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Old 15th March 2021, 16:18
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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Audio : Classic Lecture - The History of Parachutes by S. B. Jackson FRAeS

Audio : Classic Lecture - The History of Parachutes by S. B. Jackson FRAeS
It took little over a decade following the invention of the hot air balloon for André-Jacques Garnerin to make the first parachute jump from a balloon and, in this lecture, S. B. Jackson takes us through the evolution of the parachute over the next 150 years. After a brief look at the pre-ballooning concepts, Jackson examines the pre-1903 designs of Garnerin, Robert Cocking, John Hampton and others.
Jackson then moves the story into the twentieth century where, after an initial reluctance to use parachutes in the early days of powered flight, the aeroplane became the raison d'être for the parachute. Here he explores the reasons behind the initial reluctance to use parachutes, the creation of the industry around the American Leslie Irvin, the work of the Royal Aircraft Establishment to move the science of parachutes forward during the interwar period and the development of parachutes for uses other than safety, which became increasingly important during World War II. As well as looking at the design and history of the parachute itself, Jackson also explores the development of the pack and harness, together with the fabric used for parachutes.
If you would like to read more about the early days of parachutes, S. B. Jackson's paper, Some Reflections on Parachute Design, 1797-1837, can be read on the Aeronautical Journal Archive, with RAeS members able to access it free via the Aeronautical Journal pages of the RAeS website.
S. B. Jackson FRAeS addressed a meeting organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Historical Group on 26 October 1964. The lecture is introduced by J. L. Nayler FRAeS FAIAA, the recording was digitised thanks to a grant from the RAeS Foundation and the podcast was edited by Eur Ing Mike Stanberry FRAeS.
The National Aerospace Library
8 March 2021
author of THE DECISIVE DUEL: SPITFIRE VS 109, published by Little Brown. Visit its website at:
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