Parachutes – 10 Facts you don’t know about it
1. The oldest parachute design appear in a manuscript from 1470. Although the surface area of the parachute design is too small to be effective, the design is quite similarly with the modern shape of parachutes .
2. The current design, the backpack parachute was invented in 1911. It contained also the ripcord, a quick release mechanism who allowed users to control the exact moment of releasing the parachute .
3. During War World II the main material used in parachutes was silk. Standard material used for modern parachutes is nylon.
4. The first record public jump with a parachute was made by Louis-Sebastien Lenormand (inventor of modern parachute) in France in the year 1783
5. The record for the highest altitude from which a parachute jump was performed date from August 16, 1960. Joseph Kittinger jumped from a balloon at altitude of 101,516 feet (30,942 m). During the descent, Kittinger experienced temperatures as low as −94 °F (−70 °C). Until he opened his parachute, he reached a top speed of 614 mph (988 km/h).
6. Commercial planes are not equipped with parachutes for passenger to use. Although may appear a good safety measure, the official explanation is that passenger jet aircraft doors cannot be opened from the inside at high altitudes for safety reasons.
7. Although parachute was primarily designed for human use, today multiple types of parachutes are used in different areas as cargo deployment or emergency break for shuttles or planes.
8. On November 24, 1971 was recorded the only case of skyjacker on USA territory that remained unscathed by FBI. The thief, jumped with a parachute from a Boeing 727 with 200,000 USD. He hasn’t been found since.
9. During World War II in 1944 took place the biggest airborne operation of all time. More then 20,000 people were parachuted in Holland, near city Arnhem in order to seize a vital bridge which, once conquered, could provide a rapid advance of British and American mechanized forces in Northern Germany. The operation failed as a result of a heroic resistance of German troops combined with the intervention of bad weather.
10. The average fatality rate in United States is considered to be around 1 in 80,000 jumps.
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