Leonardo Da Vinci's drawing of a parachute from 500 years ago
April 10, 2005 Leonardo Da Vinci was the first person to conceive the parachute, documenting his idea 500 years ago but it was not until we had airplanes that the idea really offered some compelling functionality. Practical parachutes for aircrew came into usage during World War 1 and were subsequently extended to the cushioned descent of large supply payloads where an aircraft cannot land. But it took another seven decades before the parachute was commercially available for an aircraft via Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS), the whole-airplane parachute company. Initially for ultralights and small aircraft, the parachutes have been growing in strength and capability ever since and late last year BRS released a parachute to cover the Cessna 182 line of aircraft. This week, the company’s pioneering aviation work was recognised when it received a prestigious Laureate Award from Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. Each spring since 1956, Aviation Week publishers have honoured individuals and teams who have made lasting contributions to the advancement of aerospace.
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