#412: Parapillow

I’ve made a number of parachute jumps…one is a number. I was inspired by my late uncle who was killed during parachute training in the desert war (the big one in 1941).

As I made a dent in that field in Kent, it occurred to me that the parachute landing fall I’d been taught wasn’t exactly very effective -I still have twinges in my right hip 26 years later.


Today’s invention provides a way for parachutists to be better protected from terra firma. They would be equipped with the equivalent of a small inflatable lifeboat.

At an altitude of say 20 m (the last few metres seem to go by unusually quickly) a small cannister of compressed air would inflate this rapidly, in a similar way to the airsacs provided for the Mars landers. This would cushion the inevitable impact and reduce the number of injuries which occur -especially when parachuting during high winds.

The pillow might deploy automatically (like an automobile airbag) and it could be equipped with a pressure release valve so as to provide an effective cushion which would not rupture; allowing its reuse.

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