Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Santa wanted a Lambada with the extended baggage tube (7' 10" long) to handle all of the presents. He also wanted to simplify his flying, trading the multi-engine problems for the reliability of the Rotax 912.

Click on any photo to view it full screen. Use one for the background of your computer, send to a friend, or print a copy.

Happy holidays from Josef and Georgia!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Urban Air Samba

The Samba has the same wing as the Lambada, with about 4 feet removed from the root section. In other words, it is the outer wing section of the Lambada. That means the Samba has very nice flying characteristics too. The slotted fowler flaps really bring it down at a steep angle when fully deployed, while maintaining good airflow attachment. This plane is strong and fast!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Customer test flight

Joe and Jim flew Peter's new plane to Merritt Island to get the headset jack worked on. Urban Air engineer Martin Stepanek flew alongside to take this photo. Martin shot over 400 photos with his Canon SLR with 10megapixel resolution, during this 1 hour out and return. You'll be seeing more of his shots in the days to come. He flew with Barry Pruitt in Barry's Evektor Sport Star LSA. The headset jack was fixed in no time, so we headed back to MLB just before sunset.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Second Trip to Mexico

Things are hopping at the Urban Air hangar. Planes are coming in, planes are in the avionics shop getting new instruments, and we are getting ready to certify 3 new aircraft.

Jim headed back to Mexico to fly with Jorge to Valle de Bravo. They met with a new customer and had more great flying. Here is a photo of an interesting volcano between Valle and Chapala. The trip was 235nm which was covered in 2 hours. It is a 7 and a half hour drive. Flying is the only way to get around in Mexico!

This is the paved strip ouside of Valle de Bravo. It is privately owned with a few hangars and an 1800' runway. The elevation is about 7000'msl, but the Lambada has no trouble operating at high altitude.

Soaring around the clouds above Valle de Bravo.

Jaime liked what he saw, and will be purchasing a Lambada.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Winter Soaring Season Begins

The temps are finally dropping, the air is drying out, and cloudbases are rising. We have had several great soaring flights lately. Joe and Jim spent over 2 hours racing each other over a 50 mile triangle course on one flight. Flying the Lambada is great fun, but flying two is twice the fun!

We spotted GW Meadows on Serenity, his Irwin 37, headed for the Keys.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FIT Airshow

Finally, an airshow in our own backyard! Florida Institute of Technology hosted Aviation Day across the airport from us. We took the new Samba XXL, and our trusty Lambada. Many interested pilots talked with us about our planes, and several will be back to see us and take a ride.
There was a lot of interest in our Lambada Group. This is a new partnership in our 80hp Lambada demo which currently has 200 hours on it. There are 5 positions available for $25,000 each. We will keep it in our hangar, and take care of it for the owners. It has the full bore glass panel.

Urban Air USA planes and tent.

Here is a nice shot of the new Samba. Pretty good looking plane, eh?

We had a nice 2 hour soaring flight today. Climb rates were 300-500fpm and base was 5000'.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Typical day at Urban Air (if there is such a thing)

Joe dropped Jim off at Merritt island to pick up another Lambada which had an instrument upgrade performed by Sebastian Communications. This presented an opportunity for Joe to buzz the end of the runway on his way back to Melbourne. Click on photo to enlarge, and save if you like. This first shot would probably make a pretty good background for your computer!

Typical climb rate after takeoff with 2 people and half fuel. Note the variometer on the lower left indicating over 12 knots (1200fpm) at the normal climb speed of 60 knots. This is also a good look at the PFD page on the Grand Rapids EFIS.

Kathy Lee talks with Georgia Bostik in the Urban Air Command Center.

Upon arrival back in Melbourne, Joe and Jim went back to work. Current "wrench projects" include finishing the lights and ELT installation on the Samba and final prep work on the Lambada before it heads to Costa Rica.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Colorado Trip

Joe and I left at dawn out of Melbourne, to deliver N22UA to Jamie Jacobson in Crawford, Colorado. Joe flew our demo plane, and I flew Jamie's. We started with a great tailwind caused by Hurricane Ike, and surfed it all the way to Kansas. Our first stop was Drake, Arkansas after 850nm in 6.7hrs.

We then hit some dirty weather which kept us from making Denver in one day, and ended up in Ulysses, KS. We met some great folks, and flew with them the next morning before pushing on to Boulder. Several pilots were able to sample some nice soaring along the foothills, and Joe flew with record holder Larry Tudor along the spine of the Rockies.

Next stop was Salida, where we stayed with JZ and Amy. The next day was fabulous, with a cloudstreet running south along the Sangre de Cristos to the Great Sand Dunes park.

Jeff Shingleton and Don Boardman met us in Crawford after a trip in Jeff's plane from New York. The 3 Lambadas soared up a mountainside together, then made a formation pass over the Crawford airport.

New owner Jamie soared his new plane to 15,000msl, flew to Montrose on a glide, then motored to Grand Junction, Grand Mesa, and home to Paonia.

We circled Joe Cocker's English estate buried in the mountains of Colorado.

After Crawford, it was on to Telluride to visit some good friends and sample more excellent soaring conditions.

Local ace Jeff Campbell flew circles around the virga with strong cloudsuck on the edges of the clouds.

Jeff didn't like the looks of the rain and snow, but the Garmin showed acceptable conditions back over the Telluride airport.
Our Lambadas were comfy under the wing of a Gulfstream, just like ducklings against their mom.

Independence Pass, leading to Aspen.

We landed at Leadville, 9,800msl with a density altitude of 11,800msl.

The 3 of us also visited Eagle, Steamboat, Durango, and all of the mountains in between. We didn't go around the mountains, we went straight over them in our U2 Lambadas. Climb rates using the engine were 500fpm at 17,000'msl. The Lambada is built for Colorado!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Four Lambadas converged on Oshkosh from Melburne, San Antonio, and Albany. All told, our round-trip flights covered 5100nm. We were too busy selling Lambadas to take many pictures, but here are a few highlights.

We ran into the Red Baron (Terry Presley) in Tennessee.

Joe and Jim shared a few hundred miles as a flight of two.

Terrible weather on the way home forced a quick stop in Georgia. Thankfully, the aviation community is always ready to help.

Melbourne to Mexico

I left on June 28,2008 to help proud new owner Jorge Gomez Espana ferry his new Lambada to Chapala, Mexico. The first leg was to Rogers, Arkansas which required some routing around cumulonimbus twice during the day. The Garmin 496 with FM weather was indispensable. Total distance for the day was 850nm. The next day was an easy 470nm run to San Antonio, where Jorge met me for the remainder of the trip.

From San Antonio, we flew to Laredo, TX to file our required VFR flight plan across the border to Nuevo Laredo, a total distance of 10nm. This has to be the shortest flight plan I have ever filed! The Laredo, TX tower controller came down to talk with us for 2 hours about the Lambada. Not an unusual occurrence.

Crossing the Rio Grande into Mexico

Jorge arrives in Nuevo Laredo for 3 hours of paperwork.

There are plenty of big mountains in Mexico.

The news media quickly spotted an unusual plane in Saltillo, Mexico, and had to interview the pilot. Jorge is a natural show-boater.

The short flight from Guadalajara to Lake Chapala brought us into some great engine off ridge soaring. We gave rides to six people, with consistent ridge soaring over town.

Chapala airport, new home of N154UA.

Chapala Flying Club welcomes it's new member

Jorge's hometown of Tapalpa, where he plans to build a new airstrip.

Total mileage, 2000nm.