Love to fly the friendly skies? Then this list may be for you. Here are some names from early 20th-century aviation history:
Wilbur and Orville
American brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright built and flew the world’s first airplane in December of 1903.
French aviator Louis Blériot was the first to fly a plane across the English Channel (from France to England) in July of 1909.
French aviatrix Elise Raymonde Deroche was the first woman to receive a pilot’s license, in March of 1910.
French aviator and inventor Henri Fabre designed and flew the world’s first seaplane, also in March of 1910.
American aviatrix Harriet Quimby was the first woman to fly across the English Channel (from England to France) in April of 1912 — one day after the sinking of the Titanic. Harriet was also the first U.S. woman to receive a pilot’s license.
John and Arthur
British aviators John Alcock (pilot) and Arthur Whitten Brown (navigator) made the first nonstop transatlantic flight (from Canada to Ireland) in June of 1919.
John and Oakley
American aviators John Macready and Oakley Kelley made the first nonstop transcontinental flight (from New York to San Diego) in May of 1923.
- American aviator Charles Lindbergh was the first American and the first solo pilot to fly across the Atlantic (from the U.S. to France) in May of 1927.
- American aviator Charles Yeager was the first pilot to travel faster than sound, in October of 1947.
Dieudonné and Joseph
French aviators Dieudonné Costes (pilot) and Joseph Le Brix (navigator) made the first nonstop crossing of the south Atlantic (from Senegal to Brazil) in October of 1927.
Hugh and Clyde
Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangborn made the first nonstop transpacific flight (from Japan to the U.S.) in October of 1931.
American aviatrix Amelia Earhart was the first woman to make a solo flight across Atlantic (from Canada to Northern Ireland) in May of 1932.
Wiley (and Winnie)
American aviator Wiley Post made the first solo round-the-world flight in July of 1933. The trip took over a week to complete. (His plane, the Winnie Mae, was named after the daughter of the plane’s original owner.)
English aviatrix Amy Johnson was the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia, in May of 1930.
I concentrated on airplanes, but the history of aviation goes back hundreds of years and covers kites, gliders, balloons, blimps, airships, helicopters, and so forth. What other aviation names can you come up with (from any era, using any aircraft)?
Sources: Famous Firsts in Aviation, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Wikipedia