The Festival of Speed is increasingly known for its new model launches, and this year more than ever. But today there was a novel debut: a bar stool that used to be an ejector seat in a Phantom F4 warplane.
Intrepid Design, having its debut at FoS this year, specialises in luxury furniture made from old military hardware. Something similar is done with old Formula 1 parts but, says the firm’s founder and owner Andrew Jackman, never before with aircraft.
Once the parts – many made from pure titanium – are cleaned and polished they make sculptures that are as beautiful to look at as they are exquisitely engineered.
Ejector seats may get the headlines but Intrepid Design’s signature pieces are glass-topped tables mounted on turbine fan blades. And with around half a dozen fan blades from an engine like the Pegasus in the Harrier jump jet, there is no shortage of tables.
But they don’t just come with a hefty price tag – up to £18,000 – at 300kg they need a team to move. One table, based on a 747’s jet fan blade, was just too large to bring to Goodwood.
So how did Andrew come up with the idea?
‘I wanted a radial engine for my house – I am not a pilot, it’s just that I like great engineering. I eventually found my engine in the US, brought it back, cleaned and polished it and found it made a stunning table. I thought if I found it so beautiful other people would too, so started in business selling them.’
Andrew says he pays ‘five figures’ for each decommissioned engine. Where does he get the engines from? ‘Occasionally you will see one on eBay but there aren’t many of them. The expertise comes in having the right tools, knowing how to take them apart and then putting them back together again. The ejector seat took a month.’
Andrew adds: ‘We have had a brilliant response at Goodwood so far. If we sell two or three pieces over the weekend I will be very happy.’
A table for the new Goodwood Aero Club building? Now there’s a thought…
Intrepid Design doesn’t stop at recycling aircraft parts. Pride of place on the firm’s stand in the aviation exhibition are the most extraordinary binoculars you have ever seen. The Nikon ‘Big Eye’ came off a WW2 Japanese warship and now, polished and gleaming, are for sale at £22,000.
And their next project? To find a buyer for what Andrew says would make the perfect stand for a flat screen TV. It’s a Sidewinder missile…