Baby names for aviation enthusiasts (Namestorm #5)


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)?

Update, 7/2021: Here are a few more aviators to choose from: Jack Vilas, Belvin Maynard, Lester Maitland, Bessica Raiche, Turi Widerøe.

Sources: Famous Firsts in Aviation, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Wikipedia

Image: Adapted from Air Canada Boeing 777-333ER by MarcusObal under CC BY-SA 3.0.

4 thoughts on “Baby names for aviation enthusiasts (Namestorm #5)

  1. These are great names. However, I like to recommend that parents try to pick a name that reflects the child. Hopefully children with given the names above will have an affinity for aeronautics!

  2. Just to bump up the number of girl’s name:
    Beryl Markham, pioneering aviatrix, first woman to cross the Atlantic east-to-west solo and first to fly non-stop from England to North America. She wrote an impressive memoir called “West with the Night.”
    Elizabeth “Queen Bess” Coleman, the first person of African American descent to become a licensed airplane pilot and first person of any race or gender to hold an international pilot license.
    Captain Beverly Lynn Burns was the first woman to captain the Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
    Bonnie Tiburzi, first female pilot hired by major airline (American Airlines.)
    Cornelia Fort, a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, first female pilot in American history to die on active duty .
    Phoebe Omlie, 1920’s barnstorming pilot who held numerous “firsts” as a female pilot and first female to hold a federal position in the aviation field.

  3. @Marly – I would love for the process to be more child-centric as well, but it’s impossible to know what “reflects the child” when the child is still a baby. There’s just no knowing what a child’s likes and dislikes are at that point.

    So, in lieu of that, I think it’s cool for parents to search for names via their own interests — so long the interests are long-standing, and the names being collected are relatively sensible ones.

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