The conference, boardroom or dining table you see here is the culmination of many months of work, but it began its life many years beforehand. One of more than 10 000 Boeing model A75’s built, Stearman serial number 75-5560 left the Wichita production line in 1944 on delivery to the USAAF bearing the tail code ‘112’. The Air Force and Navy’s Basic Trainer throughout the thirties and forties, many former Battle of Britain and bomber command aircrew cut their teeth on the Stearman. Post-service, it operated privately in the US before being shipped to the UK in 1990. The aircraft was involved in a minor landing incident in 2006 at Gloucestershire Airport, which damaged the wing spar and aileron beyond repair. Replacement parts were sourced, the aircraft was fully repaired and remains airworthy today, but the scrapped wing languished at the back of the hangar for over a decade before it was acquired by Aerotiques. The damage to the aileron is still visible in the form of creased skin and the underside of the wing tip is scuffed, having come into contact with the runway surface. The wing shape naturally lent itself to a table application. We had originally considered a contemporary black and chrome design but, as we stripped back the fabric, the true character of this little piece of history came to life. The spruce spars, glued ply and stapled mahogany gussets with their varied colours and textures looked beautiful and we felt we simply couldn’t repaint, cover or change them. The remnants of aluminium oxide primer around the wing ‘hardware’ mounts, corrosion and scratching to the leading and trailing edges, overspray of the iconic yellow fabric colour and oily fingerprints on the spar are all still visible in places. This cemented our decision to simply lacquer the woodwork and ‘capture’ that history forever, thereby retaining its originality. The leg design combines the strength and beauty of lightly Danish oiled oak with tubular aluminium, typical in aircraft construction. The legs alone support the bespoke, unique glass top as it asymmetrically follows the original wing profile. The delicate wing structure bears no weight. in order maintain rigidity over it’s 10ft 6in length and 5ft, 15mm thick tempered glass was required, weighing in at a hefty 179Kg. This unique piece would be a conversation point in whichever board or dining room it graced. The hollow supports and grommets facilitate power and data to the table top if required.
Boeing Stearman wing feature table