1. ITV Report

Battle of Britain planes grounded

A Lancaster bomber, Spitfire and Hurricane taking part in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Photo: PA

Historic aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) have almost entirely been taken out of action over engine-related safety fears.

The planes, reportedly a Lancaster bomber, two Hurricanes and three Spitfires have been grounded after the discovery of a technical defect.

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.

Operated by the Royal Air Force, some of the famous aircraft were due to take part in a public display on Wednesday that was cancelled as a result.

They are some of the last Second World War planes to still fly today.

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.

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.

– Weymouth Carnival organisers

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