The Bakeng Duce
Time to feature another aircraft in the collection! This one was an experimental craft built by a University of Alaska engineering student to fly home to Spruce Creek, AK.
The “Bakeng Duce” nicknamed the "Duce II" was built by Preston Fowler in 1974. Fowler, from Shaw Creek, AK, was a mechanical engineering student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and built the experimental craft with the assistance of Engineering Professor Ken Hobson. Hobson had previously built aircraft for Hawken Aircraft Ltd.
The craft was built in the garage of the Duckering Building, the engineering building on UAF campus, and cost about $2000 to construct. Most of the plane is made from previously used parts, however, the metal tubing and Sitka spruce for the wings were new. The craft passed FAA inspection, given the number N75FD, and her maiden flight was on September 27, 1976.
Kirsten here again, this time introducing the 1943 Noorduyn Norseman. This aircraft is front and center at the Museum and had quite an adventurous life, and a well deserved retirement here at the Pioneer Air Museum, if I do say so myself.
The Norseman housed at the Pioneer Air Museum is a Model Noorduym Norseman UC-64AS, built in 1943 by Noorduyn Aircraft Ltd. of Canada. These planes were introduced in 1935 and designed as a single engine bush plane; interchangeably fitted with wheels, skis, and floats for landing on a multitude of terrain types. It had a high wing monoplane airframe to facilitate loading and unloading passengers and cargo. During World War II, it caught the interest of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Army Air Force because of its abilities in rough and rugged Northern environments.
The model plane at PAM would have been the kind flown for Lend Lease Program of WWII as a search and rescue or utility plane. This particular aircraft flew for many airline companies, including Island Airways, Inc. (1946-1948) and Alaska Airlines (1956-1961). In 1192, Doug Solberg of Juneau, AK gave the Norseman to the museum. The plane had been refurbished in Washington State and flown up to Fairbanks, where it now sits center stage in the museum.
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