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FS Labs A320X: THE Airbus in the virtual skies



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#1 Mik75

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:41 AM

Hi there!
After reading some nice stuff about the FS Labs Airbus recently (I´ve been an early adoptor last year, but since my SSD became quite full, and I wanted to reinstall XPX, I had to get completely rid of my FSX Acceleration install), I got myself a copy of FSX SE and installed it, along with the FS Labs A320X, FTX Global, FTX HD trees, the DX10 scenery fixer and AS16 for FSX, so just the essential stuff.
Oh wow, how I missed this bird! The look and feel, the sounds, and the immense system depth, all of that is so highly immersive. This is surely the best Airbus simulation we´ve ever had on any desktop sim platform!
After reading a bit in the manuals, and browsing the web for some information, I decided, to do a bit of "unallowed stuff" and break things... ;-)
I just finished a flight, on which I moved the aircraft (pushback) during alignment (1 min before the process would have been finished).
i got myself an Airbus in alternative law and even direct law (after lowering the landing gear), with many inop systems, and all had been reflected on the status page!
I flew a whole pattern in that state, and it´s been some serious fun!
I LOVE this piece of software, this is a work of art! ;-)

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#2 max2770

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:52 AM

Still waiting to see it in P3D, which based on the latest could take weeks/months.  Glad I didn't fall for the "buy it now, upgrade later" stuff.


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#3 Mik75

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:35 AM

Still waiting to see it in P3D, which based on the latest could take weeks/months. Glad I didn't fall for the "buy it now, upgrade later" stuff.

Get yourself FSX SE for $9,99! FS Labs stated that you'll only have to pay the price difference between the two versions if you own the FSX version, and you want to upgrade to P3D.
If you are into Airbus sims, you must buy this software!
I had them all, the PSS Airbusses for FS9, the feelthere releases, the Marciano upgrades, all Aerosoft releases, the Airsimmer, etc.
But this thing is what I've waited for sooooo long! ;-)
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#4 tgcbraun

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:39 AM

Yeah, I got eventually tired of waiting and just bought FSX:SE for 10 bucks. I am using VR exclusively and even though this bird is amazing, it is indeed a little heavier than usual on VAS. Need to be very careful using it.


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#5 Mik75

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:41 AM

Yeah, I got eventually tired of waiting and just bought FSX:SE for 10 bucks. I am using VR exclusively and even though this bird is amazing, it is indeed a little heavier than usual on VAS. Need to be very careful using it.


Do you use the DX10 fixer by steve?
If you do so, and you set the sliders in your FSX SE like stated on the FS Labs forum, you shouldn't get any problems.
One has to bare in mind, that this is so much more complex than a 737. And they've gone really deep into the systems.
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#6 tgcbraun

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:43 AM

Do you use the DX10 fixer by steve?
If you do so, and you set the sliders in your FSX SE like stated on the FS Labs forum, you shouldn't get any problems.
One has to bare in mind, that this is so much more complex than a 737. And they've gone really deep into the systems.

Yes I do. The problem here is that using VR/Flyinside requires an extra 300-500mb of VAS, so...


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#7 Mik75

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:46 AM

Yes I do. The problem here is that using VR/Flyinside requires an extra 300-500mb of VAS, so...


Oh I see!
I have zero experience when it comes to VR. But I'd love to use it, one day. ;-)
Must be an incredibly immersive experience, especially with this Airbus!
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#8 mikea76

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:06 AM

In my opinion not only is it THE airbus, it is THE plane for FSX right now.
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#9 Mik75

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:17 AM

In my opinion not only is it THE airbus, it is THE plane for FSX right now.

I am with you! ;-)
This is clearly not a "if, then" kind of programming. This is the real deal, a dynamically reacting system that gets as close to the actual thing as nothing did before. The programming and logics behind it must be mind blowing...
To be honest, I don't understand why there is no total hype about this release. Half a year after it got launched, it is remarkably bug free, totally consistent and a pure joy to use and fly.
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#10 mikea76

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:41 PM

I am with you! ;-)
This is clearly not a "if, then" kind of programming. This is the real deal, a dynamically reacting system that gets as close to the actual thing as nothing did before. The programming and logics behind it must be kind blowing...
To be honest, I don't understand why there is no total hype about this release. Half a year after it got launched, it is remarkably bug free, totally consistent and a pure joy to use and fly.


I think a large number of simmers don't get why this plane is so awesome, the accuracy and depth of simulation is like nothing I have used before...
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#11 Mik75

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:05 PM

I think a large number of simmers don't get why this plane is so awesome, the accuracy and depth of simulation is like nothing I have used before...


Quite strange...
Especially considering the fact that the A320 is one of the most flown a/c all around the world.
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#12 Raven9000

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:47 PM

Yes I do. The problem here is that using VR/Flyinside requires an extra 300-500mb of VAS, so...


Why would the flyinside software be inside the mem space of the fsx progs..? Isn't it separate?
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#13 tgcbraun

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:44 AM

Why would the flyinside software be inside the mem space of the fsx progs..? Isn't it separate?

 

Well, I am not an expert on how it works, but that is the effect I´m having and it has been reported/acknowledged on the official forums that the VAS usage is indeed higher. You need to run the simulator and then Flyinside operates some kind of magic that turns 30fps into 90fps on VR. Something in that process consumes lots of VAS.

 

Another thing that I´ve found out is that Flyinside does not support DX10 on FSX, so I´ve been running the sim on DX9, hence the even higher VAS usage.


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#14 Chock

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:18 PM

I think a large number of simmers don't get why this plane is so awesome, the accuracy and depth of simulation is like nothing I have used before...

 

It's probably because a lot of simmers like a more hands-on approach to simming, and the A320 has never really been chielfy about hands on flying when operated normally, so they do 'get it' in the sense that they are aware it is a very accurate simulation, but that being the case, may not like it simply because it is such an accurate simulation of the real thing, and that's not how they want to fly. To elaborate...

 

Most pilots would say you 'operate' the A320 as opposed to 'flying it' much of the time, whereas aircraft with a traditional yoke and less funky systems are more geared toward hand flying than the Airbus is, with its tiny sidestick controllers. The less prominent size and position of the Airbus sidesticks is part of the design approach in relation to how one is supposed to operate it, and that's okay so long as the systems are well understood, but the ethos becomes less sound when the systems are not well understood, or when they break down and you have to revert to some traditional stick and rudder work, which sadly, is a skill often not as well honed as it could be with many airline pilots. Generally speaking, there is the Airbus design ethos of 'taking the chance of a pilot cocking things up out of the pilot's hands and giving much of that responsibility to the systems', as opposed to the more traditional (dare we say, Boeing) ethos of 'providing info to the pilot, so he or she can make an informed choice to not cock up by flying the thing him/herself'. With simming, you pays your money and takes your choice, but bearing in mind the skills gap which can often result from taking the flying responsibility out of a pilot's hands and having them rely on systems, it's an ethos which has not always turned out as well as it might.

 

Probably the best example in recent times of where that really mattered, is US Airways 1549 (aka the A320 which landed in the Hudson River). When I learned of that incident, literally the first thought which occurred to me was: 'I bet the guy flying it is a glider pilot'. Sure enough, Chesley Sullenberger was indeed a glider pilot cadet at the US Air Force Academy in the late Sixties and ended up being made an instructor on them whilst there, later also getting a lot of stick time on an Aeronca 7 Champ. Although to be fair, we should also note that the first officer on US Airways 1549 - Jeffrey Skiles - had almost as much stick time as 'Sully' and played no small part in the safe landing of that A320, in fact he was right out of training on the A320 on that ill-fated flight, which probably contributed to him being really on the ball with emergency procedures. Unfortunately I guess the media wanted one hero as opposed to two, so Skiles never gets the credi t he deserves.

 

There are arguments for both approaches to cockpit and system design, but there are certainly things I think could be better on the real Airbus and which go some way to explaining why not everyone is thrilled with it either in real life or as a sim. For example, many pilots - including me, and indeed a certain Mr Sullenberger - are critical of the fact that the sidestick controllers on the A320 are not mechanically linked and indeed not well in sight. That they are not so, is something which undeniably contributed to the loss of Air France 447, in that Bonin (the guy in the right seat) was holding the stick fully back and (bizarrely) saying he didn't understand why they were dropping (where did that guy learn to fly?). Personally, I still find it unbelievable to comprehend that a pilot wouldn't know what a stall was and would keep the stick back fully and just hope for the best, I mean that's just basics, but that being the case, I can understand why it would not occur to Robert (the pilot in the left seat) that the guy next to him was doing something so utterly stupid whilst the aircraft dropped through literally thousands of feet. If those sidesticks were mechanically linked or even just more visible, Robert would have seen that Bonin had the stick back, something which would be even more obvious with a traditional mechanically-linked yoke, because the thing would have been right the way back in Robert's groin. This is not even getting into the fact that the sidestick doesn't give much tactile feedback on the real A320 and that, unlike with a traditional yoke or even a traditional joystick, you are forced to fly left handed or right handed by virtue of which seat you are in. It's been acknowledged that AF447 could have been safely flown by using known thrust and attitude settings without the need for an ASI (the pitots being iced up), but sadly they never got the chance because of the design choices of EADS and the poor skills/training of one of the pilots, who rode the thing all the way down to the deck with the stick pulled hard back.

 

The point of all this is that whilst the FSL A320 is a a marvel of simulation, and I personally think it is up to this point at least, the finest simulated aeroplane ever to have become available for MSFS, at least in terms of accuracy and technical achievement, there is no denying that in normal operations at least, it ain't no stick and rudder bird, although like the real thing, it does simulate the features of the real aeroplane well enough to test the mettle of those who can fly like that when they need to if they simulate such failures.

 

The FSL A320 is great, but just ain't gona be everyone's cup of tea.


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#15 Alan_A

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:40 PM

All good points.  My simpler explanation - I haven't bought it because, as fascinating as the aircraft is, I'm not so fascinated by it that I'm willing to turn off the entire outside world in order to run it.  My enjoyment comes from flying in a living world with at least some reasonable amount of scenery and traffic.  I can certainly see why others might disagree and might be entirely focused on the airplane and its systems.  If so, the FSL Bus must be a terrifically rewarding experience.  But that's not me right now.  I might come on board at some future point - maybe on my next system, when I've got a little more overhead, and maybe after FSL has put it through a little more performance optimization.


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