ESAB helps in jet hydroplane construction

World leader in the production of welding and cutting equipment and consumables, ESAB, is helping a British team with a serving military pilot at the helm to build a jet hydroplane with the aim of smashing the long-standing world water speed record.

Project Lead David Aldred, is along with his team constructing ‘Longbow’ – a powerful jet hydroplane – at its workshop in on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire.

With the ultimate intention of bettering the Outright World Water Speed Record (WWSR), set in 1978 at 317mph by Ausralian Ken Warby MBE, the Longbow jet hydroplane once the build is finished will be driven by serving Royal Navy pilot Lt David-John Gibbs.


Mr Aldred explained: “We wanted a welding system that was single phase, AC/DC and would weld aluminium as well as steel. As well as metalwork on the boat, we needed it for other applications such as engine mounting fabrication, pick-up points for lifting the hull and some of the engine cowling work.”

The ESAB equipment is all that Mr Aldred hoped it would be: “We are only part way on with the build at the moment. We started building the boat in August and I would envisage that we have another year at least in front of us.”

The Longbow team needed a reliable, high quality welding system and filler metals. As the craft will have to withstand exceptionally high speeds, the team building it needs to be sure of having the best possible welds.

As part of its sponsorship package, ESAB installed a Caddy Tig 2200i welder with torch, foot pedal, filler metal and accessories in Jet Hydroplane UK’s workshop in July 2018.

The lightweight, compact Caddy Tig 2200i AC/DC mobile welder is designed for both indoor and outdoor worksites and is easy to tuck away when not in use, making it handy both in the workshop and on the move.

Single phase mains connection makes it simple to find an electricity supply for the unit, but it works equally well when powered by a portable generator. Thanks to the built-in PFC circuit the machine can operate with extra-long mains cables, over 100m, offering the welder a large working radius.

Composite materials in combination with smart design solutions provide a durable and impact resistant machine, adapted to rough conditions. The control panel is recessed, which provides additional protection and durability. Caddy Tig 2200i AC/DC has sturdy and impact resistant cable connectors with OKC 50.


With the TA33 version you only need to set the plate thickness; the machine controls the rest to help the welder achieve consistent, high quality welding results. Hotter or colder welds can easily be obtained by adjusting the knob.

The TA34 version, which enables excellent welding results to be achieved in a wide range of materials and thicknesses, comes with both adjustable slope-up and slope-down. It also comes with ‘micro pulse’ functionality, making it easy to control the heat input and minimising the heat affected zone.

This is helpful especially on thin sheets and high tense steels. The TA34 version also comes with two memories for pre-sets, enabling quick and accurate return to pre-defined settings.

The Caddy Tig 2200i AC/DC provides true MMA capability with the same capacity and features hot start, arc force setting, Arc Plus II and a polarity switch. The control panel is easy to overview and has a digital display for accurate welding parameter setting, high control and feedback. It is also easy to understand and set, with or without gloves on.

The machine comes with a handy, ergonomic torch with a ball joint that decreases the stress on the welder’s wrist and helps the welder access the material in confined spaces. It can also easily be fitted with a water cooler.

It has been 50 years since a jet hydroplane has run at speeds approaching 300mph within the UK. Once constructed the craft will be a learning platform for a credible attempt to challenge the Outright World Water Speed Record and you can follow the venture by visiting the project’s website and also by liking their Facebook page under the link from that website.

ESAB is a recognised leader in the welding and cutting industry. From time-honoured processes in welding and cutting to revolutionary technologies in mechanised cutting and automation, ESAB’s filler metals, equipment, and accessories bring solutions to customers around the globe. For more information visit

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