Famous 19th Century Aviators

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Orville Wright

Orville Wright.
Famous As: Co-inventor of First Successful Airplane
Birthdate: August 19, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: January 30, 1948

Orville Wright was an aviation pioneer who alongside his brother, Wilbur, built and flew the world's first successful motor-operated airplane, the Wright Flyer, a heavier-than-air aircraft. The three-axis control system developed by the brothers remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. Orville also served on the board of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

 2 Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman.
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: January 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Texas
Died: April 30, 1926
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 3 Eddie Rickenbacker

Eddie Rickenbacker.
Famous As: Aviator, Racecar Driver, Military Personnel
Birthdate: October 8, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, US
Died: July 23, 1973

 4 Alberto Santos Dumont

Alberto Santos Dumont.
Famous As: Brazilian aviator
Birthdate: July 20, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santos Dumont
Died: July 23, 1932
Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont was born to an affluent coffee plantation owner and studied engineering in France. He was the man behind the first public flight in a winged aircraft in Europe. Later, the use of planes in warfare made him so depressed that he committed suicide.

 5 Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini.
Famous As: Illusionist
Birthdate: March 24, 1874
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: October 31, 1926

Legendary magician Harry Houdini initially worked as a trapeze artist named “Ehrich, the Prince of the Air” and was later known for his iconic stunt of escaping from handcuffs, at times even under water and while buried alive. He died after a blow to the gut damaged his appendix.

 6 Robert Ritter von Greim

Robert Ritter von Greim
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: June 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bayreuth
Died: May 24, 1945

 7 Joseph-Michel Montgolfier

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: August 26, 1740
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Annonay, Ardèche, France
Died: June 26, 1810
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 8 Kurt Student

Kurt Student
Famous As: Aviator, Officer
Birthdate: May 12, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Birkholz
Died: July 1, 1978

A pioneer in developing airborne operations, Kurt Student was a German general and commander of the Luftwaffe's paratroop branch. Assigned to military research and development in interwar years, he became interested in gliders and paratroopers, eventually helping to develop Germany's airborne forces. He masterminded airborne attacks in places like Netherlands and Crete, forcing the Allies to develop their own airborne troops.

 9 Otto Lilienthal

Otto Lilienthal
Famous As: Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Aviator, Inventor
Birthdate: May 23, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anklam
Died: August 10, 1896

 10 Hugo Sperrle

Hugo Sperrle
Famous As: Military personnel, Aviator
Birthdate: February 7, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg
Died: April 2, 1953

 11 Geoffrey de Havilland

Geoffrey de Havilland
Famous As: Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Test pilot, Aviator, Entrepreneur
Birthdate: July 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: High Wycombe
Died: May 21, 1965

Aviation pioneer and aircraft designer Geoffrey de Havilland is best remembered for his double-engine warplane Mosquito and the jet airliner Comet. He was part of the Royal Flying Corps and had been knighted for his achievements. He was also the founder of the De Havilland Aircraft Company.

 12 Lothar von Richthofen

Lothar von Richthofen
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: September 27, 1894
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: July 4, 1922

 13 Charles Kingsford Smith

Charles Kingsford Smith.
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: February 9, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamilton
Died: November 8, 1935

Charles Kingsford Smith, also known as Smithy, was an Australian pilot who had been part of many first-time endeavors, the most notable being the first transpacific flight from the U.S. to Australia. While passing over Calcutta, on a flight from London to Australia in 1935, he and his co-pilot disappeared.

 14 Louis Blériot

Louis Blériot
Famous As: Aviator, Engineer, Inventor, Aerospace engineer
Birthdate: July 1, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambrai
Died: August 2, 1936

Louis Blériot was a French aviator, engineer, and inventor. He is credited with developing the first workable headlamp for cars. He is also credited with making the first working, piloted monoplane. Blériot achieved worldwide fame in 1909 when he became the first person to fly across the English Channel. Louis Blériot also founded the successful aircraft manufacturing company, Blériot Aéronautique.

 15 Oswald Boelcke

Oswald Boelcke
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: May 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Q1523208
Died: October 28, 1916

 16 Keith Park

Keith Park
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: June 15, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Thames
Died: February 6, 1975

 17 Hans Baur

Hans Baur
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: June 19, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ampfing
Died: February 17, 1993

 18 Albert Ball

Albert Ball
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: August 14, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nottingham
Died: May 7, 1917

 19 Max Immelmann

Max Immelmann
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: September 21, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden
Died: June 18, 1916

 20 Werner Voss

Werner Voss
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: April 13, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Krefeld
Died: September 23, 1917

 21 Lanoe Hawker

Lanoe Hawker
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: December 30, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hampshire
Died: November 23, 1916

 22 Charles Nungesser

Charles Nungesser
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: March 15, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris
Died: May 8, 1927

 23 James Smith McDonnell

James Smith McDonnell
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: April 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: August 22, 1980

 24 Wilbur Wright

Wilbur Wright.
Birthdate: April 16, 1867
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Millville, Indiana
Died: May 30, 1912

 25 Robert Esnault-Pelterie

Robert Esnault-Pelterie
Famous As: Aviation pioneer
Birthdate: November 8, 1881
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 6, 1957
French aircraft designer Robert Esnault-Pelterie was the first to build ailerons for maintaining lateral control. He also coined the term astronautics. He pioneered several designs of monoplanes and was named to the International Space Hall of Fame. There is a crater on the Moon that bears his name.

 26 Percy Pilcher

Percy Pilcher
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: January 16, 1866
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: England
Died: October 2, 1899

 27 Alexander Mozhaysky

Alexander Mozhaysky
Famous As: Naval officer
Birthdate: March 21, 1825
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kotka, Finland
Died: March 1, 1890