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According to the online version of Encyclopedia Britanica, the parachute is “a device that slows the vertical descent of a body falling through the atmosphere or the velocity of a body moving horizontally.” This is easier to understand, if one considers that through the use of a parachute a person increases his or her body's surface area, which results in increased air resistance and thus a body’s motion slows down. Made out of soft and light fabrics, today’s parachute is both a pilot’s life savior device and a parachute fan’s exciting experience.
The word “parachute” is a combination of two French words: para (protect or shield) and chute (the fall). Thus, it literally means fall protection. But protecting oneself when falling from a height due to earth’s gravity, towards land or sea, is actually something that even when the parachute is worn still has to take place. Luckily, due to the industry’s innovations, contemporary parachutes come in a variety of shapes and types, while all are quite maneuverable and can be navigated.
The days when parachutes were made out of silk have long passed. During the Second World War the parachutes introduced were made out from more durable materials, like woven nylon fabric. Today’s parachutes are made from a variety of long-lasting fabrics and materials, all selected to enhance performance and improve consistency over time; needless to say, something extremely important when one’s life is at stake!
But before Second World War, in particular, during the First World War, parachutes were used as escape devices for observation balloons controllers. Due to military needs, parachutes were quickly adopted by different countries as an escape device for pilots and soldiers onboard. In addition, parachutes were used to deploy the men at the military strategic position out on the field of battle. In fact, paratroopers are soldiers who fall out from the sky, with the use of their parachutes. One of the greatest battles, and according to many historians the one that changed the Second World War course, was the Battle of Crete, where thousands of German paratroopers were killed by Cretans who were defending their island and the country of Greece against the invaders.
According to literature reviews, parachutes date back to the 1100s when Chinese used them for amusement purposes; but this claim is not backed by evidence. Contemporary parachutes are used to land the NASA space aircrafts, the military airplanes on the deck of ship at sea and of course for fun purposes by skydivers as the main element of a hobby / sport known as Parachuting. Also, sea skiers use a special version of parachutes in order to be lifted onto the air as a boat pools them from their waist. In general, parachutes have been tested for a variety of soft landings and today are commonly used for a variety of purposes.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of Parachute guidance
, For more information on parachutes check out http://www.parachute-guidance2k.info