The Most Famous Test Pilot: Exploring Aviation's Legendary Figures

Choose the test pilot you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 21, 2024 07:20
"Who is the most famous test pilot?" – A question that has sparked curiosity and ignited debates among aviation enthusiasts and history buffs alike! At StrawPoll, we're on a mission to settle this once and for all. We've taken to the skies, scouring through the annals of time to compile a list of daring and legendary test pilots who have defied gravity and pushed the boundaries of human flight. But we need your help to determine the ultimate winner! So, join us on this thrilling journey through the history of aviation, as you cast your vote for your favorite test pilot, or suggest a hidden gem we may have missed. The stakes are high, and the skies are the limit – let's determine together who will soar above the rest and claim the prestigious title of the most famous test pilot!

Who Is the Most Famous Test Pilot?

  1. 1
    He was the first person to break the sound barrier and is considered the most famous test pilot in history.
    Chuck Yeager in other rankings
  2. 2
    Neil Armstrong
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    He was the first person to walk on the moon and also served as a test pilot for NASA.
    Neil Armstrong in other rankings
  3. 3
    Bob Hoover
    Don Ramey Logan · CC BY-SA 3.0
    He was a legendary test pilot who performed countless aerobatic feats and was known for his precision flying.
    Bob Hoover in other rankings
  4. 4
    She was the first woman to break the sound barrier and set numerous aviation records as a test pilot.
    Jacqueline Cochran in other rankings
  5. 5
    He was the third person to walk on the moon and also served as a test pilot for NASA.
  6. 6
    He was the first person to fly twice the speed of sound and was a prominent test pilot during the early days of supersonic flight.
  7. 7
    He was the first person to orbit the Earth and also served as a test pilot for the Soviet Union.
    Yuri Gagarin in other rankings
  8. 8
    She was an aviation pioneer and accomplished test pilot who set numerous records, including being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
    Amelia Earhart in other rankings
  9. 9
    Burt Rutan
    Steve Paluch · CC BY-SA 3.0
    He is a prominent aerospace engineer and test pilot who has designed numerous innovative aircraft, including the first privately-funded spacecraft.
    Burt Rutan in other rankings
  10. 10
    He is a former SR-71 Blackbird pilot who flew over 200 missions and set numerous speed records. He is also a motivational speaker and author.

Missing your favorite test pilot?


Ranking factors for famous test pilot

  1. Influence and Impact
    Consider the test pilot's influence on the field of aviation and the impact of their work on the advancement of flight technology and safety.
  2. Accomplishments
    Assess the pilot's notable achievements, such as breaking records, successfully testing and evaluating new aircraft or technologies, or making significant contributions to aviation research.
  3. Reputation
    Take into account the test pilot's reputation within the aviation community, their recognition by peers, and the level of respect they command.
  4. Popularity
    Consider the pilot's recognition and popularity among the general public, including their level of media coverage, public appearances, and overall fame.
  5. Historical Significance
    Evaluate the historical significance of the pilot's contributions to aviation, including their role in milestone events, achievements during significant eras, or involvement in groundbreaking projects.
  6. Longevity and Career Span
    Consider the test pilot's overall career span and longevity as a pilot, as well as the consistency of their achievements over time.
  7. Notable Test Flights
    Assess the pilot's involvement in significant test flights, including those that were particularly challenging, groundbreaking, or captured public attention.
  8. Honors and Awards
    Take into account the honors, awards, and recognition the pilot has received for their contributions to aviation and test piloting.
  9. Legacy
    Evaluate the enduring impact and legacy of the test pilot, including their influence on future generations of pilots and the ongoing relevance of their work.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous test pilot. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Aviator is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 191 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Aviator once every 24 hours. The rank of each Aviator is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous test pilot

Test pilots have been instrumental in the development of aviation technology over the years. Their bravery and skill have allowed them to push the boundaries of what is possible in the skies. Many test pilots have become household names, and their contributions to aviation history are celebrated to this day. When it comes to the most famous test pilots, there are several names that immediately come to mind. These include Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong, and Yuri Gagarin. Each of these pilots made significant contributions to the field of aviation and played a key role in shaping the history of flight. Chuck Yeager is perhaps best known for being the first person to break the sound barrier in 1947. Neil Armstrong, of course, is famous for being the first person to walk on the moon in 1969. Yuri Gagarin made history in 1961 when he became the first person to orbit the Earth. These test pilots, along with countless others, have helped to pave the way for modern aviation. Their bravery and dedication to their craft will always be remembered and celebrated by aviation enthusiasts around the world.

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