179 Contestants

Before the Wright brothers gave us powered flight, there was quite a rash of inventors and visionaries hot on the trail, as attested by two file boxes at Indiana University of Pennsylvania as their Air Ship Patents Collection. Granted that most of the early birds were focused on balloons but soon there was a obvious shift to heavier-than-air flying machines. Patent numbers are not included—those shown are the File Numbers of applications contained in two archives.

1October 16, 1844M MuzziFlying Machine
2March 26, 1850Hugh BellBalloon
3July 11, 1854J W BrewerBalloon
4March 8, 1859James P GageBalloon
5May 21, 1891M NelsonAerial Car
6June 3, 1862L C CrowellAerial Machine
7February 10, 1863Thomas L ShawBalloon
8November 17, 1863James H ConnellAir Balloon
9July 5, 1864Solomon AndrewsAerostat
10December 27, 1864A G WrightBalloon
11May 22, 1866John WoottenFlying Machine
12September 11, 1866Chester W SykesImproved Marine Balloons
13September 10, 1867W F QuinbyImproved Flying Machine
14May 12, 1868Zaphna StoneAerial Navigator
15July 21, 1868Onofrio AbruzoAerial Car
16November 23, 1869Frederick MarriottAerial Steam Car
17February 8, 1870Martin BraunImproved Aerial Ships
18March 1, 1870A P KeithAerial Car
19August 30, 1870Edward OakesAerial Car
20July 16, 1872Isaac W ForbesAerial Cars
21August 27, 1872Paul HaenleinImproved Balloon Locomotion
22October 8, 1872Watson F QuinbyImproved Flying Apparatus
23November 12, 1872Charles McDermottImproved Nav Apparatus
24November 26, 1872T Moy & E ShillNavigation Apparatus
25August 12, 1873Thomas GreenNavigating Apparatus
26 February 10, 1874Otto FrancisNavigating Apparatus
27March 24, 1874C B WainwrightSteering & Propelling App
28April 4, 1874Lewis A BoswellImproved Propeller-Wheels
29May 19, 1874James HartnessBalloons
30June 16, 1874C F McGlashanGuiding Balloons
31June 23, 1874Daniel L RhoneAerial Boats
32September 1, 1874Micajah DyerNavigating Apparatus
33September 22, 1874L A BoswellAerial Propeller Wheels
34October 27, 1874Felix LeBlancAerial Vessels
35April 6, 1875Peter B FernandezAerial & Marine Gyrator
36August 15, 1876F X LamboleyFlying Machine
37December 19, 1876John B WardAerial Machine
38May 15, 1877Frank BarnettFlying Machine
39July 17, 1877Washington BeckleyBalloon
40August 14, 1877M M MurrellAerial Navigators
41September 4, 1877J J PenningtonFlying Machine
42October 2, 1877John B WardAerial Machine
43January 15, 1878Fritz von EhrenAerial Vessels
44March 12, 1878C F RitchelImproved Flying Machine
45April 23, 1878William F PearsonBalloon
46May 28, 1878Richard W CowanAerial Paddle-Wheel
47June 25, 1878James TracyBalloon
48November 26, 1878J F CameronAir Ship
49April 22, 1879Henrey BadgleyAerial Machine
50August 12, 1879Watson F QuinbyAerial Ship
51October 14, 1879J J GreenoughAerobat
52February 17, 1880Albert L BlackmanAerial Nav Vess & Machine
53November 30, 1880Charles A SullivanFlying Machine
54November 30, 1880F W BreareyAerial Apparatus
55December 21, 1880John F MackenzieAerial Navigation
56January 11, 1881E A PearseAerial Navigation Machine
57August 16, 1881William BeesonFlying Ship
58September 13, 1881Edward De JonghAeronautic App & Regulator
59December 6, 1881Albert L BlackmanAerial Navigation Vessel
60January 31, 1882William G KruegerAir Ship
61April 4, 1882Charles P FestBalloon
62April 11, 1882Carl W PetersenAir Ship
63May 23, 1882James A NisongerShifting rail for vehicles
64August 29, 1882Charles P FestAir Ship
65September 12, 1882R L DowntonAerial Ship
66January 2, 1883Joel RayAerial Vessel
67January 23, 1883E F FalconnetAerial Ship
68April 17, 1883John W EmsleyBalloon
69August 7, 1883Gustav KochAir Ship
70January 15, 1884Kansas D DavisBalloon Propeller
71March 18, 1884Charles P FestAir Ship
72December 2, 1884G WellnerWedge-shaped Air Balloon
73February 10, 1885Eugene F Falconnet Vessel for Aerial Navigation
74June 9, 1885Anton SpierAir Ship
75June 9, 1885David StoutAerial Ship
76June 16, 1885Frederich W BreareyAerial Navigation
77June 23, 1885Joseph S FosterAir Ship
78October 13, 1885Nicholas HelmerAir Ship
79January 26, 1886Hurgar HunnicuttAerial Ship
80March 2, 1886Levi A BeardsleyShip for Aerial Nav
81March 16, 1886Ringert JongewaardAerial Navigation
82April 27, 1886William PattersonSteam Air Ship
83October 5, 1886Augustin H HamonDirigible Aerostat
84November 9, 1886Moses S ColeAerial Vessel
85November 9, 1886Moses S ColePropelling Wheel
86November 23, 1886Marby P ApplingAir Ship
87December 14, 1886Otto W HartungBalloon
1February 1, 1877Martin BruanAerial Ship
2April 19, 1887James M WheelerAir Ship
3May 10, 1887Peter C CampbellAir Ship
4April 19, 1887Joseph NeubrandAerial Vessel
5April 26, 1887William BeesonAerial Navigation
6May 17, 1887C R E WulffPropelling & Guiding App
7October 18, 1887W N HutchinsonAerial Vessel
8November 22, 1887Charles H MorganAir Ship
9January 24, 1888William BeesonFlying Machine
10February 21, 1888W GustafsonAerial Navigation
11April 17, 1888B BontemsAerial Navigation Apparatus
12June 5, 1888E P JohnstonAir Ship
13February 12, 1889John P HolmesAir Ship
14March 12, 1889C A KunzelBalloon
15March 19, 1889H A J RieckertAir Ship
16October 1, 1889N H BorgfeldtFlying Machine
17December 24, 1889David ThayerAerial Apparatus
18March 25, 1890Matthias H BaldwinAerostat
19April 1, 1890John J PokornyAir Ship
20June 3, 1890C E BechtelAir Ship
21June 17, 1890C D E HennigAir Ship
22July 22, 1890Stewart CairncrossAerial Machine
23October 28, 1890Perham W NahlNavigable Air Ship
24September 29, 1891Burr F BarnesFlying Machine
25November 3, 1891John ArbtinAir Ship
26December 8, 1891Stewart CaircrossAerial Machine
27January 12, 1892James C WalkerAir Ship
28April 19, 1892W N RiddleAerial Ship
29July 12, 1892Burr F BarnesAir Ship
30August 16, 1892Leon GayonPropeller
31June 27, 1893C T L GabrieliiBalloon Ship
32July 11, 1893Theodor SteinmannAir Ship
33July 25, 1893S B BattenAerial Machine
34October 17, 1893A F BergqvistAerial Vessel
35October 31, 1893C F BillwillerNavigable Air Ship
36November 14, 1893Edwin PynchonAir Ship
37December 12, 1893Joachim A SumovskiBalloon
38January 9, 1894J S PreiswerkParachute Sail for Balloons
39February 6, 1894S SpaethAerial Vessel
40March 13, 1894Christopher G Cross Aerial Locomotive
41March 13, 1894George WellnerFlying Apparatus
42September 25, 1894Duana Hurlbut Air Ship
43October 2, 1894Hermann GanswindtPropeller for Aerial Vehicles
44December 4, 1894Nicholas BorgfeldtAerial Navigation Apparatus
45August 20, 1895Otto LilienthalFlying Machine
46October 15, 1895W N HutchinsonNavigable Balloon
47March 17, 1896Manoel V CoutinhoAerostat
48August 11, 1896C A SmithAir Ship
49July 28, 1896Frank KlinePower Wheel
50December 22, 1896E J St CroixAir Ship
51April 20, 1897Henry HeintzAir Ship
52April 20, 1897Carl E MyersSky Cycle
53May 18, 1897Octave ChanuteSoaring Machine
54May 18, 1897Louis P MouillardMeans of Aerial Flight
55August 24, 1897Thomas M CreparAir Ship
56October 12, 1897Daniel ReedAir Ship
57October 26, 1897Jacob D Graybill Aerial Machine
58December 28, 1897James RichardsonFlying Machine
59March 22, 1898Theodore LeibbrandAerial Navigation
60June 7, 1898Adolph KoehlerAir Ship
61June 14, 1898F A JoneFlying Machine
62June 28, 1898William P ButusovSoaring Machine
63July 12, 1898Charles E HiteAir Ship
64September 13, 1898Thomas J BrownAerial Ship
65October 18, 1898Oscar L SmithAir Ship
66October 25, 1898RH Von SiegsfeldAir Balloon
67December 6, 1898Frederick R MerrittAir Ship
68March 14, 1899F Graf ZeppelinNavigable Balloon
69February 20, 1900John F PickeringAir Ship
70May 1, 1900Louis Etienne RozeFlying Machine
71October 9, 1900Charles StanleyAir Ship
72November 13, 1900Leo StevensControllable Balloons
73January 22, 1901J H Dillon-GreggAerial Navigation Machine
74February 19, 1901A F HubbardAir Ship
75July 9, 1901Eugene M FarrAerial Vessel
76February 25, 1902Walter J BellWing for Flying Machine
77March 4, 1902Frederick W DufwaBlade for Air Ship
78April 8, 1902Charles GroombridgePropeller for Air Ship
79July 8, 1902Joel T RiceFlying Machine
80November 4, 1902Ernest R KrockerAir Ship or Vessel
81March 10, 1903E P JohnstonAir Ship
82March 24, 1903John BerryAir Ship
83April 21, 1903Thor MichelsenAir Ship
84May 5, 1903Otto A KaehlerFlying Machine
85May 26, 1903L A BoswellSteering for Diriqible
86June 2, 1903Geo D ShultzAerial Vessel
87June 2, 1903Theodor GibonAeroplane
88June 9, 1903A F GodefroyMeans for Propelling Vessels
89September 1, 1903Isaac I MorrisAerial Navigation Machine
90October 13, 1903C E Van DevanterAerial Navigation Apparatus
91no dateEugene F Falconnet----
92no dateCharles H MorganAerial Ship