More than half of the airworthy second world war-era planes flown by the Royal Air Force have been grounded over engine-related safety fears. Aircraft operated by the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) were scheduled to fly at the Biggin Hill festival of flight, near Bromley in south-east London, and the Eastbourne international airshow in East Sussex.
But BBMF’s Lancaster bomber, four Spitfires and two Hurricanes will not fly until they have been checked, after a fault was found with the engine of one of the Hurricanes. A public display at the Weymouth carnival on Wednesday was cancelled after the fault was discovered and Thursday’s performance in Eastbourne was also pulled. An RAF spokesman said the fault with the Merlin engine was still being investigated and it was unclear how long the planes would be grounded. “A routine inspection has highlighted a fault with one of the Merlin engines in a Hurricane aircraft,” he said. “We are currently investigating the fault and, as a precaution, flying of Merlin engine-powered aircraft has been paused. “We are still operating Griffon-powered aircraft, including Spitfires, and Chipmunks. We realise the disappointment this will be to many supporters and airshow organisers, however safety is our paramount concern.” Read More Here