OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

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G-NIPR
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OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby G-NIPR » Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:45 pm

Hello all,
I have received an email from one of our members who is not currently a Nipper owner but is seriously interested in becoming one.
He has asked for Nipper owners 'testimonials' aboout what they are like to live with and to fly.
I don't have time to write my comments at the moment as I have a flight to catch and would like to write some
considered thoughts instead of rushing it.
So please could I encourage owners past and present to say their piece on this thread?
I will add my comments in the coming days....


Cheers.

Paul
G-NIPR


quote from email:
' I have, over the past 3 weeks or so, scoured the internet for all the information I can find about the Nipper. Your Nipper forum is a great source, thanks for that. I've also exhaustively browsed the excellent Nipper Histories website and Raymond Cuypers RAR site. I've also spoken to Mick Greenaway, who's Nipper is nearing completion from a complete re-build. Mick has given me some valuable 'what to look fors' advice. What I am lacking is information about flying characteristics and practicailities of operating the type - pilot's testimonies if you will. Things like, how do you swing it yourself (there's a youtube clip of G-AVXD that shows this - is this typical? I saw your comment about chocks - that's what I was thinking!).

Any information or advice you could offer to help me build a pilots testimony of owning and operating the type would be a great help. '

Tipsy Flyer
Posts: 140
Location: South Africa

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Tipsy Flyer » Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:52 pm

Hi Future Nipper Owner,
The Nipper is a great small aircraft to own and fly!!!
They how every do require a little more effort in certain departments, eg they have no starter motor, one has to learn to swing the prop by hand. Getting into the cockpit is like mounting a "horse" but with a little practise, it becomes second nature. These small issues are due to the simple and light weight design, remember heavy airplanes do not fly well.
Due to the simple design, the part count is low, therefore less to break or go wrong and in the end cheap to operate. Your hangarage and insurance will possibly be the larger of your hourly operating cost.
It is advisable to have a basic mechanical knowlegde if you become an aircraft owner, they all need a little "attention" now and again Cool

How does it fly?? Weeeelll, if you have ever flown in a Super Cub, the Nipper is the single seater, aerobatic version!!
They are extremely maneuverable, sensitive to the touch on the control stick but not overly sensitive. Once you have flown a Nipper, the conventional aircraft(Piper/Cessna) feel lazy in the maneuvering dept, but that is how they are designed. I suppose it is like comparing a beetle to a Lotus sports car Shocked
I flew my Nipper the first time after having zero experience in flying anything remotely as light and small as a Nipper. Flew around for 20 mins or so and made a near perfect landing.

If you live in England, you will have all the best help around you, with the likes of the members on this forum, i unfortunately are 10000 miles south of all the good company.

By the way, please feel free to look at my Nipper rebuild (ZS-UAD) on the Aircraft section and please join in on the forum, the more, the merrier Laughing

Regards
Glen

Neil Spooner
Posts: 542
Location: Ardleigh, Colchester, Essex, UK
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Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Neil Spooner » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:18 pm

Hi,

Put quite simply........simple!

Pros:
An easy plane to fly with no vices.
Easy to maintain, cheap to operate:VW engine burning 3 imp' gallons/hr.
Cheap to hanger due to size.
Relatively cheap to insure: £450-£690pa.
Great fun.
Short field ability.
If VW fitted with electronic ignition easy to start, even easier if fitted with a Jabiru engine!(electric starter)
Ideal aircraft to practice club level aero's. (BUT GET SOME DUAL INSTRUCTION ON SPINNING, AND FLAT SPIN CAUSAL CONDITIONS AND RECOVERY)
If fitted with inverted systems you can fly upside down..........in fact why fly anwhere in a straight line when you own a Nipper?

Cons:
Very unsocial on two counts: only 1 seat; noisy exhaust which will disturb sensitive neighbours.
Short range unless fitted with extra fuel tanks.
Only room for a toothbrush on the flight deck.

It is testimony that most Nipper owners keep theirs for many years.
Most Nipper owners walking away from their plane after flying it will have a silly grin!

I have probably left quite a number of things out, and will leave the forum to fill in the gaps........

I love flying mine (as you have probably guessed!) But had an interesting excursion into a new area of the flight envelope recently when I inadvertantly entered a flat spin.........the fact that I am writing this is testimony to the fact that they will recover from a flat spin, where many aircraft won't, so don't let this note put you off, what I strongly advocate is that any pilot that spins aircraft or even fools around doing aero's should get good solid training before you go try it on your own.

Good luck with finding a good one..........hens teeth and rocking horse droppings springs to mind!

Neil Very Happy Smile Laughing
A little help goes a long way.
Nipper G-BRPM and G-BALS
RV4 G-IKON

JAB
Posts: 91

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby JAB » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:34 pm

I can endorse all that is said about the Nipper, it is a joy to fly and really easy for anyone with a sense of airmanship. All aircraft will bite fools if you let them, or operate outside their design profile.
The youtube insert re XD was made many years ago and has only just surfaced to my amazement,. Whilst chocks would have been ideal, there were none available! therefore the chap leaning into the cockpit is ensuring the throttle is covered and the locked on brakes do not undo.
Happy Nippering
JAB

Neil Spooner
Posts: 542
Location: Ardleigh, Colchester, Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Neil Spooner » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:58 am

Great to fly......just look at this!

http://www.ina.fr/video/CPF04006723/att ... video.html

Neil
A little help goes a long way.
Nipper G-BRPM and G-BALS
RV4 G-IKON

Ross
Posts: 10

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Ross » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:53 am

I too am looking forward to flying my Nipper for the first time. I fitted a new Jab 80 hp engine.... then Covid struck. The Nipper is in Sydney Australia and I live in Tasmania Australia, so no travel allowed. I only need to do the weight and balance, then fly. I have seen this little rocket ship fly with a previous 115kg owner and I was amazed. I am a low hour pilot with about 80 hours in Jabirus, Foxbats, Skydarts and am building a scratch built seaplane/amphibian based on an Arion Lightning. I purchased the Nipper to give myself a break from building my other project ha... bit more work than I thought. Sorry I am rambling on too much, the purpose of this chat is to get advice on flying this little beastie and any engineering problems I should look out for.
I have posted a couple of pics one with our dog "Biscuit" in the cockpit see Gallery, rego 28-842 Kind regards and I look forward to your replies.

Neil Spooner
Posts: 542
Location: Ardleigh, Colchester, Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Neil Spooner » Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:16 pm

Hi Ross,
Welcome aboard!
The Nipper is a really easy plane to fly, but difficult to aerobat accurately if you are competing. However, for fun aero's then you have the perfect low cost mount. Without inverted systems you will be limited to positive G manouevers, but nevertheless most things can be done with a dash of positive G.
It has no vices, stalls nicely and shouldn't drop a wing violently. Spin entry needs to be positive, and recovery very quick, as long as your CofG is not rearward.
You will find the a/c sensitive in pitch, so watch out for any PIO, just fly it with forefinger and thumb on the column. Once you are airborne do the usual familiarity flight including slow flight, stalls and simulated go-arounds. The landing performance is good, depending on which brakes you have (the originals are terrible).
Enjoy!
Neil
A little help goes a long way.
Nipper G-BRPM and G-BALS
RV4 G-IKON

Ross
Posts: 10

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Ross » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:16 am

Thanks for that Neil.
The brakes on my nipper are cable brakes and don't look too good hard to adjust, what is the alternative, and is there a kit or do you just fit hydraulics; interested to know more on this.
Cheers Ross

Bumblebee Girl
Posts: 30

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Bumblebee Girl » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:48 pm

Hi Ross

I have crude disc brakes on my Nipper which are ineffective above 20 mph and should only be used for taxiing. I’ve managed like that for 20 years of flying the Bee.

Enjoy Nippering...

Kate
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Paul1954
Posts: 15
Location: Norfolk

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Paul1954 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:04 am

I agree with Kate; nothing wrong with the original type of brakes if well maintained and used within their limits.

The development of hydraulic brakes for the Nipper came at a time when NK&C were low on stock of original replacements parts. This was at the same time complaints about the disc plates becoming warped heralded a change to an improved and slightly thicker steel plate for the disc.

This also happened to be at the same time that the tyres for the original size wheels became unavailable. With no wheels in stock I had to resort to having a pair made which cost £££. Go cart wheels of the correct size could be obtained but the hub size was an issue and couldn’t be matched to that of the Nipper.

In the early 80s a lightweight (plastic) 400 x 4 wheel that had matching hydraulic brakes and fittings became available through Aircraft Spruce. Unfortunately, the hub did not match the Nipper and no change of bearings would make do so. The wise choice (20/20 hindsight) would have been to instigate a PFA mod to use a small hub and fit the Azusa wheels. However, Gulf Air offered me a job...

I don’t know what Slingsby had to say on the subject, but here is what Avions Fairey wrote in the Nipper handbook;

The landing ground run is about 360 feet when using brakes after speed has dropped to 30 km/h (20 mph). Do not use brakes more than is necessary, to avoid excessive brake and tyre wearing, including tyre creep, which might result in tearing off the inner tube valve.

JimCrawford
Posts: 74

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby JimCrawford » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:14 pm

If anybody is interested I am replacing my hubs and tyres of the 'unobtainable' sort for hubs to take 400 x 4 tyres. The price for a new tyre was > £400 +VAT and no inner tubes available :shock: . I was worried that I could get stuck indefinitely somewhere away from base with a u/s tyre. I've designed a hub which is quite simple to make if you have access to a lathe and the cost of 3 new tyres + tubes + hub materials is less than one old style tyre. I'll put the design through the mod process and the drawings freely available, when approved. the brake disc I use is a standard 160mm bicycle disc and I'm looking at a bicycle hydraulic arrangement, although the standard installed cable system could be used with either the existing Nipper calipers (mine are u/s) or, again, bicycle cable calipers.

Jim

Ross
Posts: 10

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Ross » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:21 am

Thanks Guys that's great info, I'll give the existing brakes a go for a while.
Kate I love the paint job on your plane and when my Nipper wears out it's paint I would really like to paint it with the bee in mind, MAYBEE we could start a swarm ha.
Jim I am interested to see how you go with the hubs, I have a lathe and spun the aluminium hubs for my other plane.
I also read somewhere to check the main wing bolts for cracking due to an accident years ago has anyone had to replace these?
Kind regards Ross

JimCrawford
Posts: 74

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby JimCrawford » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:55 am

Hi Ross,

There is a mandatory inspection of the wing bolts under the LAA permit scheme in the UK. The bolts must be pulled and checked for cracks. If serviceable they can be refitted, otherwise new bolts are required. They aren't readily obtainable so an alternative is to use studs that used to be available from Airweld in the UK. This is the route I took as I didn't want to leave the aircraft without the wing secure while the bolts were tested. The rules in Tasmania for this may be different. If Airweld don't have any studs an alternative would be to make up your own as the originals were only standard AGS BSF bolts. The material spec is easily found and you could replicate the studs with suitable steel rod. You may be able to get AN UNF bolts of the required length from somewhere like Aircraft Spruce. Of course your bolts may be fine, the test scheme is in the LAA AD paperwork which you should be able to download from the website.

This state of affairs occurred when a Nipper crashed in the States and there was reason to believe the wing came off. After investigation the cause was found to be because the aircraft had collided with a bird (turkey buzzard?) that was substantial enough to wreck the aircraft. In the meantime, between crash and report, a concerned Nipper owner had his wing bolts tested to destruction and it was found that there was a crack under the head that had probably been there since manufacture. So the LAA mandated the inspection or replacement, in case there was a fault throughout the fleet.

Unfortunately the LAA didn't mandate reporting back about the tested bolts so there doesn't seem to be a record of how the tests went. Also there are probably many like me that took the easy way out with the studs and who have no idea whether the bolts are good or not. It would be interesting to find out.

I'll move the wheel stuff to the maintenance topic as this is getting a little away from owners testimonials.

Jim

Paul1954
Posts: 15
Location: Norfolk

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby Paul1954 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:21 pm

Hi Jim,

Have you seen a copy for the tie-rod style attachments? Are the threads required to be rolled rather than ‘cut’?

MalcD
Posts: 4

Re: OWNERS 'TESTIMONIALS' - WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO OWN & FLY

Postby MalcD » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:38 am

Hi Jim.
I’d be really interested in the drawings for the wheels. I’m new to Nippering. I’ve just acquired
G-BWCT. The brakes are really not very good. I am looking into changing them for a hydraulic setup. I’ve found a lever /piston assembly that fits a downhill mountain bike and has the capacity to operate two calipers. I would like to fit a lock off valve in the brake brake line if I can find one for added safety when starting.
Best regards
Malcolm

JimCrawford wrote:If anybody is interested I am replacing my hubs and tyres of the 'unobtainable' sort for hubs to take 400 x 4 tyres. The price for a new tyre was > £400 +VAT and no inner tubes available :shock: . I was worried that I could get stuck indefinitely somewhere away from base with a u/s tyre. I've designed a hub which is quite simple to make if you have access to a lathe and the cost of 3 new tyres + tubes + hub materials is less than one old style tyre. I'll put the design through the mod process and the drawings freely available, when approved. the brake disc I use is a standard 160mm bicycle disc and I'm looking at a bicycle hydraulic arrangement, although the standard installed cable system could be used with either the existing Nipper calipers (mine are u/s) or, again, bicycle cable calipers.

Jim


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