David Clark Company
Two-Way Communications
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Red Bull Stratos - Press Release 10/14/12 [ archive item ]

published: Sunday, Oct 14, 2012

Felix Baumgartner's historic Mach 1.24 free fall from the edge of space on October 14, 2012, wearing a David Clark Company pressure suit, expanded the performance envelope for aerospace crew protective equipment. Felix's parachute jump raised the bar for crew survivability to 128,100 feet from the previous mark of 102,800 feet set in 1960 by Air Force test pilot Joe Kittinger. Kittinger also wore a David Clark Company pressure suit for that historic jump. 

Felix's Red Bull Stratos pressure suit is a customized version of David Clark Company's current state-of-the-art full-pressure suit which was developed for use in high-altitude aircraft and is worn by both Air Force and NASA pilots routinely, just as Joe Kittinger's 1960 partial-pressure suit was of the same type that Air Force pilots wore for high-altitude flights at that time.

Felix's record setting balloon flight and parachute jump help to ensure crew survivability for future high-altitude and spaceflight programs. It continues a legacy, dating from the 1940s, when David Clark Company pioneered the development of anti-G suits for WWII fighter pilots and pressure suits for the pilots of rocket-powered research planes.

David Clark Company is presently engaged in the research and development of pressure space suits that will be needed for suborbital, orbital, and exploration spaceflights, applying lessons learned to date, including those from Felix's milestone Red Bull Stratos experience.