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.

Duxford Air Festival cancelled

Steve Beebee

Duxford's Air Festival, scheduled for May 23-24, has been cancelled.

Steve Beebee

Historic Croydon Airport Open Day postponed

Steve Beebee

The Historic Croydon Airport Visitor Centre has had to postpone its Centenary Open Day, originally planned for March 29.

Steve Beebee

Warbirds Over Wanaka cancelled

Steve Beebee

Sadly, the epic Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow in New Zealand has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Steve Beebee

Lightning fast taxi run postponed

Steve Beebee

Due to the rapidly developing repercussions of the coronavirus outbreak, the Anglo American Lightning Organisation (AALO) has decided to postpone its planned fast taxi run of English Electric Lightning T.5 XS422.

Steve Beebee

Mustang flights over Pearl Harbor

Steve Beebee

The Erickson Aircraft Collection is offering passenger flights over Pearl Harbor in its Mustang.

Steve Beebee
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Q&A - April 2020

COMPILER: BARRY WHEELER

Are you seeking the answer to a thorny aviation question...

COMPILER: BARRY WHEELER
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The Streetcar Line of the Virgin Islands

TOM ANUSEWICZ

Beautiful flying boats serving sun-drenched Caribbean islands and a dash of Hollywood glamour - Antilles Air Boats seemed to have it all,...

TOM ANUSEWICZ
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Forever young: Portuguese Chipmunks

DEGRAEF AND EDWIN BORREMANS

With the type approaching its 75th anniversary, it is remarkable that Portuguese Air Force student pilots are still going solo on the DHC Chipmunk...

DEGRAEF AND EDWIN BORREMANS
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Coningham’s travelling circus

GRAHAM GOODLAD

Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham must be counted among the greatest architects of tactical air power...

GRAHAM GOODLAD
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Hooks' Tours: Tupolev Tu-154

The Tu-154 was an important long-range addition to the Aeroflot fleet...

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.