The Airbus A321 is the larger brother of the A320 family and is established as a major competitor within the short to medium range category, having sold over 2000 units. The twin-engine narrow-body can typically carry up to 236 passengers over 3200nm. Thanks to the aircraft developer ToLiss, who also released the A319, the Airbus A321 is now available within the world of X-Plane. I have been using the aircraft since its release on the 28th of February of this year. I have tried to put the aircraft through its paces in different scenarios and routes around the world. If you were questioning whether you should purchase the aircraft for your sim, I hope to address some thoughts you might be asking yourself in this review. I have deliberately not commented or compared the A321 to the ToLiss Airbus A319 as I wanted to review the A321 in its own right. I do own the A319 as well as the A321 and I will be happy to answer any questions in the comments regarding either of the two aircraft.
The initial install is very smooth and once you placed the single file into your aircraft folder, the only step left to do is to activate the A321 using your key through the ToLiss Interactive Simulation Control System or ‘ISCS’ menu. You will be required to reload the aircraft before you are able to use it to its full functionality. You will find that the aircraft only ships with two Airbus Industries liveries but even from the release date, there has been a plethora of liveries available for free download from the X-Plane forum. From the aircraft selection page, you have access to both standard and high definition versions. I would say I have quite a modest hardware setup and even pushing my simulator I have seen good performance using the high definition version, but the standard definition would be useful if you find yourself struggling with FPS using the more detailed variant. The only differing factors between these two are the texture resolution with reference to cockpit textures and liveries. The detail in the model or the systems will remain the same regardless of the variant you choose.
If you haven’t flown an Airbus before, a great place to start is the manuals folder that comes with the A321. Here you can find three comprehensive manuals to help you get to grips with flying the aircraft. These include step by step instructions on how to complete your first flight, a simulation manual to tell you everything you need to know to get the aircraft setup in X-Plane the way you want it, and finally, a 56-page in-depth look inside the systems that are included in this Airbus A321. The quality of all these documents is of high detail and addresses a lot of information should you need any help in working the aircraft. Even if you are familiar with Airbuses and their systems, these manuals will almost definitely teach you something new.