Aircraft Chair

2002


Let machinery be honest - and make its own machine buildings and its own machine furniture; let it make its chairs and tables of stamped aluminium if it likes: Why not?

Ernest Gimson

Ernest Gimson, His Life and Work, Shakespeare Head Press, 1924

This is a chair from our favourite military aircraft scrapyard, with a bit of work.

I'm also working on more chairs for sale.

Aircraft chair

I stripped out the original seat and some extra brackets, then made a set of welded steel legs to support it. The original seat and back were solid boards, but I wanted to emphasis the lovely perforated nature of the aluminium bucket frame.

Chair from the back

I felt a little lazy about including this as "something I'd made", but if Ron Arad can do it with his Rover Chair, then I feel a little better about it !

Chair from the side

The finish isn't finished yet, although I'll eventually wax it. It was once painted grey, over a yellow zinc chromate primer. Like most aircraft, the rivets were anodised purple (it signifies their alloy composition). I wanted to strip it to bare aluminium, but preserving the rivets, however the paint had other ideas ! I wish my car was painted this well - so far it has resisted mechanical abrasives and chemical strippers. I'd like to polish it as bare aluminium, but others have commented that they like the patchwork effect - it's certainly easier.

Side-view close-up

I just love all those rivets ...

Those bolt heads (with the awkward Tri-Wing heads) are titanium.
I suppose that must have saved a few grams !

Close-up from above

For a cushion I just sewed up a simple square of leather over foam.