Fire-hit Lancaster bomber to miss VE day flypast

Lancaster bomber Image copyright Karl Melson
Image caption The Lancaster performed an engine shut down before landing safely at RAF Coningsby

The UK's only flying Lancaster bomber is to miss VE Day commemorations after an engine fire.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) aircraft had to make an emergency landing at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on Thursday.

No one was injured and officials said the engine was being assessed.

While unable to put a timescale on repairs, an RAF spokesman confirmed the Lancaster would not be taking part in Sunday's event.

More than 7,300 Lancasters were built during World War Two but most were scrapped in the following years.

Image copyright Richard Levett
Image caption In 2014, Canadian Lancaster Vera also experienced problems with one of its engines

The BBMF's Lancaster, known as Thumper, is allowed to fly a strictly limited number of hours each year, in order to extend its airworthiness.

The spokesman said: "Unfortunately, due to the incident, the Lancaster will not be able to join the VE Day flypast on Sunday.

"However, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will provide a flypast which will consist of a Spitfire and two Hurricane aircraft.

"The RAF is undertaking an ongoing full assessment of any potential damage to the Lancaster but it is too early at this stage to offer any additional assessment."

Last year, the only other flying Lancaster, which is based in Canada, visited the UK.

It also suffered technical problems and had to be loaned a spare engine by the BBMF.

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