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.

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For the H.P. 80’s crescent wing an interesting development in the form of leading-edge flaps has been applied in order to improve lateral control at the stall. This view of the aircraft brings out the high mounted tailplane; the thin wing; and the generous intakes for the four Sapphires. Feature Premium

Revolutionary Victor design insights

The Handley Page H.P. 80, later to be named the Victor, had a new wing design which bestowed excellent performance. The virtues of this ground-breaking shape were explained by no less than Handley Page’s chief designer in the January 2, 1953 issue of ‘The Aeroplane’

FlyPast Picture of the Week

This week's Picture of the Week was captured by Ellie Crook

FlyPast Podcast Episode 42

For episode 42 of the FlyPast Podcast, we’re joined by Howard Heeley, Secretary and Museum Trustee at the Newark Air Museum...

Beach landing by a BEA Heron at Barra. Feature Premium

BEA 1960s Highlands and Islands operations

An insightful overview of the challenges faced by BEA serving the communities of Scotland from the August 11, 1966 issue of Aeroplane

Vintage aircraft flying scholarship awarded

The annual Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers Sir Geoffrey de Havilland Flying Scholarship has been awarded to Andrea Troso

Historic aviation quiz: Bomber Command edition (Part 1)

This month, FlyPast is celebrating 85 years of Bomber Command with its special issue. So, what better way to celebrate here on Key.Aero than with a series of Bomber Command centred quizzes, each slightly more difficult than the next?

BBMF leader to move on this October

Squadron Leader Mark 'Disco' Discombe ends his time as Officer Commanding the BBMF this October

Give the ultimate gift this Christmas: shares in a PBY Catalina

Christmas is coming - so how about the ultimate present for the aviation fan who has almost everything: share ownership in Europe’s only airworthy Catalina flying boat as featured in last/this month's edition of FlyPast

LOW AND SLOW. – The Handley Page Victor B.2 makes a very low flypast, with leading-edge flaps drooped. Feature Premium

Spectacular 1960 Farnborough airshow flying display

A report on what was in the flying display at the 1960 Farnborough airshow from the September 9, 1960 issue of ‘The Aeroplane and Astronautics’

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The 1928 Italia airship disaster: Part Two

In this two-part series, we examine the tragic events of the 1928 Italia airship disaster during an expedition to the Arctic, and the disastrous attempts to rescue its missing crew

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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