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.

R-100 Airship's debut flight commemorated

Steve Beebee

A set of first day covers have been issued to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Airship R-100's maiden voyage.

Steve Beebee

Full size Stuka model destined for Capel-le-Ferne

Steve Beebee

A full size stainless steel model depicting a crashed Stuka is set to go on show at the National Memorial to the Few.

Steve Beebee

Fundraising campaign for airfield tribute

Steve Beebee

The Friends of Lavenham Airfield is raising funds to build a memorial to the USAAF’s 487th Bomb Group.

Steve Beebee

RAF Museum London art exhibition to open

Steve Beebee

A collection of work exploring artists’ responses to the Battle of Britain and the Blitz (July 1940 – May 1941) is set to go on display at the Royal Air Force Museum London next month.

Steve Beebee
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Japanese Phantoms approaching sunset

Midori Fukakusa

Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) Phantoms have been protecting the nation's airspace...

Midori Fukakusa
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Dornier Do 26: Germany’s Elegant Flying Boat

CHRIS GOSS

Chris Goss tells the story of the Dornier Do 26 flying boats...

CHRIS GOSS
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Stratospheric Cold War warriors: Alconbury TR-1As

In 1983, the first Lockheed TR-1As arrived at RAF Alconbury...

National Memorial to the Few launches new talks series

Steve Beebee

A fascinating story of bravery during World War Two will launch a new series of Sunday afternoon talks at the Battle of Britain Memorial.

Steve Beebee

New Zealand museum's photo archives online

Steve Beebee

Researchers can now browse and download thousands of images of New Zealand’s military aviation history.

Steve Beebee

Flying Legends Video

Chris Clifford

See Flying Legends 2020 Trailer Video

Chris Clifford

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.