Who invented the parachute?

Skydiving has a long history and tradition. Both the universal genius Leonardo da Vinci and the Chinese had the idea several hundred years ago.

The first documented parachute jump in the western world was made by the Italian mathematician Fausto Veranzio in Venice in 1617. His parachute still consisted of a wooden frame covered with fabric.

Towards the end of the 18th century, the history of skydiving advanced in rapid succession, especially in France. At this point the names Montgolfier, Lenormand, Blanchard, Garnerin and Guille should be mentioned. A wide variety of constructions made of materials such as wood or wicker with fabric covering were used. In the early days of parachuting, due to a lack of aircraft, people jumped from tall buildings such as towers. Due to the comparatively low height of these buildings, skydiving in the early years did not have much in common with skydiving as it is practiced today. A phase of free fall was not even possible.

With the development of ballooning, skydiving also made a big step forward, because higher jump heights were now possible. At the same time, rigid parachutes were abandoned.

The first free fall jump was performed by Guille from 3000 meters in 1819. For a long time, the parachute was opened very early for fear of unconsciousness in free fall.

It was a woman from Germany, Käthe Paulus, who thought practically and came up with the idea of ​​packing the parachute in a cover. She also took over the industrial production of her invention. Many of these parachutes were used as lifesavers in the First World War.

In the years that followed, further improvements were made: silk was used as the material for the umbrella, and the parachute was strapped to the back. An auxiliary screen was added as well as a second cover. After that, not much has changed in the principle of parachute construction to this day.

In 1919 the American Leslie le Roy Irvin made the first real free fall jump, 11 years later the German Richard Kohnke. You quickly realized that you could influence the speed and direction of your free fall through your posture.

During the Second World War, skydiving also played an important role in getting into areas that are difficult to access. It still has a permanent place in the military sector today.

In addition, skydiving has also established itself as a fun sport and hobby for everyone.