Historic

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.

Sign up to the newsletter

Will closure result in the loss of the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre?

The Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre is to close its doors from October 31, 2022 after Cornwall Council pulls its support…

Cheltenham’s ‘top-secret’ wartime aircraft site to be commemorated

The once ‘top-secret’ manufacturing site for the Gloster Aircraft Company in Bentham, Cheltenham, is to be commemorated with a plaque on September 10 at 1130hrs

Feature Premium

Building the Lightning - tales from the factory floor

While fearless pilots such as Roland ‘Bee’ Beamont are quite rightly part of Lightning folklore, the role played by men such as Mike Hardman – building and testing the mighty Cold War machines – should not be forgotten

Feature Premium

Vulcan navigator reveals all – Life in the Coalhole

In the February 2016 issue of Flypast navigator Jack Talliss recalled his Vulcan days, which included the prototype and last-to-go XH558

Feature Premium

Aeroplane October 2022

The full issue in page-turning PDF format

Feature Premium

Flying Bulls Display Team: hangar tour

Lured to Austria by an access-all-areas visit and the chance to fly with the Flying Bulls, Luke Bimm discovered a museum unlike any other

News Premium

Czech trainer being restored in its homeland

Aero C-104 237 is undergoing a complete restoration to flight condition in the workshop of Czech organisation TMFC. The type is a post-war development of the better known Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann.

Feature Premium

Secret Vulcan procedures – preparing for a nuclear strike

It was called Mutually Assured Destruction, the deterrent that would prevent nuclear holocaust. In the September 2011 FlyPast Glenn Sands explained how the V-Force would have hit back after a Soviet strike

Feature Freemium

Avro Vulcan in the Cold War: a pilot's perspective

In the November 2014 issue of Aviation News, Dino Carrara talked to Edward Jarron, a former Vulcan pilot, about his time flying the big delta on the front line and at airshows

Feature Premium

What is it like to fly the delectable Miles Falcon?

Anyone who has been fortunate enough to fly a vintage aircraft will know that, just occasionally, magic moments of total timelessness occur. I experienced such an event several years ago while flying Peter Holloway’s beautiful Miles Falcon...

Latest Issues from our leading aviation publications

Premium Key Aero subscribers get access to read all our magazines online as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.

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

Subscribe to Key.Aero

Become a part of our aviation community and subscribe to Key.Aero now. You can get all the aviation information you'll ever need, whenever you want, with access to all the latest aviation updates, news, events and more.