Much of the story of skydiving comes from when survivors like Sima Qian whom has the first recorded story of Shun, an emperor who escaped his cruel father by jumping off a high granary with two bamboo hats and survived. Then dreamers like Leonardo DiVinci who drew the infamous pyramid-shaped parachute in his notebook; and Fausto Veranzio who studied DiVinici’s design and reimagined his own version known as Homo Volans (“The Flying Man”). Unlike the others before him, it was recorded that Veranzio tested his idea in the year 1617 and survived. However, it wasn’t until the era of Andre-Jacques Gernerin that parachute flying started to take shape.
Andre-Jacques was a French balloonist who began testing ideas in 1797. After his first experiment with a round canvas parachute built like an umbrella – which he survived – gave him direction to continue testing out more ideas.