Friday, 8 May 2009

The first (and last) flight of Franz Reichelt

Known, with some irony, as "The Flying Tailor," the plucky Austrian created the first coat-parachute hybrid. Reassuring the authorities that he planned to use a mannequin in the test flight, he instead bravely leapt from the Eiffel Tower and floated gracefully to the ground. Having patented his invention, Reichelt became a household name and a multi-millionaire within days. Today, the "Reichelt suit" is a popular (and fashionable) form of travel for commuters and pleasure-seekers alike.