History of Aeronautics ~ Chapter 4: How do you symbolize the golden age of aviation? With a biplane, of course. It takes you right back to the first decades of the 20th century and that cadre of pilots that made God's domain our domain. The early masters of the open cockpit were called Early Birds. You qualified if you piloted an airplane before December 17, 1916. The Early Birds were in their prime when he was born just a few years later. St. Josephs Cemetery.