Aviation

The aviation industry deals with the design, development, production and operation of aircraft. The industry involved in the various aspects of building, testing and selling of aircraft, aircraft components, missiles, spacecraft, and rockets in known as aerospace manufacturing. Until some decades ago, the aviation industry in many parts of the world was heavily regulated by the governments. More recently many private players have entered this field by operating airlines and general aviation flights. Airlines are the companies that lease or own the aircrafts that provide air transport services for passengers and freight. General aviation includes air charter, flight training, private aviation, parachuting, aerial photography, gliding, crop dusting, etc. which opens up vast avenues for potential entrepreneurs to explore. This also provides a great opportunity for producers of smaller aircraft. General aviation covers the majority of the world’s air traffic and is therefore a very popular business option among the wealthy and ambitious entrepreneurs. The aviation industry has been growing at a phenomenal rate since the governments of many countries liberalized aviation norms and regulations. Globalization also played a significant role in the growth of this industry. Read on to learn about the life and works of various famous business people in the aviation industry from all over the world.

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 
Richard Branson
(Founder of the 'Virgin Group')

Richard Branson
4
Birthdate: July 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Blackheath, London, Engand

Richard Branson is an English business magnate. The founder of Virgin Group Ltd., which controls over 400 companies, Branson was named on Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in The World. Branson has also had a major impact as a philanthropist; he set up a charitable organization called Branson School of Entrepreneurship to provide entrepreneurial training to youngsters.

 2 
Howard Hughes
(Entrepreneur, Investor)

Howard Hughes
6
Birthdate: December 24, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Humble, Texas, United States
Died: April 5, 1976

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.

 3 
Vijay Mallya
(Entrepreneur, Politician)

Vijay Mallya
6
Birthdate: December 18, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Indian business magnate and ex-politician Vijay Mallya, known for his flamboyant lifestyle, has donned many hats, from running the largest alcohol company in India; to owning a cricket team and an F-1 team; to launching an airline. Following a financial fraud scandal, he is now facing extradition from the U.K.

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 4 
Juan T. Trippe
(Entrepreneur)

Juan T. Trippe
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seabright, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 3, 1981
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 5 

Ferdinand von Zeppelin
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1838
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Died: March 8, 1917

 6 
William Boeing
(Founder of Boeing Company, Aviator)

William Boeing
3
Birthdate: October 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: September 28, 1956
Aviation mogul and Boeing founder William Boeing was initially a timber man. While learning to fly from Glenn L. Martin, he bought a plane from him, damaged it, and managed to repair it. Inspired by this, he built his first plane. He was also a horse-breeder and an avid reader.

 7 

Anthony Fokker
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1890
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Blitar, Indonesia
Died: December 23, 1939

Though a high-school drop-out, Dutch aviation designer and entrepreneur Anthony Fokker showed his interest in mechanics quite early. He designed over 40 types of fighter aircrafts for the Germans during World War I. The aircraft that completed the first nonstop flight across the U.S. was also made by him.

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 8 
Neel Kashkari
(Investment banker, Politician)

Neel Kashkari
0
Birthdate: July 30, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States
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 9 
Tony Ryan
(Businessman)

Tony Ryan
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland
Died: October 3, 2007

The founder of Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair, Tony Ryan had to give up his studies at 18, following his father’s death, and take up jobs. He first tasted success in the aircraft leasing arena, with Guinness Peat Aviation. He also made significant charitable contributions to various Irish educational institutes.

 10 
Freddie Laker
(Entrepreneur)

Freddie Laker
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Canterbury, Kent, England
Died: February 9, 2006

 11 
Frank Lorenzo
(Known for His Management of 'Continental Airlines' and 'Texas International Airlines', Between 1972 and 1990)

Frank Lorenzo
2
Birthdate: May 19, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: United States

 12 
Octave Chanute
(Civil engineer)

Octave Chanute
2
Birthdate: February 18, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 23, 1910

Octave Chanute was a French-American aviation pioneer and civil engineer. He is credited with helping budding enthusiasts like the Wright brothers by providing them with help and advice. He also helped publicize their flying experiments. At the time of his death, Octave Chanute was referred to as the father of aviation.

 13 
Clyde Cessna
(Aviator)

Clyde Cessna
2
Birthdate: December 5, 1879
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Iowa, United States
Died: November 20, 1954

 14 
Walchand Hirachand
(Businessperson)

Walchand Hirachand
0
Birthdate: November 23, 1882
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Solapur, Maharashtra, India
Died: April 8, 1953
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John King, Baron King of Wartnaby
2
Birthdate: August 29, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brentford, Middlesex, England
Died: July 12, 2005

 16 
Anton Flettner
(Engineer)

Anton Flettner
2
Birthdate: November 1, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hattersheim am Main, Germany
Died: December 29, 1961
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 17 
Lawrence Dale Bell
(Industrialist)

Lawrence Dale Bell
2
Birthdate: April 5, 1894
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mentone, Indiana, United States
Died: October 20, 1956

 18 
Gabriel Voisin
(Engineer)

Gabriel Voisin
1
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.
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 19 

Claude Grahame-White
2
Birthdate: August 21, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bursledon, England
Died: August 19, 1959

 20 
Allen Paulson
(Businessman)

Allen Paulson
1
Birthdate: April 22, 1922
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clinton, Iowa, United States
Died: July 19, 2000

 21 
Olive Ann Beech
(Businesswoman)

Olive Ann Beech
1
Birthdate: September 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Waverly, Kansas, United States
Died: July 6, 1993

 22 

Alphonse Pénaud
1
Birthdate: May 31, 1850
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 22, 1880
Alphonse Pénaud, the 19th-century French pioneer of aviation design and engineering, was the originator of the use of twisted rubber to power model aircraft. He created a model airplane called the Planophore which had the first aerodynamically stable flying model in 1871. Pénaud died by suicide amid public ridicule of his ideas and failure to find financial support for research.

 23 
Ben Abruzzo
(Balloonist)

Ben Abruzzo
1
Birthdate: June 9, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rockford, Illinois, United States
Died: February 11, 1985

 24 
William T. Piper
(Businessman)

William T. Piper
0
Birthdate: January 8, 1881
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: January 15, 1970

 25 
Louis Charles Breguet
(Aircraft designer)

Louis Charles Breguet
1
Birthdate: January 2, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 4, 1955

 26 

Maurice Farman
0
Birthdate: March 21, 1877
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 25, 1964

 27 

Pierre-Georges Latécoère
0
Birthdate: August 25, 1883
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France
Died: August 10, 1943