About, Production Process

Launch of Bluebird K7Range

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.

  • Official Bluebird K7 Pin Badge
    £69.99
  • Bluebird Cufflinks
    Official Bluebird K7 Cufflinks
    £174.99

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About, Production Process

Making Memories Out Of Icons

How We Manufacture Our Products

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

6. Finishing

Concorde Cufflink Gift Set made from Concorde Aluminium
Concorde Cufflink Gift Set made from Concorde Aluminium

Project research

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.

Material acquisition

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.    

A Jeweller assembles a tree ready for lost wax casting. In this case they are making rings rather than cufflinks but the process is the same.
Industrial lost wax casting. The process of pouring for filling out plaster shells with molten aluminium from ladle.
A master jeweller hand-finishes one of our cufflinks

Finishing

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.

  • 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

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New Products, Uncategorized

New Year, New Jewellery Collection

Our aim at Icarus Originals is to always create bespoke products that are innovative, beautiful and extremely sentimental. 

Since inception we have celebrated the iconic craft that have defined transportation in the last 100 years, by blending the very latest technical innovations with the highest quality British craftsmanship in order to create a  selection of unique, premium products.

With this being said, we’re looking forward to some amazing projects ahead of 2021…

Let’s be honest, 2020 has been a pretty terrible year as a whole. So to give us something to look forward to, we are expanding our collection with new models, bracelets, tag range as well as our signatures cufflinks, too. 

Exciting projects include: 

  • A collaboration with Duxford Aviation society using material from their Comet 4B – the first ever jet airliner to cross the Atlantic.
  • English Electric canberra
  • Aston Martin DB5
  • Original Ford Mustang
  • An intercity 125 train model
  • AW Merlin helicopter
  • A World War 2 USAF C47 that took part in D Day

With many more exciting projects in the pipeline! 

We’ve also entered several of our products into Gift of the Year 2021 (see www.giftoftheyear.co.uk ) – so stay tuned as we eagerly await the results! 

All with original, authenticated material and all lovingly designed and made here in the UK. Our jewellerys create everything handmade with meticulous attention to detail to provide you with a beautiful and unique product that you will cherish for a lifetime. 

Here at Icarus, we are Wishing you a merry Christmas and a prosperous 2021.

About

How Icarus Originals Took Flight…

Get to know our owners…

Icarus Originals came to inception in 2018, after both Alan and John realised they were working on a similar design to commemorate the soon-to-be withdrawn Panavia Tornado. 

John is a serving RAF Engineer who has lived and breathed fast Jets since he joined the RAF aged 18. Alan originally started his career in the RAF, until becoming a Royal Navy Engineer. However, after losing much of his eyesight during his service, Alan retired and has been registered blind for the last 15 years. This, However, has not deterred him from striving for greatness, creating a bespoke jewellery brand and even holding 2 world records for being the first blind person to row across the Atlantic Ocean and to ski from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole!!!!!

So why did Icarus Originals start? 

With fashion and accessories a heavily saturated market – and one particularly difficult to break into – a product that is both bespoke and unique in design is integral for any successful business model…

Mixing fun and functionality together, John and Alan decided to create a product that could be worn by the everyday man, while embracing a topic that is close to both of their hearts. 

The idea behind Icarus was to allow people to own a small piece of history, and experience the emotional attachment that comes with that. This originally started with an aircraft, but now covers classic cars, trains and (hopefully soon) space! 

What was once just concorde cufflinks, has now expanded beyond their wildest dreams, with tornado pendants, HS2 cufflinks and the latest addition to their bespoke jewellery collection, the DeLorean “back to the future” bracelets. While Icaurs originals are continually expanding their unique jewellery collection, the quality and sentiment remains the exact same. Their products focus entirely on engineering excellence and achievement, honouring models that were trailblazers and innovations of their eras. Whether it’s the fastest ever Concorde model embodied in a cufflink design, or the iconic DeLorean automobile, globalised through the 80s classic “back to the future” franchises, each product holds that special piece of history with them. 

As well as producing unique gifts that capture a small piece of history, the company also seeks to give back with tie ups to support good causes and preservation activities such as the RAF Benevolent Fund and Panavia Tornado Preservation Group. These charities provide a range of support aimed at serving and former RAF personnel and their dependents. This includes welfare breaks, grants to help with financial difficulty and getting about inside and outside the home, specialist advice on benefits and support with care needs, as well as support for young people.

Icarus Originals understand the importance of giving back, as they themselves have received support as a company from X – Forces and Entrepreneurs, 2 organisations that help Veterans start a business. 

It’s a bit ironic really, that much of our Jewellery profits go back to helping veterans get access to adequate care after life in the forces, while honouring machinery that have had such profound effects on the industry they worked in and adore; the tornado and F35A to name a few… 

Indeed, the core foundation of this business was to provide that piece of sentimental history in the form of something attractive, fashionable and functional for everyday use, which Icarus believe that have achieved pretty successfully (and so do our amazing customer base)…

“It’s more than just another cufflink or a shiny pendant, our jewellery is uniquely crafted and contoured (here in the UK) with assistance from heroes, to be worn by ‘legends’…”

Check out our online shop today to browse our new and exclusive products just in time for christmas! 

Interest

Three Interesting Facts about Planes

3 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Planes 

Planes have evolved a lot since their first inception. The vast technological advancements have created some of the best engineering designs that have defied air travel as we know it. 

Whether it’s through the creation of the Concorde airliner, which at its fastest speed – 1,354 mph – was twice faster than the speed of light. Or even the introduction of jet fighters such as the F-35 aircraft, whose major advances in aircraft design, avionics, and weapon systems have sky-rocketed the aircraft industry into a new generational shift of fighter aircraft and innovations never seen before… 

However, all of this aside, there are still a number of things you probably don’t know about this magnificent man-made machinery. Don’t believe us? Well, I can guarantee we’ll prove you wrong…

1) Airplanes are designed to withstand lightning strikes 

For safety reasons, planes hit by lightning mid-flight undergo inspection after landing, but in most cases, the aircraft is either unharmed or sustains only minor damage.

The last commercial plane airliner that was struck by lightning, according to Scientific American, was in 1967. As a consequence of the strike, the plane’s fuel tank exploded. Since then, technological advancements have been developed to reduce this risk factor. 

Indeed, airplanes are highly intricate machines. As a result of technical wiring now implemented into planes, if a lightning strike does occur, it will typically strike a sharp edge of the plane – such as a wingtip or nose. This means that electrical charges from the lightning bolt will only ever prevail around the outside of the vessel, with the electrical wiring blocking the electromagnetic fields and protecting the interior from any voltage. 

Airline giants such as Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 are amongst the few within the industry to introduce composite materials to reduce the overall electrical conductivity of the fuselage and wings to fully withstand any lightning strikes, should they occur. 

So for anyone traveling during a storm, there’s really no need to worry, right? 

2) You don’t need both engines to fly 

Ok, some of you may all be familiar with this one. 

As aforementioned, technological advancements have continued to increase the safety of airliners. They have been thoroughly manufactured and tested to withstand a range of external and internal elements that could affect the plane during flight. As such, engineers have to meticulously create a ‘back-up’ plan should fail occur. 

As such, airplanes can function with only one of their engines properly working. Whilst two-engines allow pilots to reach higher altitudes, save fuel, and reach high speeds due to a reduction in friction if one engine fails then the plane can still continue to fly to safety! An engine failure does mean that the plane is going to have less power and will be forced to fly at a lower altitude – warranting an emergency landing. 

The same can be said for those larger commercial liners such as the Boeing 747 – equipped with 4 engines. From a safety perspective, it is not that dangerous if one engine completely fails. Pilots have reported flying a 747 with one engine malfunctioning and continuing to the destination. Both he and his 416 passengers lived to tell the tale. 

3) There is not really the safest seat on the plane 

As a general rule of thumb, there is no safe seat on a plane. 

While plane crashes on jetliners are rare, researchers have conducted tests to analyse where is the safest location on a plane itself. In 2012, researchers decided to take an uncrewed Boeing 727, fill it with crash test dummies and cameras, and fly it into the Mexican Desert.  

As expected, the results indicated that there was no safe seat on the airliner. However, passengers at the back were recorded to have less severe injuries to those located at the front of the airliner or in the cockpit. These findings align with a TIME study of plane accidents which concluded that the middle seats in the back of the plane had the lowest fatality rate in a crash. Their research indicated that the back of the aircraft had a 32% fatality rate, compared with 39% in the middle and 38% in the front third. Although, with so many variables at play, it’s difficult to draw a definitive conclusion. 

But don’t worry, crashes are incredibly rare. So on that note, enjoy your next flight!! 

Icarus Originals

For those plane-enthusiasts amongst us, At Icarus Originals, we have a range of bespoke and handmade plane cufflinks and mini models – the perfect bespoke gift or collectible item for those with a genuine passion for aviation. 

Taken from some of the most iconic aircraft that defined their generation and changed the landscape of aircraft technology as we know it, At Icarus Originals, we have afforded you the opportunity to own a slice of aviation history…

Whether you are seeking some speed and searching for a Concorde cufflink taken from the genuine aluminum of the fastest model of its kind, or from the fastest jet fighter of its generation – the F-35A, At Icarus, we have the perfect bespoke gift for your loved ones.  All our plane cufflinks and mini models blend high tech design with the best of traditional British craftsmanship.

Shop our range now to find a collectible or gift that will last a lifetime.

  • 747 4q8 tinkerbelle bracelet g-vbig
    747-4Q8 G-VBIG Bracelet
    £45.00
  • Tinker Belle 747 Cufflinks
    747-4Q8 G-VBIG Cufflinks
    £134.99
  • Tinker Belle 747 Mini Model
    747-4Q8 G-VBIG Mini Model
    £54.99

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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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Special Occasions

The Benefits of Buying Bespoke Aviation Jewellery

Why Should I Buy Bespoke Aviation Jewellery?

Bespoke Plane jewellery is the perfect amalgamation of masterful dexterity, unique design and individual expression. ‘Bespoke’ enables buyers to convey deep personal messages through a singular piece of jewellery, a factor that cannot be matched by mass-produced adornments. Our clients that purchase our products hold jewellery close to their hearts. Whether they are influenced by the quality, sentimentality or value for money – Bespoke triumphs fast-fashion for their accessories. Our cufflinks meet their wants and style while still providing the satisfaction that spans a lifetime. So to help you get the best from your future jewellery purchases, below are 4 benefits of purchasing custom-made bespoke cufflinks.

Sentimental Aviation Jewellery

Jewellery is often an extremely sentimental possession. And when it comes to customised jewellery, the sentimental and emotional value is what entices people to purchase products.

Our pieces are genuinely unique and allow our customers to own a small piece of a much larger story. Whether the metal has originated from one of the first Concorde airliners, an iconic classic car or a bullet train from Japan, our products are inherently timeless classics. Knowing that you are walking around with a carefully and painstakingly crafted piece of a Tornado GR4, designed in conjunction with the crew that flew the aircraft enables you to connect with the maker and learn their story on a much deeper level. A piece of history that you can forever treasure.

Quality & Craftsmanship

Unlike mass-produced jewellery which is created in bulk and often by automated machinery, Bespoke products are carefully crafted by a designer, with meticulous attention to detail that can only be achieved by a human touch.

With the very best of British craftsmanship, all of our jewellery is handmade utilising painstaking, traditional jewellery manufacturing processes to create some of the finest bespoke Jewellery money can buy.

  • Red Arrows Box Set reclaimed aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Ultimate Gift Set
    £184.99
  • Bluebird Cufflinks
    Official Bluebird K7 Cufflinks
    £174.99
  • 1961 Series 1 Jaguar E-type Cufflinks made from reclaimed EType Aluminium
    1961 Series 1 E-Type Cufflinks
    £174.99

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Special Occasions

Things to Consider When Buying Cufflinks

Cufflink do’s and don’t’s.

Do: Go for bespoke cufflinks. If you have a selection of non standout and sentimental pieces, you’ll end up with an extensive range of simple cufflinks that cannot be differentiated amongst themselves. Clean and basic is fine for casual attire, but statement pieces that are long-lasted can give any outfit a refined look and truly reflect your personality. 

Don’t: Purchase ‘standard’ cufflinks. Whilst keeping it simple is desirable with many accessories, purchasing basic cufflinks can be counterintuitive as you’ll often forget about their existence and leave them in their box overtime. Instead, a dazzling and bespoke cufflink can transform an outfit, whilst still being simple enough to wear with a range of outfits! You’ll find that something custom made and truly unique to yourself will have more use and purpose than a basic cufflink. 

Do: Gift cufflinks to your loved ones. A well-designed, good quality pair of cufflinks make a unique and precious gift to someone close to you.

Don’t: Wear odd cufflinks, unless you’re trying to portray the image that you got ready in the dark. Given that cufflinks are usually synonymous with more sophisticated events, the mismatch is most probably a look you would want to avoid!

Do: Who said men can’t accessorize? Now more than ever men are incorporating a range of accessories to their wardrobe – often perceived as the ultimate ‘street style look’. Pair your cufflinks with accessories that will tone well together to complete an outfit. Matching materials or designs is always favourable, such as a pendant or a bracelet. 

Don’t: Own one pair of cufflinks! Cufflinks are a statement piece. Owning just one pair can feel repetitive. A selection of cufflinks will give your wardrobe the diversity that you need when going to a variety of events. Consider what you will need your cufflinks for, is it a corporate job interview or alternatively a wedding. Contrary to previous misconceptions, these social events require versatility in your selection of cufflinks! 

Protip: Simple and sophisticated is admirable for a job interview – a silver stud is a reliable accessory. Pair this with a black suit and you will certainly look the part. 

Do: Consider the colours and materials of your outfit to match your cufflinks to. Too many times we see individuals select some fanciful cufflinks with an array of colours or materials that clash with their outfits. In our opinion, for the material, less is more.

At Icarus Originals, we have an extensive range of custom-made cufflinks that are the perfect ‘one of a kind gift’. Each piece is made, handcrafted and finished here in the UK made using aluminium reclaimed from the fuselage of some of the worlds most iconic aviation, locomotive and automotive designs. 

Take our 1961 Jaguar E-Type Cufflinks for example. These jaguar cufflinks have been cast from Britain’s most celebrated cars; the E-Type, creating a sentimental gift that carries with it immense history.  Or alternatively, our range of aviation cufflinks, such as the 747-400 B-Hop cufflinks, cast from the metal of the fastest commercial airliner to grace the skies. These sentimental and bespoke pieces intertwine intricate detail and simplistic material to create a truly unique and bespoke gift that will last a lifetime. Browse our online shop today to see our range of aviation, locomotive and automotive cufflinks and mini models…

  • Bluebird Cufflinks
    Official Bluebird K7 Cufflinks
    £174.99
  • Tinker Belle 747 Cufflinks
    747-4Q8 G-VBIG Cufflinks
    £134.99
  • Red Arrows Box Set reclaimed aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Ultimate Gift Set
    £184.99

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New Products

The English Electric Lightning: Cufflink Edition

Introducing “The English Electric Lightning”, which carries the distinction of being the only all British supersonic fighter to have served with the Royal Air Force. Primarily designed as a rapid interceptor against the threat of enemy bombers during the Cold War, powered by twin Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engines, this aircraft still holds one of the fastest climb to altitude rates of any military aircraft – with an initial climb rate of 50,000 ft per minute. This type first flew on 4th August 1954 and went into service with the RAF in 1959.

While it may no longer be an object of the skies, at Icarus Originals, we pride ourselves on blending the very latest technical innovations with the highest quality British craftsmanship in order to create a superb selection of unique, bespoke, premium products. Hence our need to recreate this magnificent aircraft into a beautifully and carefully designed pair of cufflinks! The sheer time and integrity it takes to produce these items is a drawn out process, but we believe it is worth every second, as the final product holds extreme sentimental and historic value. Not only do you get to own a piece of aviation history, but you also get to honour the engineering prowess that revolutionised the British aviation world as we know it – setting a precedent for new models in production to this day!

How do we make the English Electric Lightning into a sentimental piece of Jewellery?

We wanted to highlight just how challenging the design and manufacturing process can be for something seemingly so small and simple. Take 1 project we have in the pipeline – the English Electric Lightning XR740. This is a famous aircraft of its type as it intercepted an American U2 spy plane.
First we need to find the material and ensure authenticity. In this case we work with our friends at Jet Art Aviation, based in Selby, who own the original tail fin
This material needs to be cut, stripped and processed into small chunks of aluminium that can be melted in a crucible to form ingots of XR749 aluminium – our “raw material”. Concurrently, we need to do a huge amount of design work which entails a combination of high resolution 3D scanning of models, and countless iterations of adapting the scan to a viable CAD design.This design then needs to be printed in resin, before an initial casting is taken. Usually this is cast in silver and then manually worked on by a jeweller to achieve a precision finish. We can then move to a test production run in normal aluminium. Once cast, and then hand finished/polished we can test the item.
With the lightning, the thin wings and narrow fuselage made it incredibly difficult to gauge the correct wing thickness. Too thin, the wings break, too thick it just looks wrong and too chunky. However, once finalised, we can go into production and cast cufflinks in genuine aluminium from this iconic aircraft. This process can literally take months as we need to fit into the schedule of the craftsmen we work with. But the end result should be something very special!

  • English Electric Lightning XR749 Cufflinks made from reclaimed aluminium
    English Electric Lightning XR749 Cufflinks
    £134.99

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New Products

Introducing our Aviation Mini Models

Introducing our Exclusive New Mini Model Products….

“A souvenir memento, keepsake, or a token of remembrance…All our range of aviation mini models are a tangible representation of an iconic design that has defined history.” 

As you try to come up with a thoughtful gift, you should consider all the things that define the receiver. Naturally that is going to include hobbies. A truly thoughtful gift often transcends what is clearly visible on the outside, showing the recipient that their inner qualities are recognised and appreciated. 

With this being said, we are delighted to announce the introduction of our range of mini models, complementing our existing range of bespoke and sentimental one-of-a-kind products in store. Handmade and crafted by master jewellers here in the UK, these mini profiles are created from an assortment of aviation designs that were the first of their lineage and defied air travel as we know it! 

Whether you are an aviation enthusiast or shopping for someone who has an affiliation with any of our unique airplane designs, these gifts provide the perfect opportunity to own a piece of aviation history. Whether it’s the Concorde G-AXDN mini model, representing the fastest plane to grace the skies, or the Vulcan XH558, a plane that has been instrumental in British warfare, each piece has its own backstory that the owner will truly appreciate. 

Thanks to our partnership with the UK ministry of Defence, we were able to produce five truly unique and beautiful mini models cast from melted down parts reclaimed for their historic aircraft. By combining our skill in the field of design and production, together with the unparalleled expertise and knowledge of the ministry of defence, we were able to create finely crafted renderings of each design. We believe these products are a great way to support these aircrafts and is an ideal gift or memoriam of a lost love-one or a treasured memento of some of the most iconic designs ever produced here in the UK. These include; 

Official Red Arrows Mini Model

  • Officially licensed by the UK Ministry of Defence, this striking mini model commemorates the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows. Made using aluminium reclaimed from the airframe of a Hawk T1 that formerly flew as part of the famous squad, every piece of this mini model has been crafted in the UK. 
  • Mounted on a serialised laser etched stand in the red, white and blue of the team and supplied with a certificate of authenticity, this is the ultimate high-flying desk accessory.

Concorde G-AXDN Mini Model 

  • This Concorde mini model is made from the genuine air intake assembly of Concorde 101 (G-AXDN). Produced in collaboration with Duxford Aviation Society (DAS), this mini model comes mounted on a serialised, laser etched base and is supplied with a certificate of authenticity.

Key product details

  • 100% designed, made and finished in the UK.
  • Cast from the genuine Hiduminium aluminium alloy of Concorde G-AXDN (Concorde 101 – the fastest ever Concorde).
  • Hand polished by jewellery finishers to a mirror shine.
  • Presented in a high-quality box with gold foil embossed certificate of authenticity,
  • Limited to a worldwide production of 4,500.
  • Product dimensions (unboxed) 85mm x 60mm x 35mmm.

Tornado GR1 ZA326 Mini Model

  • Created in partnership with the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group (PTPG), this ‘mini model’ captures a beautiful rendering of Tornado ZA326 atop a serialised laser etched base.  Made from genuine airframe aluminium recovered from the aircraft, this model allows you to own a small piece of aviation history.
  • Icarus Originals are proud to support both the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.  For every ZA326 mini model sold, we will donate £5 of the purchase price to each organisation to help them continue their vital work.
  • Red Arrows Hawk T1 Mini Model in reclaimed aluminium
    Official Red Arrows Mini Model
    £54.99
  • Tornado GR4 ZG750 Mini Model in reclaimed aluminium
    Tornado GR4 “Pinky” Mini Model
    £54.99