Thursday 16 April 2020

Urban Air Lambadas (Only One) of New Zealand

The next type of sport aircraft to be registered in New Zealand in 2013 was a bit different as it was a somewhat rare beast being a Class 2 microlight motor glider.

The Urban Air UFM-13 Lambada was designed by three colleagues in the Czech Republic led by Pavel Urban with some assistance from Schempp-Hirth.  It is a shoulder wing fibreglass and carbon fibre side by side aircraft with a tractor engine that can be built in tailwheel or tri gear configurations.  It was built by Urban Air of Usti nad Orlici however that company failed around 2010 and the Lambada design was taken over by Distar Air, also of Usti nad Orlici.  The prototype first flew in May 1996.

The standard wingspan is 13 metres (42 feet 8 inches) which gives a 26:1 glide ratio, but the wings can be extended to 15 metres (49 feet 2 inches) with wingtip extensions which gives a 30:1 glide ratio.  The length is 6.6 metres (21 feet 8 inches).  The empty weight is around 285Kg (628 pounds) and the MAUW in New Zealand is 519 Kg (1,144 pounds).  Power comes from a 100 HP Rotax ULS engine which gives a cruise speed of around 90 mph (78 knots) and the stall speed is 40 mph (35 knots).

We have had only one Urban Air UFM-13 Lambada registered in New Zealand:

ZK-MFS (c/n 31/13) was first registered to Michael F Spruce in South Africa as ZS-GXD on 22/7/03.  It was built/assembled by Wings N Tracks of Brits Airfield in the NW Province.

Mike Spruce emigrated to New Zealand and his Lambada was registered here on 9/8/13.  I photo'd it at the 2005 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton, on 7/3/15.  In the above photo you can see the 13 metre wing.

And at Rangiora on 17/8/14 with the 15 metre wing.

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