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Rolls-Royce at the helm of Royal Navy flagship

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March 26, 2006

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March 27, 2006 It seems logical that prestige automotive designers should be the go-to-guys when you wish to create an ambience of luxury – they’ve been doing it for a long time and it’s the key difference that enables a few extra zeros to be added to the price. We saw it recently when BMW Group Designworks was used by Airbus to design a luxury aircraft interior and now we’ve seen Rolls-Royce Motor Cars employed to make a special captain’s chair for HMS Illustrious – the flagship of the Royal Navy. The chair, which is appropriately finished in the finest navy blue leather with sea shell-coloured piping, was handcrafted by Rolls-Royce engineers and craftspeople at the company’s world headquarters in Goodwood. It is based on the front seat originally designed for the best-selling Rolls-Royce Phantom and has been specially adapted for its sea-faring role. The chair was officially presented by Rolls-Royce chairman, Ian Robertson, and a group of Rolls-Royce staff to Captain Bob Cooling and his crew in Portsmouth yesterday, as part of the ship’s refurbishment.

The interlinked Rolls-Royce monogram is embroidered on both sides of the headrest and specially modified arm-rests have been fitted. The seat has been engineered to allow a full range of electrical adjustment to ensure optimum comfort at all times. A wood veneered table features in the rear of the chair and a plaque has also been fitted to mark the occasion.

Ian Robertson said: "It is an honour and a pleasure for all of the Goodwood team to have made this special chair for such a magnificent aircraft carrier. It is a thrill for all of us to see it take pride of place on the bridge." Captain Cooling remarked: "On behalf of HMS Illustrious, I am delighted to take ownership of this unique chair and secure our links with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. It marks an important relationship between the Royal Navy and the wider Rolls-Royce community and demonstrates the enduring strength of such a British marque."

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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