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A320X

Developer Month: FSLabs A320X – Bringing Work Into Simulation

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

I personally work for one of the biggest airlines in the world. That particular airline uses the Airbus family exclusively for their entire operation, which makes things super easy to learn and remember. Of course, this means that when it comes to flight simulation, I’m always looking to see what add-ons recreate that feeling of being at “work” all the time and I have a good feeling when something is or isn’t accurate.

You can imagine then, my appreciation for FSLabs who have worked tirelessly over the past few years to bring the community the most realistic and in-depth Airbus aircraft to date for flight simulation. There’s no question that the level of detail in the systems surpasses anything else in the market to-date and the immersion from the sound and modelling is exceptional. I spoke a little about sounds from the A320X during my first impressions article, and even now, I still agree with what I wrote. I don’t believe any other aircraft brings me closer to ‘work’ than what FSLab’s A320X does.

Why would I want to simulate work? I enjoy my job and my passion is and always will be with aviation. And if I’m honest, flying an aircraft isn’t simulating ‘work’ per se, it’s simulating where I work. This is important to me and for my simming style because instead of saying something is immersive because that’s what I believe to be ‘immersive’, but instead with this aircraft, I know if it’s immersive. I think this is why I’m so drawn in by this product. I am so used to working with these aircraft that I know every chime, every crunch and every screech. This is why sound is so important to me and the guys at FSLabs have taken the time to pay close attention to it.

This is why I have chosen FSLabs to be another one of my developers for Developer Month. Not just because they have nailed the immersion factor for this incredible aircraft, but also because they have worked so damn hard on the aircraft over the past 6 years and haven’t given up. There has been plenty of criticism surrounding their lengthy development process and the time between FSX and P3D versions. During the development things changed, were improved and their communication to the community got better and better. The team are actively addressing issues via their forums and other support channels, whilst also keeping us informed of what to expect next.

No development group are perfect and aren’t without their faults. Sometimes it may take a little longer to get back to you, but I know they work hard on ensuring that the product works as intended eventually.

I imagine developing the most technically impressive Airbus aircraft for our simulator has been no easy feat. They have admitted that “development” started over several times, using new techniques and procedures to make the product we have today. Undoubtedly there are still a few issues and areas in which can be improved, but for me, this is a solid, stable and fluid aircraft – one that will be used for years to come. The team are committed to not resting on their laurels and continuously improving their product to an even higher standard. Another reason why they’ve one of my top-picks. People also seem to forget that they also created FSLabs Spotlights during this time as well as provide a few updates to their Concorde series, which just highlights their thoughtfulness towards the community.

Sorry this is short and sweet this time. If you’re not sold on my love for the A320X yet, maybe check out my first impressions article? If that doesn’t help, just hold on a week or so and I’ll have another ‘impressions’ post followed by a review in the coming weeks. Please make sure you give FSLabs the love they deserve for working so hard for the community over the past 6 years!

 

FSElite Exclusive: FSLabs A320-X First Impressions – Part 1

Before I begin, I want to clarify something: this is NOT a review of the A320-X by FSLabs. This is my initial first impressions over a heavy weekend of flying. Despite the fact the aircraft came out over two weeks ago, it was only last Friday was I able to sit in the flight deck and start experiencing this aircraft. Over the weekend I did a range of flights, testing out different approaches, varying length of flights, turn-arounds and much more. Obviously, a weekend with one of the most in-depth aircraft isn’t enough to form a solid impression, but I wanted to put together what I thought.

So let’s start with installation. Firstly, I was a bit taken back by 2 installers and a PDF full of instructions. Usually it’s click install, put in your details and let the rest handle itself. As any reader should do, always read the instructions first as these provided some details on how to install everything (including FSLab’s Spotlights) correctly. I liked how it came with pictures and detail and not just a standard .txt file. Whilst there are a few PC restarts required, the experience was pretty easy. Next up, was installing liveries. Whilst many of us are used to in-built livery installers, FSLabs provide their own solution of simply extracting an executable file which simply and quickly installs the livery to the aircraft. No fuss required. In the future, it would be great to see a centralised place to see what I have installed and a quick option to de-install.

Before continuing, I read through some of the documentation to ensure that I had everything configured. Again, it’s really important you read through the introduction manuals as it gives VITAL details on how to configure your hardware, sim and other utilities. Now, someone did mention to me that it seems to be a lot of changes to your Sim settings for just one aircraft. Whilst I agree that it takes longer than usual to set up, if you’re using FSUIPC then configuring for one aircraft compared to another should be normal. Not only that, but I haven’t had any impact on other add-ons either (I checked PMDG’s 777 and A2A’s 172). Regardless of changes, this is the BEST way to enjoy this aircraft. The development team have worked hard alongside their experts to give everyone the most realistic way to program your simulator to ensure the best experience possible.

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FSLabs Releases A320X for P3D

FSLabs have finally released to the world their highly anticipated A320X for Prepar3d. Despite a few bumps along the way, the team have finally allowed people to try out their fantastic rendition of the popular aircraft.

You can buy it now for just $139.95 excluding VAT, or if you purchased the FSX version, you can upgrade for just $39.95 (also excluding VAT) more.

We’ll have lots of coverage for the great piece of kit. There’s already some great videos online, but we’ll be sure to present even more in the future.

Let us know how you feel about the price or the product in our comment section below.

FSLabs A320X update 1.0.1.191

FSLabs have released another update for their incredibly popular Airbus A320X for FSX. This updates adds a whole array of updates. There are fixes for memory usage but also for the MCDU, FMGS, ELAC and much, much more. Furthermore, they assure us once more that they are working on Service Pack 1 which will add much missing functionality.

Its great to see FSLabs doing such a great job in maintaining their product and updating it to perfection. Now lets just hope that Prepar3d version isn’t too far away anymore! You can check out the original post with a full change log (its a long one) over here.

FSLabs January 2017 Update

Update 11 JAN 2017 @ 20:30z:

We’ve been following the forums and Andrew from FSLabs has clarified some important information.

We have every intention to release the A320 for P3D.

We are not going to wait months for LM to produce another hotfix.

We are working around the clock on this – if LM can help, that’s great. If not – we’ll be taking additional steps with the A320-X to mitigate (as much as we can) the memory problems introduced in P3D v3.4.

So there we go, the team aren’t resting until LM fix the issues, but are continuing to work regardless of the outcome.

Original article:

Lefteris from FSLabs has taken to the FSLabs forums to update the world with what’s going on with the team for this year. Not only the long-awaited Prepar3d version of the A320X, but also snippets of the future.

He began detailing what will come in 2017 for Simmers. He confirmed that the next update for the A320X will be with us very soon. This will fix several bugs (e.g. MCDU freezes and autoland flare logic) as well as other improvements.  Of course, once we get closer to a release, we can expect a full list of details. Whilst this update won’t bring in features like detailed winds, we can expect that in a service pack later this year. The team have broken the service pack down into smaller tasks to push updates faster, as well as add any improvements and user feedback along the way.

Now, like me, you really just want to know when the Prepar3d version of the ‘bus is coming out! Lefteris has said that there are no ‘major bugs’ with the version the team have, but as awaiting some more fixes from Lockheed Martin with their most recent version of Prepar3d. Some users have reported VAS issues and an error message called “DXGI_DEVICE“. I’ve personally not experienced either, so can’t comment, but the logic is, FSLabs don’t want common users to associated the issues with their product and build up a huge list of support issues not meant for them. I can understand the frustration of users especially after hearing there’s no bugs, but completely understand their position. With development fast and active, hopefully it won’t be long until LM solve the issue.

Further information was also given about the ‘cockpit builder’ features. Basically, lots of vendors want to work with FSLabs (and vice versa) to bring the best hardware to the community to work with the A320X. FSLabs are asking you to contact your favourite vendor to contact them to begin the discussions!

Finally, the forums have had a spring clean to make things easier to find and more helpful. The team are also looking at different ways to use support facilities to help people who have purchased the product!

Other than that, that’s about it. We’re excited and eager to get our hands on the plane. Come on Lockheed, chop chop!

Don’t forget to vote in our FSElite 2016 User Awards for FSLabs A320X to be your aircraft of the year, and FSLabs to be your Aircraft Developer of the year.

You could even possibly win a prize just for voting!

 

 

 

 

FSLabs Post An Update on P3D Release Schedule

With the release anticipated over the holiday season, we have entered the new year ‘Bus-less. With so many releases over the past few days, it was probably for the best to keep our wallets from sinking further into debt. However, like myself, many of you are eager to fly the FSLabs A320X in Prepar3d as soon as possible.

FlightSimCentral did some digging and found a post on the FlightSimLabs forums from Andrew Wilson detailing that things are still progressing, where testing continued over the Christmas break. With the recent hotfix release from Lockheed Martin, there was some testing still to be done, and the team at FSLabs still need to discuss some stuff with the Prepar3d creators before they can finally release.

Here’s the full quote:

A very brief update from me –

Lockheed Martin posted Hotfix 2 for P3D v3.4 during Christmas week – which only gave us a few days to install/test/compile a build with the A320 before our teams dispersed for the holiday period. That said, the Beta team received a new A320 build for FSX and P3D on Christmas Eve and I’m anticipating they’ll receive another one early this week. Things are progressing, even over the holiday period. We still have some points to discuss with LM, who aren’t back in the office until next week.

I’ll post more updates on our progress as we continue to finalise the A320 release for P3D.

Best wishes to everyone for 2017

Fingers crossed it’s sooner than later.

 

FSLabs A320X P3D In Final Stages of Testing

In a very short and sweet post on Facebook, FSLabs have confirmed that the P3D version of their upcoming A320X is in the final stages of development! After the extremely detailed update for FSX, we’re pleased to hear development is almost over.

Thanks to the dreadful UK weather, they’re able to show off the lighting effects which have been designed for Prepar3d specifically.

Alongside the post was a short video showing off these new lights, which you can watch on Facebook now.

We’re in the final stages of testing for P3D – the foggy weather today in the UK provides a perfect opportunity to show off some of our new lighting effects, specifically designed for use in P3D.

We are so excited to finally have this available on all platforms in the near future.

Stay tuned to FSElite for more information.

FSLabs Updates A320X for FSX

We’ve been commenting that FSLabs have been working hard on an update to fix some user related issues as well as continue to improve the already immersive aircraft. Today, Lefteris has released the update for their A320-X to v 1.0.1.184 for FSX. This update is massive and I’ve done my best to summarise some of the key elements below.

The Aircraft Cabin has now been made truly immersive now thanks to safety demons being played, and the ‘Cabin Ready’ memo now being variable depending on how many passengers are onboard. The same logic also applies to landing, so you need to make sure the cabin is secure before you take off or land (or your poor crew will go flying…) Other elements have also been included to help with the immersion.

With winter coming, low visibility is more common. Now with the update, when flying through fog or thick cloud, you’ll see landing light beams as well as glare from the aircraft lights reflect inside the cockpit.

Flare law, common feedback from pilots and users, has been refined based on new algorithms from Elevator and Aileron Computers. The team now hope that this is now true to life.

Something I think is pretty cool is the newly implemented ATSU, which now adds the ability to import flight plans from several sources including FSX default, Simbrief and PFPX.

Also you can now request ATIS messages from VATSIM or IVAO connections and are displayed in the MCDU! You can also request METAR reports also through a revamped AOC service. The data can be requested from AS16, ASN, VATSIM, IVAO or NOAA. Amazing!

Before I go onto the list of changes, Service Pack 1 is still going to include important information such as detailed winds and secondary flight plan and further improve ground handling. Of course, the Prepar3d version will be out beforehand (which is in final beta testing)

To download the new update, v1.0.1.184, just head over to Flight Sim Labs redownload area with the order ID, serial and email. Once you have downloaded the .zip file, extract both installers, uninstall previous v1.0.1.173 Binaries and Resources and install the new ones as per our Installation Instructions here.

Anyway here’s the full list:

Logic fixes / improvements

ACHC
– Cargo heat Logic improvements

AEVC
– Blower sounds now fixed

ELAC
– Rudder pedal position now taken into account for AP disconnect
– Protection for nose dives in turbulence
– Aileron limit bug fix
– Aerodynamic pitch down and lift fix

FAC
– Rudder Travel Limiter limit now 25 degrees when faulty
– Logic updates for low energy and Pitch Requested.

SFCC
– Alpha lock fixes

FQIC
– Fix for Fuel Auto Feed Fault

AntiIce
– Limit values relaxed for ECAM message

FCU
– Buttons / knobs now auto-restore after click if mouse moved outside click area

FDU
– Fix for test logic on ground

CIDS
– Cabin immersiveness logic overhaul
– Various bugs fixed

Display Units
– Fix for display flickering
– Pen thickness now customizable via LCDPens.ini file
– Asynchronous (threaded) operation implementation

FMGS
– Flight Guidance
– Mode reversion fixes
– Fix for GA pitch rates
– updated GA Fac to 8sec
– Go around logic now independent of FD/AP
– Go around FDs autorestore based on FG conditions
– Flight Management
– User-entered wpt numbering scheme fix
– CD leg fix when DME reference from ILS DME (LOWI26 case)
– DES profile spd retained if DES computation not available
– DECEL fixes
– TCM fixes (profile spd on clb)
– Flightplanning updates
– GA also in DES phase allowed
– CD legs now OVFY by default

FWC
– Cavalry charge / triple click logic fix
– Sound logic reworked (Cavalry charge / UNVOLUNTARY AP OFF logic)
– SPEED aural added

MMR/ILS
– Marker display and aural logic added

SDAC
– Fix for threads freezing sometimes

FADEC
– Several FADEC logic fixes

Pressurization
– Logic rework for CLB/CRZ/DES modes
– Safety valve logic fix
– Skin valves outflow implementation

FSL Runways Database
– bug fix for crash in certain conditions

Virtual Cockpit
– Registration / Selcal sometimes missing bug fix
– Various part optimizations / replacements / fixes

External Model
– Fix for wing lights permanently on

Lights
– Landing lights overexposure fixed for dusk/dawn
– New (experimental) 2D landing lights logic added

FSLabs A320X Video Showing of Prepar3d Beauty

Tim Mitchel has been kind enough to allow us to post his fantastic Youtube video showing off the upcoming FSLabs A320 direct from P3D v3. Using only Active Sky CA and Active Sky 16 to add to the immersion, we can already tell this looks vastly improved upon compared to the FSX version.

Watch the video above and subscribe to him as he’ll be releasing some more very soon!

 

FSLabs Will Show off A320X for P3D This Weekend

For anyone attending FSWeekend at Lelystad this weekend will be in for a bit of a treat, as FSLabs have confirmed that they will be attending this year. Why are they attending? Well, they’ve confirmed that they will be showing off the Prepar3d version of their rather popular A320X simulator that was released back in August for FSX.

fslabsfselite

Not only will this be the first time people outside of the team get to try the P3D version, it will also be the first time we’ve seen any official screenshots of the product running in the newer Sim. So if anyone is going, make sure you take lots of photos!

After a 6 year development, it’s all finally coming together for the team. We already know that the Prepar3d version will cost a bit more than the FSX version, but we’re used to that by now! At least we don’t have to pay twice, as if you already own the FSX version, then you’ll be just paying the difference.

Daan from the FSElite team will be going this weekend, and we’ve forced / asked him to provide us with whatever information he can get! If anyone else is going, get in contact with us!