Tom Cruise makes 8km skydive in Mission: Impossible stunt

LONDON - Tom Cruise has jumped off buildings, slid off skyscrapers and clung onto the outside of a plane during take-off in his roles as action movie hero.

Now he can stake a claim to being the first actor to perform a "HALO" skydive on camera: a "high altitude, low opening" jump, usually done only by highly-trained military professionals as a way of avoiding detection by the enemy.

The 55-year-old filmed the stunt for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, the latest instalment of the high-grossing action movies in which he plays agent Ethan Hunt.

In a video released ahead of the movie's release next month, Cruise leaps from the cargo door of a plane at 7,600m - around 8km - opening the parachute less than 600m from the ground, according the filmmakers.

To prepare for the stunt, which carries a risk of decompression sickness, or "the bends", during the 320kmh fall, Cruise trained in a custom-built wind machine and used a special helmet.

Cruise broke an ankle last year filming another stunt for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, when he jumped between two buildings and landed against a wall.