On May 11 at 8.50 am Greenwich Mean Time, the NORGE takes off with the two side engines running, at idle. About thirty meters from the ground, Nobile moves the engine telegraph levers to 1000 rpm and the engineers, locked in their respective cars, carry out the order. The airship gains altitude, rising in altitude up to 400 m.
The mountains of Svalbard slowly recede as the horizon widens. The dark blue sea is largely covered by white ice and on the horizon in front of the flyers, in the clear sky, the vision of an immense pack looms. The NORGE encounters a weak wind, but without any noticeable phenomena of turbulence.