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FSlabs

New FSLabs A320X Screenshots in Prepar3D V4 – In ‘Early Beta’

After a long period of silence from the team at FSLabs, they’ve come forward with some new screenshots for the A320X in Prepar3D V4.

They were one of the first developers to confirm that they would be bringing over their popular Airbus product to the 64-bit platform, but since then, it’s been back and forth with whether the product is in beta testing. Andrew from the development team confirmed they’re in ‘the early stages of beta’.

The screenshots show off the new high resolution textures for the aircraft, which will only be featured in the Prepar3D V4 version of the product.

No further information is available right now, but be sure to check back with what Lefteris said a few months back. You can also see the first shots which were publicly shown off back in May.

FSLabs A320X: The FSElite Review

Developer
FSLabs
Publisher
FSLabs
Price
$99.95 (FSX) / $135.95 (P3D)
Version
1.0.1.196
Provided by
FSLabs
We want to ensure that you make the most informed decision you can. We will always put the Simmer First as per our Community Charter. When reading, please use of Review Guidelines to help you understand how we review products.

Update: We fixed a few grammar issues within the review. If there’s anymore let us know. It’s a huge review so apologies for any we missed.

The Flight Sim Labs A320 is a study level simulation of the Airbus A320 platform that released for FSX on August 24, 2016 with the P3D version releasing on January 20, 2017. The price tag has come under fire as for being what many call “too expensive” for a single aircraft. For years this add-on was highly anticipated as the community craved an in depth A320, but does it hold up to the long-time hype? Is it worth the high price? Based off of the Prepar3D version, we’re going to do our best to cover this highly detailed Airbus simulation.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot to cover in this review. Simply due to the complex nature of this aircraft and the level of detail, there is a lot to take in. Also, we need to consider you: the reader. As a result we’ve decided to give you a few more tools to help you make the most informed decision possible before purchasing the FSLabs A320X. These are:

We have also embedded a few videos from other content creators to provide more in-depth explanations on certain aspects of the systems. None of us on the FSElite team have flown the A320 in real life so can’t comment on those aspects per se, so hopefully you find them useful combined with our views and opinions.

The wait has certainly been an agonising one for simulation fans, Airbus enthusiasts and jet engine lovers. After all, 6 years ago FSLabs promised the world they would deliver the most realistic and detailed simulation of the A320 available for a home desktop. But why is the A320 so important and widely anticipated? Well for years we’ve been accustomed to realistic GA aircraft and heavy Boeing aircraft. There are many reasons why this has been the case, but one of the primary reasons is simply because of the complexity of modelling essentially a computer within a computer. The A320 is a highly automated and smart aeroplane with its own set of ‘laws’ and logic – one that has taken FSLabs multiple code re-writes to get correct and working with the limitations of desktop flight simulation.

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FSLabs announces P3D v4 plans

In an update thread made by Lefteris on the FSLabs A320 forum, Lefteris announced that the A320 will come with a free update to support the newly announced Prepar3D v4 platform. When the A320 is released for P3D v4, the upgrade price from FSX to P3D will be discontinued however.

Lefteris did however not only talk about the A320 in his post.
A manager tool was also announced. This tool, much like the PMDG Operations Center will allow for updates, livery installation and support. The plan is to release this tool sometime after the initial release of the A320 for P3D v4.

The long awaited A319 also got a bit of attention.
The A319 will be released for both 32 and 64 bit platforms. These are early plans however. A more firm decision will be made once the aircraft is in a later beta stage.

Probably the most exciting bit of the post (yes, possibly even more exciting than the A320 update being free) is that a new “FSLabs XXXX-X” product has been teased. It is still in the initial stages of development, so dont expect it to release any time soon. Not much was said about it other than it “Can take… well… more fuel than the A320-X series”

Lefteris also briefly mentions that home cockpit and professional versions future customers can look forward to more news on those versions by the end of the year.
Select hardware providers have been eager to lend FSLabs products to ensure compatibility.

There is an elephant in the room though: the Concorde-X customers will have to wait on any news regarding the Concorde in P3D v4. At the moment FSLabs are dedicating all manpower to the A320 series. FSLabs will however look into the possibilities, so the door is still not closed for good.

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!

 

FSLabs Release A320-X v1.0.1.196 for Prepar3d and FSX

Since release, FSLabs have worked tirelessly to continue updating the A320-X based on user feedback. Today, they have released a new update which brings compatibility with the latest Prepar3d 3.4 hotfix, as well as some new features and fixes.

Here’s a quick rundown for you:

The AOC service has been improved to use less processing power on the CPU.

Fuel in the aircraft will no longer be effected by third-party applications.

The FMGC has had a significant amount of updates and fixes. The biggest feature is now the A320-X accurately handles circle-to-land procedures – something promised for SP1, but has been rolled out sooner. Other fixes include various logic fixes for vertical paths, later T/D detection and DEP RWY naming structure. Mach cruising fuel prediction has also been tuned.

The team have also worked on some new sound features including the ability to play the sound when Prepar3d looses window focus. Not sure if this is been carried over to FSX, but we imagine it has.

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

Something else pretty major is the way the brakes are handled in the A320-X. A new MCDU option page has been added to allow users to adjust the settings. FSLabs have stated that the logic between keyboard/joystick button braking has been modified, which has resulted in a much smoother experience in all surface conditions. It’s worth noting that braking is now dynamic depending on whether the runway is dry, wet or contaminated with ice or snow.

Other fixes include code optimization for a smoother frame rate and there’s been a fix for a memory leak when selecting an MCDU sub-system and then heading back to the menu page.

There are plenty of other key fixes as well, so check out the forums for the full detail.

Before you install, FSLabs advise that you backup any modified files you have made. This includes the A320ThrustLevers.ini and A320XGauges.ini files.

To update, head to your redownload area, download and install.

Don’t forget to read our FSLabs A320-X First Impressions; Part 1. Part 2 will be available soon!

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 Roadmap – A319, A321, A320 Sharklets and Possible A318

Andrew Wilson on the FSLabs forums has given insight into the current roadmap for the team of what products they will be developing next!

When asked about a possible A320 NEO, he quickly shared information of the ordering the team are working on their next products. So what can we expect?

  • A319 (currently in progress)
  • A321
  • A320 Sharklet
  • A318 (possibly)

And yes, this is the order they’ll be working on them!

Outside of this, not much else is known regarding hotfixes or service packs. The team have been quick to address issues, and release updates, so we imagine things will progress a lot quicker than before.

No other information was given regarding the other products or time-frames. We’ll keep you posted.

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.