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Eponymously Yours, W. Skeffington Higgins
 
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Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Time Event
9:30a
On the Bus to Bell: A Ride into History
Am in Niagara Falls at the Rocketbelt Convention, a gathering of former Bell Rocket Belt pilots and engineers, new-generation RB builders, and enthusiasts. At one point I thought I was gonna be the only guy here who doesn't have an Agena engine in his garage.

I have posted some of my photos to Flickr. I'll work on captions when I get some time.

Met first pilot to fly a rocketbelt, Hal Graham. Quizzed John Spencer, test pilot for X-22 ducted-fan VTOL (which is here in the museum). Sat in rocket chair. Saw three Bell belts and a couple of others. Visited vast Bell plant, where they turned out about one P-39 fighter per hour during WWII. Stood in the pit where the X-1 and her sister rocketplanes were slung beneath B-29s. Met daughters and wife of Bell's chief photographer, Thomas Lennon. Met Hugh Neeson, former VP of Bell Aerospace, trustee of the Niagara Aerospace Museum, and walking encyclopedia on Bell history.

Saturday should be fun.
11:51p
Rocketbelt Convention, Day Two
I think there are about 100 people attending. Today: juicy talks about Bell history, then a flight in the street outside the Niagara Aerospace Museum.

Scott Aloft 0267

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Go Fast, by the way, is an energy drink. It is the only energy drink that has arranged for me to witness a rocket belt flight. At the moment, it is my FAVORITE energy drink. I wonder what it tastes like.

There will be another flight tomorrow on Third Street, immediately north of the big Seneca Casino.

Get to downtown Niagara Falls by 3:30 PM and you can see it.

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