ZS-UEO rebuild

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Dave T
Posts: 12

ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby Dave T » Wed May 07, 2008 8:37 pm

Hi Guys
At last...distractions out of the way - there's a Nipper at my ankles!

Man, it's good to work with wood again
A couple of days & I'm rewarded with a set of stabiliser ribs.
The pic shows my basic jig - at least my mistakes will be matched pairs!
Stab ribs.jpg
Stab ribs
Stab ribs.jpg (31.24 KiB) Viewed 17185 times

This month's goal is at least a semblance of the stab...sooo the spar comes next

Till then - cheers


May's come & gone and I owe you an update.....

After studying the stab plan, I realised the fixed part
was a lot more complex than the moving part.
Guess what got built.
Starting with a fresh plank of Oregon, a mate & I visited our local
Cabinet Makers to cut some strips.
The Nipper designers must have had good access to machinery,
and plenty of time, as virtually every strip is to a different dimension!
- Not a complaint - I thoroughly enjoyed all the cutting.
Anyways, not quite finished yet but certainly a "semblance" I reckon
we're bang on track.
Elevator.jpg (18.31 KiB) Viewed 16828 times

An aside - does anyone have a pic of the elevator horn? My plans don't have
any info on the fittings. The lever distance to the cable attach would also be nice.
Bolt holes and spacing are shown on the woodwork though.

So now - the stab; does the end of June seem reasonable? (Just a semblance mind you Laughing )

'Till then

Posts: 158

Re: ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby G-ARBG » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:45 am

Several photos of horn assy readily available but files too large for uploading on to this site, sorry.
Please contact me at VGCNews@AOL.com and I will send them directly to you.


david G-ARBG

Tipsy Flyer
Posts: 140
Location: South Africa

Re: ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby Tipsy Flyer » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:57 pm

Hi Dave,
Will dig mine out of storage and take some close up shots and post here on the w/end.
I think your might be roped into helping Albert ferry the Whisper from Springbok Very Happy . He is veery keen to look/buy!!. Spent two hours with him answering many q's as best i could Shocked


Dave T
Posts: 12

Re: ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby Dave T » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:48 pm

Hi Guys

Thanks for the replies
I'm looking forward to seeing the pics. (Dave - I'll mail you directly)
Details on all steelwork are sketchy; thankfully there's not too much!

My weekends go something like this.....fly the Whisper Saturday morning,
work on her for the rest of the day in between a glider flight or two.
Saturday nights and all day Sunday - building the Nipper.
My routine seems to be developing into a monthly update, so I'll post June's
in a week or so.


Dave T
Posts: 12

Re: ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby Dave T » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:18 pm

Hi All...

I just squeaked in by the end of June.
The basic woodwork of the stab is now in place & we have a nice, new, almost complete structure.
diagona1.jpg (19.54 KiB) Viewed 16606 times

The spar was more time-consuming than expected (isn't it always!) with all the reinforcements for
Hinges, bracing attach points and webbing.
Useless Info Dept: We use a general purpose structural epoxy called Epidermix 372. It's been around forever but has a 2:1 mix ratio by volume. I spatula the two components into 25ml hypodermic syringes, with the ends cut off. I then have precise dispensing in increments of 1ml and up. So far, I've used approx 300ml in the stab & elevator
I have left the rear facing shear web off for AP inspection. I don't know what you call them elsewhere, but our EAA inspectors are "Approved Persons". I am an AP, but only have authority on gliders, through the Soaring Society of SA. So I still need the stamp and sign off. Having done this before, I can construct a fair bit, but may not enclose anything before inspection.
Last weekend I spent a few enjoyable hours shaping the leading edge.
shaving1.jpg (18.44 KiB) Viewed 16595 times

First honing the little Stanley block plane, and then working off the Oregon Pine to a good, rounded airfoil.
The Oregon has such an amazing grain, it's a pity it has to be covered.
Now all that's left on the woodwork are 1.5mm sheet strips along the tips, trailing edge reinforcing and diagonal bracing between the stab ribs.
I need to source hinges (any ideas?) and fabricate elevator horns - thanks David, for the pics, the
Whole assembly now makes sense.

Right, task for July - Ribs, well at least a few…

Dave T
Posts: 12

Re: ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby Dave T » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:40 pm

I bet you thought I'd given up -
Actually, I was abducted by North Vryheid Rebels and held to ransom for an 1834cc VW & a pair of 4" wheels. If anyone can assist with this, please let me know !
They're a good bunch really, including TNOG's Glen.
It's been an interesting few months, starting with the 2 second, accelerated motor glider retract conversion. A bit messy, but very effective.
Tiredness, an unfamiliar airfield and before you know it, you're sitting in a heap wondering what happened. No other damage besides pride & up in the air in a few weeks, all's well.
Keep the finger out - it can happen to you !

Anyway, on to matters Nipper - the outer, smaller ribs are taking shape fast; 3 pairs complete & the first of the longer, inboard, non aileron templates goes on the workbench tonight.
If there're no further distractions I'll have all the ribs complete by month end.
(Why do I always do that? It's inviting trouble )
Approved Puppy inspecting rib
dognrib.jpg (12.56 KiB) Viewed 16008 times

I'm already planning the wing spar, and need to manufacture some sort of jig.
If anyone has done this, guidance would be appreciated, otherwise it's thumbsuck & T & E.

Does anyone know of a 2 piece wing mod ?
I realize the Nipper is small & the join adds complexity & weight, but it makes home hangarage possible. All in favour say aye ?

While in Vryheid last week, I went over to Glen's workshop to look at his Nipper's progress.
Looking good; just the D box and wing centre to skin, but Glen's a perfectionist, so it may take a while. Talking of perfection, he drives an immaculately restored Ford Model 30. The "before" photos show the huge amount of work that had to be done - well done Glen.

OK, that's all, I'll try & keep it more regular, but I'm a glider pilot; as fickle as the weather

Dave T
Posts: 12

Re: ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby Dave T » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm

Hello all
So much for the regular updates...I have been busy on the ankle biter though.
December offered some spare time, so in between festivities and a wonderful trip down
the coast I drew up templates & cut and glued wood.
This produced a complete set of ribs aft of the spar; some needing gussets, etc. but mostly there.
wingribs.jpg (17.05 KiB) Viewed 15594 times

The year end shutdown delayed my purchase of spar material. Oregon clears has to be specially ordered by our local lumber yard. By late January a bundle duly arrived & they were very patient as I painstakingly went through the lot, selecting the 7 best. Fine, srtaight grain,
dense and flawless.
For those who don't know the inner workings of a Nipper spar, there is a conventional full span, laminated upper and lower cap.
The upper cap is made up of an identical forward and aft laminate of 11 strips, reducing to 1.
Each section is a constant 40mm wide, 7mm deep.
Sandwiched between these is a shorter, central laminate extending approx 1.2mt either side of the centreline. The wing attach bolts go through this.
The lower cap is identical, but of 9 laminations, reducing to 1.
Once assembled, the entire spar is webbed in Birch ply.
Now, when you're doing aeros & wondering if she'll hold up, just how much 40 X 7mm strip do you think goes into your spar? I'm pleased you asked;
110mt & this is what it looks like!!! 38 strips of 3.5mt
Spstrips.jpg (18.54 KiB) Viewed 15595 times

OK, there's a little extra for wastage & scarfing, but pretty much all of that is going in.
So rest easy, she's probably going to outlast most of us.

Back to spar building...the workbench & jig's setup.
I need to do some scarfing for the longer sections & then we'll do some glueing

That's about it for now

Neil Spooner
Posts: 625
Location: Ardleigh, Colchester, Essex, UK

Re: ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby Neil Spooner » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:11 am

Hi Dave,
Thank you very much for posting your progress, although there have not been many replies I am sure the Nipper forum and many visitors to the forum are finding your progress very interesting. As to the strength of the spar, please find attached a picture of a load test I did on mine before refitting it after my forced landing.
Your woodwork looks lovely, and it will be great to know that there is an new wing in the Nipper world! Incidentally, Barry Smith built a new spar to go into a wing with reduced dihedral. Unfortunately that wing was damaged beyond repair before it actually flew.
Good luck and all the very best wishes.
Load test2 (13).jpg
Load test2 (13).jpg (117.98 KiB) Viewed 15655 times
A little help goes a long way.
Nipper G-BRPM and G-BALS

Posts: 42

Re: ZS-UEO rebuild

Postby jantar » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:37 pm

Met Dave Taylor here at Worcester (SA) a couple of weekends ago. This guy is a real hero as he is building from the kit plans!! Give him any help you can. Jantar

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