Rocket Belt, Bell No. 2

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    Rocket Belt, Bell No. 2

    Three tanks mounted on a form-fitting strapped fibreglass and ethafoam sprayed jacket or corset worn by the rocket belt user. Attached to the jacket are 4 nylon straps, 2 on each side, with aluminum buckles on each strap end. The two outside tanks are shiny silver and probably of stainless steel. The center tank is painted glossy white and is steel. Jutting out from the tanks and leading outward at each side of the operator are two curved 2.5-inch diameter aluminum-foil covered pipes, one on each side, capped on each end with a small nozzle aimed downwards. Two smaller, 1 inch diameter pipes protrude under each of the operator's arms and have motorcycle-like handle grips for the throttle and directional control. On top of the left hand controller is a mechanical timer with black switch pointer reading 0-30 [seconds]; pressure guage, black, at lower right hand corner of operator's jacket, and linked by piping to center white tank; and silver pressure guage at lower left hand corner of operator's jacket, linked by piping to the two out tanks on back. A throttling valve behind the jacket. See Marks for identities on these guages.

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    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Rocket Belt, Bell No. 2

    Three tanks mounted on a form-fitting strapped fibreglass and ethafoam sprayed jacket or corset worn by the rocket belt user. Attached to the jacket are 4 nylon straps, 2 on each side, with aluminum buckles on each strap end. The two outside tanks are shiny silver and probably of stainless steel. The center tank is painted glossy white and is steel. Jutting out from the tanks and leading outward at each side of the operator are two curved 2.5-inch diameter aluminum-foil covered pipes, one on each side, capped on each end with a small nozzle aimed downwards. Two smaller, 1 inch diameter pipes protrude under each of the operator's arms and have motorcycle-like handle grips for the throttle and directional control. On top of the left hand controller is a mechanical timer with black switch pointer reading 0-30 [seconds]; pressure guage, black, at lower right hand corner of operator's jacket, and linked by piping to center white tank; and silver pressure guage at lower left hand corner of operator's jacket, linked by piping to the two out tanks on back. A throttling valve behind the jacket. See Marks for identities on these guages.

    2 of 4

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Rocket Belt, Bell No. 2

    Three tanks mounted on a form-fitting strapped fibreglass and ethafoam sprayed jacket or corset worn by the rocket belt user. Attached to the jacket are 4 nylon straps, 2 on each side, with aluminum buckles on each strap end. The two outside tanks are shiny silver and probably of stainless steel. The center tank is painted glossy white and is steel. Jutting out from the tanks and leading outward at each side of the operator are two curved 2.5-inch diameter aluminum-foil covered pipes, one on each side, capped on each end with a small nozzle aimed downwards. Two smaller, 1 inch diameter pipes protrude under each of the operator's arms and have motorcycle-like handle grips for the throttle and directional control. On top of the left hand controller is a mechanical timer with black switch pointer reading 0-30 [seconds]; pressure guage, black, at lower right hand corner of operator's jacket, and linked by piping to center white tank; and silver pressure guage at lower left hand corner of operator's jacket, linked by piping to the two out tanks on back. A throttling valve behind the jacket. See Marks for identities on these guages.

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    Bell No. 2 Rocket Belt

    Bell No. 2 Rocket Belt on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
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This is a Bell No. 2 rocket belt, also known as the Jet Pack or other terms. It is a small personal propulsion device strapped on the back and enables a person to fly short distances using low rocket power produced by a non-combusting gas.

The idea of the rocket belt appeared in "Buck Rogers" comic strips as early as 1929. Wendell Moore of Bell Aerosystems was the first to develop the invention in the mid-1950s. In the 1960s the U.S. military seriously studied the device as an aid to combat soldiers but found its short duration of just a few seconds too limited. Today, Jet Packs are mainly used for air shows, movie stunts or in football half-time shows and other events. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1973 by Bell Aerospace.