George Cayley (1773-1857)
Cayley was an English engineer and inventor who pioneered modern aeronautical engineering. In 1799, he set forth the concept of the modern airplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control. He designed the first recorded manned glider capable of flight in 1853.
Though it was never built, his work established many of the essential principles of aerodynamics.