2018 is shaping up to be the year of the Airbus in flight simulation. We’ve so far been blessed with the release of the FlightFactor A320, with talk of an updated A350 on the horizon too, and let’s not forget the FSLabs A321 and A319 that are abuzz in the P3D/FSX hemisphere. The hype was no different during the development of the ToLiss A319 – it fills a void that the X-Plane platform has had for some time now, and does a very good job of just that.
Upon first downloading the aircraft’s installation files, you’re presented with a single installation option that contains a “Std Def” and “Hi Def” version of the aircraft (please note that screenshots contained in this review are taken from a mix of the two cockpits). During the beta stages, testers were also offered a choice of 2D or 3D cockpit panels, though the 2D option was sadly removed at the last minute, and the 3D cockpit is the now the only one supplied with the aircraft. There is a lingering possibility that the developers may include this in future updates if the demand is there, though.
In addition to the aircraft itself, the archive also contains two PDF files – one being a 42-page manual, and the other a 92-page tutorial guide. If you’re new to Airbus aircraft in general, I’d highly recommend reading through the manual to familiarise yourself first, followed by the tutorial – things will seem very foreign if you’re used to the way Boeing do things. “Airbus logic” is a real thing, and it’ll trip you up if you’re not aware of what to expect.
I’ve had the pleasure of having enjoyed flying this aircraft for a few weeks now during the Release Candidate stage of development, and my first impression of the plane was that it felt overall remarkably similar to the FlightFactor A320. When I asked why this might be, the developers told me that the 3D model of the aircraft is based on 3D meshes that were indeed provided by FlightFactor. So for anyone wishing to add an A319 to their hangar with intent to park it next to their recently acquired A320, this plane should feel very familiar to you too.
Another thing that the ToLiSs team have done for those who don’t have the latest and greatest hardware is the inclusion of a Hi-Def and Std Def model, with the latter adding a good amount of frames in my testing. Your mileage may vary, etc, but I saw a 3 – 5fps increase in using the Std Def model on my modest system.
The exterior model is very well done because of the FlightFactor involvement, and not only does this model look good, livery painters will be pleased to know that the paint kit is one of the better ones around which features a split fuselage with all exterior decals and plenty of other features to make your job easier.
The A319 is equipped with both IAE and CFM engines, and the choice of winglets and sharklets. Both pairs of options are automatically switchable through the use of a livery prefix inside of the liveries folder. For example, [CFM] prefixed to the livery folder will automatically equip the plane with the CFM engines and winglets, while [IAE] will equip the IAE engines with winglets. Going a step further and editing this to [CFMS] or [IAES] will equip the plane with the respective engines, though the S signifies to equip the plane with Sharklets