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Aylsham Show could be without Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast

PUBLISHED: 12:39 17 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 17 August 2017

Aylsham Show 2016. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Aylsham Show 2016. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Fears have been raised that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast will not grace the Aylsham Show this year - following engine-related safety fears over the historic aircraft.

Aylsham Show 2016. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast. Picture: ANTONY KELLY Aylsham Show 2016. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A Royal Air Force spokesman said that a fault with one of the Merlin engines in a Hurricane aircraft was highlighted during an inspection.

They are currently investigating the fault and flying of Merlin engine powered aircraft has been paused.

Operated by the RAF, and based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, some of the famous aircraft were due to take part at Weymouth Carnival on Wednesday, but that part of the event was cancelled.

The Flypast is set to return to the Aylsham Show with a Hurricane and a Spitfire on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Battle of Britain Flight's Lancaster Bomber, one of just two still flying in the world, takes off from RAF Marham. Picture: Chris Bishop The Battle of Britain Flight's Lancaster Bomber, one of just two still flying in the world, takes off from RAF Marham. Picture: Chris Bishop

A spokesman for the Aylsham Show said: “We are still hopeful that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF0 will be able to attend.

“They are a regular at the show and we will have confirmation either way in the next few days.

“If the flypast doesn’t take place there will be something else happening in the main ring.

“In other years the flypast has been cancelled because of cloud and visitors still had a great day.”

East Anglia’s largest one-day agricultural show is in its 71th year and provides a celebration of rural life which attracts up to 20,000 people. It is held at the National Trust’s Blickling Park.

An RAF spokesperson said: “A routine inspection has highlighted a fault with one of the Merlin engines in a Hurricane aircraft.

“We are currently investigating the fault and as a precaution, flying of Merlin engine powered aircraft has been paused.

“We are still operating Griffon & Gypsy powered aircraft, including Spitfires and Chipmunks. We realise the disappointment this will be to our many supporters, however safety remains our paramount concern.”

The following BBMF aircraft have Merlin engines and are currently not flying - one Lancaster, four Spitfires and two Hurricanes.

Airshows that will be affected by the unavailability of the aircraft will be contacted by the RAF.

Are you waiting for confirmation that the Flypast will still come to your event? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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