If you look carefully, those jets (which, as ring constructs, work just fine in space) seem to be the AI jets he defeated in Act 1 of the movie*. They were therefore FAR more powerful than Saturn V rockets would have been - they had important symbolism to Jordan. They represented what he was trying to achieve: defeating an 'unbeatable' foe by doing the unexpected, by pushing beyond established limits and succeeding through sheer willpower.
The fighters he created could pull him away from the sun in the same way that the rope he created earlier in the movie kept him from falling into Killowag's star construct - he willed it to.
The ring's constructs are instruments of the wielder's willpower - they give shape to his thoughts. People (generalized to all sentient species, here) tend to focus better with a clear mental image. Try it: focus on implacability. Hard, isn't it? Instead, picture Juggernaut, marching stolidly ahead, not slowing for walls. That was much easier, right? Energy constructs have a familiar form because sentient minds focus best that way. And focus determines the strength of your constructs.
*They may also be his and Carol's fighters from the same scene, I can't recall exactly, but it doesn't change my answer significantly if they are. It may even be more significant to Hal if they were.