Organiser Kathleen Clough greeting Nelson Tyler
One of the many rocketbelts on display at the convention
attendees included the science fiction writer, Barry DiGregorio, who wrote Mars: The Living Planet, a book about the possibilities of microbial life on Mars.
Bill Suitor talking about the RB
Hal Graham makes a grand entrance
One of the fascinating panel discussions
Mike Glanfield - engineer to Stuart Ross, the first European to build and fly a rocketbelt
September 29, 2006 Last weekend Gizmag’s Billy Paul attended the First Annual Rocketbelt Convention at the Niagara Falls Aerospace Museum in New York, USA. Yes folks, you read it right, we said rocketbelt as in jet-pack, Buck Rogers, James Bond, the 1984 Olympics and Lost in Space. Believe it or not, these devices have been around for more than four decades with the first untethered flight performed on April 20, 1961 by Harold “Hal” Graham. During the inaugural flight, Graham flew the Bell rocketbelt a not-so-astounding distance of approximately 100 feet while only a few inches off the ground. Perhaps the anticlimactic nature of this device is the central reason that we are not all flying to work using rocketbelts. Nonetheless, enthusiasts and Bell Aerospace (or just Bell depending on the year) employees from all over the globe flew to New York on boring and very un-James-Bond-like commercial jets in order to attend this rather enigmatic event.
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