14 Responses

  1. Steve Roughley
    Steve Roughley at |

    I hate to break it to you but John Glenn wasn’t the first man to orbit the earth, in fact he wasn’t even the second! Yuri Gagarin (on 12 April 1961) and Gherman Titov (on 6 August 1961) both orbited the earth before John Glenn did on February 20, 1962.

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      You are correct. It should read the first American to orbit the Earth. Yuri was the very first.

  2. Steve Roughley
    Steve Roughley at |

    Another glaring error is attributing the first circumnavigation of the globe in an airplane without refueling to Steve Fossett in 2005. That feat was accomplished by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager in Dec 1986.

  3. fdx
    fdx at |

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ??

  4. Steve
    Steve at |

    Glenn Curtiss, Alcock and Brown, the list goes on and on……….

  5. x35pm
    x35pm at |

    Not a bad list, but I would have put Yuri Gagarin in Glenn’s spot. I also would not have included Fossett or Doolittle, In my opinion there are any number of WWI & II aces or aviation pioneers who are more deserving of a spot on the list (especially the oft ignored Sirs John Alcock & Arthur Brown who performed the first non-stop transatlantic flight 8 years before Lindbergh’s solo flight).

  6. SFX
    SFX at |

    I still can’t get over the fact that Lindbergh was a huge racist and anti-semite to the end of his days (he even fathered several children in Germany and Switzerland because he wanted tchem to start new families to preserve the white race).
    Of course many of these historial heroes and role models have some sceletons in the closet but in this case it’s just too much to just say “Let’s view him by his deeds in aviation”.

  7. Dennis Smith
    Dennis Smith at |

    Chuck Yeager is #1–You also left out Coleman Kelly.

  8. Jim Ciscell
    Jim Ciscell at |

    I would not neccessarily call it an omission (i just can’t bring myself to question another authors decision making on a list) however I will go ahead and mention that I have studied Howard Hughes on and off for years and that was the first name that came to my mind.

  9. Marshall Davies
    Marshall Davies at |

    Top-not-quite-10-famous-US-aviators-in-history would be a better name for this list. One aviator you should have considered is Charles Kingsford-Smith, an Australian, who made the first trans-Pacific flight from the US to Australia in 1928 as well as the first such flight from Australia to the US. He also made the first non-stop crossing of mainland Australia, the first flights between Australia and New Zealand & set a new flight time record of 10 & a 1/2 days between Australia & the UK.

  10. Deidra Barnes
    Deidra Barnes at |

    If I do have to say so myself, but i think my Great Uncle Doyle Clayton Barnes should also be in the top 10.
    Doyle Clayton Barnes born 5 April 1912 in Oeniville, Tex., enlisted in the Navy 20 October 1933 and was designated naval aviator 21 March 1942. Ensign Barnes received the Navy Cross for his heroism during the Battle of Midway 4 June 1942, when he intercepted a flight of Japanese aircraft and downed two torpedo planes. Ensign Doyle was reported missing in action 24 August 1942, when his squadron, based on Enterprise (CV-6) engaged the enemy in the Battle of the eastern Solomons

  11. Robbo Dale
    Robbo Dale at |

    I agree with Marshall Davis..

    Charles Kingsford-Smith, is the greatest in Aviator. But once again because he was not an American, he gets forgotten..

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