Famous 19th Century Aviators

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 1 
Orville Wright
(Co-inventor of First Successful Airplane)
Orville Wright
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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
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Birthdate: January 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Texas, United States
Died: April 30, 1926
 3 
Igor Sikorsky
(Aviator)
Igor Sikorsky
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Birthdate: May 25, 1889
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: October 26, 1972

Igor Sikorsky was a Russian-American aviator known for his pioneering contributions to the development of both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Born in Russia, he immigrated to US as a young man and founded the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in 1923. He is also credited for developing the first of Pan American Airways' ocean-crossing flying boats. 

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 4 
Alberto Santos Dumont
(Brazilian aviator)
Alberto Santos Dumont
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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 
Eugene Bullard
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Birthdate: October 9, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, United States
Died: October 12, 1961
Joseph-Michel Montgolfier
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Birthdate: August 26, 1740
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Annonay, France
Died: June 26, 1810

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier was a French aviation pioneer and balloonist. Along with his brother Jacques-Étienne, he invented the Montgolfière-style hot air balloon and launched the first confirmed piloted ascent by man in 1783. The first ascent carried Jacques-Étienne. The innovative brothers also invented a process to manufacture transparent paper. Joseph invented the self-acting hydraulic ram as well. 

 7 
Wiley Post
(Aviator)
Wiley Post
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Birthdate: November 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Grand Saline, Texas, United States
Died: August 15, 1935
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 8 
Otto Lilienthal
(German Aeronautical Engineer Who Completed Successful Glider Flights for the First Time)
Otto Lilienthal
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Birthdate: May 23, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anklam, Germany
Died: August 10, 1896
 9 
Robert Ritter von Greim
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Robert Ritter von Greim
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Birthdate: June 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bayreuth
Died: May 24, 1945
 10 
Kurt Student
(Aviator, Officer)
Kurt Student
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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.

 11 
Geoffrey de Havilland
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Test pilot, Aviator, Entrepreneur)
Geoffrey de Havilland
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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
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Lothar von Richthofen
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Birthdate: September 27, 1894
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: July 4, 1922

Lothar von Richthofen was a German flying ace who served during the First World War. He was the younger brother of another aviator Manfred von Richthofen, whose life inspired the 2008 German-British biopic The Red Baron where Lothar von Richthofen was played by German actor Volker Bruch. Richthofen died in a flying accident when he was just 27 years old.

Charles Kingsford Smith
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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 
George Cayley
(British Engineer, Inventor and Aviator Known for Designing First Successful Human Glider)
George Cayley
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Birthdate: December 27, 1773
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Scarborough, Yorkshire, England
Died: December 15, 1857

British engineer and inventor George Cayley was a pioneer of aeronautics and aviation. He designed the world’s first glider that could successfully carry a human being. He was also a prominent Whig and had contributed to the formation of what is now known as the University of Westminster.

 15 
Louis Blériot
(Aviator, Engineer, Inventor, Aerospace engineer)
Louis Blériot
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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.

 16 
Hugo Sperrle
(Military personnel, Aviator)
Hugo Sperrle
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Birthdate: February 7, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg
Died: April 2, 1953
 17 
Oswald Boelcke
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Oswald Boelcke
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Birthdate: May 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Q1523208
Died: October 28, 1916
 18 
Harriet Quimby
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Birthdate: May 11, 1875
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Arcadia, Michigan, U.S.
Died: July 1, 1912
 19 
Keith Park
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Keith Park
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Birthdate: June 15, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Thames
Died: February 6, 1975
 20 
Max Immelmann
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Max Immelmann
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Birthdate: September 21, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden
Died: June 18, 1916
 21 
Albert Ball
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Albert Ball
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Birthdate: August 14, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nottingham
Died: May 7, 1917
 22 
Werner Voss
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Werner Voss
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Birthdate: April 13, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Krefeld
Died: September 23, 1917
 23 
Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
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Birthdate: 1856 AD
Birthplace: Navsari, India
Died: 1926 AD
 24 
Milan Rastislav Štefánik
(One of the Founding Fathers of Czechoslovakia)
Milan Rastislav Štefánik
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Birthdate: July 21, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Košariská, Slovakia
Died: May 4, 1919

Milan Rastislav Štefánik was a Slovak politician, diplomat, aviator, and Freemason. He served as the minister of war for Czechoslovakia during World War I while simultaneously serving as a general in the French Army. He was a  leading member of the Czechoslovak National Council and contributed to the cause of Czechoslovakian sovereignty. He died in a plane crash in 1919.  

 25 
Lanoe Hawker
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Lanoe Hawker
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Birthdate: December 30, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hampshire
Died: November 23, 1916
 26 
Glenn L. Martin
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Birthdate: January 17, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Macksburg, Iowa, United States
Died: December 5, 1955
 27 
Charles Nungesser
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Charles Nungesser
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Birthdate: March 15, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris
Died: May 8, 1927
 28 
Thomas Sopwith
(Aircraft designer)
Thomas Sopwith
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Birthdate: January 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kensington, England
Died: January 27, 1989
 29 
James Smith McDonnell
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Birthdate: April 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: August 22, 1980
 30 
Clyde Cessna
(Aviator)
Clyde Cessna
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Birthdate: December 5, 1879
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Iowa, United States
Died: November 20, 1954
 31 
Floyd Bennett
(Aviator)
Floyd Bennett
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Birthdate: October 25, 1890
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warrensburg, New York, United States
Died: April 25, 1928
 32 
Marie Marvingt
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Birthdate: February 20, 1875
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aurillac, in Cantal, France
Died: December 14, 1963
 33 
Robert Esnault-Pelterie
(Aviation pioneer)
Robert Esnault-Pelterie
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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.
Wilbur Wright
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Birthdate: April 16, 1867
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Millville, Indiana
Died: May 30, 1912
 35 
F. W. Winterbotham
(Air Force Officer)
F. W. Winterbotham
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Birthdate: April 16, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stroud, England
Died: January 28, 1990
Nathan Farragut Twining
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Birthdate: October 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Monroe, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 29, 1982
 37 
Gabriel Voisin
(Engineer)
Gabriel Voisin
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Birthdate: February 5, 1880
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Belleville-sur-Saone, France
Died: December 25, 1973
French aviation pioneer Gabriel Voisin was the creator of Europe's first manned, engine-powered, heavier-than-air aircraft. His company became a major producer of military aircraft, notably the Voisin III during World War I. Subsequently, he switched to the design and production of luxury automobiles under the name Avions Voisin. The French aviation pioneer and aircraft manufacturer was inspired by Clément Ader.
 38 
Paul Cornu
(Engineers)
Paul Cornu
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Birthdate: June 15, 1881
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Glos-la-Ferrière, La Ferté-en-Ouche, France
Died: June 6, 1944
French engineer Paul Cornu designed and built the first helicopter to perform a manned free flight. His twin-rotor craft, powered by a 24-horsepower engine, flew briefly at Coquainvilliers in 1907.  Cornu's performance was a considerable progress as his aircraft flew without additional support. Even though his name was written in aviation history, Cornu’s design proved impractical and soon was abandoned.
 39 
Alan Cobham
(Aviator)
Alan Cobham
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Birthdate: May 6, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 21, 1973
 40 
Claude Grahame-White
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Birthdate: August 21, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bursledon, England
Died: August 19, 1959
 41 
Arthur Whitten Brown
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Birthdate: July 23, 1886
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: October 4, 1948
 42 
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker
(Aeronautical engineer)
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker
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Birthdate: August 26, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Creston, Iowa, United States
Died: September 10, 1984
 43 
Carl Ben Eielson
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Birthdate: July 20, 1897
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hatton, North Dakota, United States
Died: November 9, 1929
 44 
Percy Pilcher
(Inventor)
Percy Pilcher
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Birthdate: January 16, 1866
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: England
Died: October 2, 1899
 45 
Henri Farman
(Aviator)
Henri Farman
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Birthdate: May 26, 1874
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 17, 1958

Henri Farman was an Anglo-French aviator and aircraft designer. Along with his brothers Maurice Farman and Richard, he also manufactured aircraft. As a young man, he was very passionate about cycle racing and motor racing. He eventually ventured into aviation and used his aircraft to set many official records. He later opened a flying school. 

 46 
Ross Macpherson Smith
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Birthdate: December 4, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Semaphore, South Australia
Died: April 13, 1922
 47 
Alexander Mozhaysky
(Naval officer)
Alexander Mozhaysky
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Birthdate: March 21, 1825
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kotka, Finland
Died: March 1, 1890
Frances Wilson Grayson
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Birthdate: 1892 AD
Birthplace: Cherokee Village, Arkansas, United States
Died: December 23, 1927
 49 
Maurice Farman
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Birthdate: March 21, 1877
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 25, 1964
 50 
Grover Cleveland Bergdoll
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Birthdate: October 18, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 27, 1966