By the mid-1930s bush flying was a major business but operators were still using airplanes designed largely for other roles. A Canadian airplane designer, Robert Noorduyn, had a better idea; design an airplane specifically for the Canadian North.
The result was the Noorduyn Norseman. It was economical to operate, had good range, used proven rugged technology, and had a high wing and large doors for easy loading. It was designed from the start to operate on wheels, skis or floats.
Noorduyn's Norseman not only became the quintessential Canadian bush plane, it sold around the world and became a mainstay for the Canadian and American military during World War II.
More than 900 were built between 1935 and 1959. As many as two dozen were active at Blatchford Field. Little wonder the Alberta Aviation Museum has two; the bright yellow "HPY" perched on a pedestal outside and the immaculately restored green and yellow "EIH," on display inside.
CF-EIH was initially delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in September 1942 and used in Quebec and New Brunswick. In August 1946 it was transferred to War Assets Corporation for disposal, and purchased by McDonald Aviation Co. of Edmonton, Alberta, who sold it to Associated Airways on May 14, 1947, who registered the aircraft as CF-EIH. The aircraft crashed during a landing at Allen Lake, NWT on August 25, 1947 while being operated by Charter Airways, Yellowknife, NWT. Stan Edkins salvaged EIH in August 1993, and the Alberta Aviation Museum restored the aircraft from 1994-1997.
Mackenzie Air Services was the largest civilian operator of the Norseman. Although "EIH" was not one of them, it has been refinished in Mackenzie Air Services colours.