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Nobile, Umberto, 1885-1978



  • Existence: 1885 - 1978


Umberto Nobile was born on January 21, 1885 in Italy. He graduated from the University of Naples with degrees in both electrical and industrial engineering. In 1911, his interests turned to the field of aeronautical engineering, and he enrolled in a one-year course offered by the Italian Army. In July 1918, Nobile formed a partnership with the engineers Giuseppe Valle, Benedetto Croce and Celestino Usuelli, which they called the Aeronautical Construction Factory. During this period he also lectured at the University of Naples, obtained his test pilot's license and wrote the textbook Elementi di Aerodinamica (Elements of Aerodynamics). In 1925, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen sought out Nobile to collaborate on a flight to the North Pole using one of Nobile's crafts. On May 11, 1926, the "Norge" expedition left Svalbard and landed 15 hours later in Teller, Alaska, crossing the North Pole in the process. Between 1927-1928, Nobile worked on a second airship, the "Italia," readying for another trip over the Arctic. The "Italia" left on May 23, 1928 with Nobile as both pilot and expedition leader. On May 25, the "Italia" crashed onto pack ice in a storm. In 1931, Nobile left Italy to work for the next four years in the Soviet Union, where he helped with the Soviet semi-rigid airship program. In 1945 the Italian air force cleared Nobile of all charges related to the Italia crash. Nobile died on July 30, 1978.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Harriet Lund letters with Umberto Nobile

Identifier: Mss-284
Stefansson Mss-284
Date(s): 1920 to 1933

Umberto Nobile (1885-1978), aviator. The collection consists of 16 letters from arctic aviator Umberto Nobile to Mrs. Harriet Lund. The letters thank Mrs. Lund for her gifts and kind letters over a number of years (1920-1933) and allude in a very few places to a sadness concerning his tragic Italia expedition.

Umberto Nobile papers

Identifier: Mss-113
Stefansson Mss-113
Date(s): 1928 to 1930

Umberto Nobile (1885-1978), Italian aeronautical engineer and arctic explorer. Consist of the typescript for his book "With the Italia to the North," as well as articles, galley proofs, newspaper clippings, a scrapbook and a poster related to his failed polar airship flight of 1928.

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