New French Stamp on Centennial of Skydiving

\"franceLa Poste issued a stamp within the series \”Airmail\” dedicated to Adolphe Pegoud, pioneer of skydiving and aerobatics.In August 19, 1913 a young 24-years-old pilot jumped from the altitude of 250 m of his Bleriot\’s cabin near the Chateaufort airfield, Versailles region, and landed by parachute.This feat kicked off skydiving in France and demonstrated at the same time the usefulness of this type of equipment.

Test jumps had been made before that with already open parachutes. The novelty in the jump of Adolphe Pegoud lies in the use of a prototype parachute folded and placed on the fuselage of the aircraft, thanks to Bonnet, inventor of the parachute\’s automatic opening.

The parachute experienced other pioneers, including Leonardo da Vinci who devised the concept at the end of the fifteenth century or Garnerin who made the first jump from a balloon in 1797 over the Parc Monceau in Paris.The parachute also gave birth to aerobatics. Indeed, during the descent of the aircraft then left to itself, in front of the spectators and aviation experts the Bleriot performed different \”figures\” before crashing to the ground.Adolphe Pegoud constantly recreated the figures in flight and tried to discipline these involuntary movements during several weeks: putting back, slide, barrel, and even looping, he would be considered \”inventor\” in September 1913, are the first fruits of airmanship Pegoud founded.At the age of 26, in 1915, Adolphe Pegoud was shot down by the German Luftwaffe during the First World War.

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