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Developed in 1952 Ernest Oscar Tips, the Tipsy Nipper was designed as an easy to fly plus cheap to buy and maintain whilst being fully aerobatic. Named after Ernest's granddaughters nickname, the design was also suited to both factory production and home building. Avions Fairey originally produced 59 complete aircraft and 78 kits however production then ended in order to facility the assembly of the F-104G Starfighter for the Belgian Air Force. A further 18 Nippers were produced by Cobelavia in 1962 as the D-158.
In 1966 the license was sold to Nipper Aircraft Ltd and the Mk.3 was produced by Slingsby Sailplanes. Production ended in 1968 when the factory was hit by fire and Slingsby went bankrupt. The Nipper is rapidly becoming a rare aircraft, in 2010 34 existed on the UK civil register but by 2017 there were just 19.
The example attending RIAT 2023 will be a British built Mark 3, first flown in 1967 and has received several useful modifications including electronic ignition and wing tip tanks for extended range. G-NIPR has been owned by the present owner for nearly 25 years and is regularly flown on local aerobatic flights, as well as longer touring trips. In order to attend RIAT 2023, the aircraft will be making an 800-mile round trip from its base in the Highlands of Scotland!
Photo Credit: Aerial Vocations