Don't pack your parachute: Totally free fall

ON A bright day in 1912, an Austrian tailor named Franz Reichelt jumped off the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. This was no suicide attempt. Reichelt was wearing a special overcoat of his own design that was supposed to let him glide gently to the ground. Sadly, it didn't work. As the crowd watched and movie cameras whirred, the "flying tailor" plunged 60 metres to his death.
Now a small group of fearless - some would say foolhardy - wingsuit enthusiasts is reviving the dream of the very first birdmen. Their ambition is to jump out of a plane, glide thousands of metres and land in one piece - without a parachute.

Full article by Julian Smith on New Scientist



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