It was time to move on to phase two of the Rocket Belt's testing, which meant free-form, untethered flights. After injuring his knee in one of the flight tests, Moore had to pass on the torch to his associate and engineer Harold Graham, who took over as test pilot. After significant testing, Graham made the first successful untethered flight with the Rocket Belt in April of '61, managing to hit 10MPH during a 13-second flight and covering a total distance of 112 feet. It was a promising achievement, but fuel depletion and flight longevity were major concerns when considering potential field applications. In fact, about 10 seconds of the flight would need to be focused on making a landing. Early designs even included warning lights and a steady beeping that was piped into the pilot's headset at the 10-second countdown, as if flying around with a rocket on your back wasn't nerve-racking enough. Although, according to Bill Suitor, who later joined the team, they maintained a 100 percent safety record over the course of 3,000 flights between April 1961 and 1969.
Graham's successful flight with the Rocket Belt led Bell Aerosystems on a nearly decade-long series of demonstrations for the public, press and various government officials. In October 1961, Graham even demoed the Rocket Belt for President John F. Kennedy, launching from a boat to meet the president at shore nearly 200 feet away. With the number of appearances growing, Bell needed to find more pilots and the Army even requested that untrained personnel be among them. Moore decided to offer this exciting opportunity to Suitor, his 19-year-old neighbor, and it's no great surprise that he took the job. After making 60 tethered training flights, Suitor was free to rocket about the place unrestrained and join the Rocket Belt flight team. As 1965 rolled around, already a veteran at state fair demonstrations, Suitor landed a role as stunt double for the James Bond movie Thunderball, replacing special effects with the real thing.