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Repairs complete after plane ripped up runway at Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green Airport

By Jessica Labhart | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Repairs have been completed at Halfpenny Green Airport after a historic plane ripped up one of the runways last month.

The repairs began immediately after the Vampire WZ507 plane tore up a section of runway during an air show during an airshow at the end of April.

The dramatic moment was captured on video and later uploaded to YouTube.

WATCH the footage here:

Vampire Rips up runway at Halfpenny Green

The strength of the plane's exhaust propelled the surface of the runway into the air.

As the plane turned along the runway, the damage intensified, with debris from the runway surface hurtling upwards.

The plane left a stream of debris in its wake as it picked up speed along the runway, before launching above the crowds.

Airport manager Mike Boot inspects the repairs

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Mike Boot, airfield manager, said: "Repairs finished along 1028 runway on May 26. Work was being done to replace the ashphalt top of the runway and patch that up.

"Since then, the runway has been used as a taxi rank to enable planes to move slowly around to test the surface's response to the weight of planes.

"It will still take some time to look at the surface and sure it is completely right and I won't let any planes take on or off until I'm totally happy with it."

Mr Boot has submitted a report to the Civil Aviation Authority about the damages and subsequent repairs.

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Mr Boot has submitted a report to the Civil Aviation Authority about the damages

Mr Boot said: "I have filed a report to the CAA which is what we do regularly anyway. We are proud of all our shows and the events we run. We are pleased that though the runway was damaged, there was no issue in terms of the show itself or the spectators."

Graham Innes who posted the video of the damage to the runway at the time said: "Quite spectacular, but looks like a lot of damage. Afterwards, the vampire landed on another undamaged runway. Airfield staff were seen cleaning up debris on the runway for some time."

The de Havilland Vampire was the first single engine jet fighter to enter service in the RAF. The prototype made its maiden flight on 20th September 1943.

The aircraft are now so rare that the National Aviation Heritage Register (NAHR) lists Vampires as "Benchmark" aircraft; the highest category available for preservation.

Jessica Labhart

By Jessica Labhart
@JLabhart_star

Reporter for the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton.

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