1872 – 1944
Who was Gleb Kotelnikov?
In 1894, Kotelnikov graduated from the Kiev Military School. In 1911, he created his first parachute RK-1, that was successfully employed in 1914 during World War I. Later on, Kotelnikov significantly improved the design of his parachute, creating new models, including RK-2 with a softer knapsack, RK-3, and a few cargo parachutes, all of which would be adopted by the Soviet Air Force.
Having witnessed the death of a talented Russian pilot Lev Matsivich and been shocked by it, he became obsessed with the idea of constructing a parachute, to which he devoted several years of his life as well as all his personal savings. In 1911 he applied for a patent to the Committee on Inventions in France and was granted the patent under the number 438612, in which he summarized the function of his parachute:
The working principle of the apparatus is as follows: in case of an emergency, a pilot, wearing it on his back, could throw himself out of an aircraft, opening a knapsack by pulling a cord attached to its lock. In case of an unexpected fall the device can work quite automatically. For that purpose the lock of the parapack is connected with a carriage of an aircraft by means of a cord which would open the lock of a parapack being stretched under the weight of a falling man.
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