Parachute – Faust Vrančić (Fausto Veranzio)

Although for the first idea of a design that would help land from a higher altitude come from Leonardo da Vinci, his designs are not similar to modern parachutes or are tried out. Faust Vrančić, the Croatian inventor who lived at the turn of the sixteenth to the seventeenth century, constructed a parachute with the shape and dimensions similar to what we are using today. He used the canvas to decorate the rectangular frame and successfully demonstrated its use by jumping from the tower in Venice in 1617. A book written by British bishop John Willkins (1614-1672), Secretary of the Royal Society in London, shows us a jump really has happened, although the book was published 30 years after the jump. Vrančić called his invention Homo Volans (lat. Flying man), and published it in his book of invention Machinae Novae.

Before start of the practical application, the parachute has been greatly improved over the centuries. The appearance of balloons on hot air and gases easier than air accelerated the development of parachutes as a means of rescue and lowering of cargo. During the First World War the parachute began to be massively applied for pilot rescue. Today, parachutes are also used for recreational purposes, in a variety of sports and outdoor activities.