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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Living the dream

José M Ramos

José M Ramos profiles the Florida-based air racer and warbird pilot Thom Richard...

José M Ramos
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East meets West

Chris Wilson

British firm Jet Art Aviation has supplied a trio of restored ex-RAF aircraft to Estonia...

Chris Wilson
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Glory Days: Inter-war pioneers

Rob Glover

Rob Glover presents photos of aircraft taken in 1938 at London’s Croydon Airport...

Rob Glover
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Uncommon bravery

Chris Clifford

The most famous Victoria Cross awarded to a member of the RAF...

Chris Clifford
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Silent wings over the Rhine

Christopher Warner

Christopher Warner details his great-uncle’s harrowing experience as a glider pilot in World War Two...

Christopher Warner
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Above and Beyond: Peter Isaacson

GRAHAM PITCHFORK

Graham Pitchfork outlines the career of Australia’s Peter Isaacson...

GRAHAM PITCHFORK
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Above it all - Boeing’s 307 Stratoliner

Kathleen Hanser

Boeing’s 307 Stratoliner was the first commercial airliner capable of cruising above stormy weather...

Kathleen Hanser
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A drive to... Sherburn

KEN ELLIS

Ken Ellis samples the extraordinary heritage of a thriving North Yorkshire aerodrome...

KEN ELLIS
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Legacy of the 'Bloody Paralyser'

Jamie Ewan

Assistant editor Jamie Ewan reports exclusively on one group’s efforts to build a flying replica...

Jamie Ewan
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Punitive pencil: Dornier Do 17

MALCOLM V LOWE

The Dornier Do 17 was a significant bomber during the Battle of Britain..

MALCOLM V LOWE

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.