I think here in the USA, we always read that Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and Jack Northrup are aeronautical design geniuses with innovative ideas.
Yet, I think Americans have forgotten an equally influential design genius: Sir Sydney Camm (1893-1966), the Chief Designer at Hawker Aircraft and Hawker Siddeley Aerospace (with merged into the BAE Systems company).
Camm's resumé of great designs is nothing short of legendary: the Hart family of biplanes, the legendary Hurricane fighter, the Typhoon, Tempest and Fury piston-engined fighters that were near the zenith of piston-engined fighter design, the Sea Hawk fighter that pioneered jet operations on Royal Navy carriers, the outstanding Hunter jet fighter that defined the limits of subsonic jet fighters, the revolutionary P.1127 Kestrel that pioneered V/STOL military aircraft, and initial design work near the end of his life on what would become the Tornado multi-role fighter.
Camm's legacy lives on: the Hawker Siddeley company he worked for designed the wings for the original Airbus A300B airliner (indeed, Hawker Siddeley worked on the A300B wing design and production as a private venture when the British government originally pulled out of the Airbus consortium). It is this group--now part of BAE Systems--that designed and built the wings for all subsequent Airbus airliners, including the upcoming A380, the world's largest airliner.