Aeroplane Archive

The Key.Aero team have delved for treasure in the archive of Aeroplane Magazine dating back to 1911. Aviation history brought to life by the editors of the period.

FIRST EVER – With the distinction of being the World’s first civil air liner to be designed, from the outset, for airscrew turbines, the Viscount promises to set a new high standard of air line travel. Feature Premium

‘The Aeroplane’ air tests the Viscount

The Viscount was the world’s first turboprop airliner and an impressive total of 448 examples were manufactured. ‘The Aeroplane’ published this air test report on the new propliner in its November 4, 1949 issue

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Conversion King’s Dove Developments

Jack M Riley built up a good reputation for aircraft conversions and in its July 9, 1964 issue ‘The Aeroplane and Commercial Aviation News’ detailed Riley’s previous upgrade work and his company’s latest developments on the Dove

Contrast between old and new means of transport at Khulna. Feature Premium

Pakistan International’s helicopter routes article uncovered

A fascinating piece from the June 11, 1964 issue of ‘The Aeroplane and Commercial Aviation News’ which reveals the operations of PIA’s S-61 helicopters

Germany retired the C-160 on December 14. Key Collection Feature Premium

Developing the C-160

On December 14, 2021 the German Air Force retired the Transall C-160. The Franco-German transport took to the air for the first time on February 25, 1963, though it would be another five years before the air arm received its initial example. We take a look back to the early days of the programme with an article from the May 18, 1961 issue of ‘The Aeroplane and Astronautics’


Basically a military aircraft – but the “fighter pilot mentality” is discouraged. Feature Premium

When Alitalia used fighter jet trainers to teach its student pilots

In an unusual move in the 1960s Alitalia used military jet trainers to teach its students pilots. ‘The Aeroplane and Commercial Aviation News’ described this unusual training syllabus in its January 9, 1964 issue

James Stewart during a nostalgic return to his old base at Tibenham, Norfolk, in June 1975, photographed by TERRY FINCHER, Photographers International Feature Premium

Hollywood icon with a lifelong passion for flight

James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart is well-known for his acting career and also for flying bomber missions over Europe in World War Two. ‘Aeroplane Monthly’ accompanied him on a visit to his former wartime base and looked back over his lifelong love of aviation in its October 1979 issue

Delightful air-to-air study of BEA Trident 3B, G-AWYZ. All photos Key Collection Feature Premium

Trident at 60: The first airliner with autoland

Sixty years ago today the Trident took to the air for the first time. Unfortunately, it failed to garner the large number of orders achieved by Boeing’s competitor trijet – the 727. Dene Bebbington and Bruce Hales-Dutton look back and detail the development of the Trident and its three main variants

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Mystère 20 – First of a Family of Bizjets

The Mystère 20 (later referred to as the Falcon 20) first flew on May 4, 1963 and was the first in a line of business jets which continues to be developed by Dassault. John Fricker got to fly the new jet and reported his findings in the January 30, 1964 issue of ‘The Aeroplane and Commercial Aviation News’

Qantas at present operates II Boeing 707-138Bs at an average utilization of 11.4 hours a day. Feature Premium

Qantas – when the future looked supersonic

A fascinating snapshot in time from ‘The Aeroplane and Commercial Aviation News, June 25, 1964’ issue when supersonic travel was on the horizon. This article details how Qantas, like many airlines at the time, was planning to add supersonic airliners to its fleet

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Swissair’s speed machines

Swissair and SAS took the bold step of buying the Coronado and the March 18, 1965 edition of ‘The Aeroplane and Commercial Aviation News’ detailed how the airliner fared