Virtualcol Model 99 released

The sound of crickets.
No reviews.
Nobody will touch it. I’m thinking that reviewers are worried that accurate description of this “product” will get flagged as cyberbullying.
It’s a steaming 3 ring circus as of now.
Hope they fix it.

2 Likes

Ugh… This doesn’t sound promising. I will still buy it cause I have literally everything else that was released for 2020 in terms of aircraft, but this sounds… disappointing. At least it’s cheap.

Oh well. Back to my exploration of A2A aircraft.

Few issues interior sucks though

This aircraft has some potential, if the developer will continue to update. My biggest gripe is when full flaps is selected the aircrafts speed is demolished and it starts to fall out of the sky. Hopefully this will addressed soon. Oh and another even with no throttle she flies pretty quick…if it was the same quality as the P3D version it would be a step up.

My biggest problem with this ac is, that she follows the logic of all 3 other turpoprop: Rising Torque with height and no decreasing fuel consumption. we already had 3 broken turboprobs now we have 4.

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The price kinda gave it away, while id love to have those prices on 3rd party aircraft… seemed sketchy
I hope they correct this stuff, i like the 99 and totally dig twin props.
Wonder did anyone beta test this thing

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Sounds like the Turboprop model in general for the sim has issues if everything is working in the same, incorrect way.

OK… Here goes.

Bought this last night and flew one flight - Wroclaw, Poland to Berlin-Tegel.

This is a circus, honestly.

  1. I flew at night. Night lighting is AWFUL. You can’t see the gauges very well unless you are zoomed and can’t see out the windshield. The ONLY working light for the cabin lighting I found illuminates about 1/3 of the panel. Outside lights barely illuminate anything.

  2. What’s with the EXTRA low-res overhead panel with about 12 turn knobs, none of which work, and none of which are even LABELED, let alone do anything. This is Eurofighter Tycoon bad.

  3. Cockpit textures, in general, are bordering barely passable, and in some cases just… bad looking. The leather upholstery on the door looks nice, though.

  4. Avionics module. I am not sure what it is, but it looks like a lobotomized GNS 530 with none of the functions or control knobs besides tuning COM and NAV. I haven’t found a way to do anything like zooming in or out. You definitely can’t enter any waypoints, or select approaches, or anything. The manual even states you can’t use it for flight planning.

  5. How come the NAV/GPS switch is on the DME unit? I have never seen that. Took me a while to figure out how to switch it to NAV from LOC mode. Again, GNS530 has that button provided on the unit, but the panel of this thing has been nuked and all of those functions are gone. Why not use the default 530 module then?

  6. Windshield wipers don’t work.

  7. Manual says it’s still a work and progress and the next version will have more. OK… They better fix it.

Last, but certainly, not least: how it flies. And there is nothing good here.

  1. Took the entirety of the runway to accelerate to Vr and it BARELY got there with condition levers max and prop levers all the way forward, throttle to 100%.
  2. STOP labeling condition levers as MIXTURE. It’s NOT mixture. In a turboprop, it doesn’t work that way.
  3. Inheritance of default reversed turboprop logic from default. Can’t blame them here though.
  4. Cruise stability - autopilot is touchy. And I don’t like that autopilot module, but… whatever.
  5. Speed control - it’s hard to slow it down in flight without almost idling the throttle. And I don’t see any kind of speed brakes.
  6. Flaps… The only way to use Flaps 3 without killing yourself is to deploy those AT threshold just prior to touchdown. It has an INSTANT and CATASTROPHIC speed loss. As someone mentioned above, you can have your throttle at 100%, pitched down, and you will STILL stall.

Bottom line, they say in the manual, the idea is SIMPLE implementation of aircraft for entertainment. That’s their focus. BUT… then give me eye candy. Carenado, ATSimulations, Iris, IndiaFoxEcho have succeeded in simple aircraft but with enough fidelity in the flight model to make it FUN and LOOK GOOD. None of which is present here. It’s a drag to fly, and it’s not a pretty cockpit. If you won’t give me system complexity above default aircraft, at least make it fun to fly and easy on the eyes. This is neither.

Even for its cheap price (a little less than $20 US), it seems like a hack job. I would be willing to pay more for better quality. Why release garbage?

I am very glad I purchased it, as I have ALL released AC for MSFS as of now, and it gives me a good idea of Virtualcol aircraft level. I was contemplating purchasing their Embraer package for P3D, I will be sure to steer clear - too much great aircraft available in that simulator to buy garbage. At this point, I have decided that my P3D installation will be dedicated to STRICTLY high-fidelity and study level aircraft. MSFS is easy to keep up with in terms of releases, so I will check out whatever comes our way.

But at this stage, until more fixes are incoming… I will never fly this again.

8 Likes

Couple of points I forgot:

  1. External power switch is INOP. Why?
  2. All dial knobs have reverse logic - mouse wheel down gets values up and vice versa. That’s dumb and contrary to literally how every current AC in the sim works.
  3. Autopilot’s biggest issue is it periodically loses climb power and eventually gets there, but the book states 2000 ft/min climb by the specs and I was only climbing at 1500. This shouldn’t have happened.
  4. The ventilation outlets on the overhead are literally using such low-res mesh that they are octagon/decagon or so in shape. They aren’t round. In general. All metal surfaces in the cockpit including yoke rod look terrible.
  5. COM1 and MRK buttons are always yellow. Why? If there is no power to the AC, they shouldn’t be lit up and should be white like the rest of the buttons.

Lazy, incomplete work.

4 Likes

I gave a very honest, very negative review in SimMarket…and the review was taken down. Buyer beware.

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SimMarket won’t publish my negative reviews. I tried to submit 3 reviews for Eurofighter Typhoon. None of them made it. They are very interested in upkeeping the image that the products they carry are good. I am not a big fan of them for that.

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I picked up the plane as it is a perfect plane for short hops and fairly priced. I don’t think the cockpit is too bad given the cost. I wasn’t expecting study level for $17. It’s the engine dynamics and gps that are sub par.

The aircraft takes an insane amount of runway to get airborne, and it is hard to accelerate without over-torque or prop over speed. When in cruise the rpm is constantly past red line and I can’t adjust it? Then the plane is hard to slowdown for landing and floats down the runway.

The fuel gauge does not change from max fuel burn.

There are no buttons on the gps so I can’t change the cdi from VLOC to gps.

Overall it’s flyable but I would like to see a few more updates. I’m not expecting study level but I’d like at least slightly better than default aircraft quality.

1 Like

Loved the review. In response to not being able to change the CDI, it’s located on the nav radios, it’s just a simple switch.

A copy of my opinions posted on avsim;

Ok against my better judgement I decided to take the plunge and added it to my cart while I also picked up the the VGP Powersolo (which is great btw).

Taking off is very strange in this bird, it takes forever to get up to speed and get off the ground and your AOA needed to take off has to be very shallow. I have no clue as to how close this behaviour is to reality or not so what I decided to do was duplicate my takeoff from the same airport using visual clues using the kingair which is the only other 2 engine turbo prop which required the same distance to get up to speed so I can’t claim this means the flightmodel is bad/unrealistic on that front.

Sound is weird in a way that being at full power doesn’t sound a whole lot different compared to being at idle so when landing it’s very peculiar as the sound doesn’t match your expectations when the props slow down but again I have no idea whether this is matching the true soundscape or not.

When it comes to visuals, the outside model is ok from a distance, certainly nothing to write home about. The internal modelling is atrocious, given the age of my system gauges are my go to cockpit and I expected a low polygon cockpit here based on all the feedback so far and I was willing to compromise on that because I knew I would get better frames at least but way too often I can’t even read the gauges. The night lighting is utterly useless, still way too dark and when you are flying against the sun at dusk your dawn you can’t decipher anything either, the actual switches have no lights at all so you’ll be using your flashlight to manipulate those in the dark. I read the throttle quadrant had its colours updated but I can barely seem them even still and those visual shortcomings are ultimately the dealbreaker here. With the exception of exceptional light conditions I feel like I’m looking at the panel through dark sunglasses using the wrong prescription lenses. And it has some glitches as well, the artificial horizon seems to be transparent, if there are clouds they show up in the AH ball, it also rains inside the cockpit. Bottom line ugly outdated and low res textures are everywhere, the flight model seems ‘ok’ and I was able to take off and land and enjoy it once I got used to its behaviour, sounds can do with some serious tweaking I believe. But as mentioned the instrument panel lighting, overall readability and dark levers on the throttle quadrant are what ultimately ruins this to the point where I can’t recommend this airplane despite its low price. If you are interested and given there have been 2 updates so far it may be worth keeping an eye on how things progress as maybe some of these shortcomings will be addressed and that may change my current opinion. I hope they will be as otherwise she will remain in my hanger indefinitely as the negatives far outweigh the positives which is unfortunate as I really wanted a commuter plane to fly to mountain based airstrips inaccessible to larger birds.

3 Likes

So, they released an updated version. I only found out by browsing their site and randomly stumbling on that fact.

I haven’t flown it yet, too much other stuff.

Still version 1.5.2 dating back to January 7th which is the one I tested.

Somehow the brakes are still backward on it. Left brake is Right and vice versa. Do they have a real live human person testing their software?

Anyone know if the simmarket vers updated? Still reflected the orig when i checked the other day

It is updated to 1.5.2. I actually contacted virtualcol support about it and they confirmed as such because I found it hard to believe it was. Seems I wasn’t the only one thinking so but they since also confirmed it here: Update 1.5 for Beechcraft 99 Series MSFS has been released. – Virtualcol FS Software®
As far as I’m concerned it’s still not at a minimum level of quality where I would consider flying it again as I can’t see the friggin instruments. I hope they are still working on improving the cockpit but I’m not not sure what they are working on as there is no information provided, the discussion on that link does have them mentioning a ‘next update’ but it’s anyone’s guess what it will contain.

Jan 19th. Re downloaded/installed the plane. Still, the toe brakes are borked.