Battle of Britain Memorial Flight grounded due to engine issues ahead of first ever Scampton airshow

Most of the Coningsby-based Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) have been grounded due to an engine issue, it's been announced

The BBMF end of season formation, comprising the Dakota, Lancaster and five Spitfires, used Tattershall Castle as a landmark on their run in to RAF Coningsby on Sunday. Photo by Oscarpix Imaging. ENGEMN00120130930153422

The problem is “related to the Merlin engine” - which powers aircraft including the Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane.

Yesterday issues with their Rolls Royce Merlin engines caused five of the BBMF’s iconic Spitfires, its Hawker Hurricane and its Lancaster bomber to be grounded until the technical hitch is solved.

The BBMF’s three remaining Spitfires use different engines but are reportedly also out of action due to other reasons.

A Dakota transport plane and two Chipmunk trainers are allowed to fly.

Although there’s no word yet on how long it’ll take to fix the problem, it comes ahead of the first ever airshow at RAF Scampton which is due to be held in early September.

The event is due to include planes from the BBMF, which has a total of 12 historical aircraft, including a Lancaster - one of only two left flying in the world.

In a Tweet the BBMF announced: “A routine engine inspection has highlighted an issue requiring more technical advice. Until that advice is received, the BBMF will not be flying.’

A spokesman for the BBMF apologised for the grounding: “A routine engine inspection has highlighted a fault with one of our Merlin engines. We are currently investigating the fault.

“Consequently, purely as a precaution we have taken the decision to temporarily pause flying of our aircraft powered by Merlin engines. We will advise further as soon as we are able to.

“We are still operating our Griffon-engined Spitfire. We realise the disappointment this will be to our many supporters and airshow organisers; however, safety is our paramount concern.”