A blog from Tonto Books, featuring musings from the publishing world and some occasional special guest appearances.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Rocketbelt Caper in T3

The Rocketbelt Caper is featured in the new Christmas issue of T3 gadget magazine. You can see the printed article by clicking on the image below. The published text is quite a bit shorter than the supplied copy, so if you'd like to read the original text it's posted below.

Buck Rogers and James Bond owned one – now you can too

"No well-dressed man should be without one," quipped Sean Connery of the amazing flying rocketbelt as James Bond whizzed over the heads of befuddled Spectre henchman in Thunderball. But this most sought-after of sci-fi gadgets is much more than a movie prop. The rocketbelt is real – originally developed by the Nazis and then the US Army, before becoming the world's most profitable entertainment attraction. Powered by highly-concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide, the flying backpack lifts its pilot into the air on a jet of supercharged steam. Now gadget fans who find the iPhone a tad dull can purchase their own personal flying machine. The folks at Tecaeromex (www.tecaeromex.com) will sell you a custom-made rocketbelt, plus fuel lab and training package, for $250,000. That should make the commute to work a lot more interesting, but watch out for telephone wires – the words "cheese" and "slicer" spring to mind.

1939 – Buck Rogers introduces sci-fi fans to the concept of the flying "rocketbelt"
1945 – Nazi scientists try – and (thankfully) fail – to build the "Skystormer" rocketbelt
1953 – Engineer Wendell Moore develops the first working rocketbelt for the US Army
1965 – Sean Connery's James Bond evades bad guys using a rocketbelt in Thunderball
1984 – 2.5 billion people watch the rocketbelt spectacularly open the LA Olympics
1991 – Disney's The Rocketeer battles nasty Nazi spies with a flying rocketbelt
1995 – Three Texan friends build the best ever rocketbelt – the RB-2000
1998 – A feud over the RB-2000 ends in lawsuits, kidnapping and murder
2001 – Tom Cruise flies a futuristic rocketbelt in Minority Report
2008 – Pretty Bird, starring Paul Giamatti and based on the RB-2000 story, will open

"The Rocketbelt Caper: A True Tale of Invention, Obsession and Murder" by Paul Brown (ISBN 9780955218378, Tonto Press, £8.99) reveals the secret history of the rocketbelt, and tells the full story of the RB-2000 murder.


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