Icarus Originals are honoured to be working in partnership with the Ruskin Museum and Campbell Family Heritage Trust to mark the 100th anniversary year of the birth of legendary speed record breaker Donald Campbell CBE (23 March 1921 – 4 January 1967).
Campbell broke eight absolute world speed records on water and on land in the 1950s and 1960s. He was awarded the CBE in January 1957 for his water speed record breaking. He remains the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year (1964). He died during a water speed record attempt at Coniston Water in the Lake District, England.
Campbell began development of Bluebird K7 in 1953. The K7 was a steel-framed, aluminium-bodied, three-point hydroplane with a Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl axial-flow turbojet engine, producing 3,500-pound-force (16kN) of thrust. The designation ‘K7’ was carried on a prominent white roundel on each sponson, underneath an infinity symbol. Campbell set seven world water speed records in K7 between July 1955 and December 1964.
Icarus Originals has been entrusted with a precious piece of aluminium from Bluebird K7 to incorporate into our Donald Campbell Centenary designs. The limited edition cufflinks all come with certificates of authenticity signed by Campbell’s daughter, Gina. A proportion of monies raised will go towards the care and conservation of the Campbell Collection housed within the Ruskin Museum in Coniston.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finding the “right” gift for Father’s day can sometimes be a troubling task. At Icarus Originals, we believe that picking the perfect present should involve more than a last-minute run to the local shop or a swipe through Amazon, where you will most likely be met with run-of-the-mill, basic products. Dear old dad deserves a form of recognition as unique as he is, even, and especially, if he insists he wants nothing at all this year.
Now, more than ever, we are increasingly acknowledging the value of our loved ones and how important their presence is in our lives. So, why not look like you’ve put some actual effort into finding a gift for your dad this father’s day and get something that completely meets their wants and style while providing the satisfaction that spans a lifetime? In order to help, we have rounded up our top 3 unique father’s day gifts that will certainly put a smile on their face…
Father’s Day E-Type Cufflinks
Is your dad a car enthusiast? Or does he just love “beautiful” and “iconic” designs. If so, our E-type Jaguar cufflink set is the perfect Father’s Day present for him.
Carefully cast from the pistons of an original 1961 Series 1 fixed head coupe and in collaboration with renowned ‘classic motor cars’, these stunning sets of E-Type cufflinks will provide a sense of purpose, potency and beauty to your father’s day gift.
Unlike your prototypical store bought cufflinks, the E-Type gift set adds a whole new meaning to collectible gifts. As our first foray of automotive heritage, the E-types proudly portrays a genuine icon of the twentieth century, with many referring to this vehicle as the ‘greatest’ and most ‘beautiful’ sports car of all time.
Indeed, when it comes to customised jewellery, the sentimental and emotional value is even greater. Knowing that you’re presenting a carefully and painstakingly crafted piece for someone you love is an incomparable feeling. Often a design is based on the concept of emotions, ideas or even memorable moments – in this case the iconic Jaguar – that you can recreate in a special item.
When purchasing a unique, custom gift, you are able to appreciate the materials and production methods chosen, including the reason for doing so. You will have a part in shaping the products final design so it becomes an investment and story that can be passed through generations…
Does your dad have a real passion for aviation? Well how about presenting him with a unique piece of aviation history, or more specifically, a piece of the fastest airliner to ever grace the skies…
Our Concorde limited edition cufflinks have been cast from the air intake assembly of Concorde 101 (G AXDN) – the fastest ever example of this majestic aircraft type. T.
The genuine and authenticated Hiduminium RR58 aluminium alloy used in the Concorde fleet has been melted down and re-cast in the UK by our master jewellers and finishers. These products blend the best of British craftsmanship with the most legendary of aircraft designs, to produce a truly unique piece of aviation history.
At Icarus Originals, we are extremely proud to design, manufacture and hand-finish in the UK, where we work with some of the finest and most established jewellers in the industry. Our G-AXDN products’ are inherently timeless classics, authenticated and traced on an audit line from its manufacture back to the original craft the product commemorates, creating a truly unique and beautifully crafted product that captures a small piece of history.
Father’s Day F-35A Cufflinks
A force to be reckoned with…
The popular F-35A cufflinks are the ideal Father’s day gift for those dads who have a close affiliation to the forces.
With this being said, presented in their very own gift box, the F-35A cufflinks have been designed in conjunction with pilots of an Air Force operating the F-35A and manufactured using aluminium reclaimed from the airframe of an operational F-35A, truly encapsulating our tag line ‘designed by heroes to be worn by legends’. Every cufflink bar is etched with the aircraft type highlighted in black enamel. Limited to 750 sets globally, these cufflinks celebrate the introduction of one of the world’s most advanced combat aircraft..
“Our mission is to make the world that little bit more special by making these unique and perfect pieces of design, available to the people who deserve them the most”.
Recreating designs reclaimed from their original models for those people who have had an immense involvement or love for them is what makes a difference. The historic and sentimental aspect of each of our products is what makes these cufflinks stand out. Each design is created with the customer in mind and in collaboration with the heroes who brought these incredible designs to fruition. So whether you dad, grandad uncle or brother has a passion or admiration for all things aviation, then these F-35A cufflinks are the perfect unique father’s day gift that shows you have gone the extra mile.
Why our cufflinks are the perfect father’s day gift…
Indeed, Icarus Originals is inherently more than your “run-of-the-mill” pop-up online jewellery shop. Each product is made from genuine and authenticated metal from a range of iconic aircrafts, trains and now automotive legends that defined a generation, then melted down and re-cast in the UK by master jewellers and finishers. Whether they are a bespoke pair of cufflinks cast from the aluminium of a Red arrows Hawk T1 aircraft, or a premium pair of giftset cufflinks cast from the air intake assembly of Concorde 101 (G AZDN) – each distinct piece enables customers to own their very own piece of history. Because everything is individually handcrafted and finished in the UK, thankfully for those of your last minute shoppers – our “homegrown” manufacturing style means we can have your order processed and delivered in a speedy turnaround, so you won’t be going empty handed on Sunday 16th.
Make your Dad feel special this father’s day with a unique, bespoke, premium gift that celebrates iconic craft that has defined transportation in the last 100 years, by blending the very latest technical innovations with the highest quality British craftsmanship. Shop online now to explore our products, packaged perfectly for the big day…
At Icarus Originals we want to give our customers the chance to own a small piece of history.Whether it’s the fastest-ever Concorde, the classic E-Type coupé or the celebrated Japanese Bullet Train, these iconic legends of engineering, spark a feeling of excitement and progress.
We love to bring these small snapshots of history and technical achievement to life. But how do we research, design, develop and manufacture our products? It’s an intricate process that combines cutting-edge technology with traditional craftsmanship. It’s this complete commitment to perfection that makes our pieces so distinctive and desirable.
Our signature product
In this blog, we’ll look exclusively at our signature product – our cufflinks. To illustrate our process, we’ll consider Concorde 101 (G-AXDN). There are six stages to take a project from an idea to something you can buy from our website:
1. Project research
2. Material acquisition
3. CAD/3D design & development
4. 3D printing & master production
5. Lost wax investment casting
Understandably, we were very keen to offer our customers a piece of Concorde. Not just any Concorde, but the particular aircraft that set the speed record for the type at 1,450 miles per hour. We knew Concorde would be challenging to reproduce at a small scale but, given its iconic nature, it was a challenge we were up for.
With so few Concordes produced, material is scarce and hard to come by. The majority of the surviving airframes reside in museums around the globe. We needed to find a surviving Concorde owed by a preservation group that was working on its restoration, and would be willing to collaborate with us on our project. This is how we usually come by our precious aircraft material, and in this instance we were lucky enough to be introduced to Duxford Aviation Society (DAS). DAS owns Concorde 101 G-AXDN and had a small amount of hiduminium aluminium alloy from the engine air intake assembly left over from its restoration efforts. This would be our ‘raw material’. Most importantly, we could complement the material with the guarantee of authenticity that comes from working with an aircraft’s owners. That guarantee is a critical element of our product offer. Where possible, we always look to collaborate with a museum or special interest group as this gives us a means of contributing back financially to supporting our beloved icons for future generations.
CAD/3D design & development
To ensure maximum accuracy of profile, we typically use a combination of 3D scanning and computer aided design (CAD). For Concorde, this entailed taking a 3D scan of a scale model and then manually adapting the design in a CAD software package to make sure we faithfully replicate the most iconic features which is more of a challenge than it may sound given that the typical length of a cufflink is 26mm and the original aircraft is 62000mm! This process is always difficult, since we need to thicken up certain surfaces and round off particular details to attain a delicate balance of accuracy, practicability (they will be worn, after all) and viability of manufacture.
CAD images of Concorde during the design stage.
3D printing & master production
With a finalised design, we can progress to 3D printing to allow us to cast a master component. Here, we use a high-resolution 3D printer to print, layer by layer, an exact rendering of our design. Once complete, we end up with a replica of our Concorde cufflink made of a special resin that melts away at 400 degrees centigrade This can now be used to make a master using the magic of lost wax investment casting..
This delicate rendering of Concorde will now be cast in silver using the lost wax process detailed below. Once in this precious metal, expert jewellers ensure the master is perfect and free of defects. Once we are happy, we can create the mould that lets us produce the miniature wax models we cast in aluminium reclaimed from Concorde.
Lost Wax Investment Casting
The lost wax method allows jewellery artists to copy the finest detail. It’s as old as human history and the only major changes since its inception has been the addition of technology to allow casters to repeatedly cast without generating a high number of failed items. Lost wax casting is no more complicated than filling a high-definition impression left within a cylinder of modelling plaster. To do this, we take a number of the miniature wax models created in the mould and attach them via sprues (think tiny bits of wax spaghetti!), to a central wax stem. This assembly, called a tree, is placed carefully inside a metal flask about the same size as a large thermos flask and liquid modelling plaster is poured around it so that only a tiny bit of the stem is visible above the plaster. The flask is then vibrated rapidly for an hour to make sure any air bubbles are worked out and that every one of the wax models is completely covered by the plaster. Once this sets, the flask is heated on a vacuum pump. The idea here is to completely vaporise all of the wax and expel it completely from the flask, leaving with you with a perfect impression of each of the wax models and a clear route to the atmosphere via the sprues and the central stem. Once you have reached this point, the final step is to heat up your crucible containing the aluminium alloy removed from an aircraft and very carefully pour it into the hole left by the central stem protruding through the plaster. If you’ve heated the metal to exactly the right temperature (655 degrees centigrade for aluminium), it will pour like a viscous liquid and fill all the voids evenly meaning that the void created by what was once a wax model is filled with aluminium. Once it’s all cooled down, the plaster is cracked off and if you’ve got everything just right, all that’s left is a central aluminium stem with lots of perfect aluminium Concordes attached to it via now little aluminium pieces of spaghetti.
The final step in the process is the finishing (or polishing). Each cast that is cut directly from the tree will appear relatively rough, and a dull metallic hue. Each casting needs to have the remaining sprue removed and then the whole piece can be polished against a special abrasive polishing wheel. The hand finishing takes a tremendous amount of skill to ensure the correct pressure is applied to every angle and surface. The individuals who polish the Concordes have often been apprenticed since a very young age and are rightly recognised as master craftspeople within their area of expertise. Given the nature of the process involved in creating them, each Concorde can have slight differences meaning that they are matched into perfectly complementary pairs. The final result will be a beautifully hand polished rendering of Concorde 101, perfectly unique to the wearer. Throughout every step of this whole process, quality control and removal of defective casts means that from start to finish perhaps as many as 35 per cent of all items will be rejected. The whole process can be time-consuming and reliant on manual skills built up over many years.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to turning a part of an icon into something you can wear than you might think. Although it will hopefully become a treasured item that will be handed down to future generations, every single item we produce captures a little bit of the soul of an icon and allows you to carry on the journey of something that has affected the lives of millions of people globally. With the extra knowledge that the item you have has helped sustain restoration activity and supported the livelihood of a wide network of artisans, there’s a lot more to our products than their superficial beauty and timeless designs.
Shop our Concorde range now to find a collectible or gift that will last a lifetime.
Last week we were fortunate enough to catch up with Doug Newton, a flight test engineer on the Concorde development programme. Graciously, he allowed us to delve into the mindset of what it was like to live, work and experience the magnificence of flying on the fastest aircraft to grace the skies. From inception to decommission, the Concorde was truly a homage to what was then perceived as the future of flight and we wanted to ask Doug the good, the bad and the not so elegant experiences he encountered working on this supersonic aircraft. Here’s what he had to say…
What was your role/responsibility on the Concorde Airline? How long did you do this for?
I left the RAF in 1968 and John Cockon – a DP chief test pilot on Concorde at the time – was looking for an armament tradesman. John and I had met during our time within the Forces, so I went for an interview and got accepted to work on the Concorde development programme.
I was first employed in the safety equipment section, which involved dealing with parachutes and aircraft clothing. Shortly afterwards, I began working with mainly flight recorders on the Concorde 001 prototype and the Concorde 002. I also fitted lateral thrust units to both the 002 and 101 – later the AXDN – which were fired off into the air to disturb control services and cause flutter.
I was also responsible for manning Concorde 101’s emergency repel unit at the time, which contained monomethyl hydrazine – a rocket fuel. I have a profound memory of myself and my colleagues having to fire off the unit in mid air at one stage because the engine control tables went through a bulkhead. To get it off we had to strip off the earthing wire so that the voltage was so high it passed through the same wiring loom.
**Side note: to put this into perspective for those non-engineers out there, a drop of hydrazine can burn a hole through your hand, so this was a fairly complex procedure to do whilst mid flight!
What’s your most memorable experience on the Concorde? (Good & Bad)
Flying from Singapore back to Bahrain was a particularly memorable experience on the Concorde; not necessarily for the best of reasons. During runway response checks on the GBBD 202, the runway was in such dire condition that when I sat down on the back of the aircraft, I just remember the fly deck rotating round and round like a wagging finger. In fact, the bumps on the runway were so bad, that shortly after we left, the government resurfaced the runway which is now why the main civil airway is in Changi airport.
I distinctly remember on the final take off – which was a record breaking flight by the way – I was asked to sit on the flight deck and all I could hear was a bang. “Keep going, keep going” shouted Peter Baker, the captain at the time, as my headset fell off due to the rotation of the airplane caused by a tail well strike. What had happened was the tail had hit the runway and the flight ended up rotating too far, subsequently damaging the exhaust engine! That was definitely a memorable experience. Nonetheless, the flight was a success!
What was it like to fly on the Concorde?
Looking back now, you don’t realise how much of a pioneering aircraft the Concorde truly was. This even extends beyond the engineering of the airliner itself, but also the family dynamic and bond those of us working on the Concorde maintained throughout our careers. We were all extremely close and had immense satisfaction in what we were doing. My team in particular were extremely proud of our achievements.
A particular highlight of mine and my team’s career was during a flight from Bahrain to Singapore, where we took off an hour after the 747, yet got back to Singapore 2 hours before it did. The 747 captain asked if we were the same Concorde plane. My response, “You don’t need a wrist watch you need a calendar”.
The Concorde has had such a profound effect on my life that I even have memorabilia all over the house. I am also a Coordinator of the Concorde Flight Test Association which has now sadly gone quiet. It was such a special aircraft that everyone who has flown on it can appreciate its magnificence.
Did you ever see the curvature of the earth on the Concorde?
Yes! Of course.
Where did you go on the Concorde? How long did it take you?
I have flown to an extensive list of places on the Concorde. For example, places like Johannesburg, which took on average 9 hours to get to. I have also flown all around the Middle East – which took about 3 and half hours. This really puts into perspective how fast the airliner was when your standard commercial flight now takes around 16h and 20m (including stops) from London to Johannesburg.
What do you think led to the demise of the Concorde?
The crash in Paris didn’t help – but should never have happened. The French decided they didn’t want to carry on because of an engine problem back from the States but they forgot to turn off the fuel bell and realised they had to go down somewhere quickly. I believe this was a real catalyst for the decommissioning of the aircraft.
Also, after 28 years of service, the Concorde contained what we now deem as old technology. This meant the Concorde was due inspections, which was a large expense that the government did not want to pay.
Were there any challenges as a result of developing the aircraft in conjunction with the French (i.e., language barriers?)
There were generally no complications. Although we measured in inches they measured in metrics there were no particular challenges, as aforementioned, we were one big family!
Why was Concorde G-AXDN (101) such a special aircraft?
The Concorde G-AXDN was a piece of art, a “mechanical swan” is probably the best way to describe it.
On a more technical level, the concorde G-AXDN was a complex engineering system that was ahead of its time. Indeed, the engine did most of the air intake work. A Rolls Royce engine can only take air into itself at 500 mph, whereas the Concorde flies at 1400 mile an hour, so you have to slow the air down. This was done in about 12 ft difference, utilising the intake doors, rams and ramps to balance the shock waves to 500mph. Each engine had to be catered for, which was a highly complicated system. If it all went wrong, the intake system failed which caused surges – spitting air back out again, which wasn’t particularly nice. To rectify this, it was a case of getting on computers and experts doing their work on it.
So as you can imagine, it was a multiplex system that required careful and meticulous engineering!
Have you got any stories about the remarkable people who made the Concorde story one of a kind?
Claim to fame: I have flown in formation with Douglas Bader and Raymon Baxter – a fairfoot to casablanca. My main task was to look after Douglous Bader who said to me, “if I fall base over apex, bloody well leave me alone”. After the flight, I shook him by the hand and he thanked me for my work. I have also had the privilege of flying with Princess Margaret and various kings and queens.
When I was in the Middle East, the Concorde flew various sheikhs as well. A noticeable thing happened during one of my flights. Firstly, the aircraft steps were too short so I created a wooden extension so that the Sheikhs could seamlessly dismount the plane. However, when I opened the aircraft door, I knocked the extension off. For our flight homebound, I also tripped over one of the sheikhs attire and caught him, next minute his security had a knife against my throat – a very memorable experience to say the least!
On a lighter note, during one of my many times flying on the Concorde, one of the pilot’s stressed to us all that we would by flying Princess Anne. He stipulated that we must address her as her majesty, proceeded with ‘mam’. The captain then proceeds to go up to Princess Anne and greet her with a very formal ‘Hello your majesty’, she responds, “hey up Dock how’s it hanging today?”.
With an absence from the skies forever, you can now own an iconic piece of aviation memorabilia which represents the heyday of supersonic flying.
We have developed and produced in collaboration with the Duxford Aviation Society (DAS), limited edition cufflinks, which have been cast from the air intake assembly of Concorde 101 (G AXDN) – the fastest ever example of this majestic aircraft type. T.
Limited to a worldwide production of 4,500 cufflink sets, they have been individually laser etched with the Concordes registration number and the highest ever recorded Concorde speed of 1450 mph, achieved by the aircraft these cufflinks are cast from.
Whether you are part of the Concorde G AXDN’s history, or just an admirer of the fastest commercial flight to grace the skies, our Concorde G-AXDN cufflinks are the perfect sentimental gift that will last a lifetime.
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