It has been several months since we last really heard from Fenix regarding its A320 for Microsoft Flight Simulator. However, that period of silence has well and truly lifted with Aamir giving a comprehensive update post. Inside this post, he revealed what the team has been working on, new previews and the pricing for the anticipated Airbus aircraft.
In his detailed post, Aamir paints a picture of how ‘alive’ this aircraft is. During the period of development since we last heard from the team, Fenix has been adding a lot of immersion details and functionality.
One said example is the real-time boarding that will take place. By combining SimBrief and the onboard EFB, you will be able to simulate ground ops such as refuelling and boarding, providing the conditions are right. “Make sure to switch ON the No Smoking signs, and switch OFF the seatbelts for that one, airlines tend to be specific about these things. These things, however, are considerations you didn’t necessarily make before.“
This goes even further, including the ability to send messages to your ops center about diversions and also real-time deboarding. Of course, those who don’t want those features can easily turn them off via the EFB.
Other cool tidbits in Aamir’s post include the fact the Fenix A320 has flap shake, a fully modelled, proper cabin (with dynamic seat belt signs) and over 180 liveries. Speaking of liveries, each livery has been configured (to the best of their knowledge) to include correct standby equipment. That’s right, the equipment can change on-the-fly.
Based on feedback since the original announcement, the team has now added Mean-Time-Between-Failures modelling. Here’s Aamir explaining:
“Engineering data is used to determine rough failure rates and apply that probability to your flight. Since some expressed concern, we also made it a little more accessible and fun for those of you that want to dip your toes in – and you can choose a myriad of configurations, such
as failing only items that will allow you to continue to your end destination, or failing any component including major ones. Would you like a realistic failure rate using the data, or would you prefer an expedited version where things have a higher probability of happening because reality is boring? Or, you know, nothing at all because you’re on VATSIM and having both engines explode (we promise that won’t happen) is mildly inconvenient. Whatever combination, there’s an option to suit.”
For those curious, Aamir did speak about the systems and how what they have now builds an excellent foundation. In his post, he said,“the A320 received a fair amount of systems and flight model love during the beta period. While the feature set was complete, fixing through certain system behavior in this incredibly complex fly-by-wire aircraft forced, sometimes, cascading system changes up and down the aircraft – which made bug finding and fixing feel like an endeavor. And while it isn’t super flashy or interesting, I’m happy to say that things now look stable and representative, and will serve as an excellent baseline for us to move the aircraft forward to the next phase of its journey, post-launch and beyond, where we intend to robustly support and continue improving on the product to further enhance it.“
Another area covered in detail was the sound pack. The whole suite of sounds is completely dynamic, meaning opening doors, windows and other factors all impact on the volume and what you hear. “You’ll even hear the Ground Power Unit. Yeah, it has its own sound. And yes, I have no idea what we were thinking, but it doesn’t just make sound. The sound actually changes based on
the load demanded of it.”
As for the price, Aamir has confirmed the Fenix A320 will sell for £49.99 (INCLUDING taxes).
No release date was shared at this time, but Aamir said, “consider launch marketing kicked off now. I’ll see you all real soon.” We’ll be following up closely and sharing more details soon. You can read Aamir’s full post on the Fenix blog.