Cover image for Pioneer aviators of the world : a biographical dictionary of the first pilots of 100 countries
Pioneer aviators of the world : a biographical dictionary of the first pilots of 100 countries
Matthews, Hart, 1967-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [2003]

Physical Description:
viii, 208 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL539 .M3235 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Most people recognize Wilbur and Orville Wright as the first in flight. But, few know that the next aviator flew almost three years later. The first pilots from 100 countries have their stories told here. A brief biography and description of his attempts to fly are provided for each early aviator.

Author Notes

Hart Matthews is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

December 17, 2003, marked the 100th anniversary of the first sustained, manned flight in a heavier-than-air machine. That 12-second flight fueled the dreams and ambitions of people around the world. This dictionary covering the first pilots from 100 countries honors the achievement of the Wright brothers and the accomplishments of aviators worldwide. Although the fliers were from diverse backgrounds, they shared some common ground. Many, like the Wright brothers, were inventors or engineers intrigued with solving the challenge of flight. Others, like Hungary's Ehrich Weiss (aka Harry Houdini), were daredevils in love with the idea of flying. The entries are arranged by country and vary greatly in length. The U.S. entry on the Wright brothers runs for 11 pages. Documentation and information about pilots from some other countries, among them Albania, Finland, and Uganda, proved more elusive. As a result some entries are little more than a few sentences. Criteria for inclusion required that the pilot flew solo and took off from level ground in a heavier-than-air machine over which he exercised some level of control. Many of the noted flights did not take place in the pilot's country of origin. Some entries favor ancestry over country of birth. For example, the Armenian pilot was actually born in France of Armenian parents. He is Armenia's first because no Armenian-born pilot was found. A short glossary, a chronology, and bibliography are included. Wonderful photographs, some never before published, accompany most entries. Except for the very brief entries this compilation makes for compelling reading. It explores the scientific challenges involved in building a plane, the sometimes bitter conflicts over who flew first, and the lasting impact flight has had on the world. The dictionary provides an interesting international approach to the fascinating history of flight that public, secondary-school, and college libraries will find useful. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Choice Review

In honor of the Wright Brothers and the centennial of flight, independent scholar Matthews, assisted by Icarus International, provides profiles of the Wrights as well as the first men and women to operate heavier-than-air flying machines in 99 countries other than the US. The author received advice and assistance from a variety of aviation historians, officials, and students, and acquired information by solicitation over Icarus's Web site . Entries vary in length from a paragraph (Ali Husein from Albania) to more than 10 pages (e.g., six for Henri Farman of France), depending on the amount of data available. The work concludes with a chronology, a glossary, notes, and a nine-page bibliography. Since information about most of these individuals is difficult to locate, this helpful, attractive biographical guide will benefit all collections, especially those supporting technological history or aviation. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All collections. M. J. Smith Jr. Tusculum College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. v
Introductionp. 1
Afghanistanp. 7
Albaniap. 7
Algeriap. 7
Angolap. 8
Antigua & Barbudap. 10
Argentinap. 10
Armeniap. 14
Australiap. 14
Austriap. 19
Azerbaijanp. 22
Barbadosp. 23
Belarusp. 23
Belgiump. 25
Belizep. 29
Boliviap. 29
Brazilp. 30
Bulgariap. 35
Canadap. 37
Chilep. 42
Chinap. 45
Colombiap. 47
Costa Ricap. 49
Croatiap. 50
Cubap. 50
Cyprusp. 51
Czech Republicp. 52
Denmarkp. 54
Dominican Republicp. 58
Ecuadorp. 58
Egyptp. 60
El Salvadorp. 61
Englandp. 62
Estoniap. 67
Ethiopiap. 69
Fijip. 69
Finlandp. 70
Francep. 70
Georgiap. 79
Germanyp. 79
Ghanap. 80
Greecep. 80
Guyanap. 84
Haitip. 84
Hondurasp. 86
Hong Kongp. 87
Hungaryp. 87
Icelandp. 90
Indiap. 90
Indonesiap. 90
Iranp. 94
Iraqp. 95
Irish Republicp. 95
Israelp. 97
Italyp. 98
Jamaicap. 103
Japanp. 103
Jordanp. 105
Kazakhstanp. 105
Kenyap. 105
Koreap. 106
Latviap. 106
Lebanonp. 107
Lithuaniap. 107
Luxembourgp. 108
Malawip. 109
Malaysiap. 110
Maltap. 110
Mauritiusp. 110
Mexicop. 111
Moroccop. 112
Myanmarp. 112
Nepalp. 113
Netherlandsp. 113
New Zealandp. 116
Nicaraguap. 119
Northern Irelandp. 119
Norwayp. 121
Pakistanp. 122
Panamap. 122
Paraguayp. 123
Perup. 124
Philippinesp. 129
Polandp. 129
Portugalp. 134
Romaniap. 135
Russian Federationp. 139
St. Christopher & Nevisp. 142
Saudi Arabiap. 143
Scotlandp. 143
Singaporep. 145
Sloveniap. 146
South Africap. 147
Spainp. 151
Sri Lankap. 154
Swedenp. 154
Switzerlandp. 157
Tanzaniap. 158
Thailandp. 159
Trinidad & Tobagop. 161
Turkeyp. 162
Ugandap. 162
Ukrainep. 162
United States of Americap. 163
Uruguayp. 175
Venezuelap. 175
Vietnamp. 175
Yugoslaviap. 176
Zimbabwep. 177
The Chronologyp. 179
Glossaryp. 189
Notesp. 193
Bibliographyp. 195
Indexp. 205