A multi-talented personality, Howard Hughes was one of the richest person of his time. A business tycoon, he made big investments in films and aviation industry. Passionate about flying, he set numerous flying records, and also risked his own life in process. Howard Hughes who inherited his family business and became millionaire at the age of 18, was later on troubled with mental illness and turned recluse.
Amelia Earhart became the first female pilot to complete a solo trans-Atlantic flight, in 1932. A champion for equal rights, Amelia later wrote best-selling memoirs and contributed to the women pilot’s group The Ninety-Nines. In 1937, Amelia disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean and was later declared dead.
Francis Gary Powers was an American pilot. His Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) U-2 spy plane was shot down in what came to be known as the 1960 U-2 incident. He was performing photographic aerial reconnaissance deep inside Soviet territory when the incident occurred. He survived and later worked as a helicopter pilot for KNBC in Los Angeles.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was a US Navy lieutenant. The eldest of the famous Kennedy siblings, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was groomed by his father from a very young age to become the president of the United States. After his death during World War II at age 29, John F. Kennedy took it upon himself to materialize his father's dreams.
William Conrad was an American actor and filmmaker whose entertainment career in radio, television, and film spanned five decades. He achieved popularity after starring as Frank Cannon in the popular detective television series, Cannon. In 1997, William Conrad was posthumously inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Apart from being the first solo balloonist to circumnavigate the world, Steve Fossett also competed the first non-stop solo flight across the world. The adventurer also owned a securities company. His plane went missing on a 2007 mission in western Nevada, and he was declared dead on the discovery of the wreckage.
Edward O'Hare was an American naval aviator who became the United States Navy's first fighter ace of World War II in 1942, when he single-handedly took on an intimidating formation of nine heavy bombers. Edward O'Hare shot down five enemy bombers, making him the first naval aviator to receive the prestigious Medal of Honor in the Second World War.
A pioneer in women’s aviation, US pilot Jacqueline Cochran was the first female pilot to break the sound barrier. She was also the first woman to lead the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale as its president and the first female Bendix race competitor. She held several other records and also led the organization WASP.
Eugene Bullard was an American military pilot who played an important role during World War I. He was among the few black combat pilots at that time and one of the first African-Americans to become a military pilot in the US, although he flew for France during his career. Eugene Bullard was the recipient of several prestigious honors.
American aviation pioneer Geraldyn M. Cobb was part of the pathbreaking Mercury 13 program and scripted history as the first female candidate to pass astronaut testing. She had a pilot’s license by 18 and later found new air routes to the Andes and the Amazon rain forests and immersed herself in humanitarian work.
Pioneering US aviator and female movie stunt pilot Pancho Barnes helped develop the first film stunt pilots’ union. The granddaughter of aeronaut and inventor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, she launched the guest ranch Happy Bottom Riding Club. Her nickname Pancho helped her disguise herself as a man in Mexico in her initial days.