyn, Austin Latremouille and several of their old associates, bought back the Norseman license from Canadian Car and Foundry with the intent of putting the Norseman into full production again.   Just about that time, however, the Department of Transport declared that any airplane design more than 10 years old was obsolete. The new company was restricted to completing the five new fuselages it had inherited from Canadian Car and provide maintenance and spare parts for the existing planes.  The last Norseman was produced in late 1959, SN 928. 

In the mid-sixties, with a change in market demands, the company made a transition to manufacturing aircraft interior components.  Their website is 

The Swedish Air Force bought three Norseman with three blade props in 1949 and used them as ambulance planes till 1959.  Other Canadian and American surplused Norseman found their way to Sweden, especially on skies and floats.  (Click here for gallery of Swedish Norseman photos)

The Norseman continued it's military career in South East Asia during the Viet Nam War where it was seen in Thailand and Laos in the hands of Air America.  Some of them had more powerful engines installed.  Project PI is looking into this most  interesting historical foot note and will update the page as needed.  We are also looking into the use of the Norseman in Viet Nam by the French Military.  Unfortunately the documents we have obtained are in Swedish!

Over 70  Norseman, the vast majority being Mk II's and Mk V's, are still flying today, mostly in the caring hands of collectors.  37 of these are in Canada.  Float Norseman are still in commercial use in Canada, the largest concentration was once KayAir of Ear Falls, Ontario, though they now fly float Cessnas and a Float Beech 18 twin!  The City of Red Lake, Ontario, has a yearly Norseman festival including a huge fly in!  The city calls itself the "Norseman Capital of the World"!  Their website is or click here for a poster of the fly-in.  A Norseman flown by the Queen Charlotte Island Airlines is being rebuilt in British Columbia.

The only "fleet" of Norseman left in America is owned by Fleetway Inc, a Burbank, California Company which keeps it's 2 Norseman (N55444 and N61828) at the Hollywood-Burbank Airport.

The most recent accident involving a Norseman in commercial service occurred in March 1995!  Float Norseman, CF-KAS, was being used in regular passenger service to the Gulf Islands between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Canada.  One of the float struts failed during landing and it cartwheeled and sank.  All on board escaped.  The hulk of the aircraft was raised and is currently in the back of the hanger at Pacific Aircraft Salvage Ltd.

.In America there are 12 Norseman still flying including four in Alaska:


N-Number Date S/N   Where
N55444 1943 140 BURBANK CA
N61853 1943 163 OAK LAWN IL
N79913 1943 215 OKLAHOMA CITY OK
N55555 1943 228 FAIRBANKS AK
N1121B 1943 241 WAYZATA MN
N18955 1943 280 OKLAHOMA CITY OK
N60915 1943 345 CLEVELAND OH
N225BL 1943 542 SOLDOTNA AK
N725E 1944 507 ANCHORAGE, AK
N61828 1944 509 BURBANK, CA
Norseman VI

N-Number Date S/N Where
. . . .
There are 37 Norseman registered to fly in Canada plus those in Museums.  Of the flyable Norseman the following Marks are airborne:

Mk I
Mk V
The Norseman also had a short movie career in the Warner Brothers movie  "Captains of the Clouds".  The movie was about WW2 bush pilots and stared James Cagney and a Norseman.  The Norseman won "Best supporting aircraft".  :-)   A float Norseman is also in a movie about to hit the big screen.

Span: 51 ft. 6 in.
Length: 31 ft. 9 in. 
Height: 10 ft. 1 in. 
Weight: 7,400 lbs. max. 
Empty: 4478 lbs, 
Useful load: 2822 lbs.
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN1 of 600 hp.
Crew: One or two
Original Cost: $28,000 

Maximum speed: 162 mph. 
Cruising speed: 148 mph. 
Range: 1,150 miles 
Service Ceiling: 17,000 ft. 

Civilian: 100
Canada (RCAF): 69
US Army Air Force:
  *YC-64: 6
  *UC-64A: 746
  *UC-64B: 3
  *Other types: 4
US Navy: 3


Norseman I:  Powered by a 420hp (315kw) Wright Whirlwind engine, spruce wing spars and metal tubing body frame with fabric covering.  It was the first Canadian built/designed AC with flaps.

Norseman II:  Heavier than the Norseman I but with the same engine, it began the production cycle in 1936.  It proved to be under powered especially with floats. 

Norseman III:  Flown in 1936 it had a 450hp (335kw) P&W Wasp Junior engine.  Only three were produced.

Norseman IV:   This version first flew on November 5, 1936 with a 550hp (415kw) engine and was delivered in significant numbers to the RCAF and civilian customers in 1938 onward. 

Norseman V:  600hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN1. Civilian version of the UC-64A.  The Mk V was  manufactured for civilian use by Canadian Car and Foundry after the war.  It was the post war "V for Victory" model and 55 had been produced by the time production ended in 1959.

Norseman VI: UC-64A/B's.  The UC-64's used 2-blade props and had an 4 foot long exhaust pipe (not found on Civilian Mk V's).  They also had the military tapered antenna  on the roof over the rear door.  The Norseman photo at the beginning of this page (Found at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio) has the three blade prop and short exhaust pipe making it a Mk V, not a UC-64.

Norseman VII:  The existance of a Mk VII only recently came to light.  Two references to it were found in the National Canadian archives and on  The photo (Click) was providsed by Jim Holston.  Bob Noorduyn confirmed it's existance in 2001 and said that the extra weight of the metal body decreased the performance and the project was dropped. 

Cconverted from a Norseman V,  it had all-metal wings and tailplane, the cab was 91.4cm (3ft)
longer cabin and the engine was moved forward 30.5cm (12in).  It made its first flight  in  Montreal in the autumn of 1951 but was not certified nor did it go into production.

A plastic model kit of the Norseman in 1/48th scale is available from Modelcraft, Kit Number 48-002.  Modelcraft is a Canadian company out of Vancouver BC and their phone is (604) 437-1166..


Number N69795 (Photo above with Vic Villa at the controls) 
Color Originally Red with white strip and white tail.  Repainted in 1965 to the PI blue with white strip and white tail scheme shown above.  The aircraft was nicknamed "Red Lead".  Photo above shows it flying over Baywood, New Jersey.
Built 1944
SN: Norseman Mk VI, Constructor's No. 667/USAAF Serial No. 44-70402. 
History The Aircraft was manufactured in 1944 and delivered to the Air Transport Command in April 1944.  In September 1945, she was transferred to the Reconstruction Finance Corp. with a total of 142 hours on the engine and frame for disposal as surplus.  She was bought by Maynard Dowell of Chicago, Illinois who used it to run sight seeing tours around the mid-west.  On unknown date, it was acquired by Randall & Zima, Chicago, IL. who put floats on it in 1946 and moved it to Alaska.  It was sold to Western Alaska Airlines in 1947 and made regular runs to Juneau, Saskatoon, Anchorage, Ketchikan and Albert Bay.  WA maintenance records show that the exhaust system extension (the same one used on the Harvard) gave the airlines a head ache and required frequent welding and parching.  PI later solved the problem on all it's Norseman by welding a big collar around it and shortening the pipe. The Alaskian winter weather and swells in the water also did considerable damage to the tail at times requiring patching and new fabric.  The aircraft had many layers of dope on it by the time it was sold to PI.  WAA main A&P mechanic, J. Kenneth Wren, has many interesting notations in the logs.  795 had the full belly tanks under the floor and could fly for 7+ hours without refueling.  795 needed her first new engine in April 1957 but it was somewhat defective and another was installed a year later.  Wren's notes also show that he modified the leather sealed Hamilton Standard propellor with a conversion kit from Dusters & Sprayers Supply of Chickasaw, Oklahoma, which replaced the leather with brass rings and a series of O-Rings to seal the hub.  He also added a new cold weather oil dilution system.  The conversion required a new weight and balance chart for the aircraft.  When PI bought the aircraft in 1959 it was vastly improved from the original USAAF specification.  Jacques Istel and Nate pond went to Alaska to find new aircraft and Nate flew 795 to Orange.  On the last leg it flew non-stop from Valpariso, Indiana Once in Orange they removed the belly tanks from under the floor, metalized the interior to prevent damage from the jumper's gear and replaced the comfy seats with metal benches with anti-slide depressions for the jumper's butts.  (see Photo) They also modified the door and installed a special jump step designed to enable to "Telsan Exit".  A jumpmasters' control panel was added and an aerial photo of the DZ was put over the door (photo).  It was kept in the WAA colors of red with a white strip (also used on their other sea planes) and she quickly acquired the nick name "Red Lead".  The floats and cold weather gear were stored in the "red hanger" at Orange (described elsewhere) and the oil dilution system was disconnected.  795 "Red Lead" was later flown to Ryan Field, Hemet, California to open that DZ and later joined by a Cessna 180 leased with pilot from a local source.  It returned to Orange for the 1962 World Meet where it was most commonly photographed with the team photos and special articles like the one on Nona Pond (see people page).  N1207 visitied Lakewood during its construction period and was one of the Norseman that was rebuilt and repainted in 1965.  It was later flown to Crawfordsville, Indiana in 1973 to open that DZ.  It returned to Orange the next season and then found it's way to Elsinore with N61853 to open that facility but returned to Orange after being replaced by a DC-3.  It was the most traveled of all the Norseman.  During its life with PI, it had three forced landings in sixteen plus years of flying jumpers, one blown Jug, broken cam follower, and a crankshaft failure at the 1,200 hour mark. 
Fate Red Lead crashed and burned at Orange after loosing power at 400 feet taking off from runway 19.  It came down in heavy woods near a camp ground in nearby New Salem just off Blackington Road in July 1979.  9 jumpers and 21 year old pilot, Michael Hirsch on board.  The Norseman landed upright with the left wing on the ground but the engine broke off.  No one was killed or seriously injured due to the rugged construction and design of the Norseman.  Hirsch and 19 year old Charlotte Mitchel of Ridgefield, Conn. were treated for minor injuries at Athol Memorial Hospital (jokingly called "Istel's Retreat") and released.  Hirsch and some of the jumpers from the crash were in the air again the same day. Click here for newspaper clippings.  If nothing else the photos are interesting because they show the skeletal frame and wing spar construction of the Norseman. Click here for a photo of a Norseman frame during rebuilding.  It also had a 2-blade prop when it crashed.  Jacques Istel told the FAA that it was owned by Aurora Leasing when it crashed.  Photos of "Red Lead" appeared in more parachuting and other publications than any other single jump aircraft even to that date.

Number N61853, shown above in summer 1968 at Lakewood with Mike Maino at the controls.
Color 853 arrived at Orange in the Wien colors of Black body with yellow wings and elevators and black leading edges.  There was also yellow trim on the leading edge of the rudder and some minor red trim.  (Photos) She was used in those colors for the 1962 world meet with only the large PI Logo on the tail added and sometime afterwards and then repainted to the PI Blue & White scheme.
Built 1943
SN Noorduyne 163/USAAF 43-5172
History This AC was part of the first batch produced for the USAAF.  It is a true UC-64A/Norseman Mk VI  with a P & W R1340 Series engine.  It was Deployed to Kelly AB, Texas on 31 July 43, then to Cincinnati AB, OH, and finally to Laurin-Maxton, NC AB.  After the war (November 1945) it was flown to the Reconstruction Finance Corp. at Walnut Ridge, AR. for disposal as surplus.  It was sold to Harry Olson, of White Bear Lake, MN. in June 1946 and resold to Wein Alaska Air-lines in 1951 who repainted it in black and yellow.  PI bought out the last of the airline's Norseman Fleet in 1962 plus all the associated parts and equipment. N61853 and N7990K were the last Norseman Wien operated. 
Nate Pond and Dick Carlisle flew to Fairbanks to pick up the 2 Norseman where they discovered that one of the birds had a leaking fuel tank which needed to be repaired. The other Norseman also had a very high time engine and Nate was concerned about the World Championships and the possibility of this engine 'coughing' during the meet.  Spotting a new engine was sitting on the floor of
the Wein repair facility, Nate asked the shop manager if he and Dick could change the engine!  The two pilot/mechanics started on the project and forgot about time especially since the sun never sets up there. By the time they finished they had been working over 24 hours! 
The two Norseman headed for Orange and landed at a little airport in Canastota, NY, just east of Syracuse because of thunder storms.  While on the ramp they heard the sound of another R-1340 radial engine and N1207 landed, also seeking shelter. While waiting for the weather to clear the local papers descended on the three birds and put them on the front page of the paper.  When the weather cleared they took off and flew in loose formation back to Orange and buzzed the field in tight formation. 
Once in Orange it received the same modifications as described in the 795 history.
853 was used at Orange, Lakewood, Elsinore and possibly Crawfordsville.  She was flown to Elsinore when PI acquired the DZ in 1976.  She was used at Elsinore till she needed a major overhaul and then sat idle from 1980 to 1984.  She had been left outside for four years, stripped of a few parts and was in bad shape when she was sold at auction (photo). Now fully restored it is currently the second oldest flying Norseman left flying in America. CLICK for 853 Photo Album.
Fate 61853 was still in Elsinore when PI folded and was sold at auction in October 1984.  Glen (photo) and Wanda Courtright of Oaklawn, Ill. were the only bidders.  They had the bird trucked to Roswell, New Mexico where it under went a 2 year restoration process with various parts going around the country for overhaul.  Except for some modern instruments it was restored to it's original USAAF configuration and repainted in the Air Transport Command silver and red (photo).  It is now based out of Kankakee, Illinois.  (Click) to read the full story of the restoration.

Number N13340   Photo by Jim Holston taken in the late 70's while taking off from Orange's Runway 19 with a full load of jumpers.  Original is in B&W, colorized by Thom Lyons.
Color At this point we don't know when PI repainted the Reeder Flying Service colors to the blue on white color scheme seen at the 1962 World Meet but it was sometime before Oct 1961 (More Photos).  It was featured in several Skydiver Magazine articles in this color scheme as well as the company brochure.  After a rebuild in early 1964 she was painted in another experimental scheme like the one above but the white strip was a light blue.  It was finally standardized to the white on blue (above photo) with the other Norseman.  During her life with PI she wore 4 different paint schemes, more than any other Norseman.  She was in PI Blue with White a full year after she was sold by PI.
Built April 1944
S/N  Constructor's No. 50-6/USAAF Serial No. 43-35432
History Built as a Norseman Mk VI, she was delivered to the Air Transport Command in May 1944.  In April 1946, she transferred to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation for disposal as surplus and was sold to Chas. Carpenter of Burbank, CA.  In 1949 through 1955, she served with the U.S. Forest Service in Boise, ID.  In 1956 she was bought by the Reeder Flying Service of Twin Falls, Idaho who in turn sold it to PI in early 1960.  Flown to Orange by Nate Pond, N13340 was the first Norseman purchased by PI and was the first Norseman to wear a corporate color.  It was used at Hemet, California, when that center opened, then worked the 1962 World Meet and then the Orange DZ till she went in for a major overhaul in late 1963.  Once out shopped she was flown to Lakewood in Spring 1964 and worked the summer there with Red Lead while N1207 was in for her overhaul.  She returned to Orange in the fall and worked there with a few trips here and there to substitute for other Norseman needing shop work.  Towards the end of PI 340 suffered some kind of tail section damage at Orange (Photo).
Fate When PI closed in 1984, 13340 was sold to Carl Wallace, a retired Eastern Airline pilot from New Hampshire who spent 6 months repairing the tail damage and sprucing her up in the former "Red PI Hanger" (Photo).  She remained at Orange for a year and was then sold to Rio Grande Contract Furnishings in Albuqerque, NM.  In 1987 Rio Grande sent it to Henry Oliver III, an aircraft broker in Sante Fe, NM. and 13340 was last seen (1988) at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Texas dressed as a UC-64 in Invasion Stripes (Photo).  It is not longer on the US FAA registry and is now in Canada re-registered as CF-BHU.  It is owned by a company in Reed Lake, MB. 

Number N1207
Color N1207 arrived on PI property in white with a red stripe (CLICK) and was used in that color scheme at Orange and later Lakewood.  It was repainted in the second half of 1965 by painting the red stripe blue.    The September 1967 issue of Parachutist Magazine has some photos of the static line assist system being used at Lakewood and she is in a nearly all white pattern with the N1207 in dark blue and a non-tapering thin stripe emanating from the numbers  (Photo) This was the main difference between 340 in white and 1207.  340 had Parachutes Incorporated on the body and the number on the tail while 1207 had the number in that spot.  1207 also didn't have the blue trim around the jump door either like 340 did.    It is not the only pattern applied by PI.  N1207 is also shown in the stardard blue scheme in the 1970 company hand out.  When written off, 1207 was in the standard white stripe on blue color scheme.
Built June 1945
SN sn 841/USAAF 45-41757
History Built as a Mk VI Norseman, 1207 had the shortest military life of any PI owned Norseman.  It was deployed to the Continental Air Force directly from the factory in June 1945 and retired in October, just 4 months later.  Declared "Excess" she went to the Reconstruction Finance Corp. and sold to I.J. Enger, Minneapolis, MN, and registered as NC41340.  In Nov. 1960, it was sold to Fruehauf Trailers, Detroit, MI, and re-registered as N1207.  PI purchased the aircraft in 1962 for the world meet and while enroute to Orange from Kenora, Ontario (which is northwest of Lake Superior) it accidently met up with Dick Carlisle and Nate Pond flying 902 and 853 at a little airport in Canastota, NY, just east of Syracuse.  All three Norseman were seaking shelter from local thunder storms. The other 2 Norseman were on their way to Orange from Fairbanks, Alaska.  While waiting for the weather to clear the local papers decended on the three birds and put them on the front page of the paper.  When the weather cleared they took off and flew in loose formation back to Orange and buzzed the field in tight formation. 
After the World Meet, 1207 had a break lock and flipped on her back in the grass at Orange.  Nate Pond was at the controls.  After some repair and maintenance she was used to open Lakewood in May 1963 in conjunction with N13340 and briefly N79902.  After a productive summer and fall, N1207 received it's first ever major rebuild in Spring 1964.  13340 was sent down to Lakewood to fill in for N1207 after it's own rebuild.  She came out a virtually new machine and Nate Pond showed her off to at least one member of the Orange Airport Commission like a proud new father.  She worked at Orange for a while and returned to Lakewood in the fall where she remained till Oct. 1970 when she was written off.  During that time in the 64-65 seasons she returned to the shop twice, once when she landed spitting fire and the other when a student put his helmet thru the wing fabric!!  Thom Lyons, the webmaster of this project made his first jump from this aircraft.  CL:ICK for N1207 Photo Album
Fate 1207 lost power after takeoff off from runway 6 on Sunday Aug 2, 1970 CL:ICK seven years less a day after the webmaster's first jump from 1207.  She came to rest in the woods just off Cedar Bridge Road.  The right fuel gauge always stuck at 1/4 but this time she was nearly empty. The aircraft was sitting at the edge of the woods by the north end of the runway (and seen by the project webmaster) where the old and new runway cross and was stripped for parts.  Wonder if there's anything left of it in the woods?  The number N1207 was re-assigned to a Stearman trainer bi-plane in 1991.

Number N79902  (Also known as NC79902)
Color 902 was in the Wein Corporate Colors, black with yellow wings (same as 853 it appears) its entire time with PI.  (CLICK)
S/N 111/USAAF Serial No. 43-5120
History Delivered to the USAAF in March 1943 and immediately diverted to the Alaskan Air Command.  The aircraft was sold by the U.S. Government to Wien Alaska Airlines on Nov. 30, 1960.  PI bought out the last of the airline's Norseman Fleet in 1962 plus all the associated parts and equipment. N61853 and N79902 were the last Norseman Wien operated. 
Nate Pond and Dick Carlisle flew to Fairbanks to pick up the 2 Norseman where they discovered that one of the birds had a leaking fuel tank which needed to be repaired. The other Norseman also had a very high time engine and Nate was concerned about the World Championships and the possibility of this engine 'coughing' during the meet.  Spotting a new engine was sitting on the floor of
the Wein repair facility, Nate asked the shop manager if he and Dick could change the engine!  The two pilot/mechanics started on the project and forgot about time especially since the sun never sets up there. By the time they finished they had been working over 24 hours! 
The two Norseman headed for Orange and landed at a little airport in Canastota, NY, just east of Syracuse because of thunder storms.  While on the ramp they heard the sound of another R-1340 radial engine and N1207 landed, also seeking shelter. While waiting for the weather to clear the local papers descended on the three birds and put them on the front page of the paper.  When the weather cleared they took off and flew in loose formation back to Orange and buzzed the field in tight formation. 
902 has a funny history and may not have been used by PI (or Aurora Leasing) for jumping the whole time. It was seen at McGuire AFB, New Jersey in May 1970 (possibly lettered N990K) and was moved to Lakewood in late 1970 or early 1971 where it replaced N1207 after she was written off. 
Fate 902 suffered a runway incident in July 1963.  The DZ was hit with rather bad cross winds on that Sunday that caused the crash of 2 planes at Lakewood the day.  (Click for news paper clipping)  Pilot Richard Caka was landing the plane after an early afternoon Sunday load and was the victim of a gust that make he skid 170 feet before flipping on her back.  After PI cleared the runway of the 1:55pm crash, a Piper Cub was hit by a similar wind at 3:45pm while taking off which drove it into the sand and ripping off the landing gear.  340 was brought down from Orange to replace her.

Number N7990K
Color Standard PI blue and white
Built Feb 1943
SN 111/USAAF Serial No. 43-5120
History N990K started life as NC79902 (above)  N79902 flipped on the Lakewood runway in July 1963 and disappeared for a while.  N7990K was part of a block of numbers assigned to production Stinson Voyagers in 1948-1949.  It's unknown why it was renumbered but if it stayed in storage for a while while other Norseman were rebuilt its logical to assume the company didn't want to spend the money to maintain a registration.  She was seen at McGuire AFB, New Jersey in May 1970 and was moved to Lakewood in late 1970 or early 1971 where it replaced N1207 after she was written off.  The above photo was taken on August 17, 1973 and is the only one we have of her so far.  990K was nicknamed 990Killer.
Fate 7990K made a forced landing at Orange in 1974.  Part of the air intake broke free and lodged in the throttle plate.  The aircraft was acquired by a couple of Canadians who hauled it away on a flatbed truck.  Several years ago a man from Willow, Alaska called Bill Mehr and said that he and a partner had acquired 990.  He said that while looking through the logbooks they found out that it had once been been owned by PI. He called Orange airport who steered him to Bill.  Bill knew that some old Norseman parts were still in the "red barn" and got permission from the airport to send them to Alaska. 
 #7 One member of this project reports having seen a Norseman being metalized in the hanger at Orange.  He believes it was a "6th Norseman" and it had new metal body skin and skeletal wings when he saw it.  One of the Project contributors has come across a website showing two other metalizing projects.
A rather excellent photo collection of Norseman can be found at

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Project PI is an online collaborative effort to document the first commercial parachute company, Parachutes Incorporated, its 6 DZ's, it's 17+ aircraft and as many of the personalities that worked or jumped there that we can find.  Anyone may contribute with stories, information and photographs and are encouraged to do so. Click on the logo above to send e-mail to Thom Lyons, Project coordinator in Melbourne, Australia