Flight Journal: Flying over snowy BC while previewing Big Radial’s Noorduyn Norseman

I’m really excited to bring you this Flight Journal as a preview of the just about to be released Big Radials Noorduyn Norseman for Microsoft Flight Simulator. For this first flight that I did, I took the Norseman up into snowy British Columbia with some beautiful sunset skies in the mountains between Kelowna and Castlegar and the West Kootenay Airport. Let’s fly!

Just a little mountain hop

For this first flight, I’m taking the Norseman out for a mountain hop between Kelowna and Castlegar. In the back, I have supplies rather than passengers and I’m using one of the several included liveries. This one representing a RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) scheme. The RCMP used 3 Norseman on a variety of operations including destroying civilian fuel caches along the shores of Hudson Bay during WWII – an effort to deny any possible German U-Boat use of the fuel.

Today’s hop has less historical value but it promised to be fun anyways.

Setting out from Runway 19 from Kelowna Airport (Orbx scenery), I powered the airplane up and took off a gently as possible. It is a tail dragger and requires some careful management to get it up. It wasn’t the best looking takeoff but a serviceable one!

After I was up, trimming and getting the Norseman sorted out is pretty easy. Rudder and elevator trim make that a piece of cake. It handles similarly to the DHC-2 Beaver – like a big Cub. Docile but capable and confident at the same time.

I set course for roughly 120 degrees and headed out to my destination.

Inflight discovery

I spent a bit of time getting to know the Norseman on my way over to Castlegar. Big Radials is well known for their #FlyTheDamnPlane approach and that usually means building in some fun additional capabilities that appeal to a wide variety of people.

Many third party releases have a EFB and this one does too. In its own way. Click the passenger side control and an old style CRT, complete with scan lines and green cast display, swings out. Here you can configure the aircraft with cargo or passenger configurations, open and close doors or put coverings and chokes out (all on the ground of course). There’s also a simplistic autopilot system that’s not historical but ideal for flight simmers. You can ignore it if you’re a purist but take full advantage if you want to.

That’s not all. A full GPS and glass panel display can pop out from a storage bay above the pilot and this is brilliant because you’d never know it was there unless you drop it down from the metal box that it sits in. Full GPS if you want it and otherwise you can have the purist experience.

I did note that the cockpit is a little dark, something I have highlighted with Big Radials. The solution sounds like a (hopefully) straightforward fix to improve bounced light levels.

There’s much more to comment on but I’ll save it for the full review after I’ve had a chance to really put this aircraft through its paces!

On to landing

With the sun setting I dropped the Norseman into the Columbia river valley and set up for a left base on Runway 33.

The Norsman had just enough visibility out the left side to setup for a pretty straight forward approach. I brought the aircraft in for a smooth landing and kept full back pressure to keep the tail wheel on the ground once on the ground.

The roll out was a bit long but I eventually started, gently, on the brakes and brought it in for a complete stop. A very fun experience all around and a great first impression of this brand and not quite yet released Microsoft Flight Simulator airplane add-on.

On sale when?

Big Radials is about to release this aircraft on their webstore. The launch will then followed up by a release on the MSFS Marketplace. If you feel like you want to fly this one right away, you probably won’t have to wait too much longer. Keep an eye right over here on the Big Radials product catalogue!

I’ve got another Flight Journal coming up soon with Big Radial’s Noorduyn Norseman and I’m planning a full review soon so stay tuned for that!


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