Franz Reichelt: The Parachuting Pioneer and His Infamous Stunt

I do wish that ArtLark had found a different way to repeat their posts because I have to re-reblog every time as the previous year’s outing then no longer links to the content. Hence this reblog of a reblog today!


51BjddXgkXLOn the 4th of February 1912, Austrian-born inventor and tailor Franz Reichelt, also known as the Flying Tailor, died tragically by jumping from the Eiffel Tower, whilst trying out his own creation, a coat parachute. Even though, having worked on the prototype for two years, and having had it rejected numerous times by aeronautic organisations and competitions, Reichelt had so much foolish confidence in his design that he decided to go ahead with his plan; he said: “I want to try the experiment myself, and without trickery, as I intend to prove the worth of my invention.”

“Reichelt’s pride and joy was a wearable parachute, so that airline pilots could deploy it to increase their chances of survival if they needed to eject from their aircraft (because that happens all the time?).Tests with a prototype from his fifth-floor balcony on dummies proved successful, but those prototypes weighed 150…

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