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kjackson

I took the challenge...A320 PIC...here are the results

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Serge, I took your challenge and purchased the A320. My unbiased evaluation follows in hopes of providing useful information for others in this fine flight sim community. Special thanks to AVSIM for letting me post it.Originally I posted my displeasure of Wilco putting out yet another botched product without having actually used the product. Serge graciously pointed this out to me and I think I apologized and to make things right I went out and purchased it. Here goes:Product = Wilco Publishing A320 PICMy sepcs = Intel 1.6GHz P4 w/768mb RAM/Intel MB; Geforce3 Ti200 64MB/nVidia 42.86 Detonator drivers; Windows XP Pro w/SP1; FS2002 Professional freshly installed with FSUIPC 2.971/no other add-ons. Installation = very smoothNo problem here.Documentation = adequateI wish the documentation was more integrated with how the "Bus" is actually handled from start to finish. For the unfamiliar it would be nice to have better explanations with pictures at the right moment during the startup sequence.A/C Texture = goodFrame-rates are a problem when viewing from outside though. 4.0 max from outside view (although tweaking might have helped more I just didn't want to degrade my sim too much to fit Wilco's design specs).Cockpit Presentation = 3D onlyNow there are those who do not like 3D panels under any circumstances and those that only like 3D panels. No argument either way from me here. I do, however, like the fact that you can get to important views using the Ctrl key with numbers. I think this fact should have been more clearly stated from the start. I almost always want to get in the cockpit and look around before reading the manual. This may account for so many complaints about the 3D cockpits used here in general. Frame-rates were a problem for me and I think my system is up to par. No problems with other add-on A/C. I got 4.0 max fps when viewing from the outside and 10.0 max from inside the cockpit in flight. I probably could have tweaked the setting a bit more but I like my settings and they work well with other A/C. Having set low quality 3D guage settings was enough I think.Flight Controls = mixed - fair/poorHere's where I had the most difficulty. Even after reading the manual I found it unnecessarily difficult to move around the cockpit using MS's joystick settings since I had to turn them off to make the A320 work properly. I kinda like my joystick settings and have gotten so used to them it's hard to stop using them. It was nice to be able to click on just about any button or switch to operate the many systems. Flying the A320 I now have a bunch of joystick buttons that will go unused. Not good.Instruments = very good / Instrument Presentation = poorThe model seems to mimic the many instrumentation features of a real A320. I can only speak from my GA real world knowledge and the things I have learned from other add-on flight sim products such as PIC767 and Fly!II's/PMDG's 757/777 et. al. Still, the level of immersion was intense. I enjoyed going through all the many different start-up and verification sequences. The MAJOR issue with instrumentation was the lack of good visual presentation. For instance, the illuminated characters on the ADIRS were too dim and fuzzy to see. I really like playing with a good ADIRS. The other letters and illuminated LED's on the overhead panel were also hard to read. I haven't flown at night yet but in the daylight it was hard to make out the labels on switches and buttons. The panel instruments were not bad though but you have to be in just the right position to see them clearly as well. Nice to have the Ctrl+Numbers to help out some here. Of course you could click on some of the primary flight instruments to open them up in a window with clear text and illumination but that defeats the 3D immersion factor.Sound = goodThe sound was pretty good for the engine spool-up and engine run. The APU sound came and went quite a good deal while I switched from view to view. Not sure if this is a bug or just me.FMS = goodHigh marks for the FMS. It was very detailed and the view (Ctrl+4 I think) was very good. One of the best FMS units I've used in flight sims.Aircraft Model = ?I'm no A320 (or any commercial airliner) expert.Serge I can see throughout the A320 that it was a labor of love for you and the other fine members of your team. Congratulations on your success. I can also see both sides of the argument that others are vehemently trying to get accross. Sorry to say, and respectfully so, that I am not completely satisfied with the A320/PIC. The framerates and the difficulty in navigating the cockpit and the poor quality of the gauges in 3D mode are definite drawbacks. I have to admit that a good 2D panel would have made this product a lot more acceptable to the general sim-flying community. This is only my opinion. Others I'm sure would take issue with my comments. Nevertheless, I have taken your challenge and tried the A320 instead of making rash judgements out of hand. I have put my money where my mouth is even though I had reservations about this product. I don't mind the money aspect as this is a small community and any effort to keep it alive should be well appreciated by all its members. I will not ask for my money back but I will ask that in the future please connect with your paying customers. We have a lot to say and should be heard whether we disagree or not. In the end we are the ones who pay to keep your products viable and on the shelf. After purchasing Airport 2002 v.1 with FSNAT I lost a lot of trust and respect for Wilco Publishing and its product line. Further, I was particularly unhappy with the level of support from Wilco (this forum is a step in the right direction). The customer feedback form on the Wilco website should be DEMOLISHED! Period. As long as it remains I WILL NOT purchase another product from Wilco. Sorry for the strong language here but I am still ###### about Airport 2k2 v.1 and FSNAT.Thanks for listening.

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Thanks Ken,You pretty much summed up perfectly the way I feel about both of these products recently released by Wilco. It is clear massive amounts of work went into both and Wilco's intentions are admirable. It seems they simply took on too much and could not deliver what they advertised. Both products fall short and seem unfinished. Perhaps so many of us would not be so upset if they simply put more effort into customer service. The support forum has been very busy and they have worked hard to anwser posts, however they also have been deleting posts they seem unhappy with. They are clearly unwilling to offer refunds to unsatisfied customers. While I understand why they may feel this is bad for business, pretty much all the other companies out there producing FS addons offer money back if people are unhappy. Accept the loss, in the end a happier customer base will pay off.Thanks for the honest, professional, and credible approach to this Ken. Brew

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OK, fair enough, but I'd like to offer a very different view, if I may.Many of the objections that you are raising have to do with your own preferences-your display settings, joystick configuration, your way of looking around the cockpit-all very valid of course, because these oviously are settings that have evolved and that you have arrived at through many hours of using the sim. These are the settings that you are comfortable with, and therefore you are,quite understandably, loath to change them.Yet, in my view, there is another way of looking at it. I'm not so much thinking of framerates and display settings, which are obviously very system dependant. I'm also not talking about the flight dynamics or specific working details in FMS programming-there obviously are shortcomings and I understand the team are working on a patch to correct most of these. Most packages this complex usually require a patch.I'm actually referring to the controller settings and instrument clarity. Yes, I was used to using joystick buttons and hatswitch to look around the cockpit too-and initially I hated losing these functions by disabling the stick for A320 PIC. But these functions are admirably replaced by the Activecamera-like mouse interface. Now although I do have Activecamera installed I rarely use it because I do not like to keep changing my right hand from stick to mouse to keyboard and back again...but, hey, where is the stick in the airbus?So, now, with A320, I'm learning to use the stick in my left hand, and I can look around freely with the mouse and keyboard in a much more convenient manner! One thing IS indispensible though: a wheel control on the mouse, so you can zoom in and out on your instruments almost instantly. They look very good once zoomed in. Already I prefer this way of working the cockpit, VC-only, over the 2D/VC panel split!I think you simply cannot use this cockpit in the same way as any other simply because it is so different-both in the sim and in real life-just as I imagine it would be quite a change-over for a Boeing pilot to get used to using the Airbus sidestick and autoflight system...and I think a similar effort may be neccesary to even start appreciating the Wilco A320 PIC.So, like the introduction of the Airbus-type fly by wire system (and the absence of an engineer) in aviation years ago, I'm sure the A320 PIC will remain a controversial approach for some time to come...but I, for one, do like this interface.Edit: Although I'm not too keen on the role Wilco appear to be playing as the publisher either, I do think the development team (Anticyclone et al.) themselves are doing their best to make this product a success.

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Thanks Brew. I too am not pleased with the fact that posts were removed from the Wilco forum here at AVSIM. If no one broke the forum rules then they should be heard. You are so right, a satisfied customer base will yield many dividends in the future.We all live in the same fish bowl and should learn how to swim together.Regards,

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Fair enough Martijn. I do understand that personal preferences and taste have a lot to do with whether you like this product or not. The reason I feel that Wilco has dropped the ball here is mainly because of the framerate issue. I just can't enjoy this product with such abysmal framerates. The same holds true for Airport 2002 v.1. I either have to change all of my settings, which work with just about every other A/C add-on and scenery, or suffer poor performance. That is just not acceptable in today's flight sim environment where users are asking for even more smoothness and fluidity in third-party add-on products. The other issue that I find unacceptable is the quality and readability of some of the characters on the guages/switches and illuminated dials.Simply put, I don't think this product was ready to be released.And finally, I don't care how good a product is I will not help support it if I don't like the company's level of support and commitment. As I have stated earlier I think that Mike, Serge, and others have helped a great deal in this area. The forum here at AVSIM helps too. But not honoring a refund policy is just bad business. I respect the work that those involved have put into this release. Flying the A320 I can see every bit of care and effort and love that went into its creation. I can also get used to the joystick issue if given the proper incentive. The A320/PIC is not that incentive for me.Thanks for your feedback Martijn. I will look for patches in the future and keep hoping for some relief with the A320/PIC. I don't know what the future holds for the A320/PIC but I hope its better than what has past.Regards,

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Hi Ken,It is a fair review, and you honestly contribute to the 2D/VC debate. Of course, "to each his own", some like this concept, others hate it. Like Guillaume and I do, everyone reading your post will appreciate. Regarding the deleted posts : so far as I know, 3 posts have been deleted by the moderator because the contents were just nasty and not constructive at all in a support forum.To be frank, we too are not pleased that posts regarding refunds were removed from the Wilco support forum, but it is the moderator decision (and I guess this will be solved privately between unsatisfied customers and the publisher). Just to clarify things you know we are the product developers, trying to provide help and real technical support, and we are not involved with any pure commercial aspect.Thanks for your time.All the best,

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Hello;I'll add about this refund issue.Most customers that have asked for a refund have already received it.We had too many people asking for a refund and then cancelling it (see the posts in Wilco's forum about it) that we have offered people to just visit the forum before giving the refund to make sure they did not miss the ways to have the product work.Those confirming that they wanted their refund have been refunded.Any further useless discussion is a commercial and private issue, that I believe is not relevant to a support forum.Michael RenousWilco Publishinghttp://www.wilcopub.com

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Again, thanks for your time and efforts Serge. And thanks for listening to my viewpoints and allowing me to voice them. I look forward to good things from you and your colleagues in the future. Now let's put this one to bed.Best of luck,

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