Interesting article on the development of Parachute units at a time when the Government is wanting to do away with Para training.
The Smithsonian magazine website ran a fascinating article last week about Gleb Kotelnikov — the genius behind the first modern backpack parachute.
According to the story, the 39-year-old Russian actor turned inventor set out to create a more perfect parachute after watching a stunt pilot fall to his death from an airplane at a St. Petersburg aerobatic display. Kotelnikov reportedly made the pursuit of a more perfect parachute the focus of his life from that point on. Much of his work would go on to inform the future development of parachute technology.
While various chute designs had been conceived as far back as the 15th Century, and with one being successfully tested as early as 1617, these earlier iterations were visioned long before the advent of the airplane. Even 19th Century parachutes proved inadequate when opening at aircraft speeds. Kotelnikov’s invention changed all that — his backpack parachute…
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