Gary Connery makes history as the first skydiver to land without a parachute

boxes gary connery

As human beings, we’re curious creatures and have sought ways to achieve inhuman feats, whether it’s deep-sea diving, breaking sound barriers, or flying. For the daredevils that dream of wings at night, the one feat that has been too dangerous for skydivers has been the feat of landing a jump without the use of a parachute. But it can be done, and Gary Connery has proven it. Recently, the English skydiver and stuntman became the first in the world to land without the help of a parachute.

From 2,400 feet above the earth at Temple Island Meadows, Connery leapt from a helicopter in a customized wingsuit, likened to the look of winged squirrel, and tailored particularly for this occasion. While in reality his landing would be cushioned by a 350-foot long, 50-foot wide and 12-foot high cardboard box landing strip, an extraordinary amount of preparation was required to avoid an otherwise certain death. Connery is a seasoned pro and has to his credit, over 880 skydives and 450 base jumps. He also boasts Hollywood stunt-double experience in the Indiana Jones films, Die Another Day, Batman Begins and others.

We’ve all had dreams of flapping our wings or soaring with the birds, and according to Connery his preparation had in fact been inspired by the flying habits of kite birds. His decent and landing mimicked the bird’s flight. To survive his jump, he had to slow his gliding speed to 50mph from his 80mph free fall, while slowing his vertical landing speed to a comfortable 15mph.

Humans are pushing the limits of what we’re physically capable of. James Cameron recently set the record for traveling to the deepest part of the earth in a solo dive, while later this year, Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull are preparing for his attempt to break the record for the world’s highest skydive (currently set at a whopping 102,000 feet). Connery is among these men who are looking to push our human capabilities, and while it’s crazy, you can’t help but to respect these people for their commitment to see just how far a human being can go. To an extent, they’re hacking life.

Check out the video of the jump below.

Emerging Tech

Will we ever fly supersonic again? Unraveling the concorde’s complex legacy

In a new book, Last Days of the Concorde, journalist and author Samme Chittum delves into the mindset that inspired engineers to design this marvel, the series of events that led to its fatal crash, and the possibility that commercial SSTs…
Cars

Heads up, George Jetson: Terrafugia starts taking orders for its flying car

The Terrafugia Transition flying car will go on sale next year, roughly a decade after the first prototype rolled out of its hangar. Terrafugia promises improvements, including a hybrid powertrain, to make up for the long wait.
Emerging Tech

This intelligent parachute system can bail out clumsy drone pilots

Parachutes can save drones when they unexpectedly fall from the sky. Among a number of such systems, Austrian firm Drone Rescue is this week showing off its latest design that automatically deploys when it senses trouble.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in October, from 'Mindhunter’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Cars

‘Bloodhound’ rocket car needs a speedy cash injection to survive

The rocket-powered Bloodhound car has driven into difficulties, with the company behind the project needing a multi-million-dollar cash injection to save its dream of attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record.
Emerging Tech

Tokyo robotic warehouse needs almost no human workers

Uniqlo has unveiled its first robot-powered warehouse that requires 90 percent fewer human workers to operate. The Japanese clothing giant plans to invest close to $1 billion dollars to convert all of its warehouses worldwide.
Emerging Tech

Drop everything and watch Boston Dynamics’ robo-dog dance to ‘Uptown Funk’

After a few years of Earthbound training, Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog is ready to take on Mars. Bruno Mars, to be precise. Check out Skynet's future pet as you've never seen it before.
Emerging Tech

Curious how A.I. 'brains' work? Here's a super-simple breakdown of deep learning

What is deep learning? A branch of machine learning, this field deals with the creation of neural networks that are modeled after the brain and adept at dealing with large amounts of human-oriented data, like writing and voice commands.
Emerging Tech

Self-correcting quadcopter can keep itself aloft even if one rotor fails

Most quadcopters won't fly unless all four rotors are functioning. But what happens if one gets damaged during flight? Researchers from the Netherlands think they've come up with a solution.
Emerging Tech

MIT is building a new $1 billion college dedicated to all things A.I.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced a new $1 billion college of computing designed to offer the best possible education to future machine learning A.I. experts.
Emerging Tech

This gadget lets you sleep on airplanes without snuggling a stranger

Odd gadget, or a hug for your face? The Napup Fly+ is a travel pillow, sleep mask, and personal speaker system all rolled into one, attached to the back of the headrest to hold your head up.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Healthy mice born from two genetic mothers using stem cells, gene editing

Healthy mice have been born from two genetics mothers and later went on to bear healthy offspring of their own, according to a recent paper published by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Emerging Tech

Japanese scientists are chewing over an ‘electric gum’ that never loses flavor

Researchers at Japan's Meiji University may have found the secret to unlimited chewing gum -- and it just involves zapping your tongue with electricity. Here's what makes it all work.