Interest

The Red Arrows – Origins of the World’s Greatest Aerobatic Display Team

We are really proud at Icarus Originals to work with the Red Arrows, as one of their official licensees and so we thought it would be good to give a bit of insight into the origins of the team.

The Royal Air Force Red Arrows have a special place in the hearts of the British public and have delighted crowds around the UK and indeed around the world for decades.  As famous as the ‘Reds’ are amongst aviation fans and the general public alike, less is known about their predecessors and how the Red Arrows came to be.

Early Years – Aerobatic Displays and the RAF

After World War 1, and a heightened public interest in aviation, there were a series of displays during the 1920s.  These included a pageant in 1920 featuring a number of squadrons, and notably the 1925 ‘London Defended’ display.  This event featured 32 Squadron flying specially-adapted Sopwith Snipes during a series of evening displays above the Wembley arena.  The event entailed:

  • Red painted aircraft with white lights fitted to the wings and tail to aid visibility.
  • The firing of blank ammunition.
  • The dropping of pyrotechnics into the arena coupled with explosions on the ground

Into the Jet Age

The post-war years were to see a plethora of unofficial and official display teams utilise a wide range of aircraft. The increasing sophistication of the available jets was to allow for a number of ‘firsts’, both in airmanship and technical innovation. Aircraft used in displays included:

  • De Havilland Vampires
  • Gloster Meteors
  • Hawker Hunters
  • English Electric Lightnings
  • BAC Jet Provosts
  • Folland Gnats

The first of what came to be the iconic smoke trails was utilised by No. 54 Squadron in the mid 1950s, whilst in 1956 No. 111 squadron became the official RAF team, flying Hawker Hunters.  For the first time, these aircraft sported a special all-black paint scheme, becoming known as the ‘Black Arrows’.

Official Teams

The Black Arrows became the first of a number of teams with specific names and liveries that were to originate from various RAF commands.  They achieved a world record in 1958 with a 22-ship formation performing a loop and barrel roll. The Black Arrows passed the mantle of display team to No. 92 Squadron, also flying Hunters, but now known as the Blue Diamonds.

The creation of the Red Arrows

During the early 1960s there were a number of display teams in addition to the Blue Diamonds, including the ‘Tigers’ and the ‘Firebirds’, both flying English Electric Lightnings.  By 1964 the ‘Red Pelicans’, a team of six BAC Jet Provosts became the leading display team for the Royal Air Force. Even so, that same year yet another team emerged when No. 4 Flying Training School sent a team of five Folland Gnats to perform at Farnborough.  This latter team would become known as the ‘Yellowjacks’.

RAF senior leadership became understandably concerned that a sizeable portion of their aircrew were spending more time practising for aerobatic displays, than for front line operational duties.  Hence in 1964 it was decided to amalgamate all the teams into one official unit – The Royal Air Force Red Arrows.

A Final Word – Why the Red Arrows?

The name Red Arrows comes from an amalgamation of “Red” from the Red Pelicans, and the heritage of the Black Arrows.  (If you’ve ever wondered why red was chosen as the team colour – aside from the name of course – then unsurprisingly it’s simply due to the higher visibility that colour confers to both aircrew and spectators. Also, it looks awesome!

  • Official Red Arrows Bracelet
    Official Red Arrows Bracelet
    £45.00
  • Red Arrows Box Set reclaimed aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Ultimate Gift Set
    £184.99
  • RAF Red Arrows Cufflinks made from Hawk T1 aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Cufflinks
    £134.99
  • Red Arrows Cufflink Gift Set made from Hawk T1 Aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Cufflinks Gift Set
    £169.99
  • Red Arrows Hawk T1 Mini Model in reclaimed aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Mini Model
    £54.99
Special Occasions

Our 2021 Top Father’s Day Gifts

Fathers Day Banner
Fathers Day Banner

With Father’s day just around the corner, we thought we’d highlight some gifts that might appeal to men that might be a little more tough to buy for. There’s no shortage of gifts out there, but finding something unique can be tough. With that in mind, keep reading for our top gift ideas based around the three things most dads love – trains, planes and automobiles.

Planes

Officially Licensed Red Arrows Range

We’ve all missed seeing the Reds in action over the past year, and in time with them recently securing public display authority, you can give your father the perfect red arrows memento with a piece of the teams Hawk T1 jet. 

Officially licenced by the Royal Air Force and made from aluminium reclaimed from a former Red Arrows Hawk, this beautifully rendered bracelet is a unique gift combining iconic aviation history with modern wristwear suitable for any occasion.

If a bracelet isn’t his thing, why not check out the other items in this range such as the Limited Edition Cufflinks or Mini Model that we currently have available.

  • Official Red Arrows Bracelet
    Official Red Arrows Bracelet
    £45.00
  • Red Arrows Box Set reclaimed aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Ultimate Gift Set
    £184.99
  • RAF Red Arrows Cufflinks made from Hawk T1 aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Cufflinks
    £134.99
  • Red Arrows Cufflink Gift Set made from Hawk T1 Aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Cufflinks Gift Set
    £169.99
  • Red Arrows Hawk T1 Mini Model in reclaimed aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Mini Model
    £54.99
  • Concorde Cufflink Gift Set made from Concorde Aluminium
    Concorde G-AXDN Cufflinks
    £174.99
  • Concorde G-AXDN Mini Model in reclaimed aluminium
    Concorde G-AXDN Mini Model
    £54.99

Concorde G-AXDN Range

If you’re after something a little more formal than a bracelet, and maybe want something supersonic to boot, what could be better than gifting a piece of the fastest ever Concorde to that special man in your life? 

These limited edition cufflinks are made from aluminium reclaimed from Concorde G-AXDN, perfectly capturing one of the greatest icons of aviation history.

We aren’t wearing cufflinks very much at present, so make sure you’ve come prepared with some super(sonic) special ones for the next cufflink wearing opportunity.

If Cufflinks aren’t his thing, why not take a look at the Mini Model we have to offer instead.

Trains

InterCity 125 Range

If the Father figure in your life ever spent any time as a long distance commuter, the chances are he spent a lot of time on the InterCity 125.

Still soldiering on almost 50 years since its inception, capture a piece of this legendary train with a Mini Model or set of our Cufflinks cast from aluminium reclaimed from one of the InterCity’s carriages.  

  • HST InterCity125 Model
    HST InterCity125 Model
    £59.99
  • Aluminium, Icarus Originals, Gift, Gift for Him, Christmas, Fathers Day, Birthday, Present, Enthusiast, Accessories, Jewellery, Icon, reclaimed, upcycled, Silver, military, air force, royal air force, militaria, memorabilia cufflinks, wristwear, watch accessory, formal dress, shirt, Cuff Links Train, Rail, Railway, Industry, Track, Locomotion, Locomotive, express High speed train, InterCity 125
    HST InterCity 125 Cufflinks
    £134.99

Automobiles

  • E-Type Pin Badge
    1961 Series 1 E-Type Pin Badge
    £69.99
  • 1961 Series 1 Jaguar E-type Cufflinks made from reclaimed EType Aluminium
    1961 Series 1 E-Type Cufflinks
    £174.99

E-Type Cufflinks

Enzo Ferrari called the E-Type “the most beautiful car in the world”.

Just like Concorde, the E Type is a well known British icon and 2021 marks its 60th anniversary.

What better way to celebrate the “Father” in your life than by presenting him with a pair of limited edition cufflinks melted down from the pistons of an original 1961 Series 1 Coupe!

DeLorean DMC 12 Range

2021 also marks the 40th anniversary of the DMC DeLorean, which is also well known for its role as Doc’s Time Machine in the Back to the Future Trilogy. 

He will have very likely seen and loved the Back to the Future movies like the rest of us, so we don’t need to say too much more other than how 1.21 GW cool it’d be for him to own products made from an original DeLorean car.

If you’re clued up on your DeLorean’s you’ll know that they were notable for being made with Stainless Steel; our products are cast from aluminium reclaimed from part of the wheel.

  • delorean dmc aluminium bracelet
    DeLorean Bracelet
    £45.00
  • DMC Back to the Future DeLorean Cufflinks
    DeLorean Cufflinks
    £134.99
  • DMC DeLorean Model
    DeLorean Model
    £59.99
  • DeLorean Time Machine Bracelet
    DeLorean Time Machine Bracelet
    £45.00
  • DMC Back to the Future DeLorean Cufflinks
    DeLorean Time Machine Cufflinks
    £134.99
  • DMC DeLorean Back to the Future Model
    DeLorean Time Machine Model
    £59.99

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New Products

New and Exclusive GR1 ZA326 Bracelets

Tornado GR1 ZA326 Bracelets: Military Gifts for Men and Women

Looking for the perfect military gift, suitable for both men and women? 

Icarus Originals is proud to present our brand new and exclusive Tornado GR1 ZA326 Bracelets. 

Created in partnership with the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group (PTPG), Icarus Originals has designed a truly unique aviation cord bracelet featuring a stylised Tornado secured upon a ZA326 ‘raspberry ripple’ paracord strap. 

True to our form, this piece of jewellery holds a much greater piece of history. This striking design is made from the genuine airframe aluminum recovered from ZA326 during her renovation by the PTPG, and is “the perfect high-flying accessory” for those aviation enthusiasts out there. It is truly a bespoke and unique product that will double up as the perfect sentimental or military gift for both men and women! 

The history of the ZA326 

What is the Panavia Tornado? 

The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing multirole combat aircraft, jointly developed and manufactured by Italy, the United Kingdom, and West Germany. 

This aircraft has had a significant impact in a range of modern wars, most notably the gulf war 1991; where its role was integral in conducting many low-altitude penetrating strike missions.

On March 14th, 2019, we said goodbye to the last official flight by the Tornado in British service. 

The Royal Air force has marked the end of an era and formally retired the very last of the Panavia Tornado combat jets. After 40 incredible years in service, this aircraft is giving way to the next generation of aviation models – but its memory as a pivotal part of British air combat capabilities lives on, through the medium of education, preservation, and now as a special and sentimental gift. 

About the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group 

The Panavia Tornado Preservation Group is the only organisation in the world dedicated to preserving the Panavia Tornado. This charity comprises volunteers who are product owners of a unique Tornado GR.1P aircraft. 

Their work involves two main areas: education and preservation. Their goal is to save as much of the Tornado story as possible, to educate future generations about its magnificence for them to ultimately enjoy. The PTPG all maintain a genuine passion for STEM education, utilising this aircraft to inspire the next engineers and aviators of the future. Their work is particularly close to our hearts here at Icarus Originals, with both Alan and John’s engineering background and ties to the aviation industry. 

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New Products

Back to The Future: DeLorean Cufflinks

DeLorean Cufflinks and Gifts

Delorean Car: The Tesla of its day? 

The DMC DeLorean, commonly referred to as the “DeLorean”, is an iconic sports car specifically engineered by John DeLorean’s DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) between 1981-198; the first and last car of its kind. 

The inception of this unique and innovative automotive design stemmed from DeLorean’s passion to create an “ethical” sports car: safe, fuel-efficient and long-lasting. It was the Tesla of its day, according to Stephen Wynne, who acquired the DeLorean inventory in 1997 and is CEO of the now-resurrected DeLorean Motor Company.

“DeLorean was a maverick who wanted to break away from the industry and do things his own way,” Wynne said in a phone interview. “At that time, the auto industry was in a slump. There was nothing exciting going on. So John DeLorean had the pick of the litter, as far as who he wanted to work for him — and he had the best of the best.”

The distinctive features of this automobile are what truly makes it stand out in an overcrowded and highly competitive marketplace. Carefully crafted by an Italian engineer, Giorgetto Giugiaro, who had previously worked on various Alfa Romeo and Maserati automobile designs, the Delorean’s notable and iconic features can be expressed through its gull-wing doors and brushed stainless-steel outer body panels. 

However, the DeLorean’s journey has not always been the smoothest of rides. After financial difficulties and bankruptcy by the DMC, paired with some legal debacles with the FBI, John’s innovative auto design slowly started to decline in the early 1980s. Until it expectantly rose again…

BACK TO THE FUTURE

The DeLorean truly fermented its way into the memories and hearts of consumers, with its iconic and memorable appearances as the time machine in the Back to the Future’s media franchise. 

In 1981, filmmakers Robert Emeckis and Bob Gale were writing a script which followed a teenagers time-travelling journey using a time-travelling machine made from a refrigerator – the refrigerator being the DeLorean, Throughout production, the car kept its basic styling, although minor revisions were made to the hood and wheels. 

40 years later and the DeLorean continues to have a cult following driven in part by the popularity of the Back to the Future movies. An estimated 6,500 DeLoreans are still on the road. Three cars were built for filming, and the “hero,” or lead vehicle, is today on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

Own Your Piece of Automotive History…

Widely considered to be the gold standard of family adventure movies, Back to the Future is one of those rare gems that is loved by all. Whether you’re into science fiction or not, there’s something extremely likable about Marty McFly and it’s hard not to rate the onscreen dynamic between him and Doc.

For young fans, the movie provides a heartwarming insight into what life was like in the 80s. For those who grew up when the film was released, it supplies a little bit of nostalgia to reminiscence about the ‘good old times’ and what was considered modern back then (something we probably need desperately now more than ever). While the inception of hoverboards has not yet come to fruition, the film surprisingly provides a few accurate predictions of the future. Whether it be the introduction of fingerprint recognition, personal drones, OH, and Marty’s advice to not go back to 2020 – don’t you wish we would’ve listened!!!!

With the number of Delorean models limited on the marketplace, chances of owning a DeLorean may feel that bit more difficult to come by, particularly when their market value is anything between £36-37,000. 

But all is not lost…

You can now own your own piece of automotive and blockbuster history. With the help of our incredible jewellers here in the UK, we have a selection of 1,500 special commemorative models made from the aluminium of a genuine DeLorean car. 

  • DMC DeLorean Back to the Future Model
    DeLorean Time Machine Model
    £59.99
  • DMC DeLorean Model
    DeLorean Model
    £59.99
  • DMC Back to the Future DeLorean Cufflinks
    DeLorean Cufflinks
    £134.99
  • delorean dmc aluminium bracelet
    DeLorean Bracelet
    £45.00
  • DeLorean Time Machine Bracelet
    DeLorean Time Machine Bracelet
    £45.00
  • DMC Back to the Future DeLorean Cufflinks
    DeLorean Time Machine Cufflinks
    £134.99

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