Today in Transportation History – Norway’s Kjeller Airfield is Founded

Kjeller_1913A key moment in Norway’s aviation history took place when two Norwegian Army Air Force pilots embarked on a scouting expedition to find a suitable location for a military airfield. The pilots conducted their search in the vicinity of the town of Lillestrøm in southeastern Norway. After two days of carefully surveying the region, the pilots settled on the village of Kjeller as the place for the new airfield. The main reasons for their decision included both the flat terrain there and the village’s proximity (about 10 miles) to the capital city of Oslo.

Only four days later, the first plane at the new airfield was hauled there by horse. This aircraft, a French-built Maurice Farman MF.7 biplane, made its first flight from the airfield on September 21. On September 27, construction on the airfield’s first hangar was completed.

The airfield, which initially had an area of only 330 by 130 feet, was Norway’s first airport. It was also where renowned polar explorer Roald Amundsen learned how to fly a plane in 1913 and, the following year, obtained Norway’s first civilian pilot license.

Kjeller Airport remains in service today. The airport, which is owned by the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization, functions as the central maintenance facility for the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The airport’s civilian operations are handled by Kjeller Aero Senter.

For more information on Kjeller Airport, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kjeller_Airport

Photo Credit: Anders Beer Wilse, Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

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