The Fenix Simulations A320 edges closer and closer to release for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Fenix CEO, Aamir, shared another update in the early hours of the morning confirming that they believe they have “built [the] final release candidate.”
First and foremost, this does not mean the Fenix Simulations A320 is available. The release candidate is a build of the product they feel could be ready. However, Aamir wants to ensure that everyone who buys it has the best experience possible. He says that the testers will poke around with it for “a day or two”. Providing that goes well, then, the next step would be to allow anyone to buy the anticipated Airbus aircraft.
In terms of the launch plans, Aamir is candid in saying the team are doing everything they can now to ensure a seamless customer experience. They’re aware that interest in the plane is high and it’s possible that something may go wrong. However, the team will be on hand to resolve issues quickly and put things right. Aamir even says, “if potential day 1 issues are not your jam by all means steer clear for a while – there are no badges handed out for purchasing the moment it’s available; we’d rather every customer was a happy one. Sit back, watch some videos, read the reviews from those you trust, see whether it’s right for your simming needs.”
In an interesting move, Aamir has given some information about some of the ‘weaknesses’ that will come with the release version of the Fenix A320. He says that there are two ‘big ones’ that need addressing. First is that the engines are seeing about a 6% margin on the fuel burn than the real numbers. This is down to how Microsoft Flight Simulator uses a single point of tuning for the fuel flow. The ultimate plan is for Fenix to create a completely custom engine model. The release build will include custom start-up/shut-down, EGT, spool times etc, to go further requires even more work. Aamir said, “Given we’re so close to the numbers already, holding back for an undefined period of time (at least a few months) doesn’t seem worth it. Quite frankly, to the average eye, nothing will appear amiss, but you guys are far from average, aren’t you? Once post-launch clean-up calms down, we’ll get cracking on a fully ‘Fenix’ engine solution.“
The second area is that the team aren’t entirely happy with the display units. He said that the issues are minor cosmetic issues (shape scaling, text positioning, etc), but wants to fix this properly and not fix it with “ducktape and prayers.”
Alongside these two issues, the team will be working on hundreds of other things after the aircraft has been released. “Transparency counts for a lot in this community, so I’d rather talk about it at the risk of scaring some people than ignore it,” Aamir concluded when talking about some of the shortcomings at launch.
Another important piece of information to come from the post was the external system Fenix uses to power the A320. Similarly to what Aerosoft does with their VGDS, the majority of the A320’s systems run outside of the simulator itself. This has many advantages, including the ability to choose what hardware to render displays and help with performance.
Another benefit of this external app is how Fenix can make the customer experience as easy as possible. There’s no need for 2FA, serial numbers, or verification links – you will just need to download the installer, log in to your Fenix account (made when you purchase the product) and things will then work. You will be required to have an internet connection on login, but then the plane will work offline providing the Fenix App stays open after logging in. For those wanting to install it on multiple machines, Aamir says this functionality is coming, but this will be coming in the future once their colleagues in Ukraine are back up and running.
Aamir said that developing the Fenix A320 for Microsoft Flight Simulator “has been an absolute labour of love, all-nighters and passion to create a flight simulation experience we want – and hopefully you do too.”
As you can see, we’re now pretty close to the Fenix Simulations A320 release. So close that the landing page on their website is now live. Don’t panic, it’s not out yet (unless you have £9,999,999.99 sitting around), but you can get an idea of what is included.