The A321-X, being the biggest and longest aircraft of the A320-X family, accommodates for much bigger statistics such as three seating configurations and an MTOW of approximately 93.5 tonnes. On top of what they showcased at Flight Sim Show in RAF Cosford earlier this month, FSLabs is happy to share some extra details along with what’s to come upon initial release.
Starting with CPDLC, the A321-X will be the first aircraft title to debut a fully integrated CPDLC system allowing users the unique opportunity to interact with ATC via datalink communications using the Hoppie ACARS network, which is currently partly integrated into the current range of FSL Airbus Aircraft. This system will simulate the ability to request a change in altitude, speed or routing and receive and reply to numerous communications from a connected station with many controllers on the VATSIM network. The system features a new ‘ATC MENU’ within the MCDU ATSU program, as well as two DCDU models both situated above the current MCDUs.
In addition to CPDLC logic, the system also features ADS-C offering both periodic and event-driven contracts to subscribers on the Hoppie ACARS network.
The fuel system within the A321-X has a completely different set of features to that found on current FSLabs Airbus Aircraft. One of the notable differences is the lack of outer wing tanks. Another one is that the A321-X transfers its fuel from the centre tanks using jet-pumps, rather than electric pumps. In addition to the different components found, the A321-X also allows the user to add two additional centre tanks, allowing a total fuel capacity of 23,770kg. This additional fuel is pumped forward into the centre tanks via. a complex system of valves allowing the aircraft to fly extended routes such as Helsinki to Gran Canaria by increasing the usual flying time by up to 7 hours.
The flight warning computer features approximately 60 different sheets of logic specifically for the A321-X variant. As a result, ECAM actions not implemented in the current FSLabs Airbus Family are now implemented. Along with that, overspeed warnings, flap/slat angle/position warnings, hydraulic, fuel and air conditioning system warnings, stall thresholds, door configuration warnings and minimum target speeds all have their own particular settings in the logic implemented in this variant.
The A321-X will debut a new high-definition takeoff performance system. It collects obstacle data on the takeoff path from the simulator and uses this to generate precise performance figures for the six available variants currently in the FSLabs A320 fleet. This system gives the option to calculate optimal performance figures for a given runway — whereby each possible configuration is analysed and the most favourable configuration is returned.
In addition, warnings, such as, ‘TOGA REQUIRED’, ‘TOPL LIMITED’ or ‘VMGC LIMITED’ are also returned. This system complements the A321-X greatly, where it operates out of small airports at heavy takeoff weights in high temperatures requiring careful consideration to performance.
Now, for the eye-candy section, the A321-X will simulate call buttons for the extra stations found in the aircraft as well as the specific exit variations which are fully depicted in the Lower ECAM Door Page, depending on the aircraft configuration selected.
Both engine variants found in the current engine option set from Airbus will be simulated: the IAE 2533-AS and the CFM56-5-B3, each capable of powering the aircraft with 33,000 pounds of thrust. Both engine variants have been accurately modelled to simulate their real-world counterparts accurately with the difference in thrust used to power the aircraft being apparent compared to smaller variants.
And finally, the aircraft will debut the Cabin Camera System. Integrated into the lower ECAM display, this can be toggled via. a new ‘VIDEO’ switch on the pedestal and allows the user to see a live video feed of the cabin. With a passenger capacity as high as 220, boarding times can be around 40 minutes and this feature can be a great way to check on the boarding status, especially when using FSDreamTeam’s GSX Level 2.
To conclude, FSLabs have given us a screenshot providing a glimpse at the sharklets variant of the Airbus which is to be released as an extra add-on at a later date. [Editor’s note (Calum): clarity on the sharklets add-on as an extra not inclusive of an update]
We expect Flight Sim Labs to release the A321-X variant very soon, we’ll be sure to let you know once it’s out.