RAF grounds half of BBMF fleet, here's why

Earlier today, June 23, 2023, the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight announced it was temporarily pausing flying after a fault was discovered on one of its aircraft's Rolls-Royce Merlin engines. 

In a statement, the RAF said: "The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is currently investigating a fault on a Merlin engine and has taken the decision to temporarily pause flying. Several of our aircraft are powered by the Merlin and, as a result, these historic aircraft will be unable to support Armed Forces Day events around the country as we would have liked. This is hugely disappointing for us and to all those who love to see these iconic aircraft, however, safety remains our paramount concern.”

Both Lancaster PA474 and Hurricane LF363 are powered by Rolls-Royce Merlins
Both Lancaster PA474 and Hurricane LF363 are powered by Rolls-Royce Merlins Cpl Phil Major/RAF Crown Copyright 2018

With a fleet of 12 aircraft, the airframes believed to be affected are as follows: Avro Lancaster B.I PA474, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa P7350, Mk.Vb AB910 and LF.IXe MK356, plus Hawker Hurricanes Mk.IIcs LF363 and PZ865. This isn’t the first time a problem with its Merlin has grounded the BBMF – in 2017 an issue with a pinion gear in a Merlin grounded most of the fleet. 

More on this when we have it.