List of aviation pioneers

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Aviation pioneers are people directly and indirectly responsible for the advancement of flight, including people who worked to achieve manned flight before the invention of aircraft, as well as others who achieved significant "firsts" in aviation after heavier-than-air flight became routine. Pioneers of aviation have contributed to the development of aeronautics in one or more ways: through science and theory, theoretical or applied design, by constructing models or experimental prototypes, the mass production of aircraft for commercial and government request, achievements in flight, and providing financial resources and publicity to expand the field of aviation.

Wright brothers first powered, controlled, and sustained flight, captured on film.

Table key[edit]

Pioneer type[edit]

  • Science: Contributions to aerodynamic theory, aviation principles, discoveries advancing aircraft development, etc.
  • Design: Original or derivative ideas or drawings for conceptual/experimental/practical methods of air travel
  • Construction: Building prototypes/experimental/practical aircraft
  • Manufacture: Building aircraft to fill commercial or government requests
  • Aviator: International firsts, major records, major awards received
  • Support: Significant industrial endorsements, philanthropic, founding of relevant organizations, etc.
  • () : A dagger following the pioneer's name indicates they died in or as a result of an aircraft accident. When available, the aircraft type/model and the place of the accident are included in the text.

Sorting[edit]

The table is organized by pioneer name in alphabetical order. Columns for Name, Date of birth/Date of death, Country and Achievement can be sorted in either ascending or descending order. If two pioneers are paired together, sorting by DOB or Country uses the information for the first of the pair. The Achievement column will sort according to the date of the pioneer’s earliest significant contribution to aviation.

Inclusion criteria[edit]

At least one of the following criteria is met:

  • Scientific contribution to theory and principles (whether correct or not) that were used as contemporary resources, building blocks, or influenced period thought, significant scientific or theoretical achievements with model aircraft;
  • Designing any aircraft (pre-1910), or a distinct/innovative new design;
  • Constructing a prototype aircraft (pre-1910);
  • Manufacturing aircraft (including some direct or supervisory control over design) for commercial and/or military contracts (intended to represent founders of the aviation industry);
  • Flying (Aviator) solo in an aircraft and receiving a relevant flying certificate (pre-1910); or any significant national (e.g., a flight representing a country’s first) or international achievement, or flight award (initial record holders or demolishing existing records, but not simply breaking established records);
  • Supporting aviation (e.g., positive publicity; personal, corporate and/or philanthropic sponsorship, education).

Table[edit]

List of aviation pioneers
Name Date of birth
Date of death
Country
birth
(work)
Pioneer Type Achievements
Ader-ClementClément Ader 1841-02-044 Feb 1841
5 Mar 1925
France Science
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller 1890-10-09First brief uncontrolled powered flight (“hop”) for 50 m (160 ft), 20 cm (8 in) from the ground in steam-powered Éole (9 Oct 1890),[1][2] designed, constructed and tested Ader Avion II (1893) and Ader Avion III (14 Oct 1897).[3][4][nb 1]
Aguilera-DiegoDiego Marín Aguilera 17571757
1799
Spain Science
Design
Construction
Glider 1793-05-15Reportedly glided ~400 m distance at ~5 m height using his own invention (15 May 1793).[6][7]
Alcock-JohnJohn Alcock
and
Arthur Brown
1892-11-055 Nov 1892
18 Dec 1919
and
23 Jul 1886
4 Oct 1948
England
(Great Britain)
Scotland
(Great Britain)
Aviator Propeller 1919-06-15 First non-stop transatlantic flight in a modified Vickers Vimy (14/15 June 1919);[8][9] (†) Vickers Viking, Rouen, France, en route to Paris.
AldasoroAldasoro brothers
Juan Pablo
and
Eduardo
1893-09-1414 Sep 1893
4 Oct 1962
and
27 Oct 1894
10 Nov 1968
Mexico Science
Design
Construction
Glider
Propeller
1913-03-12First Mexican aviators to graduate from the Moissant School; Juan Pablo was the first to fly over the Statue of Liberty (12 Mar 1913).[nb 2]
al Jawhari-IsmailIsmail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari 975unk
c. 1005
Kazakhstan Design
Construction
Aviator
Pre-history
Glider
1005(†) attempted flight from the roof of the Nishapur Mosque in Khorosan (c. 1005).[10]
Baldwin-FrederickFrederick W. "Casey" Baldwin 1882-01-022 Jan 1882
7 Aug 1948
Canada Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller 1909-03-12Chief Engineer, Aerial Experiment Association (1907–09);[11] first powered flight by a Canadian in the Red Wing (12 Mar 1909);[12][13] co-designer Red Wing (1908), White Wing (1908), and Silver Dart (1909);[14] with J.A.D. McCurdy (and financial support from Alexander Graham Bell) formed the Canadian Aerodrome Company (1909), Canada’s first aircraft manufacturing company.[15]
Bell-AlexanderAlexander Graham Bell 1847-03-033 Mar 1847
2 Aug 1922
Scotland
(United States)
(Canada)
Science
Design
Construction
Support
Glider
Propeller
1907-09-30Founder and chair, Canadian-American aeronautical research group Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) (30 Sep 1907 – 31 Mar 1909);[11] in 1908 and 1909, the AEA designed, constructed, and flew four powered aircraft: the Red Wing, White Wing, June Bug, and Silver Dart; technical innovations include the tricycle landing gear[16] [nb 3] and the wingtip aileron.[12]
Bell-MabelMabel Bell 1857-11-2525 Nov 1857
3 Jan 1923
United States
(United States)
(Canada)
Support n/a 1907-09-30Financial sponsorship, Aerial Experiment Association (1907–09).[12][18]
Bellanca-GiuseppeGiuseppe Mario Bellanca 1886-03-1919 Mar 1886
26 Dec 1960
Italy
(Italy)
(United States)
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Propeller 1917Bellanca Flying School (1912–16);[nb 4] designed first enclosed monoplane cabin (1917);[20] founded Bellanca Aircraft Company (1927).[21]
Bider-OskarOskar Bider 1891-07-1212 Jul 1891
7 Jul 1919
Switzerland Aviator
Support
Propeller 1913-01-24First crossing of the Pyrenees (24 Jan 1913);[nb 5] Swiss airmail flight (9 Mar 1913);[nb 6] crossing of the Alps (13 May 1913);[nb 7][24] (†) Nieuport 21, Duebendorf, Switzerland.
BladudBladud -8809th Century BC unk Design
Construction
Aviator
Pre-history
Glider
-852According to Historia Regum Britanniae (written c. 1138 by Geoffrey of Monmouth), Bladud, a legendary King of Britain, reportedly made wings from feathers and attempted a flight (852 BC).[25][26][nb 8]
Bleriot-LouisLouis Blériot 1872-07-011 Jul 1872
1 Aug 1936
France Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller 1909-07-25First heavier-than-air crossing of the English Channel in a Blériot XI (25 Jul 1909).[28]
Bossi-EneaEnea Bossi, Sr. 1888-03-2929 Mar 1888
9 Jan 1963
Italy
(United States)
Science
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Propeller
Rotor
1931Founder, American Aeronautical Corporation (1928); designer, Budd BB-1 Pioneer (1931), the first stainless-steel airplane;[29] co-designer of the Pedaliante ("Pedal Glider") (1936), the first human-powered aircraft;[30][31][nb 9] subsequent improvements (combined with a catapult-assisted launch) led to a 1 km (0.62 mi) flight 9 m (29.5 ft) from the ground (18 Mar 1937).[33]
Bradley-EduardoEduardo Bradley 1887-04-099 Apr 1887
3 Jun 1951
Argentina Design
Construction
Aviator
Balloon 1916-06-24First crossing of the Andes in a (coal gas-filled)[citation needed] balloon (24 Jun 1916);[nb 10] set numerous ballooning records: duration (28 hours 10 minutes); distance 900 km (559 mi).[nb 11][citation needed]
Brindejonc des Moulinais-MarcelMarcel Brindejonc des Moulinais 1892-02-1818 Feb 1892
18 Aug 1916
France Aviator Propeller 1913Finished first (but did not win) the Geisler Challenge Trophy (1913);[nb 12] long distance champion ;[citation needed] (†), Vadelaincourt, France (shot down).
Cabral-Artur de SacaduraArtur de Sacadura Cabral 1881-05-2323 May 1881
15 Nov 1924
Portugal Aviator Propeller 1922-06-17Director, Naval Aviation Services (1918); first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic with Gago Coutinho using a Fairey III-D[36] (30 Mar – 17 Jun 1922);[nb 13] († disappeared) , English Channel crossing.
Cayley-GeorgeGeorge Cayley 1773-12-2727 Dec 1773
15 Dec 1857
England Science
Design
Construction
Glider
Propeller
Rotor
1799Experimented in aeronautics at age 13 with a Chinese top (1796);[25] first design of a fixed-wing aircraft (1799);[38] used a whirling arm to test aerofoils at varying angles (1804);[38] presented a paper outlining specific design parameters for building a glider (1810);[38] designed, constructed, and had flown (short hop) a tri-plane (1849). Cayley was one of the most significant pioneers in aviation history.[nb 14]
Cei-GiuseppeGiuseppe Cei 1889-01-2525 Jan 1889
28 Mar 1911
Italy
(Italy)
(France)
Aviator Propeller 1911-03-19Flew around the Eiffel tower (19 Mar 1911);[39][citation needed] (†) (Bleriot airplane), near Puteaux, France.[citation needed]
Celebi-HezarfenHezârfen Ahmed Çelebi 16091609
1640
Turkey Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider 1638Reportedly achieved sustained unpowered flight for 3.36 km (2 mi) (c. 1638).[40][nb 15]
Celebi-LagariLagari Hasan Çelebi 1609-164017th century Turkey Design
Construction
Aviator
Rocket 1630Reported to have achieved flight (20 seconds to an elevation of roughly 300 meters) using a winged rocket powered by gunpowder (c. 1630’s).[42]
Coanda-HenriHenri Coandă 1886-06-077 Jun 1886
25 Nov 1972
Romania
(France)
(Great Britain)
(Romania)
Science
Design
Construction
Glider
Propeller
Jet
1910-12-16Designed Coandă-1910 with a propeller-less aero-reactive engine, exhibited Paris Air Show (Oct 1910),[43][44] followed by a claimed but generally discounted first flight (16 Dec 1910);[45] before WWI designed the Bristol-Coanda Monoplanes in Great Britain; discovered Coandă effect (1930).[46][nb 16]
NAMESamuel Franklin Cody 1867-03-066 Mar 1867
7 Aug 1913
United States
(United States)
(Great Britain)
Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider
Propeller
1908-10-16Developed and flew human-lifting kites; kite instructor for the Royal Engineers (1904); contributed to the development of the British Army Dirigible No 1 Nulli Secundus (1907);[48] first flight of a piloted airplane in Great Britain (16 Oct 1908, 1,390 ft);[49][50] issued Royal Aero Club certificate No.10 (14 Jun 1910); (†) Cody Floatplane, with passenger William Evans, Aldershot, England.
Comte-AlfredAlfred Comte 1895-06-044 Jun 1895
1 Nov 1965
Switzerland Design
Manufacture
Propeller 1913Swiss pilot’s license (1908); partner and chief pilot Ad Astra Aero (1920); designed and built aircraft (1923–35);[51] established an aviation school (1946–50).[citation needed]
Coutinho-GagoGago Coutinho 1869-02-1717 Feb 1869
18 Feb 1959
Portugal Aviator Propeller 1922-06-17 First aerial crossing of the South Atlantic using a Fairey III-D[52] with Artur de Sacadura Cabral (30 Mar – 17 Jun 1922);[nb 17] developed a sextant-type instrument to create an artificial horizon.[citation needed]
Curtiss-GlennGlenn Curtiss 1878-05-2121 May 1878
23 Jul 1930
United States
(United States)
(Canada)
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller
Rotor
1908-07-04Director of Experiments, Aerial Experiment Association (1907–09);[11] designed the June Bug (1908) and won the Scientific American Trophy (4 Jul 1908) by making the first official one-kilometer flight in North America;[54] co-designer Red Wing (1908), White Wing (1908), and Silver Dart (1909); founded his own company (1909) which became the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company (1916); designed, built, and flew the first successful flying-boat (12 Jan 1912);[55] established Canada’s first aviation training school in Toronto (1915);[56] awarded the Langley Gold Medal (1913).[57]
D’Angelis-GiacomoGiacomo D'Angelis 18441844 France
(India)
Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1910-03-10First reported flight in Asia (Madras, India) (10 Mar 1910)[58] in a self-constructed biplane.[59]
du Temple de la Croix-FelixFélix du Temple 1823-07-1818 Jul 1823
4 Nov 1890
France Science(?)
Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1874With his brother, built a monoplane which (accelerating down a slope) “staggered briefly into the air” (1874),[2] considered by some to be the powered take-off[60] or hop of a powered fixed-wing aircraft.[61][62]
Dufaux-ArmandArmand Dufaux
and
Henri Dufaux
1883-01-1313 Jan 1883
17 Jul 1941
and
18 Sep 1879
25 Dec 1980
Switzerland Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller
Rotor
1910-08-28Working together patented a design for a helicopter (1904), constructed and demonstrated a working model (13–17 Apr 1905);[63][64] designed and built the first Swiss airplanes,[65] including the biplane Dufaux 4 and Dufaux 5; Armand set a new over-water distance record of 66 km (41 mi) crossing Lake Geneva (28 Aug 1910).[66]
Dunne-JohnJohn William Dunne 18751875
24 Aug 1949
Ireland Science
Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider(?)
Propeller
1908Discussed aeronautics and aviation with H.G. Wells (c. 1901);[67] member Royal Engineers, working on design and construction of the first British military airplane (1906–08);[67] in secret military trials, and with a career goal of improving stability during flight,[68] Dunne’s aircraft flew approximately 40 meters (1908);[67] development of his V-shaped swept wing design significantly advanced flight stability[nb 18]
Earhart-AmeliaAmelia Earhart 1897-07-2424 Jul 1897
2 Jul 1937
United States Aviator
Support
Propeller 1932-05-20First woman passenger to fly across the Atlantic (17/18 Jun 1928);[69] to fly solo across the Atlantic (20 May 1932);[70] to fly non-stop transcontinental (24/25 Aug 1932);[69][nb 19] († disappeared in Lockheed Electra, attempting a global circumnavigation of the equator).
Eilmer-of-MalmesburyEilmer of Malmesbury 984c. 984
unk
unk Design
Construction
Aviator
Pre-history
Glider
1005Reportedly flew 200 meters from a tower[25] using rigid wings (c. 1005).[10]
Ely-EugeneEugene Ely 1886-10-2121 Oct 1886
19 Oct 1911
United States Aviator Propeller 1910-11-14First airplane (Curtiss Model D) take-off from a ship (USS Birmingham (14 Nov 1910);[nb 20][73] first landing (Curtiss Model D) on a ship (USS Pennsylvania) using a tailhook (18 Jan 1911);[nb 21] (†) , Macon, Georgia, flight exhibition.
Euler-AugustAugust Euler 1868-11-2020 Nov 1868
1 Jul 1957
Germany Design
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller 1909Built Voisin Freres aircraft (1908); first German pilot’s license (1909);[75] German flight duration record (3hr 6min 18sec) (1910).[76]
Failloubaz-ErnestErnest Failloubaz 1892-07-2727 Jul 1892
14 May 1919
Switzerland Construction
Aviator
Support
Propeller 1910-05-10Constructed and piloted the first aircraft in Switzerland (10 May 1910);[77] first Swiss pilot’s license (10 Oct 1910).[77]
Farman-HenryHenry Farman 1874-05-2626 May 1874
17 Jul 1958
France [nb 22] Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller 1908-01-13Winner (in the Voisin-Farman No.1) of the Deutsch-Archdeacon Prize (13 Jan 1908);[nb 23] with brothers Richard and Maurice founded Farman Aviation Works (1908).[78]
Ferber-FerdinandFerdinand Ferber 1862-02-088 Feb 1862
22 Sep 1909
France Design
Construction
Aviator
Support
Glider
Propeller
1905-05Attempted (unsuccessfully) to replicate the Wright 1901 Glider from photographs; designed a series of aircraft (Ferber I through Ferber IX) for the Antoinette Company; designed, constructed, and flew the first tractor configuration biplane (May 1905);[80] (†) Voisin biplane, Boulogne, France.[81]
Fokker-AntonAnton “Anthony” Fokker 1890-04-066 Apr 1890
23 Dec 1939
Indonesia
(Germany)
(Netherlands)
(United States)
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator(?)
Propeller 1911-08-31Designed, built, and flew the "Spin" (31 Aug 1911);[82] involved with the Luftstreitkräfte during WWI; constructed[nb 24] a machine gun synchronizer (22 Apr 1915),[84] leading to an aviation period known as the Fokker Scourge;[84] founded the US-based Atlantic Aircraft Corporation (1924) to manufacture his product in the United States.[nb 25]
Gilmore-LymanLyman Gilmore Jr 1874-06-1111 Jun 1874
18 Feb 1951
United States Design
Construction
Propeller 1902-05-15(Based largely on self-report and a 1936 interview) Tethered glider flight (1893);[86] free glider flight (1894);[86] (claimed in 1927) controlled steam-powered aircraft flight (15 May 1902);[86] all records, papers, and aircraft were destroyed in a fire;[87] opened first commercial airfield (15 Mar 1907).[citation needed]
Gran-TryggveTryggve Gran 1888-01-2020 Jan 1888
8 Jan 1980
Norway
(Norway)
(Great Britain)
Aviator Propeller 1914-07-30First flight across the North Sea (30 Jul 1914),[88] four hours ten minutes from Cruden Bay, Scotland to Klep (near Stavanger), Norway in a Blériot monoplane.
Grandjean-ReneRené Grandjean 1884-11-1212 Nov 1884
14 Apr 1963
Switzerland Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1912-02-02Designed and built aircraft for Ernest Failloubaz and his record-setting flight (1910);[citation needed] first snow takeoff and landing using skis (2 Feb 1912);[89] first water takeoff in a Swiss seaplane (4 Aug 1912).[90]
Grimaldi-AndreaAndrea Grimaldi 1701c. 1701 Italy Design
Construction
Glider 1751-10Italian monk reported to have flown from Calais to London in a bird-shaped airship with a 22-foot wingspan (Oct 1751).[91][92]
Herring-AugustusAugustus Moore Herring 1867-08-033 Aug 1867
17 Jul 1926
United States Design
Construction
Glider
Propeller
1898-10Assisted S.P. Langley (May – Nov 1895);[93] test pilot for Octave Chanute;[94] designed the Herring regulator; designed and constructed a compressed-air motorized biplane and reported a 15 meter hop (10 Oct 1898) and a 22 meter hop (12 Oct 1898);[95] business partners with Glenn Curtiss (1909).
Hughes-HowardHoward Hughes 1905-12-2424 Dec 1905
5 Apr 1976
United States Design
Manufacture
Aviator
Support
Propeller 1938-07-10Founded Hughes Aircraft (1932);[nb 26] set record for flying around the world (91 hours) in a Lockheed Super Electra (1938); received the Congressional Gold Medal (1939) for achievements in aviation; majority stockholder in TWA (1939).[citation needed]
Hurkus-VecihiVecihi Hürkuş 1895-01-066 Jan 1895
16 Jul 1969
Turkey Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1925-01-28Constructed and flew (15 minutes) the first airplane in Turkey (Vecihi K-VI) (28 Jan 1925);[96] founded Turkey’s first flying school (27 Sep 1932).[96]
Ibn Firnas-AbbasAbbas Ibn Firnas 810810
887
Spain Design
Construction
Aviator
Pre-history
Glider
875A 9th century polymath covered himself with feathers and wings,[25] and “flew faster than the phoenix in his flight when he dressed his body in the feathers of a vulture” (c. 875).[10]
Jatho-KarlKarl Jatho 1873-02-033 Feb 1873
8 Dec 1933
Germany Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1903-08-18Made an “aerial leap” (18 meters) in a powered airplane (18 Aug 1903);[97][nb 27]
Kress-WilhelmWilhelm Kress 1836-07-2929 Jul 1836
24 Feb 1913
Russia
(Austria)
Science
Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider
Propeller
1877Developed a successful rubber-band powered model of a hang glider (1877);[98] designed aircraft control stick (1900);[citation needed] executed short hops over water in his Drachenflieger (1901).[citation needed]
Lana de Terzi-FrancescoFrancesco Lana de Terzi 16311631
1687
Italy Science
Design
Pre-history
Balloon(?)
1670Designed an airship based on the theory of using evacuated metal spheres to create a lighter-than-air vehicle (1670).[10][25]
Langley-SamuelSamuel Langley 1834-08-2222 Aug 1834
27 Feb 1906
United States Science
Design
Construction
Propeller 1896-05-06Designed and developed the Aerodrome No. 5 as a successful steam engine powered model which flew for 90 seconds covering roughly 3,300 ft (6 May 1896);[99] conversion into a larger piloted aircraft was unsuccessful (1903).[100]
Latchford-StephenStephen Latchford 1883-02-044 Feb 1883
1 Oct 1974
United States Science
Support
n/a United States diplomat, head of State Department's early aviation committees; aviation specialist during Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman administrations. Also Chairman of United States Section at the International Technical Committee of Aerial Legal Experts.[citation needed]
Lilienthal-OttoOtto Lilienthal 1848-05-2323 May 1848
10 Aug 1896
Germany Science
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Glider 1891Designed and constructed a monoplane Derwitzer Glider (1891);[101] after nearly 2,000 flights he constructed a two-surfaced glider (1895);[102] (†) Glider crash (9 Aug 1896), Gollenberg, Germany.[103]
Lindbergh-CharlesCharles Lindbergh 1902-02-044 Feb 1902
26 Aug 1974
United States Aviator
Support
Propeller 1927-05-21First solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic ocean from New York to Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis (20/21 May 1927).[9]
Link-EdwinEd Link 1904-07-2626 Jul 1904
7 Sep 1981
United States Science
Design
Support
n/a 1929Inventor of the Link Trainer flight simulator (1929);[104] received Royal Aeronautical Society Wakefield Gold Medal (1947).[105]
Lomonosov-MikhailMikhail Lomonosov 1711-11-1919 Nov 1711
15 Apr 1765
Russian Empire Science
Design
Construction
Rotor 1754-07Designed and constructed a model of a coaxial propeller helicopter (Jul 1754)[106] to lift meteorological instruments.[107]
Lucky-WilliamWilliam S. Luckey† 1875-02-1515 Feb 1875
20 Dec 1915
United States Aviator Propeller 1913-10-13Began flying at age 52 (1912); Curtiss Exhibition Flyers (1913–15);[108] winner, Round-Manhattan Race (13 Oct 1913);[nb 28] (†) critically injured (6 Sep 1915) in Sturgeon Falls, ON, Canada.
Maxim-HiramHiram Stevens Maxim 1840-02-055 Feb 1840
24 Nov 1916
United States
(United Kingdom)
Science
Design
Construction
Rotor
Propeller
1894-07Patented a design for a steam-powered “flying machine” (1889, and refined in 1891);[110] successful track-tethered test of a steam-engine powered biplane (Jul 1894);[111] designed and constructed a biplane that never flew (1910)[112]
McCurdy-JohnJohn Alexander Douglas McCurdy 1886-08-022 Aug 1886
25 Jun 1961
Canada Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Glider
Propeller
1909-02-23Treasurer & Assistant Engineer, Aerial Experiment Association (1907–09);[11] first controlled powered flight in Canada "Silver Dart" (23 Feb 1909);[12] with "Casey" Baldwin (and financial support from Alexander Graham Bell) formed the Canadian Aerodrome Company, Canada’s first aircraft manufacturing company.[15]
Mittelholzer-WalterWalter Mittelholzer 1894-04-02 2 Apr 1894
9 May 1937
Switzerland Science
Aviator
Support(?)
Propeller 1927-02-21Director and head pilot of Ad Astra Aero, later becoming Swissair;[113] first north-south crossing of Africa (7 Dec 1926 – 21 Feb 1927);[citation needed] pioneer of aerial photography (Spitsbergen, 1923; Mt. Kilimanjaro, 1929);[citation needed] personally flew/delivered a Fokker to Emperor Haile Selassie I (1935).[citation needed]
Montgomery-JohnJohn Joseph Montgomery 1858-02-15 15 Feb 1858
31 Oct 1911
United States Science
Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider 1883Reported to have made the first glider flight in the United States (1883);[114] (†) Glider, Evergreen, California.
Moon-EdwinEdwin Moon 1886-06-088 Jun 1886
29 Apr 1920
England Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1910-05Designed, constructed, and flew a monoplane ("Moonbeam") (early to mid-1910);[115] the meadows of North Stoneham Farm which he used to take-off and land[116] would later become Southampton Airport; (†) Flying boat, Felixstowe, England.
Moore-Brabazon J. T. C. J. T. C. Moore-Brabazon 1884-2-88 Feb 1884
17 May 1964
England Aviator Propeller 1910-05Holder of Royal Aero Club certificate No. 1.[117]

First United Kingdom citizen to make a flight in Britain.[118]

Mozhayskiy-AlexanderAlexander Mozhayskiy 1825-03-2121 Mar 1825
1 Apr 1890
Finland Science
Design
Construction
Glider
Propeller
1884Designed and constructed a steam-engine powered airplane that reportedly flew (hopped) (20–30 meters) with the assistance of a ramp (1884).[119][120][121]
Pearse-RichardRichard Pearse 1877-12-033 Dec 1877
29 Jul 1953
New Zealand Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1903-03-31Reportedly achieved powered (but poorly controlled) flight (31 Mar 1903).[122][123][nb 29]
Phillips-HoratioHoratio Phillips DOB1845
1924
England Science
Design
Construction
Glider
Propeller
1884Aeronautic theory: advancement of wind-tunnel design (1880’s),[124] development of aerofoil design,[125] patented as “blades for deflecting air” (1884[126] and 1891);[127] designed multiplanes with multiple sets of lifting surfaces, patented (1890),[128] constructed (1893);[129] first powered “hop-flight” (500 ft) in Great Britain (1907).[80]
Pilcher-PercyPercy Pilcher 1866-01-1616 Jan 1866
1 Oct 1899
England Science
Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider 1895-09-12Designed and constructed hang-glider (The Bat), first to achieve unpowered controlled flight in Great Britain (12 Sep 1895);[130] (†) crash-related injuries suffered on 30 Sep 1899, glider (The Hawk), near Stanford Hall, England.[131]
Porte-JohnJohn Cyril Porte 1884-02-2626 Feb 1884
22 Oct 1919
Ireland
(Ireland)
(Great Britain)
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller 1914 Aero Club de France aviator certificate (28 Jul 1911); test pilot (1913–14);[55] began to design and construct (with Glen Curtiss) an aircraft capable of transatlantic flight (1914);[132] testing was successful, but the flight was cancelled due to the outbreak of World War I.[133] Royal Naval Air Service, Squadron Commander, RAF Hendon (1914); secret U.S. visit as an official envoy testing aircraft for the British Government (Sep 1915).[134] Commander, Royal Naval Airstation Felixstowe, conducted flying-boat research; designed and constructed the Porte Baby (1916).[55]
Rusjan-EdvardEdvard Rusjan 1886-06-066 Jun 1886
9 Jan 1911
Austria-Hungary
(Slovenia)
(Croatia)
Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1909-11-25Designed, constructed, and flew the first airplane in Slovenia (25 Nov 1909);[135] (†) , Belgrade, Serbia; first Serbian air exposition.
Samson-CharlesCharles Samson 1883-07-088 July 1883
5 Feb 1931
United Kingdom Aviator Propeller 1912-05-09One of the first four British naval officers to train as a pilot;[136] first to fly an airplane (a Short S.27 biplane) off a moving ship (HMS Hibernia (May 1912).[137]
Santos-Dumont-AlbertoAlberto Santos Dumont 1873-07-2020 Jul 1873
23 Jul 1932
Brazil
(France)
Science
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Support
Balloon
Airship
Propeller
1906-09-13Winner, Deutsch Prize (19 Oct 1901);[138] first powered winged aircraft flight in Europe (13 Sep 1906);[139] winner, Archdeacon Cup (23 Oct 1906) and Aéro-Club de France Prize (12 Nov 1906);[139] designed a light-weight monoplane Demoiselle and released the second variant (No. 20) from copyright or license (late 1909).[140]
Saric-IvanIvan Sarić 1876-06-2727 Jun 1876
23 Aug 1966
Austria-Hungary (Serbia) Design
Construction
Propeller
Rotor
1910-10-16First public flight in Serbia (then Austro-Hungary) (16 Oct 1910).[141][nb 30]
Selfridge-ThomasThomas Selfridge 1882-02-088 Feb 1882
17 Sep 1908
United States
(United States)
(Canada)
Design
Construction
Aviator
Airship
Propeller
1908-05-19Secretary, Aerial Experiment Association (1907–09);[11] U.S. Army Lieutenant who assisted the AEA in engineering, designing and piloting the Red Wing; first U.S. Military officer to pilot a powered aircraft White Wing (19 May 1908);[citation needed] first fatality of powered flight (17 Sep 1908).[nb 31]
Sikorsky-IgorIgor Sikorsky 1889-05-2525 May 1889
26 Oct 1972
Russian Empire
(Russia)
(United States)
Science
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller
Rotor
1913-05-13Designed and constructed the first four-engine aircraft, the Russky Vityaz cabin biplane, flew (13 May 1913);[144] and the Ilya Muromets, prototype for a commercial airplane (1914); first brief flight in a practical helicopter (14 Sep 1939).[145]
Smith-Charles-KingsfordSir Charles Kingsford Smith 1897-02-099 Feb 1897
8 Nov 1935
Australia
(Great Britain)
(United States)
(Australia)
Aviator Propeller 1928-06-09First transpacific flight from the United States to Australia in the Southern Cross (31 May – 9 Jun 1928);[146][nb 32] first non-stop Australian transcontinental flight (Aug 1928);[147] first trans-Tasman flight (10/11 Sep 1928);[147] († disappeared) Lady Southern Cross, over the Bay of Bengal.[148]
Sopwith-ThomasSir Thomas Sopwith 1888-01-1818 Jan 1888
27 Jan 1989
England Design(?)
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Propeller 1910-12-10Royal Aero Club license No. 31 (22 Nov 1910); won £4000 Baron de Forest prize for the longest flight from England to the Continent in a British-built aeroplane, (169 miles (272 km) in 3 hours 40 minutes) in a Howard Wright 1910 Biplane (18 Dec 1910); established the Sopwith Aviation Company with Fred Sigrist (1912); and a Sopwith floatplane won the secondSchneider Trophy race 1913). The company produced more than 18,000 aircraft during World War I, including the Sopwith Camel fighter. Post war founded Hawker Aircraft.[149]
SpelteriniEduard Spelterini 1852-06-022 Jun 1852
16 Jun 1931
Switzerland
(France)
(Switzerland)
(Denmark)
Science
Aviator
Balloon 1893Licensed by the Académie d'Aérostation météorologique de France as a balloon pilot (1877);[citation needed] Swiss pioneer of ballooning and aerial photography;[nb 33] multiple crossings of the Alps;[150] assisted in medical research (1902).[nb 34]
Taddeoli-EmileEmile Taddéoli 1879-03-088 Mar 1879
24 May 1920
Switzerland Design
Construction
Aviator
Propeller 1910Swiss flight certificate No.2 (10 Oct 1910);[152] pioneer of flying boats (e.g., SIAI S.13); chief seaplane pilot for Ad Astra Aero;[citation needed] first seaplane crossing of the Alps (12 Jul 1919);[153] (†) (Savoia flying boat) demonstration flight, Romanshorn, Switzerland.[152]
Talpade-ShivkarShivkar Bapuji Talpade 18641864
1916
India Design
Construction
? Reportedly launched an unmanned airplane (Marutsakhā) (1895)[citation needed]
Tanski-CzeslawCzesław Tański 1862-07-1717 Jul 1862
24 Feb 1942
Poland Science
Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider
Rotor
Propeller
1894First successful model glider in Poland (1894);[154] first glider flight in Poland (1896);[154] biplane flight (1911).[154]
Teleshov-NicholasNicholas A. Teleshov
[nb 35]
18281828
1895
Russia Science
Design
Construction
Propeller 1864Received patent (with Gustave de Struve) for a steam-engine powered “flying machine” capable of carrying 120 people (i.e., commercial passenger aircraft) (1864),[156] and for a navigable balloon (1883).[157]
Todd-Emma-LilianE. Lilian Todd 18651865
26 Sep 1937
United States Designer
Construction
Propeller 1906First female aircraft designer (c. 1906).[158]
Trippe-JuanJuan Trippe 1899-06-2727 Jun 1899
3 Apr 1981
United States Manufacture(?)
Support
n/a 1926Founded several airlines including Colonial Air Transport (1926) and the Aviation Corporation of the Americas (1927) which would become Pan American Airways; created economy class to encourage travel; proponent of jet aircraft ordering Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 aircraft; requested a larger airplane resulting in the Boeing 747; recipient, Tony Jannus Award (1965).
Védrines-JulesJules Védrines 1881-12-2121 Dec 1881
21 Apr 1919
France Aviator Propeller 1912-02-22

First pilot to fly at more than 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) on 2 Feb 1912, won Gordon Bennett Trophy race in 1912 flying a Deperdussin Monocoque. †St Rambert d'Albon near Lyon en route for Rome flying a Caudron C-23.[159]

Verville-AlfredAlfred V. Verville 1890-11-1616 Nov 1890
10 Mar 1970
United States Design
Manufacture
Support
Propeller 1920Designed the Verville-Packard R-1 Racer (1919), which won the first Pulitzer Speed Trophy (1920); the M-1 Massenger (1921); the Verville-Sperry R-3 Racer (1922), the second aircraft with retractable landing gear (after the Dayton-Wright Racer); member, U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (1946–61).
Vlaicu-AurelAurel Vlaicu 1882-11-1919 Nov 1882
13 Sep 1913
Romania Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider
Propeller
1909Designed, built, and flew a glider (1909); a powered airplane Vlaicu Nr. I (17 Jun 1910); (†) Vlaicu Nr. II, near Câmpina, attempting to cross the Carpathian Mountains in flight for the first time.[160]
Voisin-GabrielGabriel Voisin 1880-02-055 Feb 1880
25 Dec 1973
France Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Glider
Propeller
1907-10-01With brother Charles, built gliders for Ernest Archdeacon (1902);[161] designed and constructed the first French powered aircraft (Voisin 1907 biplane) to achieve sustained controlled flight (1 Oct 1907);[161][nb 36] founded Appareils d'Aviation Les Frères Voisin, the first aircraft manufacturing company (1906).[citation needed]
Vuia-TraianTraian Vuia 1872-08-1717 Aug 1872
3 Sep 1950
Romania
(France)
Design
Construction
Aviator(?)
Propeller
Rotor
1906-03-06Flight in tractor monoplane (France) (6 Mar 1906).[43][80]
Watson-PrestonPreston Watson 1880-05-1717 May 1880
30 Jun 1915
Scotland Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider
Propeller
1903On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ historic flight (1953) and thirty-eight years after Watson’s death, his brother James claimed that Preston had achieved powered flight before the Wrights.[162] He recanted in 1955 stating he had never claimed it was powered flight.[80]
WenhamFrancis Herbert Wenham 18241824
1908
United Kingdom Science
Constructor
Glider 1871The first scientist to deduce the main properties of cambered aerofoil.[163] Built gliders and with John Browning the world's first wind tunnel in 1871.[163]
Weston-JohnJohn Weston 1873-06-1717 Jun 1873
24 Jul 1950
South Africa Design
Construction
Flying
Support
n/a Regarded as "the grandfather of South African aviation”[164] and “South Africa’s First Aviator”;[165] 1907 to 1909, designed and constructed first aircraft built in South Africa;[164] Founder Aeronautical Society of South Africa(AeSSA)[1]; 1911 to 1912, gave numerous flying demonstrations throughout southern Africa to popularise flight[164]
Whitehead-GustaveGustave Whitehead (Weißkopf) 1874-01-011 Jan 1874
10 Oct 1927
Germany
(United States)
Design
Construction
Aviator
Glider
Propeller
1899Designed and constructed a powered airplane (mid 1901);[166] claims to have made the first (1899),[167] second (14 Aug 1901),[167] and third (17 Jan 1902)[167] controlled powered airplane flights. This claim has long since been in dispute.[1][168][169][170]
Wnek-JanJan Wnęk 18281828
10 Jul 1869
Poland Design
Construction
Glider 1866Allegedly designed, constructed, flew a controllable glider (1866);.[citation needed]
Wright-OrvilleWright brothers
Orville
and
Wilbur
1871-08-1919 Aug 1871
30 Jan 1948
and
16 Apr 1867
30 May 1912
United States Science
Design
Construction
Manufacture
Aviator
Support
Glider
Propeller
1903-12-17Together, designed and constructed biplane kite (1899); invented wing warping for flight control (c. 1899) and the aeronautical concept of three-axis control.[171] designed and constructed the 1900, 1901, and 1902 Gliders; and the powered 1903 Flyer; first powered, controlled, sustained flight (Orville) for 12 seconds covering 37 meters (17 Dec 1903) and documented; (Wilbur) first complete circle in a powered manned airplane (20 Sep 1904); (Wilbur) Wright Flyer III circular flight of 38.9 km (24 m) (23 Jun 1905).
Zbieranski-CzeslawCzesław Zbierański 1885-12-066 Dec 1885
31 May 1982
Poland
(Poland)
(United States)
Design
Construction
Aviator(?)
Propeller 1911-05With Stanislaw Cywiński designed and constructed Poland’s first airplane (May 1911), flown (25 Sep 1911).[172]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ader was regarded by many to be the French "father of aviation".[5]
  2. ^ Wilbur Wright flew around the Statue of Liberty (29 September 1909) .
  3. ^ Bell's initial kite-like designs were built by McCurdy and Baldwin and could only sustain flight by being towed into the air.[17]
  4. ^ Taught Fiorello La Guardia how to fly in exchange for driving lessons.[19]
  5. ^ Crossing the Pyrenees from Pau to Madrid.[22]
  6. ^ airmail flight from Basel to Liestal.
  7. ^ Crossing the Alps from Bern to Sion.[23]
  8. ^ Geoffrey’s publication in 1138, almost 2,000 years after the alleged flight, is the first historical mention of Bladud.[27]
  9. ^ This claim is disputed since the test pilot was a seasoned cyclist and it has been claimed that only someone with extreme conditioning and/or endurance could fly the Pedaliante.[32]
  10. ^ From Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina, reaching an altitude of 8,100 m (26,575 ft).[34]
  11. ^ From Buenos Aires to Rio Grande do Sul.
  12. ^ See reference for disqualification details.[35]
  13. ^ From Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 79 days (with only 62 hours of flying time) using three different planes (two were lost at sea), and relying solely on astronomical navigation.[37]
  14. ^ Wilbur Wright, in 1909, commented on Cayley: “About 100 years ago an Englishman, Sir George Cayley, carried the science of flying to a point which it had never reached before and which it scarcely reached again during the last century”.[38]
  15. ^ Gliding from the Galata Tower, across the Bosphorus, landing at Doğancılar Square.[41]
  16. ^ Quote from Coanda: “A poet is a man who sees abstract worlds and tries to bring them in the concrete world. In this regard I believe that any inventor, engineer or scientist, regardless of the aria of his concerns, is also a poet.”[47]
  17. ^ From Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 79 days (with only 62 hours of flying time) using three different planes (two were lost at sea), and relying solely on astronomical navigation.[53]
  18. ^ In January of 1912, Dunne demonstrated improved flight stability by taking a full page of notes on paper during a 6 minute solo flight with two turns.[68]
  19. ^ Between 1930 and 1935, Earhart set seven women’s aviation records for distance and speed including the first solo flight from Honolulu to California (11 January 1935).[69][71]
  20. ^ Modifications for take-off required outfitting the ship with “an 83-foot-long ramp, sloping 5 degrees over the bow. The ramp’s forward edge was 37 feet above the water”.[72]
  21. ^ “The landing platform, constructed of pine planks, was 130 feet long by 32 feet wide. Ten feet of it hung at an angle -- with a drop of four feet -- over the stern of the ship. The arresting gear comprised 21 ropes -- each with 50-pound sandbags attached to either end -- laid across the runway. Each rope was suspended 8 inches above the deck. Three hooks had been affixed to the underside of the aircraft to catch on the ropes when the landing was made”.[74]
  22. ^ Born in France to a British family, Farman took French nationality in 1937.[78]
  23. ^ “Awarded to the inventor of a flying machine who shall first accomplish a flight of one kilometer in a closed circuit without touching the ground…”.[79]
  24. ^ The design was an adaptation of the device recovered by the Germans from the downed airplane of Roland Garros.[83]
  25. ^ The death of Knute Rockne in the 1931 crash of TWA Flight 599 (using a Fokker F.10) was highly publicized and shook the public’s confidence in Fokker aircraft.[85]
  26. ^ Designed and manufactured aircraft (e.g., H-1 Racer (1935), Hughes H-4 Hercules or Spruce Goose), the AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missile.
  27. ^ “German historians do not claim that he made proper flights, but only that he was the first in Germany to leave the ground in a powered aeroplane under its own power”.[80]
  28. ^ A 60-mile circuit around Manhattan Island which he completed in just under 53 minutes.[109]
  29. ^ Despite over 50 years of research on his achievements, no substantiated proof exists regarding the dates of his work.
  30. ^ It has been suggested that Sarić’s first unobserved flight may have been in late June 1910.[142]
  31. ^ While flying as a passenger with Orville Wright, Selfridge was the first to die in an aircraft accident.[143]
  32. ^ With intermediate stops at Hawaii and Fiji) covering roughly 11,566 km (7,187 mi).
  33. ^ Spelterini began aerial photography in approximately 1893 and began taking a camera on his flights. Some highlights include Egypt (1904) and South Africa (1911).[citation needed]
  34. ^ Took a Swiss professor to high altitude to conduct blood-related experiments (1902).[151]
  35. ^ AKA – Teleshova, Teleshev, Nicolas de Telescheff.[155]
  36. ^ The Voisin 1907 biplane was flown by Henry Farman to win the Deutsch-Archdeacon Prize (13 January 1908).[161]

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Books[edit]

  • Brewer, Griffith; Alexander, Patrick Y. (1893). Aeronautics: An Abridgment of Aeronautical Specifications filed at the Patent Office (1815 – 1891). Red Lion Court, Fleet Street: Taylor and Francis. 
  • Casey, Louis S. (1981). Curtiss, The Hammondsport Era, 1907-1915. New York: Crown Publishers. pp. 12–15. ISBN 978-0-517543-26-9. 
  • Crouch, Tom D. (1990). The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-30695-X. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  • Crouch, Tom D. (2003). Wings – A History of Aviation from Kites to the Space Age. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-393-05767-4. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  • Gibbs-Smith, Charles H. (1960). The Aeroplane – An Historical Survey of its Origins and Development. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. 
  • Gibbs-Smith, Charles H. (2003). Aviation – An Historical Survey of its Origins to the end of the Second World War. London: NMSI Trading LTD. ISBN 1-900747-52-9. 
  • Grant, R.G. (2007). Flight: The complete history. New York: DK Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7566-1902-2. 
  • Grosser, Morton (2004). Gossamer Odyssey: The Triumph of Human-Powered Flight. St.Paul, MN: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7603-2051-9. 
  • Headland, Robert K. (1989). Chronological List of Antarctic Expeditions and Related Historical Events. Great Britain: Cambridge Univesity Press. ISBN 0-521-30903-4. 
  • Kelly, Maurice (2006). Steam in the Air: The Application of Steam Power in Aviation During the 19th Century. England: Pen & Sword Aviation. ISBN 1-84415-295-2. 
  • Longyard, William H. (1994). Who’s Who in Aviation: 500 Biographies History. California: Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-556-4. 
  • Major, R.; Storer, J.D.; Thompson, C.L. (1990). Guide to the Aircraft Collection: Museum of Flight, East Fortune Airfield. East Lothian, Scotland: National Museums of Scotland. ISBN 978-0-94863-648-6. 
  • Mann, John Edgar (2002). Book of Stonehams. Tiverton, UK: Halsgrove. ISBN 1-84114-213-1. 
  • Mason, Francis K.; Windrow, Martin C. (1970). Air Fact and Feats. London: Guiness Superlatives Limited. ISBN 0 900424 53 2. 
  • Milberry, Larry (1979). Aviation in Canada. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. ISBN 0-07-082778-8. 
  • Milberry, Larry (2008). Aviation in Canada: The Pioneer Decades, Vol. 1. Toronto: CANAV Books. ISBN 978-0-921022-19-0. 
  • Milizia, Francesco (1826). The Lives of Celebrated Architects, Ancient and Modern (Vol. II). London: J. Taylor, Architectural Library. 
  • Molson, Ken M.; Taylor, Harold A. (1982). Canadian Aircraft Since 1909. Stittsville, Ontario: Canada's Wings, Inc. ISBN 0-920002-11-0. 
  • Taylor, H.A. (1974). Fairey Aircraft Since 1915. Annapolis: Putnam Aeronautical Books. ISBN 0-87021-208-7. 
  • Turner, Charles Cyril (1912). The Romance of Aeronautics. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co. 
  • Wragg, David W. (1974). Flight Before Flying. London: Osprey. ISBN 0-85045-165-5. 
  • Zahm, Albert F. (1911). Aerial Navigation. New York: D. Appleton and Company.