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Swordfish, Jetex & Ashley's Article July 2021 Model Boats

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Chris E12/06/2021 12:51:35
247 forum posts

Jetex was always one of those models that had mystique. The catalogues were great & built childhood desire but the models............

I am sure that Ashleys model is a vast improvement in so many ways on the original. Seeing a Jetex model actually work is great. Well done Ashley!

Ah............... the memories of Jetex.

I had a Jetex brand speedboat as a kid except that as a kid I couldn't get it to work properly but did anybody?

I remember the fuse that came coiled in a little can but which "cracked" ever so easily making it useless as it stopped burning when it reached the crack.

I remember the difficulty of threading the fuse through the orifice at the back of the motor which helped causing the cracking mentioned above.

I remember the gauze that had a notch that the fuse had to fit round also causing the fuse cracking problem ............ and I remember the gauze clogged so easily and which was a problem for my fingers to clean - if I didn't drop it down the plug hole - don't ask.

I remember filling the bathroom with smoke the first time I got it lit & the trouble that I got into.

I remember the total disappointment at the lack of power - it certainly wasn't a speedboat.

Did anybody get theirs to work any better?

Chris E12/06/2021 13:41:20
247 forum posts

Thinking about it I also remember the thin wire which was in the centre of the fuse and which was supposed to blow clear of the jet hole when the pellet lit .................. but often didn't meaning no thrust.

As you can tell I never had much luck with Jetex even though I loved the idea!

Perhaps I should mention, for those who have not yet received their copy of the magazine, that Ashley has fitted a small ducted fan to a Jetex design.


Edited By Chris E on 12/06/2021 13:46:22

ashley needham12/06/2021 13:53:52
7323 forum posts
156 photos

Thanks Chris. I also seem to remember having a Jetex, and as per your experience never got it working.

Theres no doubt about it, they were too fiddly for their intended market.

The Jetex site indicates there must be some sort of following for them and I think (off the top of my head) that either fuel pellets or even complete units are available from a foreign power.

I rather think that mine goes a bit better than the original...and how many were ever actually made?. A bit like the Hobbies Hydro.....a lot of work for not much reward.


redpmg12/06/2021 14:30:50
170 forum posts
12 photos

There were Rapier rocket motors available from Czeckslovakia (sp) but are no longer around because of transport rules & regs . They were used by the flyboys to replace the Jetex Units - very simple to use - much superior to a fireworks rocket of course .

Still have a JetX type motor which was basically a copy of the Jetex one - but marketed much later by Ripmax I believe . Also killed off by transport safety regs - pity as they worked quite well compared to the original

Looking forward to reading the article Ashley - was given a small ducted fan with dedicated long nose brushless motor which there was no special use for so far............

Edited By redpmg on 12/06/2021 14:32:55

Charles Oates12/06/2021 15:22:18
630 forum posts
51 photos

I used to modify the fuel and motor, a common practice in my youth. I'd drill a hole down the middle of the pellets, and make a hole in the gauze disc, then enlarge the exhaust hole a little. The fuze then had a straight line and came out easily. The mods were to power the Dan Dare rockets featured in Model maker in the 1950s. I must have made a dozen different rockets from 1 inch square balsa, and they flew well.

I also tried the modified motor in the little jefex boat, it flew across the pond like mad for a few seconds, then sank in a hissing, steaming cloud. At 12 years old I thought it was fantastic, so much fun that wouldn't be allowed now.


Paul T12/06/2021 18:00:13
7334 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles

Another trip down memory lane, as youngsters my friend John and I used Jetex to power some models on the Bridgewater.

John was entranced by these solid fuel motors and had devious little ways to make them burn longer and put out extra power.

Looking back it is obvious that his life and career were formed by playing with these motors.

redpmg12/06/2021 18:27:59
170 forum posts
12 photos

Great childhood memories - especially from Charles . My own experience with Jetex motors was on the first occasion the plane initially flew well then the motor decided to go off on its own - never to be seen again - life lesson was that screws dont hold well in balsa..............

Never tried the jet boat - they were too expensive for my pocket - must have been fun though .............

Now even the little pop pop boats are frowned upon as someone might get injured by them - the ones I have are all clearly marked Not a Childs Toy or something along those lines . Similar to schools banning conkers............

ashley needham12/06/2021 18:37:42
7323 forum posts
156 photos

This is probably the easiest thing you could make for a "spare" ducted fan.....

Included in the article, a free plan! (sort of) (well, the basis of a plan)


Malcolm Frary13/06/2021 10:46:17
1029 forum posts

A lot of years ago one of my less stable workmates got a rocket kit by "Estes". Entertaining if somewhat scary, use involved an electric firing device (basically a filament bulb with no glass envelope and a long piece of wire). The motors/fuel still seem to be available after a quick web search.

Philby20/06/2021 00:24:02
28 forum posts
14 photos

I also had a jetex motor and tried it on different projects then found Estes rockets later on in life (great fun)screenshot 2020-05-30 at 23.22.41.jpeg

and then I built one of these using aero tech motors


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