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

Amelia Earhart.
Famous As: Aviator, Pilot
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 Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes.
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Investor
Birthdate: December 24, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Humble, Texas, US
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.

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 3 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).

 4 Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager.
Famous As: Test Pilot
Birthdate: February 13, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Myra, West Virginia
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.
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 5 Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh.
Famous As: Aviator, Inventor & Author
Birthdate: February 4, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
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.

 6 Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard.
Famous As: Astronaut, Aviator, Entrepreneur
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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 7 Jim Lovell

Jim Lovell
Famous As: Astronaut
Birthdate: March 25, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Retired American astronaut Jim Lovell commanded the iconic Apollo 13 mission and was one of the first three human beings to fly to the Moon, orbit it, and get back to Earth. He had also been a US Navy captain. Following his retirement, Lovell launched a restaurant in Lake Forest.

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 8 J. R. D. Tata

J. R. D. Tata.
Famous As: French-Indian aviator
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. 
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 9 Bessie Coleman

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

 10 Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Famous As: Novelist, Aviator & Journalist
Birthdate: June 29, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: July 31, 1944

French writer, poet, aristocrat, and journalist, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is best remembered for his novella, The Little Prince. He was a pioneering aviator as a young man. A successful commercial pilot before World War II, he joined the French Air Force at the start of the war. Equally successful as a writer, he won several of France's highest literary awards.

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 11 Gordon Cooper

Gordon Cooper
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Test pilot, Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Aviator
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.

 12 Ronnie Corbett

Ronnie Corbett
Famous As: Comedian, Author, Writer, Film actor, Stage actor, Cabaret artist, Aviator
Birthdate: December 4, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: March 31, 2016
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 13 Susan Oliver

Susan Oliver
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 13, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: May 10, 1990

 14 Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

 15 Harald Quandt

Harald Quandt
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Aviator
Birthdate: November 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Charlottenburg
Died: September 22, 1967

 16 Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ashley, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: January 16, 2014
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 17 Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter
Famous As: Test pilot, Aquanaut, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Aviator, Writer
Birthdate: May 1, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Boulder
Died: October 10, 2013

 18 Erich Hartmann

Erich Hartmann
Famous As: Aviator, Officer
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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 19 George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush.
Famous As: 41st U.S. President
Birthdate: June 12, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milton, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 1, 2018

The 41st president of the U.S, George H.W. Bush also twice served as the vice president of the country and held various other important political positions before assuming the presidency. During his presidency, he led successful military operation against Panama and Iraq which made him popular, but domestic issues prevented him from winning a second term at the office.

 20 Fred Haise

Fred Haise
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator, Fighter pilot
Birthdate: November 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Biloxi
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 21 Pete Conrad

Pete Conrad
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator, Racecar driver
Birthdate: June 2, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: July 8, 1999

 22 Dieter Dengler

Dieter Dengler.
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: May 22, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wildberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Died: February 7, 2001
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 23 MJ Hegar

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

 24 Ken Mattingly

Ken Mattingly
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: March 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
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 25 Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Famous As: Renowned Author & Aviator
Birthdate: June 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey
Died: February 7, 2001

 26 Jay McGraw

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

 27 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

 28 Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson.
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: July 1, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: January 5, 1941
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 29 James Stockdale

James Stockdale
Famous As: Officer, Aviator, Politician
Birthdate: December 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Abingdon
Died: July 5, 2005

 30 Frank Borman

Frank Borman
Famous As: Air force officer, Test pilot, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Aviator
Birthdate: March 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gary
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 31 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.

 32 John McCain

John McCain.
Famous As: United States Senator
Birthdate: August 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Coco Solo, Panama
Died: August 25, 2018

John McCain served as a US Senator for Arizona from 1987 until his death in 2018. Previously he was a US naval officer and is hailed as a war hero for his heroics during the Vietnam War. He was a supporter of LGBT rights, gun regulations and campaign finance reform. He was a Republican nominee for the 2008 presidential election but lost to Barack Obama.

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 33 Randy Shughart

Randy Shughart
Famous As: Military personnel, Aviator, Soldier
Birthdate: August 13, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lincoln
Died: October 3, 1993

 34 Edgar Mitchell

Edgar Mitchell
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: September 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hereford
Died: February 4, 2016

 35 Steve Fossett

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

 36 Igor Sikorsky

Igor Sikorsky.
Famous As: Aviator
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. 

 37 John T. Walton

John T. Walton.
Famous As: Sam Walton's Son
Birthdate: October 8, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newport, Arkansas, United States
Died: June 27, 2005

 38 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.

 39 Betty Ong

Betty Ong
Famous As: Flight attendant
Birthdate: February 5, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Francisco
Died: September 11, 2001

 40 Hanna Reitsch

Hanna Reitsch.
Famous As: Aviator
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 Herbert Nitsch

Herbert Nitsch
Famous As: Aviator, Free-diver
Birthdate: April 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Austria

 42 Roger B. Chaffee

Roger B. Chaffee
Famous As: Officer, Aviator, Astronaut
Birthdate: February 15, 1935
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grand Rapids
Died: January 27, 1967

 43 Eugene Cernan

Eugene Cernan
Famous As: Officer, Aviator, Astronaut, Fighter pilot, Autobiographer, Businessperson
Birthdate: March 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: January 16, 2017

 44 Charles Duke

Charles Duke
Famous As: Air force officer, Astronaut, Test pilot, Fighter pilot, Flight instructor, Aviator, Businessperson
Birthdate: October 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charlotte

 45 Alan Bean

Alan Bean
Famous As: Officer, Test pilot, Astronaut, Painter, Aviator
Birthdate: March 15, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wheeler

 46 Romain Gary

Romain Gary.
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vilnius, Lithuania
Died: December 2, 1980

Romain Gary was a French novelist, diplomat, and film director of Jewish origin. He also served as an aviator during World War II. One of France’s most popular and prolific writers, he is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt twice. He had a troubled personal life and died of suicide in 1980.

 47 Guion Bluford

Guion Bluford
Famous As: Aerospace Engineer
Birthdate: November 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 48 Wally Schirra

Wally Schirra
Famous As: United States Naval Aviator, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Test pilot, Aerospace engineer, Aviator, Businessperson
Birthdate: March 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hackensack
Died: May 3, 2007

 49 Edward O'Hare

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

 50 Jean Batten

Jean Batten.
Famous As: Aviator Who Made Record Breaking Trans-world Flights
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.

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