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Historic aircraft grounded ahead of Sidmouth display

PUBLISHED: 15:19 17 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:19 17 August 2017

Red Arrows at Sidmouth 2016. Ref shs 34-16TI 6389. Picture: Terry Ife

Red Arrows at Sidmouth 2016. Ref shs 34-16TI 6389. Picture: Terry Ife

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Organisers are still hopeful historic aircraft will fly over Sidmouth despite issues with their engines – but the Red Arrows display will go ahead ‘come what may’.

The RAF has grounded Lancaster Bombers and Spitfires, which are set to be part of the Battle of Britain memorial flight next Friday (August 25).

The event is being organised by Sidmouth Town Council to open the regatta but town clerk Christopher Holland has not yet had contact from the RAF.

He told the Herald ‘safety is paramount’, adding: “At this moment in time, they [the RAF] have not said the Battle of Britain aircraft are not coming. We’re still hopeful.

“These aircraft are 70 years old. Problems are to be expected.

“Everything is grounded this weekend, although we may be lucky next week.

“The Red Arrows will be here, come what may.”

The elite aerobatic display team is set to fly over Sidmouth seafront at 6.30pm.

If the Battle of Britain memorial flight goes ahead, a Lancaster Bomber and two Spitfires will take to the skies at 5.50pm.

The RAF grounded the aircraft after a fault was found in the engine in one of the Hurricanes.

A number of displays elsewhere in the country have been cancelled.

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