• Interview - VirtualCol - Jose J. Gonzalez

    What is VirtualCol's mission and vision?

    MISSION: We develop add-ons to enjoy flight simulation without technical limitations, monetary or knowledge, just click to start and enjoy to fly!

    When you have little money, a lot of passion, a not very powerful computer but a lot of desire to fly in something better than a freeware version, but not as complex as a professional one ... When you do not have time to read long or extensive checklists and user manuals ... When you have only moments of freedom to recreate a flight and do what you like, but not to learn to fly from the beginning ... That is Virtualcol, airplanes with the best effort to make them beautiful, volatile and that allow to recreate the illusions of the virtual pilot, without having to incur the complications of the real world ... far from requiring a license for it!... just fly!

    VISION: Being the brand of flight simulator recognized and preferred for providing products of good quality and little resource requirement and at LOW COST.

    Not everything should be perfect, it should also be allowed to those who see in this tool, the possibility of flying without the need to invest large amounts or need supercomputers that allow them to enjoy the flight. Once we all start with the simple and others still want to continue like this, for them we will continue here. If exist low cost airlines with a good service, why not an FS developer LOW COST?

    Virtualcol Fokker F50

    Now, tell us a little about yourself; do you have any interests besides flight simulation?

    I'm passionate about my family, I want to be able to give them all my possible time and so I get used to them. It's been 26 years since I got married and I love my wife like the first day and my children like no other in this world, because of them I have always worked independently and I will continue to do so. I like soccer too and dedicate time to God, and obviously my other BIG passion: aviation.

    When did you get the interest for flight simulation and how?

    Wow, that was love at first sight. The first time I saw the Flight Simulator was at a friend's house, his father was a flight instructor and he had an FS2 installed on an old Macintosh. Unfortunately, he stopped talking to me when I accidentally deleted it trying to restart the computer after a power failure. In 1995 I took up the subject again, I could do it, I had how and since then I have devoted my whole life to this beautiful hobby.

    Do you have a pilot's license yourself and/or own any aircraft?

    No, I had the opportunity to try a glider flight, but my resources in youth did not allow it and with the divorce of my parents, my dream of being a Commercial Pilot went to the drain. I was an aircraft modeler for many years, I made airplanes up to cardboard and even tried to develop with some friends an ultralight but it was not possible. My oldest son is an Aeronautical Engineer and I think it is the closest thing I am to real aviation. He collaborates with us too and it's a professional support for me.

    What is your favorite aircraft in real life and why?

    Difficult to speak of only one because for me aviation is not tied to "an airplane", "a model", "a type", is rather an expression of the human being to reach not only the power to fly, but also to enjoy when your you do. When I was a kid I loved (and I still love) the Boeing 727 because it was the first airplane that my parents allowed me to fly when I was only 8 years old back in 1977, but I've also had aircraft like the P51 Mustang in model aircraft, The Concorde, I loved the noise of full-power Caravelle engines or listening to a DC-8 increase the power of its engines. The modern airplanes like Airbus A320, A220, Embraer E Jets, Boeing 787, etc., are beautiful and would be a fool if I said that I like only the previous models. Aviation is constantly moving, I just think that I will not like it when flying depends on a machine and that the pilot is sitting in an office ... that day the theme would be over for me because the magic of this beautiful profession would be lost.

    Virtualcol Saab

    You develop for multiple platforms but which platform is your own favorite and why?

    I have installed from FS98 to FSX, Prepar3D 1 to 4 and X-Plane to X-Plane 11 and I love them all. In all I have a plane or an airport that I still like to use or a tool that I like. We are working for someday to be able to have planes in X-Plane, it is not simple but I hope to do it soon, because it is the only thing that I need. It is not easy to develop for all, for example we had to close development for FS2004 because the new tools that allow us development for P3D do not allow us to return to FS2004 and to do so we would have to do everything again. We have several FS2004 customers who still claim because we not to continue with support for this simulator but they do not know what I would like to continue, only that the costs do not give us.

    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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