This is quite a gem of a report. At first blush it looks as though is is going in another direction, Zero G maneuvering belts.  Orbital space is cool, but not directly applicable to earthbound, aka one G flight, or so we thought.  This report actually extends the previous work, theory and proofs of tethered flight, center of gravity in relation to nozzles, and pivoting of the nozzles, all important components of our hydro flight sport.

The first man-lift device built by Bell was flown by several people (under controlled conditions) to determine the feasibility of the rocket belt concept. The rig incorporated two fixed rocket nozzles extending laterally from a shoulder harness, which under hovering conditions provide a thrust equal to the man-plus-rig weight. In the test rig, thrust was developed from high pressure nitrogen supplied from and external source through a flexible hose to the rocket nozzles. Figure 10 shows this test rig in action. Hovering flights of short duration were accomplished with some short fore, aft and lateral translations.

One G testing of tethered fluid powered jetpack system.

One G testing of tethered fluid powered jetpack system.

Stability was a problem for them to fly, no doubt due to the unbalancing effect of the overhead hose.  So they did a lot of work looking at the center of gravity and the jets. Hopefully this will finally put to rest the annoying claims of novelty regarding Patent 7735772 and the center of gravity in relation to the jet nozzles.

Bell, Development and Testing of the Bell Zero-G Belt 1962 AMRLTDR63-023-30


The report notes that there is no difference in dynamics if you support the pilot by the waist or under the shoulders.