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Honoring Past & Present

This is only a few of the many great firsts in aerospace:

Wilbur and Orville Wright First to achieve successful powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine, 1903 

 

Charlie Taylor  World's first airplane mechanic

 

Benjamin Foulois  First United States military aviator

 

Alberto Santos-Dumont First to fly a heavier-than-air machine in Europe, 1906

 

Thomas Selfridge  First military officer to pilot an airplane, 1908;
First fatality in powered aviation, 1908

 

Louis Blériot  First to pilot a plane across the English Channel, 1909

 

Walter R. Brookins  First civilian pilot, 1910 

 

Eugene Ely  First aviator to take off from and land on a ship, 1910 & 1911

 

Theodore Ellyson  First United States naval aviator, 1911 

 

Cal Rodgers  First United States transcontinental flight, 1911 

 

Harriet Quimby First licensed woman pilot in the US , 1911; First woman to solo the English Channel, 1912

 

Grover Loening  First civilian aeronautical engineer in US Army, 1914

 

Alford Williams  Navy's first chief test pilot; father of dive bombing 

 

Edward Rickenbacker  America 's top World War I ace

 

Albert Read,
James Breese,
Herbert Rodd,
Elmer Stone,
Walter Hinton,
Eugene Rhoads  First transatlantic flight, 1919 

 

William Mitchell  First to successfully demonstrate the capabilities of air power, 1921 

 

Lowell Smith,

Leslie Arnold,
Leigh Wade,
Henry Ogden,
Erik Nelson,
John Harding, Jr.  First around-the-world flight, 1924

 

Richard Byrd  First to fly over the North Pole, 1926; First to fly over the South Pole, 1929

  

Charles Lindbergh First non-stop solo flight from New York to Paris , 1927

  

Jimmy Doolittle First to make an all-blind instrument flight from take-off to landing, 1929; Albert Hegenberger Developer of all-blind flight control system; Lawrence Sperry  Inventor of the autopilot, turn and bank indicator, and parachute pack

 

Amelia Earhart  First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, 1932; First pilot to fly solo Hawaii to California , 1935

 

Wiley Post  First to fly solo around the world, 1933 

 

Blanche Noyes,
Louise Thaden  First women to win Bendix Trophy, 1936 

 

Henry T. Merrill First pilot to make a commercial round-trip plane flight over the Atlantic , 1937

 

Igor Sikorsky  First to design, produce and fly a helicopter in the western hemisphere, 1940 

 

Robert M. Stanley,
Lawrence C. Craigie  First Americans to pilot jet aircraft, 1942

 

Charles E. Yeager  First person to pilot an aircraft at supersonic speed, 1947 

 

Jacqueline Cochran  First woman to pilot an aircraft supersonically, 1953 

  

Albert Scott Crossfield First to fly three times the speed of sound, 1960 

 

Yuri Gagarin  First person in space, 1961 

 

Alan Shepard  First American in space, 1961; Fifth man to walk on the moon, 1971 

 

John Glenn  First American to orbit the earth, 1962 

 

Robert White  First astronaut designee in a winged aircraft, 1962 

 

Neil Armstrong,
Edwin Aldrin,
Michael Collins  First lunar landing aboard Apollo 11, 1969 

 

Bruce McCandless  First man to walk in space untethered, 1984 

 

Joe Kittinger  First to solo the Atlantic in a helium balloon, 1984

 

John Paul Stapp, M.D.  Pioneer in aerospace medicine 

  

Burt Rutan,
Dick Rutan,
Jeana Yeager  First to circumnavigate the globe non-stop without refueling, 1986 

 

George H. Bush First military flyer to become President of the US, 1988

 

 

Other Pioneers

  

Glenn Curtiss  Pioneer aviator, designer and manufacturer 

 

Sir Frank J. Whittle  Pioneer developer of turbo-jet aircraft engines

 

Hans Von Ohain  Developed the engine powering the world’s first jet plane 

  

Francis and Gertrude Rogallo  Developers of the first successful flexible wing 

 

 

Henry Arnold  Father of the US Air Force and first five-star general  

 

Tom Davis  Pioneer in commercial aviation 

 

Anne Baumgartner Carl, Jean Hixson  First women to fly American military aircraft; Women Air Service Pilots 

 

Donald W. Douglas  Pioneer aircraft designer and manufacturer 

  

Clyde Cessna  General aviation pioneer 

  

Jack Northrop  Pioneer in the aerospace industry 

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