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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First flight of the Supermarine Seafire

Key.Aero details a short but sweet whistle stop tour of the operational history of the Supermarine Seafire to mark the anniversary of the type's first flight

Paul Brickhill Escape – Or Die Feature Premium

Paul Brickhill: Escape – Or Die

With the holiday season behind us, we can now ask, did anyone watch The Great Escape over Christmas? It’s always part of the yule tide TV schedule and if that wetted your appetite for more tales of a similar ilk, Paul Brickhill’s Escape – Or Die is a great place to start.

Beech D17S Staggerwing News Premium

Airborne comeback for former Royal Navy Staggerwing 

Beech D17S Staggerwing N18V flew for the first time in around 35 years late last year from Leopoldsburg, Belgium…

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Aeroplane February 2022

The full issue in page-turning PDF format

Ex Officer Commanding of BBMF to receive MBE

Key.Aero would like to offer our profound congratulations to Squadron Leader Mark Discombe, ex Officer Commanding of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, who has received an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list

First Historic Quiz of 2022!

We're storming into 2022 with the first Historic aviation quiz of the year!

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Mystère 20 – First of a Family of Bizjets

The Mystère 20 (later referred to as the Falcon 20) first flew on May 4, 1963 and was the first in a line of business jets which continues to be developed by Dassault. John Fricker got to fly the new jet and reported his findings in the January 30, 1964 issue of ‘The Aeroplane and Commercial Aviation News’

Save Coventry Airport to hold Open Day

Aviation group ‘Save Coventry Airport’ is holding an open day and fly-in on January 8 for the general public to attend to raise awareness about the airfield, which may be closed to make space for a factory

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North Weald C-54 Skymaster update

Save The Skymaster is continuing to make progress on its restoration of former US Navy Douglas C-54D 56498 at North Weald

2 seat Hurricane News Premium

Bookings now being taken for Hurricane passenger flights

From April this year it will be possible to fly as a passenger in Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb BE505, the world’s only two-seat example of the iconic World War Two fighter…

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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