April 29, 2005
Rockets and Rocket Belts

JetPak NG screenshot

things-to-come makes a detailed rocket belt module for Microsoft flight simulator [via Clive Thompson]. I haven't played with the Microsoft simulator in 10 years, but this looks beautiful. The real Wendell Moore-designed rocket belt, the one that was flown by Bill Suitor as part of the half-time show in the first Superbowl, was notoriously difficult and dangerous to fly. This simulated one “flies higher, better and longer”.

Bill Suitor and the rocket belt later hit some hard times. From Brian Malow:

Bill flew again in 1995, at a celebration party for the Houston Rockets during the NBA Championship series. The company that hired him, American Flying Belt, had big future plans, but they ended scandalously. One of the partners was murdered. Another partner was a suspect in the crime. There were lawsuits, and the rocket belt itself disappeared.

Murder! If only there were a suave, jetpack-equipped private eye to investigate...

Lunar Pilot screenshot

The same group is working on a “Lunar Pilot” module simulating the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle that was itself used back in the 60s to simulate and practice landing an Apollo Lunar Excursion Module on the moon.

the flying bedstead

Posted by jjwiseman at April 29, 2005 01:28 AM

Woah, cool post :)

Posted by: Mini-me! on April 29, 2005 08:26 AM

Wicked. Is there any limit to the mod-ability of MS Flight Simulator?

Has anyone done fictional flying vehicles/methods? A Steamboy mod? Or maybe a Nausicaa jet glider (http://www.petworks.co.jp/~hachiya/opensky/index.html)? That'd be neat.

Posted by: TensegrityDan on April 29, 2005 10:54 AM
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