Key.Aero leads the way in the field of aviation history and heritage. Enjoy an outstanding mix of restoration and warbird features, fascinating articles on aviation history produced by some of the best writers in the business and in-depth and entertaining reports on all historic aircraft. Broad coverage spans the earliest years of flight through to the Cold War, encompassing countless aircraft types and their aerial achievements, plus Key.Aero offers the very latest historical aviation news.

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The fascinating story of BBMF Hurricane PZ865 ‘The Last of the Many’

Daniel Ford charts the colours of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s PZ865

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Flying a unique survivor: the Avro 626

Avro 626 NZ203: survivor of the pre-war Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the sole example of its kind in the world. Just one pilot can still claim any experience on this delightful biplane, thanks to its brief post-restoration flying career nearly 40 years ago

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Fearsome Finnish: When Hawker Hurricanes fought the USSR

In the October 2014 issue of FlyPast, Kari Stenman described Finland’s use of the Hawker Hurricane – and spoke to the owner of a then freshly restored example flying in Finnish colours

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Caesar Hull: The Hurricane ‘Wizard’

In the February 2010 issue of FlyPast, Norman Franks looked at the remarkable flying career of Rhodesian-born Caesar Hull

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The ultimate Avro Vulcan survivors guide…

FlyPast's Jamie Ewan provides a rundown of the complete Vulcans surviving worldwide

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Hurricane heroics over Norway end in one of RAF’s greatest tragedies

Tom Spencer relates how 46 Squadron fought against the odds and fell victim to one of the RAF’s greatest tragedies

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Norman Taylor: Hurricane ace's exploits on land and sea

Barry M Marsden relates the intense career of Flt Lt Norman Taylor, Battle of Britain ‘ace’ and Condor-killer

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When Hurricanes took on Japanese in fight for Singapore

By the time Hurricanes arrived in Singapore the Japanese had established a superiority that the RAF was unable to counter. Andrew Thomas told the story in the August 2015 issue of FlyPast

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‘Blondie’ Walker: The Hurricane pilot shot down twice and awarded 2 DFCs

Yorkshireman 'Blondie' Walker became a gifted and aggressive vessel-killer. Graham Pitchfork describes his exploits

The day a Sea Harrier landed in Birmingham

A memorable moment in BBC television history

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The Latest Historic Aviation News All in One Place

This is your one stop shop for everything you could possibly want to know about historic aviation. Historic aircraft flights, displays and renovations can all be found among the categories and articles linked to from this page.

Readers can find categories for Warbirds, restoration projects by individuals and organisations such as museums, and in-depth resources on iconic aircraft from all the corners of the globe. Whether it is the Hughes H-4 Hercules Spruce Goose, Boeing C-137 Stratoliner, Aerospatiale / British Aircraft Corporation Concorde, Tupolev Tu-144, Hawker Harrier jump-jet or any other historic commercial and military aircraft, the information is here at your fingertips.

Warbird News & Projects

Warbird enthusiasts spend their time bringing iconic military aircraft back to life and in some cases even back to a state of airworthiness. The name Warbird originally referred only to World War 2 era aircraft but has since been widened to include all historical military aircraft.

Popular Warbird types include the North American P-51 Mustang, Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane and the Messerschmitt Bf109. While one or two-seat fighters are affordable for the individual enthusiast to restore, aviation museums and groups of people take on much larger aircraft. Examples of these, include, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and the Avro Lancaster. The most famous of recent years must be the Avro Vulcan supersonic bomber, which is now on a static display in the UK but flew for several years at airshows.

See all the latest Warbird projects here

Spitfire Fighter Aircraft

The Supermarine Spitfire is arguably the most iconic World War II era European aircraft. Credited with a significant role in the Battle of Britain victory against the Luftwaffe’s assault on Great Britain in the summer of 1940, the propeller driven fighter was designed by Reginald J Mitchell at Supermarine Aviation. Mitchell designed the Spitfire with the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffon engines in mind because he saw their potential when combined with the aircraft’s unique aerodynamics.

The Spitfire first flew on 5th March 1936 from Eastleigh Aerodrome. However, due to production issues and limitations in Supermarine’s manufacturing process, the first production Spitfire did not take to the skies for a further 2 years. The Spitfire was born four months after the maiden flight of its partner aircraft, the Hawker Hurricane. Together they would deny Nazi Germany air superiority over England and the English channel.

Find out more about the legendary Spitfire

Aircraft Restorations

The restoration of historical aircraft is a challenge full of difficult obstacles with missing engines, control system parts, and the need for significant fuselage, wing or tail repair. The long, slow process of restoring an aircraft to a flight worthy condition or simply for static display is taken up by many individuals, but also museums and groups of enthusiasts.

The restorations undertaken can be as small as a one-seat civilian bi-plane or the always popular Warbirds, or as large as a Lockheed C-121C Constellation. Museums that tackle large scale restorations include the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum in Missouri and the Museum of Flight in Everett, Washington. These museums have restored early propeller driven passenger aircraft and the early airliners built in the USA and Europe, like the de Havilland Comet.    

Read more aircraft restoration articles

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