Aviation Pioneers

Tryggve Gran: A Pioneer of Aviation and Polar Exploration

Tryggve Gran was a Norwegian aviator, polar explorer, and author. He was born in Bergen, Norway, on January 20, 1888.

Gran’s interest in aviation began at a young age. He learned to fly in 1910 and quickly became one of Norway’s leading pilots. In 1914, he made history by becoming the first person to fly across the North Sea from Scotland to Norway.

Gran’s interest in polar exploration also began at a young age. He was inspired by the exploits of Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen. In 1910, he joined the British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott. Gran was the expedition’s skiing expert and was responsible for teaching the team how to use skis. He also made several important contributions to the expedition, including leading a successful dog sled journey to Cape Crozier to collect Emperor penguin eggs.

After his return from Antarctica, Gran continued to pursue his interests in aviation and polar exploration. In 1925, he joined the British Arctic Expedition led by Sir Hubert Wilkins. The expedition’s goal was to fly across the Arctic from Alaska to Spitsbergen. However, the expedition was unsuccessful due to bad weather and mechanical problems.

Gran continued to fly and explore throughout his life. He died on January 8, 1980, at the age of 91.


Tryggve Gran was a pioneer of aviation and polar exploration. He was the first person to fly across the North Sea and he made significant contributions to the British Antarctic Expedition. He was also a gifted writer and his books about his adventures are still read today.