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Ever seen a four-person sleeping bag? The Polar route collection is one of SAS museum's highlights.
Ever seen a four-person sleeping bag? The Polar route collection is one of SAS museum's highlights.

Aviation

The SAS Museum keeps history alive

Step inside a time machine and re-live SAS’s history from beginning to end. Visit the SAS Museum in Oslo.

The SAS Museum isn’t anything you happen to stumble upon while visiting Oslo. While it’s close to the airport, housed in an unassuming building in the hangar area, most people don’t have a lot of time to wander outside when they’re on the go.

Thore Erik Winderen. Photo: Cecile Palonen Winderen

Next time you’re in Oslo, though, arrive a few hours early, and visit the SAS Museum and get lost in the SAS memorabilia and artifacts that together tell the story of the history of Scandinavian aviation.

If you’re lucky, you may be guided by Thore Erik Winderen, the museum’s manager and a walking SAS encyclopedia who will make the objects come alive. He took an active role at the museum in 2004 when he retired from SAS Ground Service.

The museum’s collections include an airplane engine, an SAS flight simulator, and a cabin in which you can sit in first-class seats and enjoy a short ride around Bergen, enjoying the beauty of the fjords “below” you. Around a corner, you’ll see some of the first route plans and models of every airplane type SAS has had in its fleet.

The Polar route has its own section, complete with the special gyro and a four-person sleeping bag as do SAS Cargo and Scanair, the charter airline partly owned by SAS.

Upstairs, there’s a complete collection of the stewards and stewardesses’ uniforms through the ages, as well as examples of the special travel bags they and other true travelers have used over the years.

“It’s hard to single out just one part of the exhibition as my favorite. The uniforms and the big cutaway models, as well as the entire Polar flight history, are highlights for sure,” says Winderen.

Sometimes history doesn’t become real until you see it. Nothing says that times have changed like an SAS cigarette pack with a SAS logo on each cigarette. Well, the evolution of what passengers have been served is a close second. Or maybe the ticketing machines. Or… well, see it for yourself.


Text: Risto Pakarinen 

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