We've all imagined being in their shoes, looking out those window panels into the deep blue and puffy white, the weight of the world directly underneath us. Our imagination lets us feel the grip of the wheel, to feel the turbulence that shakes the aircraft under our control. It is these skies that the Wright brothers flew the first aircraft. Over these oceans, the likes of Amelia Earhart and Bob Hoover took flight.
Since the creation of aviation, millions of pilots have taken flight above us in the skies. Countless miles have been traveled and recorded all over the world, making aviation the number one form of transportation, both nationally and internationally. With how far aviation has come since the dawn of its creation, it's sometimes easy to forget how awe-inspiring flying actually is. And if we ignore the flight, then we, of course, forget about the flyer. But there are some that are impossible to forget. Some that will defy the test of time and will live forever within the realm of history. Now, it would be virtually impossible to name all of these legends, so here's just a few.
As we spoke of above, the Wright brothers are two of the most influential figures in aviation history. Orville and Wilbur Wright are extensively considered to be the first aviators to design, invent, and fly the world's first successful motor-operated airplane. These two brothers took flight in the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903, a little outside of North Carolina. As their careers developed, Orville and Wilbur went on to manufacture the Wright Flyer II, followed by the first practical fixed-wing aircraft, the Wright Flyer III. Orville and Wilbur then went on to be the first to invent the air controls that made fixed-wing powered flight obtainable. With these two brothers, humanity may have never found itself up in the air.
Who said you could only do one thing with your life? Well, it's time to be introduced to the great Howard Hughes. Along with his successful career as an aviator, Hughes was also known as a business magnate, investor, and even a film director. A man of many passions, Hughes developed a crippling case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, commonly known as OCD. Before finding his love in aviation, Howard Hughes found great success in Hollywood in the 1920s. It was here that Howard produced and made big-budget films such as The Outlaw, His Kind of Woman, and even The Las Vegas Story. After his career in Hollywood ended, Howard Hughes took his talent and wit to the sky when he founded the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1932. It was here that he designed and created the Hughes H-1 Racer and the H-4 Hercules, also known as The Spruce Goose. During the late 20s and early 30s, Hughes broke numerous world airspeed records with the aircrafts and airplanes he manufactured at the Hughes Aircraft Company. While he may not have been the most influential pilot, he was by far the most exciting and famous.