• Review: 111Sim - Noorduyn Norseman for X-Plane

    Noorduyn Norseman

    Publisher: X-Hangar/111Sim

    Review Author:
    Richard Nilsson

    Suggested Price:
    $18.95

    Buy Here

    Introduction

    What is a bush plane? One that can take off and land on 'unimproved' terrain, do so in a short roll, easily load and unload passengers and freight, and operate economically.

    I've been "flying" sim aircraft on a variety of platforms since the first wire-frame world sim came out for Macintosh back in 1985, I think it was. I even flew a commercial Boeing 707 simulator on a hydraulic platform once (New York to Paris in 30 minutes!). But this is my first ever published aircraft review, so please bear with me.

    _        

    Now I like flying bush planes of the 1930s-1950s era because of their utilitarian simplicity. I recently heard that Gerald Rader at X-Hangar.com had done a payware version of the Canadian Noorduyn Norsemen I'd seen in films and in real life. After seeing the promotional page at X-Hanger.com, I bought Gerald's plane.

    The Norseman meets the bush plane criteria, and its wing epitomizes the classic wood/fabric construction of the period that is light, strong and practically repairable in the field if need be, with a little wood, wire, linen and lacquer. Its welded steel tube framed fuselage is also fabric-skinned, and riding in one must have required layered clothing, gloves and a nice thick wool jacket. Not to mention cotton balls in the ears. The Norseman's initial intended market were Canadian entrepreneurs looking to make money in air freight and passenger travel to the country's many northern remote rural communities that tended to be near lakes and bays. First versions were fitted with floats, but Noorduyn foresaw needing ice and land-based options and designed the undercarriage to accommodate quick changes. It was advertised that gear option changes could be made with the removal of two bolts each side, so as to go from floats to skis to wheels. Converting to floats involves additional struts and a ladder (as near as I can tell) so maybe it's not that simple. You can read all about it in the documentation Gerald has provided, and on the Web if you care to.

           

    Test Platform

    My desktop plane is a late-2012 3.1 GHz 21.5" iMac Intel Core 17 with 16 GB RAM and 512 MB VRAM running MacOS 10.8.2. Controls include a CH Products Eclipse Yoke and pedals, with Saitek radio/switch/control panels. I use X-Plane 9.7 because I like the way it looks and works and my video system is inadequate for XP10. I run it with plane models=4, and feature settings that usually give me 30-50 FPS depending on scenery complexity.

    Installation

    After my purchase and download, unzip the package and place the whole "Noorduyn Norseman" folder in the Aircraft folder of your X-Plane directory. There are no other initiators or anything else to install or configure.

           

    Let's Take A Trip

    Launch X-Plane, and in the menu bar choose Aircraft/Open Aircraft" and pick the /Aircraft/Noorduyn Norseman/ folder. In it you will see four aircraft .acf files to choose from:

    norseman.acf
    norsemanC.acf
    norsemanF.acf
    norsemanT.acf

    Gerald has supplied four Norseman versions: Standard land wheels for tarmac, fairing-covered wheels(C), floats(F), and large tundra wheels(T) for real bush operations. Each version is a separate .acf model file with its own cockpit object as well so you can customize one to your purposes without affecting the others. There are fifteen liveries common to the versions, including a blank white one you can duplicate to paint as you wish, and a U.S. Air Force scheme commonly seen in Canada right after WWII. You can pick a separate livery as a default for each variant of the Norseman in Plane-Maker too. Just load the plane into Plane-Maker, choose the livery and save.

           

    Again, the "norseman.acf" is the basic wheeled version. So to keep from getting seasick with all that bobbing around on floats, let's start with loading the default norseman.acf. Its flying characteristics in the air are pretty much the same as the other models.


    2 Comments
    1. W33's Avatar
      W33 -
      Very nice review of a classic aircraft.

      Many thanks.

      W33
    1. Bamboo Cougar's Avatar
      Bamboo Cougar -
      Hear, hear! Nice review Rik.

      I followed the model development of this iconic craft from its inception through to completion with great interest. As a Canadian living in the only province with a small handful of working Norseman float planes still doing business (Ontario), I have had the pleasure of visiting Red Lake and seeing them first hand.

      Gerald's detailed and very accurate work on the flight characteristics and handling of this aircraft is what keeps me coming back to it, over and over. I have just over 100 hours in my logbook with it

      By the way, I too modded the panel to put the standard six into place. I have seen various other configurations in pictures, but as a creature of habit, I like to look for and find the important needles when I need them! Oh yes... I scrapped the modern conveniences as well

      Thanks again for your detailed review - and also, might I add, your fantastic scenery work that I enjoy having in my V9 and V10 installations.

      Cheers,
      Joel
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