The Worlds First Ten People to Fly an Aircraft That Was Heavier Than Air

The Worlds First Ten People to Fly an Aircraft That Was Heavier Than Air
The Worlds First Ten People to Fly an Aircraft That Was Heavier Than Air

While most of the flyers listed below flew on numerous subsequent occasions and broke their first-time records, most other high ‘flights’ of the 1906-8 period (other than those of the Wright brothers) were no more than short hops of a few seconds in duration; meanwhile, the Wrights were so far in advance of their competitors that they were flying under full control for more than an hour and over distances of 80 km/ 50 miles. The first flight here in the UK was by an American, Samuel Franklin Cody, at Farnborough on 16th of October 1908; it lasted barely 27 seconds and covered just 424 m/1,390 ft. But these people went much, much further…


The Worlds First Ten People to Fly an Aircraft That Was Heavier Than Air


 

Thérèse Peltier
Thérèse Peltier

10 – Thérèse Peltier (French)

On 8 July 1908 at Turin, Italy, in a Voisin piloted by Delagrange. This short hop of 500 ft made her the worlds very first female air passenger.

Glenn Curtiss
Glenn Curtiss

9 – Glenn Curtiss (1878-1930; American)

On 4 July 1908 at Hammondsport, New York, in an AEA June Bug (1 min 42.5 sec; 1,551 m/ 5,090 ft), the first official public flight in the USA.

8 – Louis Blériot (1872-1936; French)

On 29 June 1908 at Issy, France, in his Blériot VIII (50 sec; 700 m/ 2,297 ft). By 6 July 1908, Blériot had made a flight of 8 min 25 sec (distance not recorded); he then flew across the English Channel on 25 July 1909.

Charles W. Furnas
Charles W. Furnas

7 – Charles W. Furnas (American)

On 14 May 1908 at Dayton, Ohio, Wilbur Wright took Furnas, his mechanic, for a spin in the Wright Flyer III (29 sec; 600 m/ 1,968 ft). He was thus the worlds very first aeroplane passenger!

Henri Farman
Henri Farman

6 – Henri Farman (1874-1958; British)

On 11 January 1908 at Issy, France, in his VoisinFarmanl (1 min 45 sec; distance not recorded). This was the first European flight of more than one minute; on 13 January Farman flew the first circle in Europe in the same aircraft.

Robert Esnault-Pelterie
Robert Esnault-Pelterie

5 – Robert Esnault-Pelterie (1881-1957; French)

On the 16th of November 1907 at Buc, France, in his REP 1 (55 sec; 600 m/ 1,969 ft).

Léon Delagrange
Léon Delagrange

4 – Léon Delagrange (187 3-1910; French)

On 5 November 1907 at Issy, France, in his Voisin Delagrange I (40 sec; 500 m/ 1,640 ft). He did not succeed in beating Henry Farman’s record for distance but did establish a new distance record for monoplanes and a new world speed record.

Alberto Santos-Dumont
Alberto Santos-Dumont

3 – Alberto Santos-Dumont (187 3-1932; Brazilian)

On 12 November 1906 at Bagatelle, France, in his Santos-Dumont 14-bis (21.2 sec; 220 m/ 7 22 ft). The heir of a wealthy family of coffee producers, Santos-Dumont dedicated himself to aeronautical study and experimentation in Paris, where he spent most of his adult life.

Wilbur Wright
Wilbur Wright

2 – Wilbur Wright (1867-1912; American)

On the same day, Orville Wright’s brother made his first flight in the Wright Flyer I (59 sec; 260 m/ 852 ft).

Orville Wright
Orville Wright

1 – Orville Wright (1871-1948; American)

On 17 December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North. Carolina, Wright made the first ever manned flight in his Wright Flyer I. It lasted 12 seconds and covered a distance of 37 m/ 120 ft.

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