Failed test of a flying suit that ends in tragedy
Wingsuiting is an extreme sport in which the participant wears a specially designed jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, that allows them to glide through the air like a bird or a flying squirrel. The wingsuit is made of lightweight, stretchy fabric that is designed to create lift, and is equipped with special flaps that can be adjusted to control the direction and speed of the wearer’s flight.
To participate in wingsuiting, the participant typically jumps from a high point, such as a cliff or a airplane, and uses the wingsuit to glide through the air for several minutes before deploying a parachute to slow down and land safely. Wingsuiting requires a high level of skill, training, and experience, and carries significant risks, including the danger of hitting obstacles or losing control in mid-air.
Despite the risks, many people are drawn to wingsuiting for the sense of freedom and exhilaration that it provides. The sport has grown in popularity in recent years, with wingsuiting events and competitions taking place all over the world.
Wingsuiting and Franz Reichelt
There is no direct link between Franz Reichelt and the modern wingsuit, which is a specialized jumpsuit that allows the wearer to glide through the air like a bird or a flying squirrel.
However, there are some similarities between Reichelt’s failed parachute and the wingsuit, in that both inventions are attempts to mimic the aerodynamic capabilities of animals in flight. Both inventions also carry significant risks, and require a high level of skill and experience to use safely.
Like Reichelt’s parachute, wingsuits have been involved in several tragic accidents over the years, as the sport of wingsuit flying has grown in popularity. Despite the risks, many people continue to be fascinated by the thrill and freedom of gliding through the air in a wingsuit, and the sport remains popular among extreme sports enthusiasts.
Death of Franz Reichelt
Franz Reichelt was an Austrian-born tailor and inventor who lived in Paris in the early 20th century. He is best known for his tragic death, which occurred on February 4, 1912, during a failed attempt to test his invention, a wearable parachute.
Reichelt had been working on his invention for several years and had been granted a patent for it in 1911. He believed that his parachute would allow people to jump from tall buildings and land safely on the ground, similar to how birds and insects can fly and glide through the air.
On the day of his fatal test, Reichelt went to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, accompanied by a small crowd of spectators and reporters. He had obtained permission from the authorities to conduct his test from the first platform of the tower, which was 57 meters (187 feet) above the ground.
Reichelt wore his parachute, which was made of silk and steel wire, and jumped off the platform. However, the parachute failed to open properly, and Reichelt fell to his death, hitting the frozen ground at high speed.
The entire incident was captured on film by several cameramen who were present at the scene, and the footage was widely circulated in the media. Reichelt’s death was seen as a cautionary tale about the dangers of overconfidence and the importance of proper testing and safety measures.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the French authorities launched an investigation into Reichelt’s invention and his testing methods. They concluded that Reichelt had not conducted sufficient testing or taken adequate safety precautions before attempting his fatal jump.
Today, Franz Reichelt’s parachute is remembered as a bizarre and tragic footnote in the history of aviation and invention.