Soaring in as the first release of Asobo’s new “Famous Fliers” collection of add-on aircrafts is the Beechcraft 17. Hailing all the way from the 1930’s, Asobo and the talented team over at Carenado faithfully recreated this sporty piston prop both inside and out for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Also known as the “Staggerwing” due to the offset design of its wings, the Beechcraft Model 17 has the same pomp and pageantry as highly revered vintage cars. It was designed to look sleek and flashy while also being able to pump out some considerable performance and agility thanks to its powerful 450hp Pratt & Whitney engine. It’s essentially like a classic roadster, but with wings. It was even used as a race plane throughout the ’30s, with a special appearance at a race in 1970.
With a top speed of 202mph and a service ceiling of 25,000ft, the Model 17 wasn’t only one of the fastest planes of its own era, but it manages to match the capabilities of some modern aircraft as well, like the Beechcraft Bonanza G36 that’s already included in the sim.
Despite its formidable capabilities, the Staggerwing never really took off in terms of popularity. Only 785 models were built between 1933 and 1949. Now, virtual pilots will get a chance to enjoy its beauty and speed in great detail.
This virtual rendition of the Beechcraft Model 17 features an authentic array of steam gauges in its virtual cockpit, just like the real plane. And, thanks to Microsoft Flight Simulator’s complex graphics engine, the vintage prop shines with high-fidelity textures that take advantage of the sim’s various effects. For $14.99 USD, it easily slides into the budget category of payware aircraft. While the developers don’t promise a complex experience, the aircraft is recommended for pilots who want to romp around the skies in an old bird that retains the authenticity of “real flying” due to the lack of modern avionics.