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André-Jacques Garnerin (January 31, 1769 – August 18, 1823) was the inventor of the frameless parachute. He was born in Paris.

His early experiments were based on umbrella-shaped devices. He was captured by British troops during the first phase of the Napoleonic Wars 1792 - 1797, turned over to the Austrians and held a prisoner in Buda in Hungary for three years.

After his release, Garnerin was involved with the flight of hot air balloons. He carried out the first jump with a Silk parachute on October 22, 1797 at Parc Monceau, Paris. Garnerin's first parachute resembled a closed umbrella before he ascended, with a pole running down its center and a rope running through a tube in the pole, which connected it to the balloon. Garnerin rode in a basket attached to the bottom of the parachute; at a height of approximately 3,000 feet (900 m) he severed the rope that connected his parachute to the balloon. The balloon continued skyward while Garnerin, with his basket and parachute, fell. The basket swung during descent, then bumped and scraped when it landed, but Garnerin emerged uninjured. His wife Jeanne-Geneviève was the first female parachutist; as no real material parachute can sustain its entire flight without some positive above-zero glide ratio, then for some, if not almost all of her descent was in a gliding parachute (subset of hang gliders) and thus she was the best candidate for being the first woman hang glider rider.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Andre-Jacques Garnerin."
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