No aviator willingly chooses to abandon an aircraft unless absolutely necessary. Parallel to the continuous development of aircraft ran the developments of  systems to ensure the aircrew's safety in  the event of an emergency.

Below are listed the majority of people who knowing the inherent dangers associated with "Live Testing" new and modified systems risked their lives to test ejection seats to ensure their safety for operational users and to supply vital information on their functioning to designers and engineers who still to this day strive for that  target of 100% lives saved. 

Live Parachute Tests in World War I

1914 - 1918

Live Ejection Tests

1940 - 2006

Temporary Home for Live Parachute Tests - data still being recovered from old written notes and files (Mike)
More to add -

Live Parachute Tests in World War I

1914 - 1918


"Marin" Constant Duclos

FRANCE 1915 - 1916

In September 1915 the French were concerned at the losses of experienced aviators and observers in tethered balloons began investigating a means to save lives. They turned to the idea of the parachute.

Lieutenant Juchmès took the basic parachute and developed a protective semi-rigid parachute container that could be attached to the balloon rigging or basket. The weight of the descending aviator or aérostatier would pull the parachute from the "le pot des fleurs"  and develop.

Successful tests using mannequins were conducted  at Chalais-Meudron.

The safety of the apparatus then had to be demonstrated to troops who were to say the least cautious to its effectiveness. To overcome reluctance to using the life-saving equipment Marin Constant Duclos of the French Armed Forces performed 23 test  and exhibition parachute drops without problems to publicise the system and convince doubters that the parachute was a practical solution in saving their lives.


photo via Baptiste Bourdés



L'adjutante Lallemand

FRANCE 10th July 1917

The Robert design parachute was adapted for use from aircraft and a series of live tests began on 10th July 1917 when L'adjutante Lallemand made a successful parachute jump from an aircraft. Several successful jumps did not convince the authorities. The arrival of the Americans in 1918 added another set of constraints to delay the  introduction of parachutes to aviators. Although the design was recognised as simple and effective there was a desire for an automatic opening parachute before adoption into the air services of America and France.

Robert and Lallemand began adaptions of the design.

Less than a year after his first test jump, on 27th May 1918, L'adjutante Lallemand was killed during an unsuccessful descent.


photo via Baptiste Bourdés

To follow Maitland, Paulus, Heinecke

coming soon - details of each "Live Test" Parachutist in WW1 and the tests they carried out

Can you add any further information on people listed below

Who is missing ??   I am aware that not all test parachutists are listed or shown. Please contact me with details of any omissions to make this a comprehensive record of every test parachutists in WW1 
Live Ejection Tests

1940 - 2006

Andre Allemand Harry Brickheimer Wilhelm Buss Lt. Cartier Jacques Duborg
Missing - Rolf Bulwinkel - German Test of Martin-Baker Seat
Rene Favier Sqn. Ldr. John "Fifi" Fifield Lt. "Chubby" Furtek Maj. James C. "Jim" Hall Arthur Harrison
no image yet available
William T. H. "Doddy" Hay Col. A. M. "Chic" Henderson Mr. Keyes Lawrence Lambert Mr. Bernard "Benny" Lynch
Peter Howard Vince Mazza Jake McLoughlin CWO Edward J. Murray Neilsen
Mr. Peter Page Russ Sawyer Harry W. Schmoll Sperry Michel Tournier 
image available soon
Flg. Off. Sid Hughes Joseph Maubec Glen Howell Vic James Dr. John Rawlins
Major T. "Dumbo" Willans Gavril Kondrashov Tadeuz Dulla P. Bystrov Dr. Davidson
F. Bogdanov
Valentiv Danilovich
Oleg Khomutov Gherman Titov  
Major Yevgenny Andreyev

1 November 1962
ejected 24,460 meters (83,500 feet) to test a new non-explosive Vostok ejection seat, wearing a conventional military high-altitude pressure suit

Landed safely seven and a half minutes later

Colonel Pyotr Dolgov

died1 November 1962
ejected 28,640 meters (93,970 feet) wearing a full Sokol space suit. His jump was to test its integrity and was part of the Vostok ejection seat qualification tests. His suit was damaged and depressurized at high altitude.His parachute did deploy, but the recovery team found him dead

Vasily Grigorevich Romanyuk

V.G.Romanyuk have set world records in skydiving with jump at alt of 13108.5 meters, 167 seconds of free flight, parachute was opened at 1000 meters.

On September, 25th, 1945 it has made a free-fall jump from a stratosphere. At that time experience of similar jumps practically was not. Barographs have shown, that the sportsman has left the plane at height of 13108,5 m, in free falling it

  Gleb Evgenevich Kotelnikov, The inventor of backpacked parachute. was born
1872-Jun-01, ... Gleb Evgenevich Kotelnikov has Patented backpack parachute RK-1.

Send to parachute section

coming soon - details of each "Live Test" Ejectee, many of whom were professional parachutists, and the tests they carried out

Can you add any further information on people listed below

Who is missing ??   I am aware that not all test ejectees are listed or shown. Please contact me with details of any omissions to make this a comprehensive record of every test ejectee 

Василий Григорьевич

В.Г.Романюк    Заслуженный тренер СССР по парашютному спорту, Герой Советского Союза (1957), полковник.
    Родился 30 января 1910 в м. Драбов, ныне пгт Черкасской области, в семье рабочего. Украинец. Член КПСС с 1930. Окончил 7 классов, работал в совхозе.
    В армии с 1928. Окончил Орджоникидзевское пехотное училище в 1931, Оренбургскую военную авиационную школу летчиков-наблюдателей в 1933, курсы инструкторов парашютно-десантной службы в 1934.
    Заместитель начальника отделения по лётным испытаниям и парашютной подготовке - ст.инструктор-испытатель парашютов и катапультных установок НИИ ВВС полковник Романюк совершил 3475 прыжков, большинство из которых были экспериментальными - при полетах на сверхзвуковых скоростях и из стратосферы.
    25 сентября 1945 г. он совершил затяжной прыжок из стратосферы. В то время опыта подобных прыжков практически не было. Барографы показали, что спортсмен покинул самолет на высоте 13108,5 м, в свободном падении он пробыл 167 секунд и раскрыл парашют на высоте 1000 м. Были перекрыты все существовавшие достижения как по высоте, так и по длительности падения с нераскрытым парашютом. Через два года Романюк установил новое достижение, прыгнув с высоты 13400 м с немедленным раскрытием парашюта.
    Романюк установил 18 мировых и ряд всесоюзных рекордов, ему были присвоены звания заслуженного мастера спорта и заслуженного тренера СССР. В авиационном спорте его называют парашютистом № 1.
    За испытания парашютной техники и проявленные при этом мужество, отвагу и героизм 9 сентября 1957 ему, первому среди парашютистов-испытателей, было присвоено звание Героя Советского Союза.
    В 1951 окончил Военно-воздушную академию.
    С 1964 полковник Романюк - в запасе. Работал в НИИ. Автор книги "Заметки парашютиста-испытателя".
    Жил в г. Щёлково Московской области. Умер в 1993 г.
    Награжден 2 орденами Ленина, орденом Красного Знамени, Отечественной войны 1 и 2 степени, 2 орденами Красной Звезды, медалями. Его именем назван переулок в пгт. Драбов.

Источники информации:



20th August 2005:
". . . Two test parachutists you may like to include are Pyotr Dolgov and Yuri Andreyev. They tested the Vostok parachute from a stratospheric balloon. Sadly, Dolgov died in early Nov 1962 (I think) because his suit pressurization failed during the jump. Andreyev, who jumped with him from the same balloon, landed safely. The two men were in Vostok type space suits.
. ."

Henry Matthews [HPM Publications - (Books) (Magazine)