The word "parachute", which in French means "preventing falling", was invented by the physicist S. Lenorman. In the papers of Leonardo da Vinci, the picture of the first parachute, dated January 1495, is preserved. On it is a figure of a man under a tent-dome, stretched above his head. Since then, the idea to create a braking device for descent from a great height has undergone many changes. As a parachute, besides the "Leonardo tent", they offered immense raincoats and giant umbrellas, wings made like a bird, and wooden frames, covered with cloth. With such a parachute frame and made the first jump in the world by a Venetian engineer and philosopher F. Veranzio in 1617.

The word parachute translated from French means preventing falling

A parachute with a frame or a rigid parachute had significant drawbacks. The dome was cumbersome, the parachutist was spinning and chattering in the air. To eliminate these phenomena, the inventors tied sails and bamboo struts to the parachute dome, fastened special valves and enlarged the wings. In the end, it turned out: "tame" the dome of a parachute is very simple - you just need to do in its middle hole. And at the same time and to refuse bulky struts. Their role is completely correctly performed by a counterflow of air. The design of the parachute has become much more reliable. The parachute dome at that time was attached to the balloon in half-opened form. Of course, such a parachute was not suitable for jumping from an airplane.

The way out of the situation was found by the Russian inventor G.E. Kotelnikov: he laid the parachute in a special knapsack, which was opened with the help of an exhaust ring. And then the parachute acquired a modern look: the straps of the suspension system, tightly covering the human body, were attached to the foot - strong ropes leaving for the dome of the parachute, made usually from a special silk.

The parachute can have domes of various shapes (circle, rectangle, hemisphere, truncated cone, etc.). The area of the dome is from 0,01 to several thousand m2. For the safe descent of a person, the parachute canopy area of 40-50 m2 is sufficient. By increasing and decreasing the size of the dome, replacing silk with a stronger nylon, making additional slots in the dome, the parachute is given all the new properties, making it suitable for performing a variety of tasks.