History of the Parachutes
In 1991, the Springfield, Ohio newspaper did a wonderful article
on Red, including a color picture of him holding the model Jalbert parafoil.
Click here to see the
Bill videotaped Red talking about some of the parachutes
in the mid 1990s. The Jalbert parafoil is the first one he talked about. Many thanks to
Chuck Land of Landman
Productions for editing the videos and Marcos Sastre of
the Blue Birds Big Band for cleaning up the
177.30 - Jalbert
As Red describes
parachute 177.21, he says, "Just like the parafoil, the first
177.21 - First Ringslot parachute
These parachutes have three "ears" that extend up and are
connected by cords at the top. They thought they could catch rocket stages from satellite launches with
these, but as Red explains, it didn't work.
177.13/.15 - Satellite re-entry 3
This is the parachute that skydivers used prior to the parafoil. It's not as
maneuverable and more expensive than a parafoil.
There are quite a few drouge or ribbon chutes in the
collection. Red talks about them as a group and the history of their Nazi
177.x - Early
This 64' chute is from the pre-manned Mercury space capsule
Mercury pre-manned 64'
Red says this one "isn't anything special", but it is a model of the early 1920s 24'
emergency chute that would be worn in front as a backup chute.
177.17 - Model of 1920s
24' emergency chute
Red says this is the standard Air Force personnel
Air Force personnel
Red made the first full-size parafoil after
spending months refining the model in the wind tunnel. The first test flight was in
Click here for photos of the first
flight of a parafoil
Two photos of Red making and displaying the
first-ever Nazi drouge chute made in the USA, circa 1946.
Click here to see them
Red worked in the Parachute Division at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Click here for a picture of the Parachute Team
Red won a $740 award in August 1962
for his redesign of the parachute deployment bag for canopy parachutes, which the Air Force adopted as
Click here to see his award
notice & an article from the Springfield, Ohio newspaper about it.
In October 1962,
Red received a Sustained Superior Performance Award from the Air Force.
Click here for the cover
In the recommendation, it says Red,
"made a very significant contribution by advising on parachute fabricating methods and techniques" and "contributed
important innovations in the final design of the presently widely used guide surface
Click here for page 1 of
It goes on to say that Red, "spent
many extra hours on the parachute system which Capt. (Joe) Kittinger has used in his high altitude jumps" and "has
become an authority on parachute fabrication".
Click here for page 2 of