[MSFS] - Microsoft – Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing v1.8.0

 There’s flying, and then there’s flying with style. The Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing, the first release in our Famous Flyers series of aircraft, earned a reputation for being one of the most luxurious and comfortable planes of its era. This beautiful art deco-inspired biplane sports an upper wing offset further to the rear than the lower wing, an unusual design feature that gives the Staggerwing both its name and much better forward visibility compared to most other biplanes.  While it is certainly a great looker, the Staggerwing is no slouch in the performance category either. Boasting a cruise speed of 202 mph (341 km/h, 184 kts), the Model 17 was faster than almost every other comparable civilian plane from the 1930s.  Decades before private jets like the Cessna Citation took to the skies, Beechcraft’s founder Walter H. Beech set an ambitious goal for his chief aeronautical engineer Ted Wells: design a large, fast, and comfortable plane for wealthy executives to zip around the country on business trips. The resulting aircraft was the Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing.  The Staggerwing had its first flight in 1932. Sales were initially slow, in large part due to the comparatively higher price tag relative to other competing aircraft at a time when most Americans were pinching pennies during the Great Depression. Additionally, each Model 17 was made to order and assembled by hand in a bespoke manner, driving up the construction costs. After its first year on the market, only 18 Staggerwings had been sold, and the plane was on track to become little more than a minor footnote and curiosity in the annals of aviation history. Thankfully for all who would go on to adore this beautiful bird, sales would pick up significantly in the following years.