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The 17th of December 2003 will mark the one hundred years that have passed since the Wright brothers took off from the surface of the Earth with the first flying machine. With a flight of 36.6 metres in the course of 12 seconds, the brothers flew into history. The exhibition To the Sky? is one of the contributions from the Norwegian Aviation Museum that celebrates 100 years of flight. We have taken the liberty to shift the focus from the Wright brothers in the USA - to Europe and Norway to look at what was happening here in the years after the first powered flight on wings in 1903.

To the Sky? is about what it was like to fly back then. It is about competitions, record-breaking attempts and applause, but also about war, injuries and tragic accidents. The exhibition is based mainly on photographs, articles and talks collected by Norwegian aviation pioneer Einar Sem-Jacobsen on his study trips to European aviation circles in the years between 1909 and 1918.

”There have been many flying accidents and there are still accidents occurring that should never happen. We who have been actively involved in the development of aviation from the first fumbling beginnings have perhaps seen this more clearly and felt it more strongly than other people... But all the painful in this is overshadowed by the wonderful adventure that the history of aviation has been so far.”
Einar Sem-Jacobsen, 1925