name is Domina C. Jalbert
and he has made the most radical departure
in parachute design since Leonardo da Vinci!
creation of the parafoil is based on a background
of fifty years of work, play and study in the field
of aerodynamics. Jalbert came upon his revolutionary
discovery of the parafoil, by simply observing various
sizes and configurations of kites, balloons and
parachutes, since the age of five. Flying kites
was a life time hobby for Jalbert. Naturally Jalbert
was attracted to general aviation as well. He was
the 626th person to receive a pilots' license in
the United States, in the year 1927.
depression of the early 30's forced him out of general
aviation so he designed kites that he had his mother
make for him. Together they would make large kites
which they could put advertising messages on for
different events. In the late 30's Jalbert joined
the United States Rubber Company in Naugatuk, Connecticut
in order to fabricate barrage balloons (blimps).
His past experience of using balloon and kites for
advertising, and his knowledge of various types
of rigging, were a great asset to him in his new
line of work.
at United States Rubber, Jalbert learned how to
fabricate static air inflated balloon fins and rig
belly bands along the outer skin on large barrage
balloons so that they would maintain a stiff internal
pressure. At that time, Jalbert did not realize
that 25 years later, the experience gained on the
static air inflated fin and the distribution of
pressure on balloons by belly bands, would be the
basis of a new aerial device. As a result of this
combined knowledge that Jalbert had gained, came
an invention which has become known to the world
as the Jalbert Parafoil.
the late 30's to the 50's, Jalbert's activities
were entirely spent on the research of kites and
kite-balloons, with some dabbling in the parachute
field. In 1952, Jalbert developed the first basically
different type of parachute, since Lenoardo Da Vinci's first concept from the 1400's. It had an incredible
difference from the conventional round chute, as compared
to the standard accepted chute of that time which
only had one center of effort. Jalbert came up with
the Multi-Celled Parachute which multiplied the
center-of-efforts and increased the drag coefficient by as much as 20 percent.
sky diving was being introduced at this time, Jalbert
became very interested in the problems of this field.
With the help of qualified jumpers, Jalbert made
many types of parachutes trying to find a canopy
configurations that, thru control lines, would produce
directional control and a glide ratio of 3 to 1.
After about five years of time and the expenditure
of a great deal of money, on all types of modified
canopies to produce glide, Jalbert decided on another
day when Jalbert was flying back from Patrick Air
Base, he looked out at the wings in which he was
traveling on and thought to himself. To really travel
from one place to another and achieve a 3 to 1 glide
ratio, you need to have a wing. Birds do not have
cups like conventional or multi-celled canopy-type
parachutes and neither do airplanes. They have wings!!!
Then why not make a wing from fabric? Upon landing
at the Boca Raton base, Jalbert opened the gas tank
cap on the wing and took a yardstick and measured
the depth. Then he proceeded to the drawing board
back at his laboratory.
next day, by combining his talents and skills that
he had acquired in 3 specific areas of expertise...
kites, balloons and parachute rigging, Dom was now
ready to finally go to work on the Parafoil. Dom
wrote down the 3 things he knew were proven theories.
1. Depth of the diaphragms in the shape of the fabric
wing to allow air pressure inside. 2. Proper spacing
apart of these airfoil diaphragms known as ribs
which would give the parafoil shape. 3. On the bottom
of the surface of this assembly, which is now a
wing, there would be a series of triangle flares,
known as keels. These keels would be sewn on directly
under alternating ribs on the bottom surface of
the wing. To these keels there would be shroud lines
attached that would come to a junction in the same
manner as a parachute suspension system.
a late afternoon of March 1964 the first "Jalbert
Airfoil " was successfully privately test flown.
Ushering a new frontier in the field of aviation.
The Jalbert Air foil, patent No. 3285546, continuation
No. 26,427 and foreign patents, is an entirely new
concept in aerodynamics. It is the most powerful
aerial lifting device in the world for its weight
and pack volume when operated in winds of 10 knots
or more. All Jalbert Airfoils are now referred to
as Jabert Parafoils.