He's probably not one of those names that springs immediately to mind in a topic like this, he's certainly not as well known as the likes of Frank Whittle, the Wright Brothers or Charles Lindbergh but the impact he made on modern aviation was remarkable.
Kelly Johnson was an aircraft designer for Lockheed which doesn't sound particularly glamorous but to narrow it down a bit, Kelly Johnson set up and ran the legendary Lockheed Skunk Works. To put it simply, without him there'd be no U-2, no SR-71 and no F-117A, three of the most remarkable aircraft to ever grace the sky. He had a direct hand in designing the first two and the third was the product of his protoge Ben Rich but was still produced using Kelly's Fourteen Rules as well as his motto "Be quick, be quiet and be on time".
The guy was a genius engineer with over forty aircraft designs to his credit including the U-2, SR-71, P-38, F-104, F-80 and the Connie.
My wings are like a shield of steel.