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Rocketman Zooms to Record Height

22 April 2004

A Texan rocketman has shot 152ft into the air above London to claim a new world record.

Eric Scott donned a red and white jumpsuit and used a rocketbelt to achieve the highest human elevation. The Rocketbelt was devised by the United States military in 1961 and is used in displays, memorably including the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. It consists of a high-powered generator, mounted on a fibreglass corset that is strapped to the pilot.

The man from Dallas was in the air for just 26 seconds, but reached the height of a 12-storey building and managed to include two pirouettes.

Mr Scott said the airborne rocket-propelled feeling was hard to describe but like ""a dream that's reality"".

He said the record is the first of its kind and the landing part of the stunt was crucial.

""It went well. I went up there and when I got to the top I did a little pirouette, a 360 degree spin, so that was fun,"" he said. ""I did another one and went to the landing area. Put my toes to the ground and took it off. It's just the most crucial part - it doesn't matter how good you fly it, you have to land it!""

Mr Scott, who says his sons believe he is Superman, works as a film stuntman. A veteran of almost 500 flights, he claims to be the world's only Rocketman.

Two rocket nozzles fire super-heated hydrogen peroxide steam to propel the pilot into flight. The belt is then manoeuvred with basic controls.

David Hawksett, science and technology editor of the Guinness database, said: ""We are waiting to get all the evidence from them but I can see no reason why this won't be a record.""