TWO of the engines of the legendary Vulcan bomber, which failed to take-off in a test run earlier this week, are beyond repair it has been revealed.
The troubled aircraft experienced engine problems which scuppered its planned practice runs from its Robin Hood Airport base on Monday.
Smoke was said to be pouring out of the XH558 bomber with debris covering the runway, leaving holidaymakers having to be diverted to other airports on their return flights as technicians carried out checks.
A statement from Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which raised money to restore the Cold War aircraft, has revealed that those checks showed two engines were beyond repair - meaning the last-flying Vulcan’s Jubilee programmed flights will be forced to be called off.
The statement read: “The technical team spent Tuesday investigating the engine damage on XH558, to determine its cause and to start assessing the timescale and cost of rectification.
“We have already established that both engines number one and number two on the port side are sadly beyond repair, both having suffered blade damage and the effect of excessive heat.
“The primary cause of the damage has been determined to be ingestion of silica gel desiccant bags. The most likely sequence of events was that material was ingested by number one engine, which surged and suffered LP compressor blade failure. Debris was then sucked into number two which then also failed.
“All relevant agencies and technical authorities have been informed.
“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, whilst also apologising to those affected by delays or diversions.”
A formal investigation will also take place headed by the chairman of the Trust’s safety review committee.
The statement went on: “The technical inspection has so far showed that no airframe damage was sustained, with damage being limited to the engines. The next step is to replace the damaged engines with two from the Trust’s remaining stock. Timescales for a return to flight are not yet clear – we will of course update the web site with progress and give details in the e-newsletters each week.”
Dr Robert Pleming, the charity’s chief executive, said they were deeply sorry for the incident and that additional unplanned costs were clearly very worrying as resources were “very tight”.