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Parachute use in World War I

 
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Aug 2010 21:40    Onderwerp: Parachute use in World War I Reageer met quote

Parachute use in World War I

Prior to the Great War the use of parachutes was seen as foolhardy and undertaken only by showmen and women to thrill crowds of voyeuristic spectators. Cavalry units were the main reconnaissance and observers of enemy positions who then reported back to enable artillery to accurately engage enemy positions. The war of 1914 was to change this role. It was the advent of artillery with greater ranges and the ability of aerial machines to rise high enough to observe and report back more comprehensively the layout of the unfolding battle that changed this aspect of warfare. Observation of the enemy from a stable platform was achieved by the use of tethered observation balloons carrying beneath them a wicker basket occupied by observers. The very stability and static nature of the balloons rendered them as a tempting target for enemy aircraft and the method of winching down a balloon by its ground crew was not always fast enough to ensure a safe descent and saving of its occupant. To secure the safety of the observers parachutes were used as "life-savers". They were attached to the balloon rigging and all the observer had to do in theory was to jump out and his falling mass would snatch the parachute from its container and the parachute would open. As the war continued the use of the parachute became an accepted and trusted method to save lives. No such device was considered appropriate for aviators and crews to fixed wing aircraft.

Aeronauts - Observers who parachuted from Balloons
Only balloon claims and information that indicate the observers used their parachutes are included in this listing. Not every balloon downed was destroyed, neither did the observers of every balloon that was downed take to their parachutes. Many who used their parachutes successfully did not survive.

Lees verder op http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/project/Parachutes/1914_18.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Aug 2010 8:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Duitse piloot met zijn parachute in 1918



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