Here are 31 interesting facts about Parachute.

1-5 Parachute Facts

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1. Louis-Sébastien Lenormand, the inventor of the parachute made a successful jump from a tower in 1783 to demonstrate his wooden framed parachute. His intended use for the parachute was to help entrapped occupants of a burning building to escape unharmed. – Source

2. In 1996, Bear Grylls broke his back after falling 16’000ft when his parachute ripped. Two years later he climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest. – Source

3. UK charity parachute jumpers injure themselves so frequently that, for every £1 they raise for charity, they cost the public health system £13.75. – Source

4. In his multiple record-breaking Stratos space dive, Felix Baumgartner opened his parachute early to allow his mentor Col. Joseph Kittinger the dignity of retaining his own record for longest free fall. – Source

5. There is a sport called Banzai Skydiving. You throw the parachute out of the airplane first and then jump after it. – Source

6-10 Parachute Facts

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6. In the 60s, General Electric designed a system that could bring an astronaut from orbit to the Earth’s surface in an emergency. The system consisted of a plastic bag that would be filled with polyurethane foam, a small deorbit rocket, and a parachute. It could fit into a suitcase. – Source

7. In Utah, the US government used to launch monkeys off of a cliff with a parachute to test airplane ejection seats. – Source

8. In the 1940s the Idaho Fish and Game Dept relocated beavers into the wilderness by dropping them out of airplanes with parachutes. – Source

9. During WWII, Pacific island natives thought the misplaced cargo parachute-drops delivered to them were from their dead ancestors. So, after the war, they imitated soldiers they had seen, re-enacting marches with wooden rifles and built airplanes of straw, in hopes that the airdrops would return. – Source

10. Afraid of flying, Muhammad Ali spent his first flight praying with the parachute strapped to his back. He was heading to Rome. – Source

11-15 Parachute Facts

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11. Some cargo ships use parachutes to burn less fuel. – Source

12. “The Parachute murder” is a name the Belgian media gave the 2010 Belgian love triangle skydiving murder trial. Two women had fallen in love with the same man, and while parachuting one had sabotaged the other’s parachute. – Source

13. In 1970, a man named Yuichiro Miura became the first person to ski on Mount Everest, descending nearly 4,200 vertical feet while using a large parachute to slow him down. A documentary about his feat won an Academy Award in 1976. – Source

14. When skydiver Joan Murray’s parachute failed, she approached the ground at 80 miles (128km) per hour, landing on a mound of fire ants. The shock from being stung over 200 times by the ants released a surge of adrenaline which kept her heart beating and allowed her to survive. – Source

15. The reserve parachute is significantly more reliable than the main. – Source

16-20 Parachute Facts

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16. During the Apollo 12 mission, Ground Control feared an unexpected lightning strike during launch may have disabled the parachute, which would result in the crew’s death upon re-entry, but since there was no way to test it during the mission they didn’t tell the crew. – Source

17. During WWI, American and British pilots were strictly denied parachutes because it was thought that they would “impair the fighting spirit of pilots”. – Source

18. A flight crew aboard a B-29 survived a jump over China when the engine caught fire. The pilot saved his parachute and later proposed to his girlfriend at the time with these exact words, “I’d like to have you make a wedding dress out of my parachute. It saved my life.” She married him. – Source

19. People yell GERONIMO! when jumping from things due to a drunk private who, when testing parachutes in 1940, claimed he wasn’t scared. He yelled the name when he jumped to prove this. The rest of the platoon did not want to be shown up so they yelled it as well and it quickly caught on. – Source

20. The opening scene of The Spy Who Loved Me in which James Bond skies off a cliff and opens a Union Jack parachute amazed even royalty. “I have never seen a reaction in the cinema as there was that night. You couldn’t help it. You could not help but stand up. Even Prince Charles stood up.” – Source

21-25 Parachute Facts

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21. In 1913, a Slovakian coal miner invented a parachute skirt. He demonstrated it by jumping off a building in Washington within eyeshot of the U.S. Patent Office. – Source

22.  It is not considered a war crime to attack troops deployed by parachute while they fall but it is considered a war crime to attack a pilot who has ejected from his aircraft and is still falling. – Source

23. Agent Dale Cooper, of “Twin Peaks”, is named after D.B. Cooper, the only man in history to have successfully hijacked a commercial airliner for a ransom, and escape by parachute (in 1971). Numerous copycats followed, along with major security changes. D.B. Cooper was never found. – Source

24. The Soviet space mission Soyuz 23 ended in near disaster when the reentering capsule unexpectedly landed on a frozen lake, broke through the ice, and was dragged underwater by its parachute. The crew was saved but spent 9 hours in the capsule underwater. – Source

25. Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov performed a mission knowing the spacecraft had hundreds of ignored problems. After dealing with devastating system failures, he managed re-entry, then the parachute and backup parachute failed. He reportedly cried and raged in fury as he plunged to his death. – Source

26-31 Parachute Facts

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26. An American pilot was decorated with one of Germany’s highest medals for dropping miniature parachutes with candy during Berlin Airlift. – Source

27. The tower on top of the Apollo spacecraft contained a launch escape system, which could eject the crew module safely away from an imminent rocket explosion. The tower contained a solid-fueled rocket and used the craft’s parachutes to get the crew to safety. – Source

28. It is possible for Commercial Airplanes to have parachute for the whole plane. – Source

29. There is an AGM Missile which will deploy a parachute and wait till radar goes back online before starting up the second engine and finishing the job. – Source

30. The oldest parachute design appears in an anonymous manuscript from 1470s Renaissance Italy (over 400 years before the airplane), showing a free-hanging man clutching a crossbar frame attached to a conical canopy. As a safety measure, four straps run from the ends of the rods to a waist belt. – Source

31. 100 years ago a tailor jumped to his death from the Eiffel Tower in a failed test of the parachute he’d designed. – Source

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Fact List, Miscellaneous,

Last Update: September 23, 2017