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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Aerospace Pioneers

Aerospace Pioneers

Advancements in aerospace are really the sum of achievements by many people. Dreams, ideas, hard work, failure, results, retrying  – all contribute to the continuation of knowledge and the ultimate success of an invention, process, or program.

Over the course of history many people have contributed to this advancement of knowledge, whether through research or experimentation. We list only a few of the many notable figures on whose shoulders we stand today.

If there is someone that you feel should be listed here, please contact Lawrence Garrett, AIAA Web Editor, at, or contact Emily Springer, AIAA Membership, Team Lead - Regions, Sections, Historical Aerospace Sites, at  

Pioneer Profiles

Frank W. Caldwell (1889-1974)

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915)

Alberto Santos-Dumont (1873-1932)

Orville & Wilbur Wright (1871-1948 & 1867-1912)

Patty Wagstaff (1951 - Present)

Octave Chanute (1832-1910)

Alexander de Seversky (1894-1974)
  Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896)

Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972)

Mario Calderara (1879-1944)

Jacqueline Cochran (1908-1980)

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

Hermann Oberth (1894-1989)

Wernher von Braun (1912-1977

Charles Yeager (1923-Present)