Not too long ago, I wrote about my acquisition of the DSA Beechcraft King Air C90 GTX. At the time I reviewed it, I mentioned it was somewhat bigger than my “ideal” ‘plane. Well, if only I’d been a little more alert. Not that I’m in any way disappointed with the King Air, I hasten to add (other than the issue in getting it up ramps and out of the water when using the floats), but rather because DSA are, at the time of writing, currently running a special promotion on their Beechcraft C33 Debonair.
This is a variation on the famous Bonanza design, but with a more familiar vertical tail, rather than the latter’s V-tail. However, what matters here is the Debonair comes as a “combo” plane; like the King Air, it can switch between floats and conventional undercarriage with a single command, and is presented, fully-functional, under the promotional offer at the princely some of – L$200!
Obviously, at that price, the Debonair is an absolute bargain (so much so that when I told a friend, they leapt onto the Marketplace and bought two – one for their main account and one for their primary alt account), and I had to pick one up. And what a bundle of joy!
This is an aeroplane that, given it likely runs the same scripts as the King Air, actually handles somewhat better, with very smooth region crossings for the most part (other than SL occasionally causing the camera to jump from the default view to one set a good ways back from the ‘plane) – no that the King Air was particularly rough. More to the point, with the floats in use and their wheels deployed, the Debonair can climb the ramp of most slips a lot easier than the King Air. I’ve tried my home ramp – although that’s now becoming redundant – the Hollywood airport slip ramp and Honah Lee Surf, and with a little power and a tap of the brakes, the Debonair took all three, where the King Air would frequently bury itself in the ramp / the terrain behind the ramp.
Being a smaller aircraft than the King Air, the Debonair only sits four, and is a bit of squeeze, but makes for a cosy flight :). As with the King Air, undercarriage options (wheels or floats) can be selected at any time, making landing options very flexible (although you can obviously make a runway landing with the floats attached, thanks to them having their own wheels.
Re-texturing the plane is pretty easy, as one would expect from a DSA plane. Download the maps from the DSA website (they’re labelled “Debonair” on the site, but the ZIP file and textures are all labelled “Bonanza”; this isn’t because they are the wrong files – as noted above, the Debonair is a variant of the Bonanza, and so uses the same texture files. the textures are supplied in .PSD, JPG and (some at least) X2 formats. However, I did note that float textures are currently absent the set (I simply re-used my King Air float textures).
You can use Local Textures in the viewer to carry out “test fits” of your own designs prior to uploading anything and incurring costs; just make sure you select the required face of the plane when doing so, obviously, and be aware that you’ll need to use the same texture a number of times to achieve a finished result (e.g. you’ll need to use the wing textures individually on the wings, flaps, ailerons, tail & rudder).
Those who read my article on the King Air will see that I went for a similar colour scheme with the Debonair, and the little ego touches! OK, so I now have THREE ‘planes with the same registration, but I think I’ll be OK with the CAA / FAA! 🙂
All told, the Debonair is a great little aeroplane, and one I’ve been having a great deal of fun with – and likely will continue to do so. Certainly, as while the promotional offer is running, it is a genuine bargain.