AISE 2018




The Airship Italia Search Expedition will commence in August, 2018, and last for 4-5 weeks as over 30 crew members travel north of Svalbard on two boats to look for the remains of the airship Italia. The mission will occur exactly 90 years after the airship's crash in 1928, where 8 airship Italia crew members lost their lives on the way back from the North Pole, most of whose remains were never found, and the survivors of which lived 49 days on the ice before being rescued. A total of 19 people died in the crash or searching for the wreckage.

The crew will be split onto two vessels, one of which will be an icebreaker, so that packed ice will not prevent the crew from their mission. Both ships will be outfitted nautical and technical equipment in addition to the EdgeTech sonar scanner, which will be used to detect aluminum even at the bottom of the sea, to locate the airship.

EdgeTech’s scanner will allow the crew to pinpoint the exact location of the airship. After the remains are discovered, a special underwater camera will be used to get foo- tage of the remains as they are found.

Umberto Nobile was the captain of the semi-rigid airship named Italia in 1928 and successfully travelled with his crew inside of it to the North Pole. On the return jour- ney, bad weather struck and the airship crashed into the ice, the exact reason for this remains disputed. The gondola portion of the airship remained where it crashed, while the balloon portion was blown away with six crew members still inside of it. The crew members who remained in the gondola were rescued apart from two who perished, while the crew blown away in the balloon were never found.


The crew members left in the gondola, including Nobile, were rescued after 49 days on the ice. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen perished in an attempt to reach the sur- vivors in the gondola, which had a position of 81°14′N 28°14′E where it landed.


The AISE will be going to look for the airship balloon that blew away. Since efforts to find survivors were abandoned in 1928, no one has searched for the remains of the airship - until now.

Important Mission Information in a glance


What is the purpose of the mission?

  • To locate the wreckage of the airship Italia in thewater

  • To perform scientificexperiments

  • To document the mission in photos and videos for a World Arctic Fund film andfor

various media partners


Number of participants: 30+



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