• Interview - VirtualCol - Jose J. Gonzalez


    Interview - VirtualCol - Jose J. Gonzalez

    Conducted by Ray Andersen

    Tell us a little about VirtualCol as a company - who founded the company, where is VirtualCol located and when did it start?

    VirtualCol was borne in a hard moment in my life. My company (other), at that time, it was going through a difficult situation because we were working with "Multimedia Software" for instruction in medical laboratories, but the progress of the Internet was ending the business. No one wanted CD-ROM or training DVD-ROM if they could upload it to a web site. The Christmas of 2002 I was flying in my FS2002 and the area of Colombia, where I'm from, it was "void" and not real, no traffic and this FS was the first using AI Traffic. There was born the first sceneries of Colombia, called Colombia 2003.

    Virtualcol - Colombia 2003

    Before me, other friends developed sceneries in Colombia also, however I was a "rookie". As I was joined a virtual airline called Aerocol since 1998, I sent to member mail list some screen shots with previous of my work and this was my first incursion in development for FS with a kind help of Mr. Jose Clopatofsky, a renowned journalist of motoring in my country and lover of flightsim. The first sales were in March 03th of 2003, this is the birthday of our company: 03/03/03. My first web site still exists in Tripod:


    After several years developing sceneries, one day I wished experimenting with airplanes and my first project was EJETS VIRTUAL in 2007, however not all was "rose color". In 2011, Virtualcol fell into a hard situation for several situations and errors of manage, when I tried to follow other projects simultaneously with my work with Virtualcol. Additionally, it wasn't good see my work selling in streets of my city as illegal copies.

    The company was sold and for three years they only work with airplanes and really they stablished the real route of this company. With the help of my wife I recovered the company in October of 2014 and since this year we following the route "AIRPLANES, FRIENDLY FRAMES TO LOW COST".

    Virtualcol CRJ Series

    Today the company is located in Colombia but with collaborators in several countries: Canada, UK, Norway, Venezuela, etc., thanks to Internet connections and this beautiful hobby: The Flight Simulation.

    How did you come up with the company name VirtualCol - is there a specific idea to the name or does it stand for something specific?

    After the success with the product COLOMBIA 2003, I wished to use the name COLOMBIA VIRTUAL and the next sceneries of this country had this name, but when I tried to register COLVIRTUAL as my company, this name already existed, so I decided to use VIRTUALCOL and this was the name of current trade. In 2010 I register this name because a friend suggested it, and today this is a TRADE MARK. The real name of this company is VIRTUALCOL FS SOFTWARE.

    How many people work at VirtualCol and what are their key roles?

    Today our company has six collaborators plus me, one in technical support, one tending the store, two in administration and financial area and three in development. Until some weeks ago we were nine members but the hard situation of this year, forced to us to let out two excellent collaborators, but this is the business.

    Virtualcol Dornier 328

    1. sith's Avatar
      sith -
      Products are good however they do really need to improve their texturing. Lite systems are good but the exterior texturing, interior vc, very obscured or opaque windshields made them down to freeware quality... Also.. You guys need to let us users be able to remove the yoke for vc flying... It obstructs the view of other instruments badly. I don't use many of your products because of this. Best of luck in the future!
    1. lmhariano's Avatar
      lmhariano -
      JJ, qué bueno verte de vuelta por acá! Somehow I had thought you had left the FS business, now I see the missing part of the story. I remember the first time I bought one of your products back in 2006, and the big upgrade when you implemented the online store. Although almost all my purchases are for FS9 (yes, I admit I'm one of the "several FS2004 customers who still claim"), I'm looking forward to the next releases. Maybe I should give a try to the FSX products, specially the next Dash and ATR...
    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      I have not tried that many VirtualCol products but recently had the pleasure of testing their Beechcraft 99 - that was a very good experience with a good quality model and also a good quality virtual cockpit.

      In my opinion the Beechcraft 99 is a great value for money - it costs less than half of the asking price from similar developers, maybe even more close to just 1/3.

      Yes the textures could be of a higher resolution, but please be aware that the focus has been on keeping the products frame rate friendly so flight simmers using low or medium end computers still get a very good product and a very good flight simulation experience.

      I find the models - well the ones that I have tried, to be very well made and very authentic. Systems wise well there can always be ways of improving and I also know that VirtualCol likes to improve on their already existing products.

      I think it is admirable to see that we still are able to find good quality products for a very reasonable price and where you still are able to get a very good flight simulation experience. Well that is just my opinion

      If interested I have published a photo album on my public Facebook page of the Beechcraft 99 which you all of course are welcome to see, just to see the good quality that I experienced with that aircraft.

      /Rays Aviation
    1. b52bob's Avatar
      b52bob -
      I, being in sound body but not in money, have enjoyed your products immensely over the past years. True, not PMDG quality but we could afford them.
      Having switched to XP-11 hope you will go down this road soon.
    1. jgmustang's Avatar
      jgmustang -
      I have several of Virtualcal's products and find they work well, and my only issue has been with the Fokker F50 where no matter what I do, I cannot start this aircraft.
    1. franzair's Avatar
      franzair -
      Hi. I have a number of Virtualcal aircraft and I have found them excellent for the price. Keep up the good work.
    1. Wildthing's Avatar
      Wildthing -
      I have their CRJ X and the A220 for Prepar3d V4. Like others have said, the planes aren't PMDG complexity, but that being said, they are a lot of fun to fly, easy on frames and the wallet. their VC and exterior texturing has improved greatly since they released their E-170-175 X many years ago. the autopilot's and flight dynamics of the products I own are ok and work. They aren't for a Level-D simulation, but Virtualcol never says that is their intent. I would like them branch out in their newer offerings like releasing the MD-11 or maybe the A350.
    1. Clutch Cargo's Avatar
      Clutch Cargo -
      I think his story shows just how hard it is to make it in this small flightsim industry. Please consider helping any small developer out with a purchase now and then. That is how small developers can become better developers and grow.
    1. sid2008's Avatar
      sid2008 -
      Looking forward to your Sukhoi Superjet. Also, please don't abandon making FS2004 models.
    1. MSgt's Avatar
      MSgt -
      I have quite a few Virtualcol aircraft, and I love them! I feel that the simplicity helps to make up for my lack of years of training and experience as an airline pilot... I really don't have the time to spend going through a hundred page study sim manual just to find the battery switch, and I don't really care if the load meter moves the proper amount when you activate the pitot heat! ;-) I like being able to get up to speed on a new aircraft in just a few minutes and being able to fly it confidently from the start. The Virtualcol aircraft, among others, provide this for me. Thank you, and can't wait for the new E Jets!!
    1. franzair's Avatar
      franzair -
      Hi Jose, need to add that it would be nice to see a VirtualCol classic Pilatus PC 12 and PC 24. That would really be something.
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