Aerosoft have been excellent in updating the community with their progress on the A330 and today, has been no different. We saw some more previews this week, but what’s got me excited is the next level of Connected Flight Deck that Aerosoft are bringing to the table! In a post on the forums from Mathijs, he gave some great insight into what we can expect when the A330 is out later this year.
First, he confirmed that during a team meeting that took place recently, things seem to “be on schedule”. Not sure which “schedule” as this was originally planned for 2015 (and then 2016), but whatever, it’s coming and seems to be moving at a nice pace! Afterwards, he posted some great new detail into the Connected Flight Deck.
So what features? Well, first, just to reiterate what was expected anyway, it’s 100% free. No ifs, no buts, completely free alongside the purchase of the Airbus A330. Something that is quite different from what they currently use on their A320 models is there is no need for to change settings for firewalls or routers. Makes a welcome change and is promised to be a “transparent” connection. Not only that, but you can expect weather and time to be connected as well (although navigation databases will not be). What’s pretty exciting is the fact you can store ongoing flights and pick it up later (in the cloud) AND an optional voice channel as well. No longer will you need to rely on 3rd party applications just to do a checklist.
Moving on, if you’re unfamiliar with the aircraft and just want to kick back and chill, well now you and 49 of your mates can! Observer mode will allow you to do just that. Literally load the Sim and the plane, find a ‘session’ and sit back and relax as the pilots do all the work. Mathijs compared it to live streaming. Just instead of watching a video, up to 50 people can join your flights and be in the cockpit with you. This is INSANELY cool and will allow VAs to perform ‘check flights’ and give people a chance to learn exciting and challenging approaches without fear of doing something wrong. A great learning tool.
Of course, the immediate concern is the usual: frame rate, VAS and lag. According to Aerosoft, the code isn’t a megabyte in size and will use cores not used by Flight Sim. The amount of data without voice chat is tiny. Of course, I think the concern is if 50 people are all in the same connection, it will vary depending on who has the best speed. As for your online networks, the CFD is “100% compatible” and can be ran at the same time.
I’ll quote from Mathijs on how it’s all used:
How it is used
- Start a session (by the Captain): Use the drop down menu option, type in a description, select [PUBLIC] or [CLOSED] and click [HOST]. That’s all.
- Join a session as First Officer: Use the drop down menu to select a session and select [JOIN AS FIRST OFFICER]. The Captain will need to confirm. That’s all, no IP addresses to enter to rules to enter in your router.
- Join a session as observer: Use the drop down menu, select [JOIN AS OBSERVER]. This is only possible for public sessions.
Finally, as you don’t need to login anywhere, there’s no concern for data and security. All the information is kept within the sim, and compared to weather engines, does the same thing. If you use the “Temporary Store” option, it will stay there for 2 weeks and then vanish.
Aerosoft also want to assure you it’s not some form of DRM to find out who has pirated the software as it will work just fine for pay customers and those who…don’t pay.
So there we go, loads of detail and great stuff to come. I hope it’s as smooth as it sounds because I think some FSElite A330 flights would be pretty damn cool!