Astonishing footage has emerged of a rare vintage aircraft churning up concrete as it takes off from a British airport.
Hundreds of onlookers watched as the de Havilland Vampire took off from a vintage air show at Wolverhampton’s Halfpenny Green Airport on Sunday.
Video by Graham Innes shows the aircraft leaving a trail of debris in its wake.
Mr Innes wrote: “It was quite spectacular and looks to have left a lot of damage.
“Afterwards, the Vampire landed on another undamaged runway.
“Airfield staff were seen clearing up debris on the runway for some time.
“The aircraft taxied on to the runway and then backtracked to get the full length for departure.
“Pieces of tarmac were already flying up.
“When he turned round for departure, he powered up and as he started the take off run, pieces began to rip up.
“Seen many of these classic post war jets over the years but never seen anything like this!
“The Vampire is a classic post war fighter/trainer and there are a few still flying.
“The damaged runway has since been taken out of use, until repairs can be made later this month. ”
Mike Boot, Halfpenny Green airport manager, said: “The damage was caused by a Vampire aircraft lifting in several areas – tearing up patches of concrete which were due for repair anyway.
“The runway was used by lighter aircrafts throughout the day prior to this incident, and everything was fine.
“Immediately after this incident, the runway taken out of use.
“It took us around 20 minutes to clear debris which was thrown from the damaged runway onto another.
“The affected runway will remain sealed off until it has been repaired and thoroughly inspected.
“At no point was there any danger to the crowd watching.
“The Vampire was undamaged.”
The aircraft was the first single-engine jet fighter to enter service in the RAF.
They are now so rare the National Aviation Heritage Register lists them as ‘benchmark’ aircraft – the highest category available for preservation.
Halfpenny Green opened in 1941 and was originally built as an aerodrome for the RAF.
The airport, seven miles from the centre of Wolverhampton, is now used as a base for a number of aircraft and helicopter flying schools and private operators.
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This is happening more frequently and there should be an investigation
I now of the problems and figuring out what the problem is, the hostin
I don't know if it's just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering
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