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.
More From Aviators

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Aviators

 1 Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong
6
Famous As: First Person To Walk On The Moon
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.

 2 Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart
4
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.

 3 Orville Wright

Orville Wright
4
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).

Recommended Lists:

 4 Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh
6
Famous As: Aviator, Military Officer
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.
Recommended Lists:

 5 Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard
6
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.

 6 J. R. D. Tata

J. R. D. Tata
4
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. 
Recommended Lists:

 7 Jim Lovell

Jim Lovell
4
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.

You May Like

 8 Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager
6
Famous As: Test Pilot
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.
Recommended Lists:

 9 Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman
4
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
4
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.

Recommended Lists:

 11 Treat Williams

Treat Williams
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 1, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rowayton, Connecticut, United States

 12 Ronnie Corbett

Ronnie Corbett
4
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
Recommended Lists:

 13 Gordon Cooper

Gordon Cooper
4
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.

 14 Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ashley, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: January 16, 2014

 15 Fred Haise

Fred Haise
4
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator, Fighter pilot
Birthdate: November 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Biloxi

 16 Susan Oliver

Susan Oliver
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 13, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: May 10, 1990
Recommended Lists:

 17 Harald Quandt

Harald Quandt
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Aviator
Birthdate: November 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Charlottenburg
Died: September 22, 1967

Harald Quandt was a German industrialist who ran the industrial empire which he inherited from his father Günther Quandt. The family continues to own a stake in the popular luxury car manufacturer BMW. The family's previously unknown association with Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime was made public in 2007 by the award-winning documentary movie, The Silence of the Quandts.

 18 Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly
6
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States
Recommended Lists:

 19 Pete Conrad

Pete Conrad
4
Famous As: American NASA astronaut was the third person to walk on the Moon
Birthdate: June 2, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 8, 1999

 20 George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush
0
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.

Recommended Lists:

 21 Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian
4
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: June 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fresno, California, United States
Died: June 15, 2015

 22 Dieter Dengler

Dieter Dengler
3
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: May 22, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wildberg, Germany
Died: February 7, 2001
Recommended Lists:

 23 Frank Borman

Frank Borman
3
Famous As: Air force officer, Test pilot, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Aviator
Birthdate: March 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gary

 24 Eddie Rickenbacker

Eddie Rickenbacker
3
Famous As: Aviator, Racecar Driver, Military Personnel
Birthdate: October 8, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, US
Died: July 23, 1973
Recommended Lists:

 25 Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
3
Famous As: Renowned Author & Aviator
Birthdate: June 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey
Died: February 7, 2001

 26 Ken Mattingly

Ken Mattingly
4
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: March 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago

 27 Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson
3
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: July 1, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: January 5, 1941

 28 Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter
4
Famous As: Test pilot, Aquanaut, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Aviator, Writer
Birthdate: May 1, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Boulder
Died: October 10, 2013
Recommended Lists:

 29 Randy Shughart

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

 30 MJ Hegar

MJ Hegar
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 16, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.
Recommended Lists:

 31 Betty Ong

Betty Ong
3
Famous As: Flight attendant
Birthdate: February 5, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Francisco
Died: September 11, 2001

 32 James Stockdale

James Stockdale
4
Famous As: Aviator, Politician
Birthdate: December 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Abingdon, Illinois, United States
Died: July 5, 2005
Recommended Lists:

 33 Steve Fossett

Steve Fossett
3
Famous As: Businessman
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.

 34 Erich Hartmann

Erich Hartmann
4
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.

 35 Edgar Mitchell

Edgar Mitchell
3
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: September 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hereford
Died: February 4, 2016

 36 Alberto Santos Dumont

Alberto Santos Dumont
3
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.

 37 John T. Walton

John T. Walton
3
Famous As: Sam Walton's Son
Birthdate: October 8, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newport, Arkansas, United States
Died: June 27, 2005

 38 Eugene Cernan

Eugene Cernan
3
Famous As: Former Astronaut who became the eleventh man to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission
Birthdate: March 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 16, 2017

 39 Hanna Reitsch

Hanna Reitsch
3
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.

 40 Jay McGraw

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

 41 Alan Bean

Alan Bean
3
Famous As: American naval officer and aviator who was the fourth person to walk on the Moon
Birthdate: March 15, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wheeler, Texas, United States
Died: May 26, 2018

 42 Night Witches

Night Witches
0
Famous As: Harassment and tactical bombing
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Russia

 43 Charles Duke

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

 44 Roger B. Chaffee

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

 45 Frank Whittle

Frank Whittle
3
Famous As: Engineer, Inventor, Royal Air Force Air Officer
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.

 46 Edward O'Hare

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

 47 Herbert Nitsch

Herbert Nitsch
3
Famous As: Aviator, Free-diver
Birthdate: April 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Austria

 48 Guion Bluford

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

 49 Wally Schirra

Wally Schirra
3
Famous As: NASA astronaut who became one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury
Birthdate: March 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hackensack, New Jersey, United States
Died: May 3, 2007

 50 Mathias Rust

Mathias Rust
3
Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: June 1, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wedel, Germany
See Also