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Guest Mik75

FS Labs A320X: THE Airbus in the virtual skies

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

Thanks a lot for your detailed answer and your very interesting opinion!

There seems to be a demand for a good Airbus simulation among simmers. If I see which airliners get flown the most on the online networks and with the virtual airlines I am part of, the A320 is on the top 3, if not nr. 1!

But it seems, as if most people who fly on online networks, are happy with what the AS Airbus has to offer. While I really like their work (the sounds and the visuals are quite immersive), and their approach of "every day flight operation" things to be modeled quite well and consistently, it just doesn't fit to all the "we want realism" that usually can be read in forums, that the FSL A320 doesn't get more "praise and honour"! ;-)

Seriously, I had countless hours of solid fun in the AS Airbus, but the FSL Airbus is a different league. I'd even say, it's a league of its own.

This thing is beyond everything that ever came to market, labelled as an "Airbus simulation"!

The sounds alone are out of this world. How the avionics come to life, or how their vents change pitch very slightly if you change from GPU to APU.

The way the electrical system reacts when you turn on things like anti ice, etc. The way the enigines spool up after setting t/o power, ...

I am not an expert or a real world pilot, but for me, it's the attention to detail and the simulation of a dynamic environment, that creates immersion.

I've been "flying" full flight A 320 sims a few times, and I can vividly remember, how exciting it's been to press the switches, look at the real instruments and "feel" the real deal for the first time. And the FSL A320X reassembles this amazing experience as close as nothing before.

If I could afford a new machine, along with a fully fledged VR setup, I am pretty sure it would blow me away! ;-)

It is that good, that "details" like the sim platform in use, or the tiniest graphical details of the outside world just don't matter anymore...

For me, this software is a pure work of art!

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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.

 

Have you considered giving this a try? It's not a bad solution for sluggish systems with fancy add-on planes and scenery.

 

http://www.thefsps.com/fsx/fsx-booster-live.html

 

It is nice in that what you can do with it, is drop the detail when at the airport and then kick it up a bit en route all on the fly, so you don't have to wait for a reload unlike if you do that with the menu settings. It does work to squeeze some extra FPS out of your system when using things like the PMDG NG and the FSL A320 if your system struggles a bit. Just be aware that if you do try it, there is a registration bug on the downloads you get from some online stores, which you can get past by downloading the installation file from the FSPS site and using that to install it instead of the installation download you get from wherever you buy it from. I had to do that when I bought it, because it wouldn't let me register it when I used the exe file I got from Simshack.

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Thanks a lot for your detailed answer and your very interesting opinion!

There seems to be a demand for a good Airbus simulation among simmers. If I see which airliners get flown the most on the online networks and with the virtual airlines I am part of, the A320 is on the top 3, if not nr. 1!

But it seems, as if most people who fly on online networks, are happy with what the AS Airbus has to offer. While I really like their work (the sounds and the visuals are quite immersive), and their approach of "every day flight operation" things to be modeled quite well and consistently, it just doesn't fit to all the "we want realism" that usually can be read in forums, that the FSL A320 doesn't get more "praise and honour"! ;-)

Seriously, I had countless hours of solid fun in the AS Airbus, but the FSL Airbus is a different league. I'd even say, it's a league of its own.

This thing is beyond everything that ever came to market, labelled as an "Airbus simulation"!

The sounds alone are out of this world. How the avionics come to life, or how their vents change pitch very slightly if you change from GPU to APU.

The way the electrical system reacts when you turn on things like anti ice, etc. The way the enigines spool up after setting t/o power, ...

I am not an expert or a real world pilot, but for me, it's the attention to detail and the simulation of a dynamic environment, that creates immersion.

I've been "flying" full flight A 320 sims a few times, and I can vividly remember, how exciting it's been to press the switches, look at the real instruments and "feel" the real deal for the first time. And the FSL A320X reassembles this amazing experience as close as nothing before.

If I could afford a new machine, along with a fully fledged VR setup, I am pretty sure it would blow me away! ;-)

It is that good, that "details" like the sim platform in use, or the tiniest graphical details of the outside world just don't matter anymore...

For me, this software is a pure work of art!

This is exactly where I sit too!  Couldn't agree more.  That's why the pain of waiting for the P3D version is so agonizing!!! I'm tempted again to put FSX back on my newly re-installed system because I'm not sure that I can hold out the months or year+ that we're going to have to wait.  Sorry, off track.  Again, this is the best aircraft simulation for flight simulation!

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Have you considered giving this a try? It's not a bad solution for sluggish systems with fancy add-on planes and scenery.

 

http://www.thefsps.c...oster-live.html

 

Thanks, sounds interesting - though my issues are more about VAS than framerate - should have made that clear.  Not sure if the booster would have an impact on VAS.  Should also have made clear that I've recently moved to P3D, so my FSL Airbus considerations are abstract for now, though my post does explain my current thinking.  If and when the P3D version turns up, I'll see what people have to say about it and depending on reports, might come on board.

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This is exactly where I sit too!  Couldn't agree more.  That's why the pain of waiting for the P3D version is so agonizing!!! I'm tempted again to put FSX back on my newly re-installed system because I'm not sure that I can hold out the months or year+ that we're going to have to wait.  Sorry, off track.  Again, this is the best aircraft simulation for flight simulation!

I bought and installed FSX SE just for the FSL Airbus.

It's only $9,99, and I had all setup within 2 hours (FTX Global, the IVAO MTL, Ezdok, AS16,etc.)! ;-)

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I bought and installed FSX SE just for the FSL Airbus.

It's only $9,99, and I had all setup within 2 hours (FTX Global, the IVAO MTL, Ezdok, AS16,etc.)! ;-)

Yeah, I know.  I have FSX boxed still and had it that way too before I re-built my system.  I just can't stand FSX any more after using P3D for so long now.

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Yeah, I know. I have FSX boxed still and had it that way too before I re-built my system. I just can't stand FSX any more after using P3D for so long now.

I hear you! ;-)

I had FSX boxed installed as well. But I've uninstalled it, because I wanted to reinstall XPX instead, and with my SSDs, drive space is always critical.

However, I just missed the FSL Airbus so badly, and FSX SE was downloaded and installed in no time. And now, I just can't stop flying it.

I even "invested" in the cloud shadows add on for Steve's DX10 fixer, and for the time being, I really enjoy FSX with the Airbus, even without addon airport scenery. ;-)

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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.

The fact that it is only an FSX release is probably the reason why "there is no total hype" for this addon. I for one am waiting for the P3D version and on performance reviews (VAS). I have FSX but no plans to install it.

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Hi Folks,

 

Since AF447 was brought up - one thing I read during that news cycle was that the sticks just cancel out each other if two inputs are received - ie - port side pulling back - starboard side pushing forward - - - is that really true ??? From an engineering perspective I just find that ludicrous - like when would that EVER be beneficial ??? Have one override the other and if you really feel nice - provide some indication that your inputs are overridden...

 

Regards,
Scott  

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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.

 

Alan, I couldn't have said it better myself. My system is no slouch, but there's just too many people with powerful systems having to more or less "turn off the entire outside world" to make this works acceptably, from either an FPS or VAS standpoint (or both). FSL seemingly need to optimize the performance a little more aggressively. Until then, I'll stay on the fence.

 

James

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