Bell and Kolb Parachute Jump

Daredevil Feat For The Fair. Secretary Bacheller Secures Parachute Jump from Aeroplane as Attraction. Deal Was Closed Yesterday With Kenworthy Aeroplane Exhibition Company of This City, and Prof. Kolb Will Make the Jump From the Aeroplane Every Day of the Fair – Most Sensational Act. Visitors at the Grand Forks fair next week will have an opportunity of seeing the only real simon-pure sensation in the way of air navigation as a result of a deal closed with the Kenworthy Aeroplane Exhibition company by Secretary Bacheller. The big attraction which is nothing more nor less than a parachute jump from an aeroplane, was secured yesterday and “Bach” expects it to prove one of the features of the fair. G. A. Kolb, commonly known throughout the parachute jumping profession as “Balloon Red,” is the man who will daily risk his life at the Grand Forks fair, provided, of course, that the weather man does not send windy weather. The stunt which Kolb successfully executes is absolutely the most dangerous and sensational attraction now before the American people. Grand Forks is the first place outside of St. Louis to see this remarkable feat. It was in St. Louis that Dr. Bell with his aeroplane and the dare-devil Kolb, with his parachute attachment, perfected the attraction.

In search of an aviator to fill his contracts, F. G. Kenworthy, head of the local aeroplane exhibition company, reached St. Louis in time to purchase the equipment and to engage Dr. Bell and Prof. Kolb. Dr. Bell has fully demonstrated his ability as an aviator at the Devils Lake Chautauqua, and Kolb is known from coast to coast for his successful parachute jumping. The aeroplane which Dr. Bell drives and which plays an important part in the successful presentation of Kolb’s sensational and dangerous drop in the parachute, is one of the largest in the world, measuring 46 feet from tip to tip. It is built especially for the parachute jump, the silk bag with a spread of 32 feet, being encased in a funnel-shaped device fastened underneath the wings of the aeroplane. The two men make the ascent in the machine, and when a height of 1,000 feet is reached, Kolb climbs down through the apparatus of the aeroplane to the swinging trapeze of the parachute. When everything is properly balanced, Dr. Bell cuts the rubber bands and the parachute and its human freight fall to the ground.

Will the parachute right itself? That is the question which immediately springs to the mind of the spectator. If it fails to do so, then Kolb is doomed to certain death. It took long and careful practice before the first jump was made. Dr. Bell experimented with some 300 bags of sand before he discovered just the right time to cut loose the parachute. Naturally the weather must be good for this hazardous undertaking. But late in the afternoon, there is almost invariably a time when there is comparatively no wind and unless the weather man is unkind next week, Grand Forks fair visitors will have an opportunity of seeing the most thrilling act in mid-air that has ever been offered to amusement loving Americans. Kolb, the famous “Balloon Red,” is in Grand Forks at the present time. He is a modest, unassuming young fellow of a little less than average heighth, stockily built. In speaking of the parachute jump yesterday, he declared emphatically that the stunt would be successfully presented every day of the fair, unless weather conditions were absolutely wrong. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Friday Morning, July 26, 1912, Volume XXXI, Number 232, Page 6)

Parachute Jumping Act Most Sensational Hair Raising Stunt Before Public Today. Dropping a parachute with its human load from a heighth of about 1,000 feet, and to have both the driver of the aeroplane from which the drop is made, and the parachute jumper, reach the ground in safety, is the remarkable feat which will be staged in the air at the Grand Forks fair this week. Not the least interesting feature is the manner of machine from which the drop is made, and The Herald presents a photograph of the aeroplane which indicates just how it is fitted to provide for this sensational stunt. It is a remarkable different machine from any ever seen in the northwest in several particulars. The propellers are located to the front. The driver, as the picture shows, is seated behind the planes on the tail piece. His passenger is carried in front of him, to one side, his form being shown in the picture. To the rear, and directly under the driver, is located the cone shaped can in which the parachute is carried.

When the conditions are right, the parachute jumper climbs from his position to the under side of the biplane. Traveling at a rate of about 50 to 60 miles an hour, which is the speed maintained by the aeroplane, it would be impossible to make the jump, and this is where the great danger is incurred. When all is set, the aeroplane is suddenly banked; that is, the planes are so operated that the machine is raised against the air, in such a manner that the one, which is shown at an angle, is exactly straight up and down. At that moment, when the aeroplane comes almost to a stop, the parachute jumped must let go. There is but a moment’s time. He drop, and the next moment the aeroplane, over which the driver must necessarily have lost control because of the manner in which it is banked, makes a great dive, and for 300 or 400 feet it continues at a perilous rate toward the ground, until the aviator can regain control.

During the most of that time the propellers are not in motion, because the wind created by the propellers would result in imminent danger to the parachute jumper, with absolutely no chance for his safe descent. The wind would drive the parachute in such a manner that it could not catch the air, and its human load would drop a sheer 1,000 feet to certain death. Should the parachute jumper hesitate as the machine was banked, and fail to cut loose, the aviator would have to drop the cone and the parachute man, without ceremony, to save his own life. That fact is thoroughly understood by both Dr. Bell, who makes the flights, and the jumper. Dr. Bell has been prominent in the flying game during the last year, and this is the only act in the world of its kind. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Sunday Morning, July 28, 1912, Volume XXXI, Number 234, Page 1)

Share Button