The parachute predates the airplane by almost five hundred years. Leonardo da Vinci even sketched a few designs for one back in 1485. That’s pretty interesting, but it also begs the question as to how they actually used the things. One has to assume that they simply walked off the edge of a perfectly good bridge or tower, although at least one crazy Frenchman leapt from a hot air balloon. Much to everyone’s surprise, it actually worked!