1. ITV Report

Battle of Britain planes grounded

Spitfires are among the aircraft affected. Photo: RAF BBMF

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.

The Hawker Hurricane bore the brunt of the fighting during the Battle of Britain. Credit: PA Images

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 are due to perform at the Jersey International Air Display and Guernsey Air Display on September 14th.

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