STUART ROSSī ROCKETBELT
Stuart Ross, England, has built his own rocket belt - one of very few now existing in the world!
You find his web site on www.rocketbelt.co.uk
The rocket grade hydrogen peroxide, that he needs as a fuel for the belt is currently not available on the English market, so Stuart also had to build his own distillation and purification plant to produce high concentrated pure rocket grade hydrogen peroxide from lower concentration commercial grades HP.
I have provided Stuart with a design package and specifications for his distillation and purification unit.
On September 17-20, 2004, I visited him to assist at the start-up of the production. His plant is now running smoothly and is producing 87% HP of a high purity grade. The equipment allow for safe production of higher concentration HP, but the temperature in the cat pack would than be too high and there would be a risk to melt the silver.
Together we installed the silver catalyst (supplied by me) in the cat pack and fired up the rocket belt on a test stand for the very first time on September 20. Quite an experience! It was loud and powerful to say the least! Stuart could not run any near fully opened throttle valve, because it felt like the belt could come loose from the test stand.
Stuart let me wear his belt, as you can see on the below pictures. It felt comfortable and not too heavy.
I am convinced Stuart will be able to fly his belt with great skill, because he is an experienced pilot and he has managed to create a very well engineered piece of aircraft!
GOOD LUCK, Stuart!
UPDATE DEC 10, 2004
Up to now there has not been any movie from the testing in a format that can be published on the Internet, until today when Stuart sent me an AVI-file taken with a digital camera filming the video on the TV screen. There is no sound, but it is still kind of spectacular I think!
Ground test of Stuartīs Rocketbelt
Stuart reported that the testings and finetunings are proceeding well.
UPDATE DEC 26, 2004
Stuart sent two more movies. Still no sound. This time he is testing with the belt being able to slide up and down on the stand. The belt is popping up quite rapidly on the second movie!
Belt lifting on stand, first movie
Belt lifting on stand, second movie
I believe Stuart will soon be ready to make his first tethered lift off with the belt on his back!
UPDATE APRIL 20, 2005
Stuarts distillation and purification units for rocket grade hydrogen peroxide are working fine, but of practical reasons I supply his fuel, since some time.
Stuart has made several modifications of his belt since last time. The most important are he installed a new very nice control valve and he installed new bigger diameter nozzles.
On April 20, 2005, he got airborn for the first time, as the first European in history, witnessed by the press!
As a supplier of the silver catalyst and the fuel I am proud to notice that the exhaust gas is invisable, which is proof that the decomposition reaction is complete. (The exhaust may be visible at certain weather conditions, even when the reaction is complete.)
May 19, 2005
Stuart has been flying his belt several times since last time.
He sent me a couple of short AVI-files from the first teathered flights. As before the films are taken with a digital camera filming a video on the TV screen. There is no sound and he is only lifting a couple of inches, but it is still history!
Stuartīs first lift-off with his Rocketbelt. AVI no 1
Stuartīs first lift-off with his Rocketbelt. AVI no 2
August 5, 2005
Stuart has continued with tethered flights.
At the last tethered flight before going untethered the throttle valve got stuck in open position! He could not shut the valve!!
Neither Stuart nor Lindsey suffered any serious injuries, there was no damage to the belt and the belt is now back working properly again.
July 10, 2008
Finally the belt is working properly.
Untethered and no remaining performance issues.
OTHER ROCKET BELT PROJECTS
We are proud to also be a fuel supplier to:
Troy Widgery, Go Fast Sport Jet Pack. Eric Scott is the pilot. See the belt flying here,
Nino Amarena, Thunderbolt Aerosystems. Bill Suitor is the pilot. See the belt flying here,
Gerard Martowlis, NJ, USA.
Gerard made the very first static testing of his belt on January 1, 2007
Gerard is fueling up. (Klick the thumbnails for full size pictures!)
Ignition! For the very first time -on January 1, 2007
A couple of seconds into the first firing.
January 1 was a cold and humid day. This is why the exhaust is condensing, but on this last picture one can see that the gas flow is invisable at the rocket nozzle exits. This is proof that the decomposition reaction was complete already at this very first test! This is not always the case, because solid silver catalyst screens use to have a slow start or a "run in period", if you like. Gerard did not have this problem!
Gerard was making a second static test on January 2, 2007.
This test is documented on these movies on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntK0CvvNvLM
Gerards first tethered flight.
Gerard made his first tethered flight in May 2007! Despite he was running with a low peroxide pressure at this first test, he was still able to lift off the ground.
The belt is lifting Gerard off the ground for the very first time!. (Klick the thumbnails for full size pictures!)
Flight test seen from front
From behind. Good vue of the belt.
Watch the flight on Youtube:
ROCKET BELT CONVENTION, Niagara Falls, Sept.23-24 2006
Stuart, me, Stuarts mechanic Mike and many other RB enthusiasts and RB pioneers attended the first RB convention in Niagara Falls on September 23-24. We had a great time and learned a lot from each others!
From left to right, the following RB Pilots:
John Spencer, Harold "Hal" Graham, Eric Scott, Peter Kedzierski, Bill Suitor and Nelson Tyler.
(Klick on the thumbnails to get the full size images)
From left to right:
Me, Bill Suitor, Kathleen Lennon Clough, David from BBC, Peter from rocketbelts.nl, Mike, Stuart and Nelson Tyler
Eric Scott, was demonstrating the Go Fast Sport Rocket Belt. See him flying the belt here
This article was updated on August 25th, 2009