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.
Sir Douglas Bader was a RAF pilot during World War II. Although he lost both his legs in an aerobatics accident in 1931, he recovered and rejoined the RAF. Following the war, he joined the oil industry. The film and book Reach for the Sky details his life.
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.
American naval officer, aviator, and aeronautical engineer William C. McCool was a prominent NASA astronaut who served the STS-107 Space Shuttle Columbia mission as its pilot. He, along with the rest of crew, died when Columbia disintegrated while re-entering the atmosphere. He won many posthumous honors, such as the NASA Space Flight Medal.
Reza Pahlavi is the oldest son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, and his wife Farah Diba. He was the crown prince before the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979. He is the founder of the self-styled National Council of Iran and a prominent critic of Iran's Islamic Republic government.
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.
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.
Sultan bin Salman Al Saud is a Saudi prince best known for his service as a fighter pilot in the Royal Saudi Air Force. A payload specialist, Sultan flew aboard one of NASA's Space Shuttle missions. The first Arab and the first Muslim in space, Sultan has been honored with many prestigious awards, including the NASA Space Flight Medal.
Eddie Rickenbacker was an American fighter pilot who played an important role in World War I. With 26 aerial victories under his belt, Rickenbacker was the most decorated and most successful US flying ace of the First World War. A multi-talented personality, Eddie Rickenbacker was also an automotive designer and race car driver.
Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen was a German army officer. A flying ace in World War I, Richthofen was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall while serving in Luftwaffe, Wehrmacht's aerial warfare branch, during World War II. Widely regarded as a visionary in aerial warfare, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen was honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Eastern Front Medal.
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.
Louis Blériot was a French aviator, engineer, and inventor. He is credited with developing the first workable headlamp for cars. He is also credited with making the first working, piloted monoplane. Blériot achieved worldwide fame in 1909 when he became the first person to fly across the English Channel. Louis Blériot also founded the successful aircraft manufacturing company, Blériot Aéronautique.