Interesting People - Franz Reichelt

Franz Reichelt was an Austrian, who worked as a tailor in France, and tried to invent a parachute suit.  Unfortunately he's more famous for his death, than he is for his life.

(Reichelt wanted to develop a suit for aviators that would convert into a parachute and allow them to survive a fall should they be forced to leave their aircraft.  He designed an overcoat that would convert into a parachute and repeatedly petitioned the Parisian Prefecture of Police for permission to conduct a test from the Eiffel Tower. He was finally granted permission to test his invention using dummies,  but when he arrived at the tower on February 4 1912, it was clear that he intended to make the jump himself.  He jumped from the first platform of the tower wearing his invention and the parachute failed to deploy. He crashed into the icy ground at the foot of the tower and was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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