Aviators

Aviators are the pilots of an airplane or other aircraft. A career in aviation is today considered to be a highly glamorous one, but just decades ago it was a dangerous field to venture into. Several aviation pioneers had lost their lives in their attempts to contribute to aircraft design, navigation and advancement of flight. The Wright brothers, no doubt, are among the first ones we think of while talking of aviators. Together they invented the aeronautical concept of three-axis control and made the first powered, controlled, and sustained flight possible. Gustave Albin Whitehead, another aviation pioneer gained much fame for designing and building gliders, flying machines and engines. He also claimed to have flown a powered flying machine prior to the Wright brothers though this claim is disputed. In the first half of the 20th century when aviation was predominantly a male-centric field, Amelia Mary Earhart became the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Jacqueline Cochran was another noted female aviator who made an important contribution to the formation of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). This section provides you information about the life and works of famous aviators from all over the globe.
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 1 
Amelia Earhart
(The First Female Aviator to Fly Solo Across the Atlantic Ocean)

Amelia Earhart
10
Birthdate: July 24, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Atchison, Kansas, United States
Died: January 5, 1939

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.

 2 
Orville Wright
(Co-inventor of First Successful Airplane)

Orville Wright
6
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).

 3 
Charles Lindbergh
(Remembered for Making the First Nonstop Solo Flight Across the Atlantic)

Charles Lindbergh
6
Birthdate: February 4, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: August 26, 1974
Charles Lindbergh shot to fame after completing the first solo, and the longest, trans-Atlantic flight, in 1927. In his later years, his son’s highly publicized kidnapping and murder broke him completely. He also participated in World War II and worked on inventions that made flight navigation and heart surgeries easier.
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 4 
Alan Shepard
(Astronaut, Aviator, Entrepreneur)

Alan Shepard
8
Birthdate: November 18, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Derry
Died: July 21, 1998

Alan Shepard was an astronaut and the first American to travel into space. In 1971, Shepard became the fifth and oldest astronaut to walk on the Moon; he was 47 years and 80 days old at that time. From 1963 to 1969, he played an important role as the Chief of the Astronaut Office. His work inspired several TV series.

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 5 
Chuck Yeager
(Test Pilot)

Chuck Yeager
8
Birthdate: February 13, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Myra, West Virginia, United States
Died: December 7, 2020
U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager was the first human to break the sound barrier, when he flew the Bell X-1 in 1947. He was a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot in World War II and also fought in the Vietnam War. He inspired the novel and movie The Right Stuff.

 6 
Scott Kelly
(Engineer)

Scott Kelly
8
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States
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 7 

Bessie Coleman
6
Birthdate: January 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Texas, United States
Died: April 30, 1926
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 8 

Treat Williams
8
Birthdate: December 1, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rowayton, Connecticut, United States
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 9 
Gordon Cooper
(Officer, Astronaut, Test pilot, Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Aviator)

Gordon Cooper
4
Birthdate: March 6, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shawnee
Died: October 4, 2004

Part of the seven Project Mercury astronauts, Gordon Cooper manned a 34-hour space mission, becoming the first American to stay for a day in space. As part of the Gemini 5 mission, he and his co-pilot proved it was possible for astronauts to survive a mission to the Moon and back.

 10 

Russell Johnson
4
Birthdate: November 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ashley, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: January 16, 2014
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 11 
Ronnie Corbett
(Comedian, Author, Writer, Film actor, Stage actor, Cabaret artist, Aviator)

Ronnie Corbett
4
Birthdate: December 4, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: March 31, 2016

 12 
Susan Oliver
(Actress)

Susan Oliver
6
Birthdate: February 13, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: May 10, 1990
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 13 
Fred Haise
(Former Astronaut who is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon, having flown as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 13)

Fred Haise
4
Birthdate: November 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Biloxi, Mississippi, United States

 14 
John Young
(He became the ninth person to walk on the Moon as commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972)

John Young
4
Birthdate: September 24, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: January 5, 2018

 15 
Pete Conrad
(American NASA astronaut was the third person to walk on the Moon)

Pete Conrad
4
Birthdate: June 2, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 8, 1999

 16 
Erich Hartmann
(Aviator, Officer)

Erich Hartmann
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weissach
Died: September 20, 1993

Remembered as the most successful fighter pilot in the history of aerial warfare, Erich Hartmann completed 1,400 missions in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 and shot down 352 Allied planes. Known for his dogfighting strategy, he inspired the popular biography The Blond Knight of Germany and became a flight instructor post-retirement.

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 17 
Neil Armstrong
(The First Person to Walk on the Moon)

Neil Armstrong
8
Birthdate: August 5, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wapakoneta, Ohio, United States
Died: August 25, 2012

The first person to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was an astronaut and aeronautical engineer. Prior to his trip to the Moon, he became NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space. After resigning from NASA, he taught in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He was a Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee.

 18 
Scott Carpenter
(Test pilot, Aquanaut, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Aviator, Writer)

Scott Carpenter
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Boulder
Died: October 10, 2013
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 19 

Dieter Dengler
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wildberg, Germany
Died: February 7, 2001

 20 
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
(Renowned Author & Aviator)

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey
Died: February 7, 2001
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 21 
Eddie Rickenbacker
(Aviator, Racecar Driver, Military Personnel)

Eddie Rickenbacker
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: July 23, 1973

 22 
Amy Johnson
(Aviator)

Amy Johnson
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: January 5, 1941
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 23 
Frank Borman
(Air force officer, Test pilot, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Aviator)

Frank Borman
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gary

 24 
Wally Schirra
(NASA astronaut who became one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury)

Wally Schirra
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hackensack, New Jersey, United States
Died: May 3, 2007
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 25 
Randy Shughart
(Military personnel, Aviator, Soldier)

Randy Shughart
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lincoln
Died: October 3, 1993

 26 
Ken Mattingly
(Officer, Astronaut, Aviator)

Ken Mattingly
4
Birthdate: March 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago

 27 
J. R. D. Tata
(Businessman, Aviator)

J. R. D. Tata
6
Birthdate: July 29, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 29, 1993
An aviation pioneer, J. R. D. Tata channeled the Tata Group for over five decades, leading to the expansion of India's largest industrial empire. He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan, two of India's highest civillian awards. He was also honored with French Legion of Honour twice. 

 28 
Betty Ong
(Former Flight attendant known for alerting American Airlines staff of Flight 11's hijacking)

Betty Ong
3
Birthdate: February 5, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: September 11, 2001
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 29 
James Stockdale
(Aviator, Politician)

James Stockdale
4
Birthdate: December 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Abingdon, Illinois, United States
Died: July 5, 2005

 30 
Igor Sikorsky
(Aviator)

Igor Sikorsky
3
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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 31 
Steve Fossett
(The First Person to Fly Solo Nonstop Around the World in a Balloon and in a Fixed-Wing Aircraft)

Steve Fossett
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jackson, Tennessee, United States
Died: September 3, 2007

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.

 32 
Edgar Mitchell
(Officer, Astronaut, Aviator)

Edgar Mitchell
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hereford
Died: February 4, 2016
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 33 
Alberto Santos Dumont
(Brazilian aviator)

Alberto Santos Dumont
3
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.

 34 
Roger B. Chaffee
(Officer, Aviator, Astronaut)

Roger B. Chaffee
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1935
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grand Rapids
Died: January 27, 1967

 35 
Eugene Cernan
(Former Astronaut who became the eleventh man to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission)

Eugene Cernan
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 16, 2017

 36 
Jay McGraw
(Writer)

Jay McGraw
4
Birthdate: September 12, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wichita County, Texas, United States

 37 
MJ Hegar
(Politician)

MJ Hegar
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.

 38 
Ian Khama
(4th President of Botswana)

Ian Khama
4
Birthdate: February 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chertsey, England, United Kingdom

 39 
Alan Bean
(American naval officer and aviator who was the fourth person to walk on the Moon)

Alan Bean
3
Birthdate: March 15, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wheeler, Texas, United States
Died: May 26, 2018

 40 
Hanna Reitsch
(Aviator)

Hanna Reitsch
3
Birthdate: March 29, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jelenia Góra, Poland
Died: August 24, 1979
It is believed Hanna Reitsch, eager to fly, had almost jumped off her balcony at 4. She was named Stratosphere by her flying-school classmates. A Nazi aviator and test pilot, she was given poisonous capsules by Hitler when the Red Army was taking over Berlin, but didn’t commit suicide.

 41 
Frank Whittle
(Engineer, Inventor, Royal Air Force Air Officer)

Frank Whittle
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coventry, England
Died: August 9, 1996

Aviation engineer Frank Whittle entered the Royal Air Force as an apprentice and rose through the ranks to become a pilot. He invented the jet engine, though his idea of a plane that could fly at a phenomenal speed was initially laughed at. He was later knighted for his achievements.

 42 
Charles Duke
(Air force officer, Astronaut, Test pilot, Fighter pilot, Flight instructor, Aviator, Businessperson)

Charles Duke
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charlotte

 43 
Guion Bluford
(Aerospace Engineer)

Guion Bluford
5
Birthdate: November 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 44 
Beryl Markham
(Renowned aviator and author who was the first woman to fly an east-to-west solo route across the Atlantic Ocean)

Beryl Markham
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rutland, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 3, 1986

George Stephen Morrison
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome, Georgia, United States
Died: November 17, 2008

 46 
Mathias Rust
(Aviator)

Mathias Rust
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wedel, Germany

 47 
Hans-Joachim Marseille
(Luftwaffe fighter pilot and flying ace during World War II)

Hans-Joachim Marseille
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 30, 1942

Remembered for his aerial battles during the North African Campaign, Hans-Joachim Marseille was a German Luftwaffe fighter pilot and a flying ace, who claimed a total of 158 victories, out of which 151 victories were against the British Commonwealth's Desert Air Force. Nicknamed Star of Africa, he is also credited with shooting down seventeen Allied fighters in a single day.

 48 
Night Witches
(Harassment and tactical bombing)

Night Witches
0
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Russia

 49 
Jean Batten
(Aviator Who Made Record Breaking Trans-world Flights)

Jean Batten
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rotorua, New Zealand
Died: November 22, 1982

Born to a dentist father in New Zealand, Jean Batten was initially sent to England to study music. However, she earned a pilot’s license instead and made many aviation records, which included completing the first solo flight from England to New Zealand. In her final years, she became a recluse.

 50 
Edward O'Hare
(Aviator)

Edward O'Hare
3
Birthdate: March 13, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: November 26, 1943