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The Rocketbelt Caper Paperback – 29 Jun 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Superelastic; 3rd Revised edition edition (29 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956227007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956227003
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,742,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There’s something hypnotically attractive about the concept of a rocketbelt – a device to enable an individual to fly through the air. This aspect of flying without a plane seems to tie directly into our dreams. (Some of us are familiar with comedian Paul Merton’s occasional rant about his desire for a jetpack, one of the many alternative names for this unusual technology.)

In this book, Paul Brown brings the topic alive. Brown has an excellent journalistic style, and pulls the reader on relentlessly through the tales of technical inspiration and human weakness that litter the history of the rocketbelt.

Starting with its science fiction origins, we learn how a practical rocketbelt was first constructed, how the most famous appearance of a belt – in the James Bond movie Thunderball – was real, even though most moviegoers assumed it was pure special effects, and the convoluted history of the rocketbelts themselves. Almost uniquely, it is possible to chart the existence of every belt ever built – fewer than there were Apollo spacecraft. This is the irony of the rocketbelt. Though the idea was often originally sold as a commercial wonder – everyone flying around the place in rocketbelts – or as a military vehicle, in practice they have proved hugely expensive to build, difficult and dangerous to fly, and are limited to totally impractical flight times of 20 to 30 seconds. Even so, the few rocketbelts that have had a commercial career have made a lot of money, because they have been in high demand for public demonstrations and publicity stunts.

When the book is charting the rise of the rocketbelt and the lives of those involved with the technology, it is truly fascinating.
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