Advertising Airshows

A colorful history from the National Air and Space Museum’s poster collections.

Rocket Belt Test Pilot


This late 1960s poster from South Africa's Rand airshow features special guest William P. Suitor, the rocket belt test pilot for Bell Aerospace Company. The rocket belt, or jet pack, was donated to the Museum in 1973. The Museum's database notes that "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."

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