After realizing that no existing aircraft was designed for the rugged conditions of the Canadian north Robert Noorduyn designed a basic bush aircraft in 1934. The Noorduyn Norseman proved to be a robust, sound & versatile aircraft well suited for the Canadian climate. The aircraft sported an enclosed and heated cockpit, a roomy 8 passenger cabin with removable seats and additional cargo space below the cabin floor. The prototype aircraft, Mk1 registration CF-AYO, made its first flight in Montreal in 1935. (note: The wreckage of this aircraft is now on display at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.) Production of the Norseman MKII with a 450 hp Wright engine began in 1935. This was followed by the more powerful MkIV with a 600hp Pratt & Whitney engine in 1937. Production of the Norseman MkV was begun in 1947 by Canadian Car & Foundry after Noorduyn Aircraft ended production.
The Norseman could travel at a speed of 148 mph for 600 miles. It saw military service were both the US Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force but its greatest use was by numerous bushplane operators.
A total of 903 aircraft were produced before production ended in 1959.