Doncaster airport Vulcan’s engines were wrecked by bags, say engineers

Vulcan bomber grounded at Robin Hood airport   See story Jeni Harvey  Picture Chris Lawton  28th May 2012
Vulcan bomber grounded at Robin Hood airport See story Jeni Harvey Picture Chris Lawton 28th May 2012
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THE last flying Vulcan bomber will be grounded in Doncaster throughout the bank holiday, engineers have confirmed.

Experts yesterday revealed two of the Cold War jet’s engines are broken beyond repair, meaning it will not be able to get into the sky to take part in Jubilee events for which it had originally been booked to participate.

Both engines on the port side are beyond repair because of the breakdown suffered on Monday, which closed the runway at Robin Hood Airport for an hour and a half.

Experts say the damage was caused by silica gel bags being sucked into one of the engines, with debris from the resulting damage then getting sucked into the other engine.

Engineering director Andrew Edmondson said: “We have been greatly reassured by the support from industry colleagues, and would like to thank all those who have offered help. We would also like to place on record our thanks to all at Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield for their swift and professional reaction on Monday, while also apologising to those affected by delays or diversions.”

A formal investigation into the incident has been opened.

The Vulcan to the Sky trust’s chief executive, Dr Robert Pleming, said: “We are deeply sorry this incident has happened, and at this time in 2012. The additional unplanned costs are clearly very worrying as resources are, as ever, very tight. We are actively working on a plan to recover our Jubilee season.”

No damage is thought to have been done to the frame of the aircraft away from the engines.

The trust had eight spare engines for the Vulcan, which it bought from the RAF when it took over the aircraft. The engines are brand new and had been kept in top condition by the air force.

Two of those will be fitted to it, reducing the number of spares to six.

A spokesman said it was not yet known how much the work to fit the replacement engines would cost.

The aircraft is now back in its hangar at Robin Hood Airport.