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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 14:04 GMT
Typhoon damaged in runway crash
The plane has been dogged by delays
An RAF Eurofighter has crashed with a faulty front wheel just weeks before its scheduled launch.

The 50m Typhoon suffered front-end damage when it nose-dived on landing at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on Monday, an MoD spokesman confirmed.

The pilot and co-pilot escaped unhurt when the jet's front wheel failed to go down properly.

The pilots managed to touch down the plane's rear wheels and cut its speed before easing the nose on the runway.

'Teething trouble'

"As the pilot came in, it was established that the front wheel could not go down," the spokesman said.

"He used the wings to slow the aircraft down and keep the nose up. He did pretty well, considering."

MoD officials say it is the first such accident for the Eurofighter, which has been dogged by controversy over costs and teething troubles.

Britain has ordered 144 Typhoons, with the first due to come into service with the launch of a new squadron at the beginning of April, the spokesman said.

Hoon announces new Typhoon phase
17 Dec 04 |  Lincolnshire

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