A Chinese legend tells of Wan Hoo* as the first person who tried to fly using rockets. His vessel was a wicker chair mounted on 47 large rockets pointing upwards.

Wan Hoo had 47 helpers, one for each rocket, armed with torches, so that the rockets would ignite at the same time.

According to the legend, there was a tremendous roar as soon as the rockets ignited, while lots of smoke piled out from them. When the smoke had cleared and the roar was gone, Wan Hoo had disappeared.

His helpers believed that he reached his destination, since he was gone, and was never found again. On the other hand, the lack of control Wan Hoo had over his vessel made it impossible to steer, unless he was an expert of shifting his weight to keep it straight. Since the rockets were mounted on the bottom of the chair, the vessel was extremely unstable, so I believe (and I’m sure many others do as well) that he left ground, then went out of control, and crash-landed some distance away.

There seems to be some confusion around this guy's name. Other names I've heard: Wan Ho, Wann Lo, and Wan Loo.