Over the past several months, Airborne Systems has released a special tribute each month commemorating the 100th anniversary of two momentous events for our founder Leslie Irvin. On June 18, 1919 Leslie incorporated the Irvin Air Chute Company which has continued to grow and thrive throughout the years to become what is today known as Airborne Systems. And on April 19, 1919 – 100 years ago TODAY – Leslie Irvin performed the world’s first intentional freefall jump. From our 100-year anniversary video, to Leslie Irvin’s induction into the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame, to poems recounting history, we have tried to do justice to the greatest achievement in the skydiving world. However, the truth is, there is nothing we could do to fully express our gratitude and recognize Leslie Irvin for what he did 100 years ago. He took a leap of faith, literally, and in turn, created the most successful parachute company in the world. Our team looks to Leslie’s passion, dedication, and grit and are proud to emulate those same qualities in the execution of everything we do on a day-to-day basis. Leslie has provided Airborne Systems with the drive to continue to innovate. The best thing we can do is simply say, thank you, Leslie!
We are lucky and proud to be able to work side by side with one of Leslie Irvin’s coworkers, Chuck Lowry, who has been with the company since 1955. Chuck continues to share stories of Leslie Irvin as a young business owner, reminiscing on his generosity and leadership. Chuck Lowry recently traveled to the Parachute Industry Association (PIA) Symposium in February of 2019. Here, he gave a speech about the history of parachutes alongside his son and grandson, who all work as engineers at Airborne Systems. This was a unique opportunity as three generations stood at the PIA podium, on the year of Leslie Irvin’s 100-year anniversary of the first intentional freefall jump. Each Lowry had their own unique projects and experiences to share with the audience. The youngest, Charles Lowry, spoke of the Mars 2020 Parachute Mission and the future of parachutes. We strive to continue Leslie’s legacy each day and push the envelope. Leslie would be proud to know that soon another parachute designed by the company he founded will be landing on Mars! And so begins the next 100 years of Airborne Systems.
We invite you to watch the video from PIA 2019 where Charles H Lowry Jr., Charles Allen Lowry, and Charles W. Lowry share their unique parachute stories.
Check out some of our other 100-year tributes: