Battle of Britain Memorial Flight aircraft grounded

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Historic World War Two aircraft belonging to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight have been grounded over engine fears.

The planes, reportedly a Lancaster bomber, two Hurricanes and three Spitfires have been grounded after the discovery of a technical defect relating to their Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.

The announcement comes just three days before a planned appearance by the aircraft at the Whitby Regatta in North Yorkshire, scheduled for this Sunday.

The RAF were forced to withdraw the affected aircraft from the four-day Eastbourne Air Show this week.

Based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, the BBMF keeps six Spitfires, two Hurricane Mk 2Cs, a Lancaster and a C47 Dakota preserved in airworthy condition.

They are some of the last WW2 planes to still fly today.

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

A spokesman for the BBMF told the BBC the problem is "related to the Merlin engine", which powers aircraft including the Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane, but "affects all current and serviceable display aircraft".

Some of the planes were due to perform a display at the Weymouth Carnival on Wednesday.

They appeared at the Blackpool Air Show last weekend but did not turn up for a display at Bletchley Park earlier this week.

In post on Facebook organisers said: "The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight have informed us that they have identified a technical defect with one of the aircraft which has lead them to ground all three aircraft ... The safety of the teams and public during displays is of paramount importance, hence why this call has been made by the display teams."