We have been ticked off by Lt.-Comdr. D. L. Bayly of Nipper Aircraft Limited for saying in our report of the Farnborough Air Show that the Slingsby T.53 sailplane was towed off by a Nipper instead of saying that this little aeroplane gave its own aerobatic show, doing so every day of the Show in spite of the unpleasant conditions for light aeroplanes which prevailed on some days. Bayly says “many spectators thought the Nipper’s performance was the highlight of the Display”, but omits to say what proportion told him this out of the 178,000 who attended the Show; we awarded our accolade to the sailplane pilot.
We are also taken to task for saying the Nipper had an Arden engine whereas it has an Ardem engine. In this we were quoting page 5 of the official Trade Catalogue issued to us in the S.B.A.C. Press tent. The writer admits that he is not an expert at reporting flying exhibitions and was not helped by the fact that the commentary could not be heard from the Press tent balcony. So he is very willing to state that, in fact, the Nipper Mk. III is powered by a Rollason Ardem Mk. X Volkswagen variant giving 45 b.h.p. at 3,300 r.p.m. or 53 b.h.p. if h.c. pistons and a tuned carburetter are used. Indeed, we investigated this Croydon-built engine some years ago. It propels the single-seater ultra-light Nipper at a claimed top cruising speed of 94 m.p.h., when it returns a fuel consumption of 2¾ g.p.h. It costs £1,650 with C of A or from £650 to £1,325 in kit form. You can learn more from Nipper Aircraft Limited, East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Derby.—W. B.