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"Tips's planes"

E.O. Tips has always been interested in light civil aircraft. He concretised his ideas by creating the Tipsy aircraft family.

The first Tipsy flew in 1933, powered by a Douglas Sprite 16HP engine. Nineteen units of the next model, the S2, powered with a Sarolea 32 HP or a Train 40 HP engines, were sold.

 

 

The success of the S2 monoplace naturally resulted in the development of a two seater version .

The Tipsy B, side-by-side, double control two seater has been developped to offer an economical and easy to fly plane than can be used by flying clubs to train private pilots.

The tipsy B, as the S2, was available with open or closed cockpit. Its 60 hp Walter Mikron II allowed him to cruise at 150 km/h.

     
 

The most promising pre-war Tipsy was the M model, a tandem training machine designed to answer the needs of the Aéronautique Militaire.

The aircraft performances and behaviour was close to those of a fighter. However the Aéronautique Militaire preferred the SV4b.

Tipsy were sold not only in Belgium, but also abroad. License rights were sold in the UK and South Africa.

 

After the war, Tips worked on new projects and, by 1946, he had designed the Tipsy Junior, a small one seat monoplane powered with a Walter Mikron. Two were produced and, for publicity purpose, one of Fairey's test pilot even landed a Junior on a Royal Navy aircraft carrier.

The Tipsy Belfair, evolution of the pre-war BC, followed. The Belfair won the world record on long distance flight for aircraft of less than 500 Kg with 945 km in 1950 and 2632 km in 1955.

 

In 1957, Tips presented the Tipsy Nipper, a light one seat aircraft. In the minds of Tips the Nipper was designed as the VW of the air. The cost was very low at 115000 BEF par aircraft. The Nipper was also available in kit to be assembled by the customer at 50.000 BEF. The aircraft was powered with a 25 HP VW engine. 62 Nipper were produced in Gosselies before the production rights were sold when Tips retired in the sixties.

 


The Tipsy of the Air & Space museum of Brussels

It is not one but two Tipsy that are being repaired in the museum workshop.  A UK built Tipsy Trainer 1 GAFRV and a UK built Tipsy B GAFJR (though with the later trainer tail plane and rudder).

Of English construction, they were only registered in UK.

  • G-AFRV = N°10 Trainer
  • G-AFJR = N°2 Trainer modified in Belfair in the fifties.

The following two pictures , provided by Air Britain correspondant Bill Fischer and Kenneth Tilley , show them during their active career:

   
  G-AFJR = N°2 Trainer modified in Belfair in the fifties.   G-AFRV = N°10 Trainer
       
   

The condition of the two planes are rather different.

  • One (G-AFJR, right pic) is mostly complete but require a lot of reparation and long term preservation work.
  • The other (G-AFRV, left pic) , having sustained a rather heavy crash, need heavy repair, a new wing as well as a new tail.

A quite daunting task that is going at high speed thanks to the huge amount of reference material and knowledge accumulated over the years by Vincent Jacobs.

He is helped in this task by a talented luthier that already rebuilt the fin and is now starting the rebuilt process of the rudder.

For the rest, the pictures of G-AFRV's restoration speak by themselves.

   


(December 2005)

A lot of work has been done on Tipsy G-AFRV:

  • The fuselage structure has been completed,
  • The tail fin has been completed and installed,
  • The various fittings of the fuselage, retrieved from the wreck or manufactured when missing, have been installed,
  • The cockpit section is nearing completion, with the instrument panel already installed,
  • The tailplane has been repaired and is now ready for fabric covering.

As always, the pictures speak by themselves.

 
   

Good news is that some original Tipsy spare parts have been found and bought:

  • tailplane,
  • elevator,
  • rudder.

In the here under pictures, you can see the condition of G-AFRV's original wing. The wing greatly suffered from the crash and will not be restored.

 

(May 2006)

Work completed on Tipsy G-AFRV so far :

  • The cockpit fittings have been installed,
  • The windshield has been manufactured and installed,
  • All the tailplane components (for both Tipsy) have been either repaired or manufactured and fabric covered,

As always, the pictures speak by themselves.

A spare wing is being repaired to be used as a replacement for the badly broken original wing,
Fuselage-wing mating is being carried on, allowing the manufacture of the wing fillet.
 

(February 2007)

A few pictures of the latest restoration news. Work completed on Tipsy G-AFRV so far :
  • The fuselage is now finished and ready for fabric covering,
  • The spare wing reparation is well advanced and will soon be finished,
  • various components (landing gear, cowlings, etc..) have been repaired.

 


(August 2007)

A few pictures of the latest restoration news. Work completed on Tipsy G-AFRV so far :
  • The fuselage is now fabric covered,
  • The spare wing is repaired and ready for fabric covering,
  • most of the components (landing gear, cowlings, etc..) have been repaired.

 


(December 2008)

 
Restoration on Tipsy G-AFRV is nearing completion:
  • The fuselage has been painted,
  • The spare wing and its ailerons has been fabric covered,
  • All the components (landing gear, cowlings, etc..) have been repaired.

Restoration of Tipsy G-AFJR has started, with the fuselage conmpletely stripped out to check damage and necessary repairs.

 


(December 2009)

One more year of hard work on the two Tipsy

Tipsy G-AFRV is now finished !

  • The wing has been painted,
  • All the components (landing gear, etc..) have been installed,
  • An engine has been purchased and refurbished
  • The necessary cowlings have been repaired or manufactured,
  • The complete aircaft has been assembled.

Work on the second Tipsy G-AFJR is well advanced

  • The wing and the fuselage are clean and ready for the many small repairs that will be needed,
  • The engine has been refurbished.

As always, pictures speak by themselves


(July 2011)

Finally an update about the Tipsy restoration that continue unabated despite various, no Tipsy related, problems encountered.

Once the completion of Tipsy G-AFRV restoration has been celebrated (see last picture of the December 2009 post), work continued on the second Tipsy: G-AFJR

  • The wing has been fully repaired and is now fabric covered,
  • The fuselage as been repaired and fabric covered, the various ancillaries have been installed as well as the canopy whose plexi have been replaced.
  • The fuselage & the tailplane have just been painted

As always, pictures speak by themselves

 

And, in case you wanted to know more about Tipsy and all the nice planes he designed and constructed over the years, we just published a book on the subject !

Thanks to the huge amount of original documentation collected over the years and thanks to its personnal contact with the family, Vincent Jacobs was able to compile the most complete book ever published on the subject.

Your webmaster was quite busy for a while setting up the page layout , taking care of the graphic design, the line drawings and the translation.

The book will be distributed via the "Fonds Renard" (www.fnar.be). All the details (price, contact, mode of payment) is available on their website or on the .

Press the cover picture to get a pdf sample of the book

 


Latest restoration news (December 2013)

The two Tipsy were supposed to be moved upstairs with the help of a crane.

The second Tipsy restoration completed and having no new of any crane coming, we decided to move it upstairs, where it had to be displayed, before assembly. The first Tipsy was disassembled and moved upstairs soon afterwards.

Even if both planes are “light” airplanes, it wasn't an easy task to move by hand cumbersome and heavy items like wings and fuselage upstairs! Despite the difficulties, the operation was completed without damage and the re-assembly of both planes was soon completed.

The second Tipsy restoration was then completed: installation of the engine, airscrew, cowlings, seats and exhaust.

 

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