Parachuting or skydiving (English skydiving, from sky - "sky", diving - "diving") is an aviation sport that involves the use of a parachute (French parachute - "prevent falling"), which is a structure 6-7 m in diameter , consisting of fabric and designed to reduce the speed of movement of an object during the fall.
Information about such products can be found in many ancient written sources. For example, there is information that as early as the XII century, small parachute-like structures were used during performances by acrobats in China. However, the most advantageous dimensions of the prototype of a modern parachute (12x12 cubits, i.e. approximately 6x6 meters) were described in one of his manuscripts in 1495 by Leonardo da Vinci.
A mention of a similar design, the dimensions of which varied depending on the weight of a person, are also found in the works of Faust Verancino (Italy) in the 17th century, at the same time there was a repeated successful use of parachute-like designs.
They began to actively use parachutes as rescue systems in the 18th century, after the appearance of balloons on which regular flights were made.
Further improvement of aircraft assumed the modification of parachutes - in 1910, the first aviation backpack parachute was created. In addition, structures of this kind began to be used for entertainment and various competitions.
The first World Parachuting Championship was held in 1951, and since then such competitions have been held annually. Athletes compete in precision landing (with a target diameter of only 20 mm these days), individual, group and dome acrobatics.
Parachuting is not interesting as it boils down to simply jumping out of an airplane with a parachute. Misconception. Parachuting is extremely diverse, it allows an athlete to reveal their capabilities and abilities not only in free fall, but also in a manned parachute flight. In turn, these areas are divided into several disciplines. The direction of free fall includes individual acrobatics (a set of movements is performed for a certain time), group acrobatics (athletes rebuild or perform certain figures in the horizontal plane), freefly (figures are performed in a vertical plane), freestyle or "air ballet" (arbitrary artistic execution of various figures), skysurfing (movement through the air is performed using a monoski). Athletes who choose a manned flight compete in precision landing, high-speed landing (English swoop) and canopy acrobatics (the construction of figures is performed with already opened parachutes).
There are many types of parachutes. It really is. At first, parachutes were used solely to provide a soft landing for people during hostilities (landing parachutes) or in the event of an emergency (rescue systems). These days, parachutes have different functions. For example, cargo parachutes are used to land heavy equipment (and in some cases several parachutes can be used simultaneously) - trucks, light aircraft, spacecraft (in the rarefied atmosphere of some planets of the solar system, one parachute is not enough, therefore braking is additionally carried out by means of air bags or engines missiles), etc. The purpose of braking parachutes is to reduce the braking distance of cars or aircraft (military or transport), and exhaust (stabilizing) parachutes are to stabilize the position of the human body during the opening of the parachute. Sport parachutes are designed, as a rule, for jumping from aircraft, and some varieties (for example, parafoils (from the English parafoil - "wing parachute"), similar kosonevurniks or parachutes for Ground Launch (from the English "launch from the ground" ), used for descents from the top of the mountain) are quite capable of making rather long flights. BASE systems are designed for BASE jumping, i.e. jumps from various static objects (buildings, bridges, etc.). Parasails and kites are attached to a small craft and are used to tow a person above the water.
All parachutes are made in the form of a hemisphere. Modern parachutes come in many different shapes. Even the round parachute mentioned above is actually a twenty-octagon, consisting of 11 panels. Almost all rescue systems are based on round parachutes (in some cases, the top of the structure has a slightly retracted shape, which is intended to reduce the overall area of the product). Landing parachutes are made in the shape of a square (America) or "patisson" (Russia), because, according to experts, it is this configuration that contributes to better controllability and prevents convergence in the air. Sport parachutes and parachutes for GL, used for flights over cliff spurs, are made in the form of a Rogallo wing, parafoil or kosonevurenik - rather complex highly elliptical structures, very reminiscent of paragliders.
Any parachute system consists of two parachutes: main and reserve. Not always. For example, parasails, GL parachutes and base systems are not equipped with reserve parachutes.
Until 1913, parachuting was an exclusively male sport. It is believed that it was in 1913, on June 21, that a representative of the fair sex, Georgia Thompson (USA), made the first parachute jump. However, back in 1896, Olga Drevnitskaya (Poland) joined parachutism.
You can get ready for your first parachute jump in one day. Moreover (according to the Parachute Training Course for 2003), in order to prepare for a tandem jump with an experienced instructor, you will have to spend no more than half an hour. If you have to jump on your own with a landing parachute, preparation will take 3 hours.
Breathing problems may occur during the free fall. At an altitude of up to 5000 meters, the air is not so discharged, therefore both the pressure and the amount of oxygen are within normal limits. So for healthy people, staying at the above altitude does not cause any discomfort. The exception is jumps from higher heights (up to 20,000 m), undertaken to test various types of rescue equipment (for example, aviation and space suits and rescue systems). To make such jumps, testers climb to great heights on stratospheric balloons (balloons filled with helium that can reach the stratosphere) and are required to be equipped with special spacesuits that protect against hypoxia, temperature and pressure drops.
It is better not to have breakfast before making the first jump - just in case. According to experts, the presence or absence of a morning meal does not in any way affect one or another reaction of the body, which manifests itself spontaneously with a strong emotional shock, which most often occurs during the first jump. Therefore, you can have breakfast, you should only avoid overeating.
Before jumping "for courage", you can drink a little alcohol. Completely erroneous opinion. After all, alcohol (like any psychotropic and narcotic substances) slows down the reaction rate, and also negatively affects the ability to adequately respond to various kinds of emergency situations. Therefore, alcoholic beverages can be consumed at least 12 hours before the jump, otherwise the parachutist will simply not be allowed on the airfield.
Fright is a serious obstacle for beginners. Yes, in some cases, the person being instructed has quite a lot of fear. If this happened at the airport, you should once again weigh everything and decide whether you need to do this sport at all or you should prefer something less extreme. If an attack of fear hinders movement just before the jump, you need to take several deep breaths, try to relax and remove your hands from the doorway. Experienced instructors will help you not to make a mistake, and in the event that fear develops into panic or hysteria, calm down and get to the seat on the plane on which you will land safely.
During the free fall, you can receive verbal advice from the instructor. No, in the process of free fall, speech communication with someone is impossible, since the noise of the air is too strong (the exception is jumping using a wingsuit) - in this case, the descent is very slow (parachutists for some time fly not down, but forward), and negotiations between the athletes are indeed quite possible). Therefore, at this stage of the jump, communication is carried out exclusively by signs. But when the parachute canopy is open, speech communication with both the instructor or tandem master, and with other members of the parachute group is quite possible.
During a parachute landing, pain is inevitable. Experts believe that the sensations during landing with a parachute (falling speed - 5 m / s) are the same as when jumping from a height of 1 m. The exception is competitions in the swoop discipline, when the descent speed can be 100 km / h. But in this discipline athletes with great experience work, and they use special parachutes, therefore they land skillfully and painlessly.
In order to learn how to land correctly and minimize the risk of injury, novice athletes must undergo instruction, including jumping from a special dais (training pedestal), somersaults and warm-up of the joints. Also, beginners are taught the rules of behavior if the wind picks up the canopy after landing and drags the parachutist along the ground. In addition, you should choose the right clothes and shoes (clothes - made of dense fabric with fastened sleeves, shoes that fix the ankle joint well, thereby protecting it from sprains) - and then landing will not cause discomfort.
There is a special program for teaching sports parachute jumping, which has not undergone drastic changes since Soviet times. This is not entirely true. Nowadays, several programs have been developed to train novice paratroopers, and the one mentioned above (the so-called classic, used in Soviet times in DOSAAF clubs for preliminary training of paratroopers) is just one of them. Studying according to this program, the athlete first acquires the skills of working with a round parachute (the jump is made from a height of 1000 m), and only after that he proceeds to mastering other types of parachute systems, including the wing parachute, which is studied by the latter. Alternative program AFF (English Accelerated Free Fall - "accelerated free fall") is somewhat different from the classic. Firstly, the wing parachute is part of the athletes' equipment from the first days of training (this type of parachute is both main and reserve). Secondly, in each flight, the beginner is accompanied by an instructor (at first - a pair of instructors), under whose guidance, during a rather long free fall (from a height of 4000 m), a beginner athlete manages to work out this or that exercise several times.
Only people of a certain age are allowed to skydive. Individuals over 18 years of age are allowed to skydive on their own, however, admission can be obtained for children under the specified age (subject to the presence of a father or mother on the landing site and the presence of parental permission, officially certified by a notary). There are no strict age restrictions for jumps paired with an instructor - if only health allows.
Each person who is about to make a jump must be able to properly pack his parachute. Professional athletes and amateurs, who regularly make parachute jumps, pack the parachute themselves. Those who are just starting to learn parachuting or are going to make a jump with an instructor just for their own pleasure will not have to assemble the parachute on their own - this is done by the regular handlers working at all parachute clubs. The packing of reserve parachutes is most often done by certified riggers who have undergone special training.
Closed helmets are the most comfortable. Much depends on what kind of skydiving discipline the athlete prefers. Individual jumpers (eg freefly) prefer open helmets. Fans of group disciplines (for example, dome acrobatics (RW)) use closed helmets.
Bad weather can be a serious obstacle to a skydiving competition. Yes, but some competitions (for example, aerial acrobatics) can be held in a vertical wind tunnel, designed so that the movement of air (from bottom to top in pressurization and from top to bottom in suction structures) allows you to simulate body movement during a parachute jump. In the case of using the aforementioned pipe for the competitors, the weather conditions, the presence of an aircraft and a quorum are not important.