21.1.1885 Lauro/I - 30.7.1978 Roma/I
Umberto Nobile graduated as a mathematician from Naples University and initiated from 1911 studies in aerodynamics. In 1915 he was called to the airship division in Rome, and there appointed director in 1919, once World War I was over. Following the foundation of the Corpo del Genio in 1923 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and further promoted to general after return from the Polar expedition. However, Nobile left the army as a protest to the accusation that he should have caused the crash of the airship Norge. From 1931 to 1936 he was a collaborator of the Soviet airship designer Dirijablestroj in Moscow. Then he was a professor at the School of Aeronautics at Lewis College in Lockport IL. After World War II Nobile returned to Naples University. He was awarded the Honorary Doctorate from Genova University in 1926 and the Medaglia d'Oro from the Italian State in 1928.
Nobile was a pioneer in Arctic aviation and in 1926 flew over the North Pole in the dirigible Norge, from Spitzbergen North of Norway to Alaska, with the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and the American Lincoln Ellsworth. In short, they completed the flight from Europe to North America. In 1928 Amundsen was killed in an airplane crash in the Arctic while engaged in search of Nobile. They flew semi-rigid airships which were popular in the early 1900s. One of the most famous representants of the type was Italia, the airship which General Nobile used on his attempt to reach the North Pole. Nobile is also known for a large number of papers in applied mechanics and in aeronautics that were published in the typical Italian journals of the time, such as Giornale del Genio Civile, the Rivista Tecnica di Aeronautica e Bolletino della Società Aeronautica Italiana, or the Aviation.
Cross, W. (2000). Disaster at the Pole: The tragedy of the airship Italia and the 1928 Nobile expedition to the North Pole. Lyons Press: New York.
Nobile, U. (1930). L'Italia al Polo Nord. Mondadori: Milano.
Nobile, U. (1955). Su un metodo grafico per risolvere le equazioni del moto nella teoria impulsiva di un elica in un fluido perfetto compressibile. L'Aerotecnica 35: 163-170.
Nobile-Stolp, G. (1984). Bibliografia di Umberto Nobile. Olschki: Firenze. P
Poggendorff, J.C. (1936). Nobile, Umberto. Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch 6: 1867; 7b: 3638-3639. Verlag Chemie: Leipzig, with bibliography. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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