Watch this Australian guy fly his jetpack around the Statue of Liberty

Earlier this week, aerospace upstart Jetpack Aviation unveiled its JB-9 jetpack in a spectacular display of the jetpack’s performance. Australian entrepreneur and jetpack co-inventor David Mayman showcased the JB-9 and achieved a world’s first by flying around the Statue of Liberty. Mayman lifted off from a boat near the base of the Statue of Liberty and flew around the structure, taking some time to pirouette and salute during his historic flight.

More than 40 years in the making, the JB-9 is supposedly the smallest and lightest jetpack ever made. It fits the standard definition of a jetpack — a flight system that mounts jet engines onto a backpack-like frame. Unlike competing jetpacks that are large and cumbersome to wear, the JB-9 can be stored in the trunk of car and easily worn for flight. It lightweight frame and easy operation propels the JB-9 ahead of the competition, which often have limitations such as a plane-based takeoff or adequate wind for flight.

Despite its small size, the JB-9 jetpack still packs a punch. It uses two vectored jet turbine engines that allow for vertical takeoff and landing, and even has enough power to lift an operator over 10,000 feet a feet into the air, with an initial climb rate of 500-1000 feet per minute. The JB-9 can fly at speeds greater than 100 MPH with a flight time of approximately 10 minutes, depending on the operators’ weight.

The JB-9 is the brainchild of Australian businessman David Mayman and Nelson Tyler, who began working together ten years ago. Tyler has extensive experience with jetpack technology, having worked on the historic Rocketbelt that demoed during the 1984 Olympics. Using what they learned from the Rocketbelt, the team refined their jetpack as technology improved. The creation of the JB-9 was an arduous process, though, and included several different iterations, repeated testing, and multiple redesigns.

Now that the JB-9 has been approved for flight by the FAA and US Coast Guard, the company is looking for ways to improve the jetpack. The team would like to add an auto stability system, a parachute safety system, and improved engine technology. The company hopes to eventually release a JB-series Jetpack to the consumer market, but there is currently no projected timeframe for launch.

Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their head

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

This fully autonomous $400 drone folds like a book, follows you like a paparrazzo

Having a drone that could follow you everywhere while taking high-quality images without crashing has been a flight of fantasy. With ZeroZero's Hover 2, not only can you have a fully autonomous 4K selfie drone, you can have it for $400.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Photography

Get your Sagan on with 60 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier

Few things instill a sense of wonder quite like the final frontier. The best space photos show off the beauty of Earth, our solar system, and the far corners of the universe. Here are our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Emerging Tech

Frogs regrow ‘paddle-like’ limbs when placed in a bioreactor

Frogs have partially regrown amputated limbs thanks to a bioreactor at Tufts University. By jump-starting tissue repair, the bioreactor helped the amphibians regenerate a bigger, more complete appendages than they usually do.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation claims that it has developed a quantum radar that's able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Glass orb packs all the constellations in the night sky into fancy desk ornament

Ever wanted to know more about the star constellations? A stunning new Kickstarter campaign, taking the form of a fancy desk ornament that re-creates the night sky in a glass orb, aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.