• Interview - VirtualCol - Jose J. Gonzalez

    Which creation is your own personal favorite and why?

    Hard to talk about one. I think I have a fortune if I say so, to be able to enjoy each of my airplanes and sceneries development. The only bad thing is that I always see the mistakes or I want to improve things, sometimes it cannot be a matter of time or resources, unfortunately it does not always depend on me improving or correcting things. But if you observe, I have repeated several projects trying to improve them, for example the E-JETS already go to their 4th "overhauling" with the version that we are working from the first version that I took out in 2007, the Dash 8 is in course of a new version 2.0 and the ATR's entered the hangar again for a version 3.0, and each change costs us a lot of money, but I know it's worth the sorrow. My wife says that I am crazy about repeating projects that are already closed, that I look like a Hollywood director redoing old films, but I think that if things can be improved, why not do it?

    Virtualcol A220

    Which product would you characterize as being your flagship and why?

    I think we have to divide this answer into two parts: I would say today that there are airplanes in PACK type that contain several series. The Dash 8, the ATR and the EJETS, and in part two, and more for the history of Virtualcol, it's very sad to say, but for many years it was the sceneries of Colombia. Many don't know that this is the main obstacle that caused the virtual disappearance of Virtualcol in 2011, because my dream was to create all 110 airports in my country in a single package, but the costs of that development would be extremely high for what was collected and if I add to that the issue of piracy, it was what almost ended with me (really, at some point I thought about ending my life because of the problems that this caused).

    Today I see with happiness that there are others creating sceneries, very beautiful and of high cost for my compatriots, but God willing I wish one day I could take up the theme. What happens is that everything nowadays costs money and sometimes dreams are not possible to reach when they have such a high cost, but someday it will be. By the way, very soon, when I finish correcting some things, I will donate the whole COLOMBIA VIRTUAL package and the Bogota scenario to freeware, as I recently did with other scenarios and the first version of ATR.

    Virtualcol Beechcraft 99

    Why do you think these products are so popular?

    I think there may be two things: The first is not very frequent aircraft to find developed, until very recently other developers have been interested in the regional aviation turboprop, and the other is that for a low cost, perfectly half the price of a single professional model, you can get several different series, liveries and a very acceptable quality above the freeware product.

    How do you select your next project - does it come from your own interest, market research or general input from fellow flight simmers?

    Basically in two ways: The first really for personal taste and the second because we frequently receive requests from customers on our web site about the products that interest them, we evaluate them and if it's within our possibilities, we begin to gather the basic information. As we don't create professional models, basically we continue with the basics, such as Microsoft® or Lockheed Martin® made with their default models in their respective simulators, only that we make them a little more complete and detailed, although not so exact.

    As for personal taste, it has a great influence because there is nothing uglier than working on something you don't like. Virtualcol has not only been a source of work for me, my family and those who collaborate with us, it is also my playground, so I really enjoy this work and I feel fortunate and blessed for it.

    In what ways do you see development changes in the future - now when e.g. the 64-bit platforms have arrived?

    Not only the 64-bit theme, virtual reality is already playing these platforms. Surely more precise environment effects will come, meteorology with greater detail and precision. There are still movements that I feel are still very unreal, for example at the time of a turbulence, the clouds are not yet gases or particles, they are still flat images, so there is still much to be done, but in general it has been a huge advance since the first FS2 that I saw in my life!

    Virtualcol Otter

    What would you like people to know about you, your work or products that we have not yet covered?

    I think your questions covered everything! But I would like people to understand that we don't develop the same as others and that we can share a space who still see the Flight Simulator as a personal virtual space, far from the hustle and bustle of the real world and its conflicts. This virtual space is so wonderful that not even planes can fire to harm others, we just fly and observe a world in peace, without danger, without fighting, without hatred or resentment. Not all must be professional pilots or all people should have a real license to fly in FS and much less need one, you cannot mistreat others, as well as there is space in real life for a simple and inexpensive vehicle that meets the needs of those who buy it and there are also expensive vehicles that allow you to enjoy luxury and comfort even when you do the same as the economy, in the same way there may be space for those who just want to fly and have fun!

    God bless you and enjoy life that is too short to be bitter!

    Jose J. Gonzalez

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    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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