The RB 2000 Rocket Belt
|Hydrogen peroxide rocket motors are quite simple as far as rockets go. The two shiny tanks on the RB 2000 backpack are both filled with Hydrogen Peroxide propellant. When the throttle is opened, high pressure nitrogen gas (stored in the hidden middle rear tank) pushes the Hydrogen Peroxide propellant out and into the CATALYST PACK (at the very top). The propellant reacts violently with the catalyst (many tightly packed samarium nitrate coated silver screens) and instantly turns into high pressure superheated steam at 1,370 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, this hot gas flows out of the bottom of the catalyst pack and splits equally down the two long bent tubes (all wrapped in insulation so the heat energy is not lost). The supersonic convergent - divergent nozzle at the end of each tube (the left nozzle is barely visible) first accelerates and then expands the flow to maximize thrust.|
Brad Barker, Joe Wright and Larry Stanley of Houston, Texas designed and built the RB 2000 rocket belt with engineering analysis and rocket motor design help from Doug Malewicki. During the 35 years since the original Bell rocket belts flew, scientists and engineers have made: continuous improvements in the strength-to-weight of the old standby materials; all new super strong composite materials; and materials with ever higher temperature capabilities. These innovations enabled them to create a lighter belt that could in turn carry more propellant and still be reasonably comfortable for the pilot to carry on his back. The RB2000 will fly 50% longer than the 1960's technology belts. Pretty impressive - until you realize it just means you get to fly for a whole 30 seconds instead of a mere 20 seconds!
Rocket Belt Pilot, Bill Suitor, prepares for the first public flight of the brand new
Bill holds ALL the Rocket Belt flying records for duration, speed, altitude and distance. He was a neighbor of the inventor, Wendell Moore and has been an official Rocket Belt pilot since he was 19 years old! Suitor flew the belt for the opening of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles - in front of 2 billion world wide viewers. He also flew the belt in one of the James Bond movies and for assorted TV shows. Brad found the best!
|Time for a real flight test.
Bill signals "All systems go"
Ready for takeoff! 10 - 9 - 8 - ......
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