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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Bell Rocket Belt photograph and correspondence

 Collection — Folder: One
Identifier: 2019-00-00-104
This small collection consists of two items: a black-and-white photograph and a printed copy of e-mail correspondence related to the photograph. The 4x5" photograph depicts Bell test pilot Robert Courter wearing the Bell Rocket Belt with a child's doll on the back of it during a tethered test flight inside a hangar, circa late December 1964. It is stamped on the back: "Bell Aerosystems Company." The e-mail, dated October 2019, provides context for the image provided by William P. Suitor, fellow Bell Rocket Belt test pilot.


  • 1964 December
  • 2019 October

Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 letter size file folder)

Biographical Note: Robert Courter

Robert Courter was the third Bell Rocket Belt test pilot. He tested the belt in the mid 1960s. No further information is known.
Biographical Note: William P. Suitor William P. Suitor was born on December 26, 1944. At age 19, he was offered a job at Bell to test fly the Bell Rocket Belt, becoming the sixth test pilot. His first tethered flight took place on March 26, 1964. Over the next two months Suitor made a total of 60 tethered flights before flying free outside. From 1964 to 1970 he travelled all over the world for Bell demonstrating the rocketbelt as well as flying and testing the Bell Pogo. Suitor has made over 1,000 flights in 14 different types of rocket-powered flying machines and in 2009, he wrote and published the Rocketbelt Pilot's Manual. As of 2019, Suitor resides on the East Coast.

Source and Further Reading:

Bill Suitor home page (website). Last modified October 11, 2014. Accessed October 21, 2019.

Custodial History

The provenance of the photograph is unknown.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.
Guide to the Bell Rocket Belt photograph and correspondence
Completed - Level 2
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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