Black Square Simuation’s founder and lead developer Nick Cyganski recently sat down with flight simulation developer and retailer Just Flight to discuss his company and revealed that he is working on the Beechcraft 60 Duke. In the interview posted to JustFlight.com, Nick covered a wide range of topics including the company’s history and partnership with Just Flight, his involvement in real-world aviation and software development, and his upcoming projects.
The sole force behind Black Square Simulations, Nick is a real-world pilot and software developer. He started developing flight simulation add-ons after his dream of developing a suite of avionics to retrofit real aircraft with autonomous flight capabilities was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using his real-world software development experience as a basis, Nick went on to develop his first product for MSFS, Black Square’s Real Taxiways (check out our review of Real Taxiways here).
Today, most flight simmers will recognize Black Square for its popular analog steam gauge overhaul series for MSFS. Praised by users for its high systems complexity and attention to detail, Black Square’s Analog Caravan and King Air – and recently released Baron and Bonanza – breathe new life into the default MSFS aircraft. In the interview with Just Flight, Nick indicated that he is busy working on several aircraft and provided a first look at one of them, the Beechcraft 60 Duke.
The Beechcraft 60 Duke is a 6-place, twin-engine, pressurized, fixed-wing aircraft that was manufactured by Beechcraft from 1968 to 1983. The aircraft was popular with pilots who wanted a high-performance aircraft that could be used for both personal and business travel. The B60 model, introduced in 1974, was the most popular variant of the Duke with 350 airframes produced. Today, the Duke is a relatively rare aircraft and the cost of maintaining a Duke is relatively high. But despite the high cost of maintenance, the Duke is still popular with pilots who appreciate its performance and handling. Owners of Dukes often compare them to classic sports cars, noting that they do not fly Dukes to go slow.
Black Square confirmed that they intend on releasing both the turbocharged Lycoming TIO541-B4 reciprocating engine variant of the Duke as well as the Royal Turbine Duke conversion. The conversion replaces the reciprocating engines with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-21 or -35 turbine engines. This popular modification offers a number of advantages including greatly increased performance, shorter take-off and landing distances, and a higher maximum useful load.
No information on release date or pricing is available yet, but based on the previews, it appears that 3D modeling is well underway. Rest assured that we’ll keep you updated as developments happen.