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.

Feature Premium

RED EXPRESS

Piotr Butowski reveals the story behind the Soviets’ legendary supersonic airliner that challenged Concorde

Feature Premium

6 interesting things that happened on this day in aviation history

Find out how P-38Fs, Wiley Post and the world's youngest pilot to fly around the world all have July 22 in common

Feature Premium

FROM WARPLANE TO FILM STAR

When the RAF retired its last Mosquitos, stardom in a movie helped to boost the number of survivors. Ken Ellis explains

An F-86D-50-NA of the 513th Fighter Interception Squadron at Manston. Note the many vortex generators, including those on one of the NACA flush intakes for tailpipe cooling. All “Aeroplane” photographs Feature Premium

Revealing Insights into UK-based USAF F-86D Sabres

A detailed report on the new capabilities provided by the F-86D from the April 22, 1955 issue of The Aeroplane

Historic Aviation Quiz

Have a go at this week's historic aviation quiz! What will you score?

Feature Premium

Bristol fashion

Returning to the skies in March, the Shuttleworth Collection’s Bristol F.2B Fighter has emerged in significant 22 Squadron clothes. Darren Harbar reflects on this storied machine’s long history, and goes air-to-air with the 1918 biplane

Feature Premium

Dark Knight

Former OC BBMF Clive Rowley reveals the story behind the new all-black night-fighter-intruder identity for the Flight’s famous Hurricane Mk IIC

Feature Premium

Fokker Fodder

The Royal Flying Corps’ 8 Squadron suffered its first loss to the ‘Fokker Scourge’ during World War One’s Battle of Loos, as Andrew Thomas describes

Feature Premium

FlyPast September 2021

The full issue in page-turning PDF format

Introducing World War Two’s only female fighter aces 

Within the realms of Marina Raskova’s three female fighter regiments, two pilots took their duties to the next level. Read part one of their incredible stories

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.