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Spitsbergen Airship Museum open in Longyearbyen


Spitsbergen Airship Museum in Longyearbyen was opened in November 2008. It tells the stories of the three airship expeditions in the Arctic. There are: Wellman Chicago Record Herald Polar Expedition on board of ?America? in 1907-09, "Amundsen-Ellsworth-Nobile, Transpolar Flight? on board of ?Norge? in 1926 and the ?Italia? expedition in 1928, as well as the rescue expeditions following the 1928 expedition.

Opening of the museum preceded a series of four lectures about early balloon, and airship expeditions to the North Pole. The lectures were given by Urban Wråkberg (Barents Institute), P.J. Capelotti (Penn State University), Susan Barr (Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway) and Steinar Aas (University in Tromsø) who are also authors of majority of text at the SAM exhibitions.

The opening brought many unusual guests like relatives of Umberto Nobile and Roald Amundsen, son of a participant in the rescue expedition in 1928, and leadership of the aviation museums in both Norway and Italy.

The exhibition consists of a mix between pictures, texts, documents, philately, old newspapers, diorama, plane models and film.
In 2009 models of ?Krasin? and 1-meter-long model of "Norge" are expected to be added to the collection.
In addition SAM exhibits artefacts lent to
the museum by the families of the expeditions members' e.g. Viglieri?s clothes and shoes, Carratti?s hat and the ribbon Nobile was given by Mussolini when promoted to general after the 1926 expedition. The logbook of the airship ?Norge?, borrowed from the Nobile Museum in Lauro, Italy is a part of the display for one year. It is the first time this logbook is exhibited outside Italy.

These and many other objects together with many exciting stories can be found at SAM in Longeaybyen now.

(Source and contact: Ingunn Løyning, Spitsbergen Airship Museum at:

More information about SAM:


Pictures from the opening of Spitsbergen Airship Museum (copyrights: Spitsbergen Airship Museum)

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