- Leonardo da Vinci sketched the design for the first parachute in 1485.
- The word “parachute” comes “para”, meaning “against” or “counter” in Ancient Greek, and “chute”, the French word for “fall”.
- June 26, 2000, British balloonist Adrian Nicholas proved da Vinci right. In a parachute built of wood and canvas to the artist’s specifications, Nicholas was hoisted to 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) by a hot-air balloon and then released.
- The modern parachute was invented in the late 18th century by Louis-Sébastien Lenormand in France, who made the first recorded public jump in 1783.
- The highest parachute jump ever made was done by U.S. Air Force Captain Joseph W. Kittinger Jr. on Aug. 16, 1960 over New Mexico.
- The first jump from an aircraft was made more than 200 years later by Captain Albert Berry at St. Louis, USA, on March 1st 1912.
- On 16 August 1960 Joseph Kittinger, in the Excelsior III test jump, set the current world record for the highest parachute jump. He jumped from a balloon at altitude of 101,516 feet (30,942 m) (which was also a manned balloon altitude record at the time).
- Jean Pierre Blanchard (1753-1809) a Frenchman was probably the first person to actually use a parachute for an emergency. In 1785, he dropped a dog in a basket, to which a parachute was attached, from a balloon high in the air.
- According to the Guinness book of records, Eugene Andreev (USSR) holds the official FAI record for the longest free-fall parachute jump (without drogue chute) after falling for 80,380 ft (24,500 m) from an altitude of 83,523 ft (25,457 m) near the city of Saratov, Russia on 1 November 1962.
- A 92-year-old man with artificial knees made it into the record books by becoming the oldest person ever to jump out of an airplane with a parachute.
Friday, February 19, 2010
10 interesting Parachute Facts