Intrepid Design: The art of aviation parts

At PrivateFly, we think an aircraft is a work of art in itself.

But design company Intrepid Design takes the idea to a whole new level, by transforming decommissioned aviation and aircraft parts into stunning, one-off pieces of furniture and objets d’art.

A selection of Intrepid Design's pieces on display at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed

The company’s unique pieces are becoming increasingly sought after by interior designers, private clients and corporates. And a selection is currently on display at the Rizon Jet FBO facility at London Biggin Hill Airport.

The founder of Intrepid Design, Andrew Jackman, sources the aviation parts all over the world, many of which are in a very poor condition. He says “I will see or hear about an available part, and usually have an immediate view on its potential. I work with a great team of designers and craftspeople who treat these pearls of aviation engineering and history with enormous respect.

“Our aim is always to turn them into something that restores and showcases the original function, while becoming a modern and exciting piece of art or furniture in itself.”

Jacobs Radial Engine_before

The Jacobs Radial Engine before its transformation

Intrepid Design’s range includes tables, seating and art centrepieces.  The company also undertakes bespoke commissions.

Here Andrew explains the background behind some of his pieces and we take a look at before and after photos of the stunning transformation.

Jacobs Radial Aircraft Engine Coffee Table

Andrew comments: “I purchased this engine, built circa 1940, in the USA.

“It was shipped back to the UK, completely stripped, highly polished and finished with precision cut toughened glass.

“I had this in my own home and, much to my humour and my wife’s frustration, everybody commented about the great piece of furniture and not the room she had just redecorated!”


The finished Jacobs Radial Engine Coffee Table


Martin Baker Phantom F4 Ejector Seat

Ejector Seat_before

The Phantom F4 Ejector Seat before its restoration.

Andrew comments: “Founded in 1934 and still based in Buckinghamshire, Martin Baker are considered a world-leader in ejector seat manufacture & technology.

“This particular seat was purchased in Germany after being retired from the Luftwaffe in 1994.

“The Phantom aircraft is a tandem, two seat fighter/bomber manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. It served for over 30 years with military air forces throughout the world, reaching speeds of over Mach 2.2.

“We sourced a skilled technician, who had a previously worked at Martin Baker, and so understood the complexity of the chair. We were keen to ensure that it was put back together exactly as it should be. And after hundreds of hours of polishing and restoration, it became a fully-restored and functional piece of furniture.

“This highly-polished ejection seat has a bespoke leather headrest and seat, which is electronically adjustable via a clever switch – hidden within the original seat switches.”



The finished result: A functional and beautiful piece of furniture, restored from a classic ejector seat



Rolls Royce Spey Engine_before

The Rolls Royce engine as it was found

Rolls Royce Fan Blade Centre Table

Andrew comments: “I’ve worked with a number of Rolls Royce parts and for me they are the epitome of style and elegance.

“Rolls Royce genuine assembled parts are at the heart of this piece, made from a RR Spey 250 Gas Turbine Jet Engine.

“When we found it, I knew it had the makings of a stunning table.

“The finished result showcases the 179 individual highly-polished blades, set within the original engine casing.”



The finished piece: Rolls Royce engine on display

Nikon Japanese Battleship Binoculars

Nikon big eye binoculars_before

The Nikon Battleship Binoculars were painted green when they were found.


Andrew comments: “We source all our pieces worldwide. This particular pair of WW11 period binoculars where purchased from a Taiwanese national called Johnny.

“When we found them they were painted green. So the binoculars were completely stripped and restored.

“These beautiful working binoculars are as practical as they are elegant and spectacular, with a far-reaching magnification of 35x”.


The restored binoculars in action

For more stunning images and information about Intrepid Design’s work, visit their website