Tipsy Nipper

Last updated

T.66 Nipper
Tipsy Nipper Wroughton 1992R.jpg
Swiss Tipsy Nipper at Wroughton, Wiltshire, in July 1992
RoleSingle-seat sporting monoplane
Designer Ernest Oscar Tips
First flight 1957
Primary userprivate owners
Number built110 [1]

The Tipsy Nipper T.66 is an aerobatic light aircraft, developed in 1952 by Ernest Oscar Tips of Avions Fairey at Gosselies in Belgium. It was designed to be easy to fly, cheap to buy and cheap to maintain. It was designed for both factory production and homebuild. "Nipper" was the nickname of Ernest Tips' first grandchild.


The first aircraft flew on 12 December 1957, with test pilot Bernard Neefs. It featured an open cockpit and had a length of 4.56 m (15.0 ft), a span of 6.0 m (19.7 ft) and a range of 400 km (249 mi), extendable with tip tanks to 720 km (447 mi).

Design and development

The aircraft has a welded steel tube fuselage and rudder with a wooden and fabric covered wing, tailplane and elevator. It weighs 165 kg without an engine. Early aircraft were equipped with a 40 hp Stamo Volkswagen air-cooled engine with later types using either 40 hp Pollman-Hepu or 45 hp Stark Stamo engines. More recently the 85 hp (63 kW) Jabiru 2200 engine has been used. [2]

Production was between 1959 and 1961 with Avions Fairey delivering 59 complete aircraft and 78 kits. Avions Fairey stopped production to make capacity available for F-104G Starfighter assembly for the Belgian Air Force.

During 1962 the rights and a large assortment of uncompleted parts were sold to Cobelavia SA -Compagnie Belge d'Aviation, and they assembled 18 Nippers. The type was renamed as the Cobelavia D-158 Nipper.

In June 1966 the license was sold to Nipper Aircraft Ltd at Castle Donington and new Mk.III aircraft were built for them by Slingsby Sailplanes at Kirkbymoorside. Production was ended by the fire at Slingsby's in late 1968 and the subsequent bankruptcy. Several partly constructed Nippers were transferred to Castle Donington. [3]

In May 1971 Nipper Aircraft Ltd. stopped work and sold the license to a company called Nipper Kits and Components, a company that helps home builders with parts and plans. [4]

Operational history

In 2000, about 45 Nippers were still active, mostly in the UK. [1] In 2010, 34 Nippers were registered with the British Civil Aviation Authority, where as of 2017, 19 remained. [5]


Tipsy Nipper T.66 Mk 1
First production model, powered by a 30 kW (40 hp) Pollman-Hepu engine. Enclosed canopy. [6]
Tipsy Nipper T.66 Mk 2
Second production model; as first but powered by a 33.5 kW (45 hp) Stark Stamo engine.
Nipper Mk III
Slingsby-built for Nipper Aircraft normally with 1500 cc, 33.5 kW (45 hp) Rollason Ardem Mk X engines, [7] 32 built. [3] Tip tanks optional. [7]
Cobelavia D-158 Nipper
Production variant - 18 built [8]

Specification (Mk.2)

Data from Simpson 2001, p. 549

General characteristics


Related Research Articles

Fairey Aviation Company 1915-1977 aerospace and engineering company

The Fairey Aviation Company Limited was a British aircraft manufacturer of the first half of the 20th century based in Hayes in Middlesex and Heaton Chapel and RAF Ringway in Cheshire. Notable for the design of a number of important military aircraft, including the Fairey III family, the Swordfish, Firefly, and Gannet, it had a strong presence in the supply of naval aircraft, and also built bombers for the RAF.

Fairey Fox

The Fairey Fox was a British light bomber and fighter biplane of the 1920s and 1930s. It was originally produced in Britain for the RAF, but continued in production and use in Belgium long after it was retired in Britain.

Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander Utility transport aircraft series by Britten-Norman

The Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander is a British light utility aircraft and regional airliner designed and originally manufactured by Britten-Norman of the United Kingdom. Still in production, the Islander is one of the best-selling commercial aircraft types produced in Europe. Although designed in the 1960s, over 750 are still in service with commercial operators around the world. The aircraft is also used by the British Army and police forces in the United Kingdom and is a light transport with over 30 military aviation operators around the world.

SZD-45 Ogar

The SZD-45 Ogar (Hound) is a T-tailed cantilever high-wing monoplane of wooden, aluminium and fibreglass construction designed and manufactured in Poland.

Avions Fairey Belfair

The Avions Fairey Belfair, also known as the Tipsy Belfair after its designer, Ernest Oscar Tips, was a two-seat light aircraft built in Belgium following World War II.

Avions Fairey was the Belgian-based subsidiary of the British Fairey Aviation that built aircraft for the Belgian government. It subsequently separated from the UK parent and became SONACA.

Avions Fairey Junior

The Avions Fairey Junior, also known as the Tipsy Junior was a single-seat light aircraft built in Belgium following World War II.

Brditschka HB-3

The Brditschka HB-3, HB-21 and HB-23 are a family of motor gliders of unorthodox configuration developed in Austria in the early 1970s.

Jodel D.9 Bébé

The Jodel D.9 Bébé is a French single-seat ultralight monoplane designed by Jean Délémontez for amateur construction.

Stinson Voyager 1940s American light utility monoplane

The Stinson Voyager was a 1940s American light utility monoplane built by the Stinson Aircraft Company.

Salmson Cricri

The Salmson Cricri ("Cricket") was a French light aircraft of the 1930s. It was a conventional, parasol-wing monoplane with fixed tailskid undercarriage and seating in tandem open cockpits for the pilot and passenger.

Nord Noralpha

The Nord 1100 Noralpha was a French-built and re-engined Messerschmitt Bf 108 produced by Nord Aviation.

Fairey Fantôme

The Fairey Fantôme, also known as the Fairey Féroce, was a British fighter prototype of the mid-1930s. The prototype was designed and built by Fairey Aviation and three production aircraft were assembled in Belgium by Avions Fairey.

Slingsby Falke British / German motor glider, 1971

The Slingsby Type 61 Falke was a licence-built version of the Scheibe SF 25B Motor glider built by Slingsby Sailplanes. It entered service with the Royal Air Force for air cadet training as the Slingsby Venture.

Scheibe Falke German touring motor glider, 1963

The Scheibe SF-25 Falke is a German touring motor glider developed from the earlier Bergfalke glider by Scheibe Flugzeugbau. Since May 2006 the business has been run by Scheibe Aircraft GmbH.

Leopoldoff Colibri

The Leopoldoff Colibri is a French-built light sporting and trainer biplane of the 1930s.

Fairey Primer

The Fairey Primer was a production version of the Avions Fairey Tipsy M tandem seat single-engined basic trainer. Two production aircraft were completed in the late 1940s.

Tipsy B

The Tipsy B was a small sports two-seat monoplane designed by Ernest Oscar Tips, and built in both Belgium and the UK. A total of 42 was built, and a few are still flying.

Tipsy S.2

The Tipsy S.2 was the production version of the Tipsy S, a single seat, low wing sports monoplane designed by Ernest Oscar Tips in Belgium in the mid-1930s. It was produced in both the Belgium and the UK.

Ernest Oscar Tips was a Belgian aircraft designer. He co-founded the Fairey Aviation Company in 1915 and its Belgian subsidiary Avions Fairey in 1931.


  1. 1 2 Simpson 2001, p. 549
  2. Tacke, Willi; Marino Boric; et al: World Directory of Light Aviation 2015–16, page 120. Flying Pages Europe SARL, 2015. ISSN   1368-485X
  3. 1 2 Ellison 1971 , pp. 270–1
  4. Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011–12, page 113. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN   1368-485X
  5. CAA list of Nippers
  6. "Sport Aviation". June 1960.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. 1 2 Taylor 1966 , p. 165
  8. "Air Progress Sport Aircraft". Winter 1969: 76.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)