Leslie J. "Airplane" Payne (1907-1981) was an African-American artist who created an identity for himself as an aviator although he never actually learned to fly. Inspired by an air show that he had seen at the end of World War I, when he was only 11, Payne began in the 1940s to make what he called "imitations". He ultimately constructed a total of 8 small imitation airplanes out of found materials (two of which he tried, and failed, to fly).
Joan Fontcuberta's 1997 Sputnik project is a classic of fictive art. Sputnik details the life and exploits of a little-known Russian cosmonaut named Ivan Istochnikov whose mysterious disappearance during the flight of the Soyuz 2 spaceship in 1968 was followed by an extensive cover-up on the part of the Soviet bureaucracy.