Creative RAF Museum donation boxes from Talbot Designs

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Creative RAF Museum donation boxes from Talbot Designs

Talbot Designs were commissioned to produce a set of new interactive donation boxes as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment of the RAF Museum London including the RAF Museum Cosford in the West Midlands.  Tasked with managing the project from design concepts to fabrication, the project used Perspex® clear cast and was turned around in 7 weeks to meet the grand opening on 29th June, Armed Forces Day.  

Donations are vitally important to the Museum so the creations had to have a “wow” factor to draw interest and visibility.  A series of 5 designs were proposed for the project before the preferred design was chosen.  

Celebrating and commemorating 100 years of the RAF, the donation boxes evoke the feel of an aircraft engine decked in RAF colours standing 6 foot high.  The large main cylinder and face glazing all used Perspex® acrylic clear cast, chosen for its clarity and formability in 10mm and 15mm thicknesses.

The nose cones are manually rotated to make the “turbine” spin which makes the exhibit a real hit with young visitors and enhance the fundraising properties of the design.  Creating these moving pieces reinforced the need to produce the cylinder to exact dimensions to ensure the end product runs smoothly for its entire lifespan – in this instance the cylinders were drape formed in 2 halves over moulds within one of Talbot’s 3m ovens and then bonded together.

The project demonstrates the expertise of our approved fabricators Talbot Designs who fused the acrylic fabrication with fibreglass used to create the engine turbine blades and nose cones, and a solid surface base – all seamlessly integrated.

The Royal Air Force Museum London is delighted with the results as are the young visitors who are determined to see who can spin the turbine the fastest!  Boxes arrive at RAF Museum Cosford in late July.

Caroline Smith, Head of Development Royal Air Force Museum said, ‘As part of our Museum transformation it was important to ensure the visibility of the Museum as a charity and to make it easy for our visitors to donate.  We worked with Richard Woolf of Talbot Designs to produce distinctive and effective donation boxes for our sites in London and Cosford.  The time frame was tight in order to meet our opening deadline of 29th June, the Royal opening of our London site following a £26m refurbishment.  It was exciting to visit the Talbot Designs factory in Finchley to see the progress being made during the manufacturing process.

We are delighted with the Donation boxes and impressed with the professionalism of the Talbot Designs team’.

To find out more about Talbot designs visit

For information about the RAF Museums in London and Shropshire visit

Further information about RAF Museum London:

The Royal Air Force's story is woven into the history of the United Kingdom, from its formation during the First World War to the role it performs today as the nation's first line of defence.

It's mission, unchanged over 100 years, is to defend the UK, to attack if required, to provide reconnaissance and intelligence, to support in times of humanitarian crisis and to move people and equipment across the world quickly.