Donald Campbell’s Jetstar appears at the NMM Cornwall

Jetstar 480

Jetstar Jetstar


Donald Campbell’s one-off 13ft hydrojet sports-boat Jetstar is on show in the foyer at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall 40 years after he tragically died attempting to set a world water speed record of 300mph.

Campbell’s attempt at the record ended in disaster on 4 January 1967, when his legendary jet-powered Bluebird K7 flipped into the air and crashed on Coniston Water.

The smart and innovative little boat with a blue hull and mahogany decks was intended to provide for Campbell’s future financial security. Designed for families it had a top speed of 40mph, and used hydrojet technology rather than a propeller to make it safe for towing waterskiiers. I think she makes a very appealing small motorboat.

After Campbell’s death, the Norris brothers continued working on his design and a reasonably successful version of the boat did reach the market, under the name Bluebird Marine. The original Jetstar remained with the brothers until current owner Andy Stirland acquired her in 2003, and this year she finally made it to the London Boat Show, on the Classic Boat magazine stand – the day after his death Campbell had been due to attend the 1967 London Boat Show promote his new product.

Jetstar will be on show in the Maritime Museum Cornwall foyer until June this year.

Some Donald Campbell links:

A short life:

His tragic death:

A press photo gallery:

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