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jcomm

Fenix A320 - Engine-out weirdiness...

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I am little late to this thread but I remember DEhowie from the x plane community.  I don't believe he was on the original FSL tech team..  I remember him posting on one of the X plane boards several years ago about trying out the FSL bus and being mostly impressed.  

 

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 Well, further to the OP:

last night I tried a few test flight circuits around LPPT. Wanted to repeat the very same test - flipping the Master Switch in an engine and watcching the effect - as well as trying an autoland and a few more FBW consistency tests.

The Fenix A320 was loaded in an "engines running" situation and then I used the EFB ( wow !  I love this EFB and its functionality and ease of use !!! ) to load the aircraft with PAX & Fuel ( instantly ).

With the datum calculated by the EFB App, I filled the various parameters in the INIT and PERF pages, F/PLN was a simple departure + arrival into LPPT 02.

Wind was not a worry for an autoland last nightt - 340/08 variable between 290 and 350 if I correctly recall.

1) TAKEOFF:

I wanted to feel / adapt to what I now believe derives from Fenix implementation of the blending between Direct and Normal Law. Applied takeoff power, steered along the rw ==> I really appreciate the non-woobliness of this aircraft model, which is probably the best in this particular aspect so far in my MFS hangar ! It is easy to control using rudder to stay aligned with the rw centerline and without tending to wooble like most all other aircraft do <== and then as I rotated I mainatined the pull on the sidestick, firmly and without easing it too soon. It resulted in a much better rotation to climb pitch than before and although I still feel there's something strange, I get the idea that, just as when landing, it is due to how Fenix implemented the blending ( bellow 50 ' in FCOM maybe different here ? ) between Normal and "Flare Law". 

2) Switching OFF the ENG MAST SW on E1 above 400':

Did it again - I'm a masoquist 🙂 ! At around 490 feet AGL I turned OFF the Left Eng Mater Switch, AND !!!, contrarily to my first experience the N1 indications did immediately start to drop to windmill RPMs ( * ) and there was again a correct feel of yaw and rolling moments, although the sideslip cue, crrectly painted in light blue, did practically not move ==> this appears to me as some problem with it's logic or rendering ( ? )

With my left engine failled I conducted a series of experiments, but soon realized that I have to either start using my ELITE TQS ( there are drivers for MFS but I was too lazy to install the HW and the SW 😕 ) because using a single lever for throttle in such an addon ruins an otherwise much nicer experience.

- (*) Windmill RPM appears plausibly modeled ! 

- Abrupt variation in thrust from the good engine do cause yawing and rolling moments, but the sideslip cue stays practically "untouched";

- Switching on the AP starts the automatic rudder trim npts, but I believe they look a little faint for some of the situations I tried. Am used to watch under same situations values of 6.0 and more, where the Fenis A320 stays well bellow that;

3) Engine relight:

Since I did not program any sort of failures it was easy to relight my Left engine and continue with some more experiences, this turn around testing the FBW and it's various protection modes.

4) FBW tests:

It looked rather consistent to me. I have some difficulty correctly recalling my 1 hr session on TAP's CAE A320 simulator in 2002, but of what I recall and use as a reference each time I try to "evaluate" a given Airbus in any simulation platform I try to recall that unique experience. I feel it is very weel done in the Fenix A320.

ATH had a strange behaviour when I engaged it and it didn't want to follow the commanded speed. It departed, with the throttles properly placed in CLB mode, towards "infinity", and I had to revert to manual mode through the rest of the flight. Might be something I did wrong and I will have to try it again.

Pitch and Bank protections work great. Sustained level and climbing / descending trns are harmonious and appear to wor just as they're suposed to FCOM-wise.

5) Autoland @ rw 02 LPPT:

The effective x-wind component shouldn't be greater than 8 knot, but the aircraft touched down in a crab without any sign of uncrabing just before touchdown, diverted upwind and only then a bit abruptly a correction was made to try to bring it back to centerline and aligned with rw ... Not the best autoland experince compared to what I have experienced with the Toliss A319, FSL A320/19 and FBW 320.

6) Manual Landing: ( that blending again... )

Took off again from LPPT 02 and decided to ruin my day and instead of landing @  LPPT I drove to LPCS ( it's a fetish, and I do it since fs9 days 🙂 ).

As I was just around 100', maye a bit less, I slightly pulled the stick to reduce sink rate and there was a significative "jump" in pitch, a rotation as if I was entering Flare mode but with the opposite of the FBW-induced slight pitching down mode that calls for stick pull. It felt strange, just as the blend between laws appears strange on takeoff.

I will have to try more tests and even, who knows, record a video - something I haven't done since ages !!!

Overall, really enjoying my Fenix A320 which together with the FBW share ex-aequo 90% of my MFS simming time, the remaining 10% being devided between the PMDG 737 and the Kodiak, although I didn't yet try the latest 737 patch.

Edited by jcomm
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1 hour ago, jcomm said:

ATH had a strange behaviour when I engaged it and it didn't want to follow the commanded speed. It departed, with the throttles properly placed in CLB mode, towards "infinity", and I had to revert to manual mode through the rest of the flight. Might be something I did wrong and I will have to try it again.

What did the FMA say?  The usual CLB/OP CLB modes correspond to Boeing's FLCH so the engines will be at CLB N1 if the MCP altitude is higher than the actual, or idle if lower.  If you're hand flying you have to follow the FD bars or risk overspeed/stall.  In the bus the AP and AT are integrated so you have to select an appropriate vertical mode of the AP even when hand flying, or turn off (both) flight directors.

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6 minutes ago, lzamm said:

What did the FMA say?  The usual CLB/OP CLB modes correspond to Boeing's FLCH so the engines will be at CLB N1 if the MCP altitude is higher than the actual, or idle if lower.  If you're hand flying you have to follow the FD bars or risk overspeed/stall.  In the bus the AP and AT are integrated so you have to select an appropriate vertical mode of the AP even when hand flying, or turn off (both) flight directors.

Thank you for your remarks !  They make a lot of sense now and I will surely revisit this scenario.

I did have both FDs off though.


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On 6/7/2022 at 7:11 PM, Nyxx said:

Just listen to yourself.😂

Get back to P3D and your beta testing for FSL.

I would suggest if you think that real world pilots sharing decades of experience flying these real aircraft and teaching and training people on there systems is not valuable to compare with these add-ons that you have to look at yourself and what you expect when someone calls an addon high fidelity..

The aim is accuracy and fidelity and products marketed as such dont get to use it as a catch phrase or marketing tool without being judged for what they where marketed as.

As for some of the other idiotic posts here  fire away children unlike you guys real world pilots are used to critique and its like water off a ducks back funnily the reverse doesnt apply and its quite hilarious to look at the rubbish written trying to distract from the case at hand ie the lack of accuracy in the Fenix.

However having just over 10000 hours Airbus time and 14 years flying the 320/321 and 330 and now another 4 years on the 787 and having trained more Airbus pilots than the entire fenix testing team put together about 20 times over through my career for the little ego driven children here more intent on throwing barbs than discussing clear obvious issues id suggest you head back to your playgrounds and leave the serious discussion about Airbus to those who are interested in serious simulations.

Ive also trained pilots both on the ground and in the air. Ive also taught A320 systems, performance and am very well versed in most anything Airbus family.

So lets me very clear having bought the Fenix i am "extremely" disappointed.

Your mileage may very generally with your Airbus knowledge and just how serious you take simming. and what your expectations are/where.

Thats fine if your happy in your little  world thats fine but please dont come here and try to tell someone who has more time in the Airbus than most how an Airbus works and how it flies.

If your happy with fenix move on ignorance is bliss.

The fenix was clearly marketed as a top level sim with high fidelity experience with stream after stream highlighting systems "accuracy" and just how amazing it would be.

Numerous "real world" Airbus pilots who seemingly managed to forget every basic fundamental they use on a day to day basis flew it around praising its "accuracy". So called reviewers who either dont know or dontcare or who are more interested in likes than facts did the same.

Unfortunately its neither serious or accurate in MANY areas.

So when i mean accurate i mean good a in its representative of a "REAL" aircraft ie similar systems, reasonably up to date something you would see today on the line.

So lets look at the Fenix briefly and believe me i could write far far more.

The IRU panel/system in the fenix hasnt been installed by Airbus in over 20 years and the old panel ie keypad etc isnt even compatible with a modern IRU. You see the IRU's in the A320 needed to be modified for the approval of RNP AR as the IRU's in Fenix represent a version long gone from Airbus. Since there replacement the IRU's have been upgraded twice and the analogue panel is LONG gone from the overhead. The Fenix as presented cant even fly an RNP AR as its IRU's are not correct, neither is the overhead panel which are swapped out with the IRU upgrade 15 years ago. So either the systems wrong or the model is wrong. Whatever the case its wrong end of story.

Speaking of old lets talk Prosim which is the base for Fenix it itself is extremely old with literally being at least 20 years old as a basis meaning most ECAMS have had extensive modification by Airbus. In short many of the failures are inaccurate with incorrect ECAM information. ECAMS are continually updated as systems develop and change so unsurprisingly Prosim is a long way from a modern Airbus. It might be approved but hey so is the B-17 that doesnt mean it represents what a modern Airbus is like.

Lets move onto the flight model. Now every A320 you or anyone would ever fly climbs out at 15 degrees nose up the only exception to this is at light weights and non flex temp departures. Watch ANY video of an A320 departure yep 15 degrees it is. Fenix climbs out at yep 20 degrees nose up heavily loaded!. Its written in FCOM and every pilot who has ever flown any A320 knows 15/12 as the two base pitch attitudes they would of used hundreds to thousands of times. Fenix didnt even get something so basic correct. To blend with that the terribly sloppy handling is nothing at all like the very light touch and feel of any Airbus. In fact Fenix climbs beautifully at 15 degrees nose up "ON ONE ENGINE". In a real A320 if you even tried to climb on one engine at 15 degrees id give you under 20 seconds to still be on this planet. Its impossible for the real aircraft to do, end of story.

Unlike Boeings using multiple derates and an ATM ie FLEX Airbus performance is very very predictable and 15 degrees pitch up is the figure you get basically every take off unless your very light or going Toga. Neo's with a larger flex range can get slightly less than 15 but again its a small difference not 30 plus percent.

So as any pilot would know Power + Attitude equals performance so it doesnt take long at all to see if you have the wrong attitude and are getting wrong performance then the flight model is simply broken. How broken well thats easy id recommend everyone saying its not broken go do a simple test. Grab the QRH go to the unreliable speed checklist find your weight and set the power and attitude let it stabilize then watch what happens. Yes you get a speed nowhere near that your supposed to. yes the flight model is broken.

So now we know its broken what else does that mean. OK it means the N1 on final is wrong, the drag model is broken, the fuel flow is off by a mere 40-50%!

Again if you dont care about accuracy do us all a favour go back to playing plastic aeroplanes making vroom vroom sounds running around your house rather than try to make excuses.

Did i mention the fuel burn is off by 40% getting 1600Kg/Hr as opposed to the 2450 of the real CFM A320. Yea 40 to 50%.

By being forced into a very old A320 systems wise because of the Prosim base Fenix is a hodge podge of multiple real world A320's none of which exist in reality together nor could they as the systems used do not correspond to the capability of the aircraft. A cross between EIS1 and 2 with incorrect fonts and an FMGC standard nobody knows because it doesn't represent any standard. Non RNP AR capable overhead panel with RNP AR capability yea you get the picture..

Now i could go on for paragraph after paragraph highlighting things like Fonts, flight control feel, incorrect deceleration distances/times ie the flight model has huge issues the EFB using non optimized take off data which hasnt been used in 25 plus years.

The EFB performance data generated is not even close to what you get out of an Airbus flysmart calculator i have no idea what these guys where thinking maybe a balanced field Boeing style FMC version but its nothing close to optimized data.

I mean the control feel on it is nothing even remotely like flying a wingertip driven A320.

Fenix even have juniour first officers trying to say that Sharklets have the same drag in the flare as wing tip fence aircraft. Well maybe they better go talk to the Airbus test pilots who put together the initial Sharklet pilot training package which highlighted the prevalence for floats and long landings generated by the lower drag wing.

Why am i having to adjust control sensitivities when it should fly perfectly well with linear control sensitivity just as the real aircraft?

Fly By Wire is simple the side stick in normal law commands a roll rate. That means ANY dev can use linear curves to set a required deflection to generate a roll rate. Its not rocket science its very basic in fact. Yet the fenix is like flying a 737 needing large sidestick movements unseen in a real Airbus. With the complete failure to implement the external flight model the million dollar question is if it will ever fly remotely like a real A320 as my experience is its right now not even close to the beautiful light fingertip handling of the real A320..

Fenix where very good at marketing and this impression of it being amazing is very well spun. It has some VERY nice systems rendition which is to be highly commended even if it doesn't know what generation its from an airframe number or the decade its supposed to be from. The overhead panel from a first gen A320 with modern brake system and new aircon controllers, like i said its a mish mash. if they had simply said hey lets do a 2015-2017 A320 then at least it would be timeframe accurate with system and display consistency.

Its very obvious to anyone who knows an Airbus well enough that it has significant problems but that are well founded in FACT like Airbus FCOM and the QRH its easy to find the issues.

Many wont care and thats fine but for the people out there who want there simulation to be "accurate" and 'reflective" should care. Those who dont know but bought this on th epremise it was study level should know. I loved flying the Airbus but for anyone thinking this is somehow the "best" or close needs to look elsewhere for that experience right now. Hopefully fenix can get the eexternal flight model to work so some semblence of fidelity to the flight model and controls can be restored.

Now this doesnt mean you may wont enjoy Fenix but lets be very clear the Fenix was marketed and talked up as being the "ultimate" Airbus and its a VERY long way from that indeed.

Why are all these things important?

Ill tell you because the team at fenix promised, marketed and sold this product as a study level Airbus A320 how many times did they say it would be the best?. .

How are you supposed to fly an Airbus which handles terribly, has a mish mash of systems drawn from over 3 decades, has a drag and thrust model so wrong you cant fly the values used in every take off every day by every A320 in the world.

Anyone saying this is "study level" either doesnt know what study level implies.

I'll tell you what study level means and SHOULD mean to every developer.

It means that anyone with suitable amount of real world experience could sit down and do 80-90% of whats covered in a real world type rating then hop into a real full motion sim and apply that to safely fly it. That is the ultimate test, they would already be familiar with the ECAMs, failure management and flying the aircraft with familiar power settings. These things are important in an Airbus as when your flying direct law approaches you MUST know what power setting to set ie what N1, what pitch attitude. Right now the fenix can do none of those because the flight model will not allow accurate power and pitch values to be used.

This is why flight model is SO important in an Airbus because when all the automatics fail and it turns into a 737 you need to know the powers and pitches off by heart. if you dont good luck enjoy the ride in.

Why cant i use the very rules, guides and gates i used in the real aircraft in thousands of flights in every type of weather imaginable in the Fenix. Experience from the real world doesnt lie and you cannot hide issues either.

If you dont like what i have to say sorry get a ticket in the far queue and wait in line.

Having been simming for over 35 years i have beta tested for MANY developers(not just Labs thanks) and i still do as a means to to try to enhance products to give the most realistic simulation experience you can get on the home platform.

if you dont like realism thats ok there are plenty of aircraft in the market for you.

Study level simulations are the high ground of flight simulation and several developers have worked for many years to ensure quality and accuracy are the prime areas of concern. Devs like PMDG, FSLABS, Majestic, Leonardo have all strived to ensure maximum accuracy for a given platform.

Ive never seen streamers and so called reviewers ignoring blatant obvious errors that are the tip of a large iceberg of issues and seemingly pretending even when using non standard procedures compared to what they do real world they remained silent.

Again if you like fenix thats fine by me go enjoy your Airbus but its certainly not what it was marketed as or what i paid for.

 

PS to add im not here to help Fenix im a paying customer who happens to have done a lot of real world Airbus flying and expected so much more based on the marketing hype. I was looking forward to a great A320 in MSFS maybe that can still happen.

if your expectations have been met thats fine but mine have not particularly based off how it was presented and what it delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by DEHowie
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Darren Howie

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I love your selective quote.

I have not read a word of your wall of text, because you told us all that the youtubers are paid to give good review of the Fenix. Did you not??????

Now, you can prove that and I will openly apologize to you or you can apologize to us all and to Fenix.

Untill then your talking to yourself.

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Just now, Nyxx said:

I love your selective quote.

I have not read a word of your wall of text, because you told us all that the youtubers are paid to give good review of the Fenix. Did you not??????

Now, you can prove that and I will openly apologize to you or you can apologize to us all and to Fenix.

Untill then your talking to yourself.

I think my post highlighting the multiple very obvious areas which these youtube reviewers ignored proves that quite clearly.

Find me a single Airbus pilot anywhere in the world who doenst know that 15 degrees is the go to pitch attitude after take off. Find me one.

Its taught on day one sim 1 and used on every take off you ever do.

All of a sudden a youtuber is climing out at 20 plus degrees nose up..SILENCE

These guys very clearly ignored very clear very obvious problems if thats not evidence that they where ignoring obvious large errors what more would you like?


Darren Howie

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9 minutes ago, DEHowie said:

I think my post highlighting the multiple very obvious areas which these youtube reviewers ignored proves that quite clearly.

Find me a single Airbus pilot anywhere in the world who doenst know that 15 degrees is the go to pitch attitude after take off. Find me one.

Its taught on day one sim 1 and used on every take off you ever do.

All of a sudden a youtuber is climing out at 20 plus degrees nose up..SILENCE

These guys very clearly ignored very clear very obvious problems if thats not evidence that they where ignoring obvious large errors what more would you like?

Your not answering the question are you?

It was simple or could you not read? You even quoted it......🙄

I also said I did not read a word of your wall of text. Have you got selective reading and well as selective memory?

Edited by Nyxx
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DCS  A10c II  F-16c  F/A-18c • F-14 • (Others in hanger) • Supercarrier  Terrains = • Nevada NTTR  Persian Gulf  Syria • Marianas • 

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6 hours ago, Fiorentoni said:

So at least you tried. You repeated what Darren already said (ADIRS model; a visual inaccuracy only), explained what Fenix themselves admitted weeks ago even before release (cruise fuel burn; total fuel burn is actually 6% off according to Aamir, so not waaaaay), and finally added one new thing (cruise pitch, which is - in some situations - one degree too high…).
Then you did what the others did and said obfuscated things like „whacky rotation“ and „VNAV nightmare“ without any explanation, and then „the list goes on“ without even mentioning anything. Are you all doing this on purpose? Are you being paid by… no I‘m not going down Darren‘s road.
 For your information VNAV is doing its job all the time in every flight I made so far, totally hands-off, even in the most unforeseen tailwind situations. It‘s not perfect in regards to speed restrictions (it slows down a bit too late in some cases and remains above the restricted speed for 5-10 seconds), but… „nightmare“?!

Now I‘m not negating the fact that there is still much work to do to make this aircraft „perfect“, and the FSL version is obviously doing those things better at the moment, but making it seem like it‘s barely flyable or a Captain Sim-ish aircraft with those obfuscated claims is really wrong and not helpful.

At least I tried?  You’re clearly just another one just jumping down someone’s throat “there can’t be anything wrong with it” good lord man open your eyes and read!! 
 

What am I obfuscating about the rotation?  Nothing BECAUSE it’s plainly torqued.  Did I say it was barely flyable?  Clearly you don’t have reading comprehension.  You must’ve missed my post where I said and I quote: 

 

Overall, I’m satisfied and feel I’ve gotten my moneys worth and then some from the Fenix, but today I’m back in P3D flying my beloved A321 with IAEs.  I think they delivered a serviceable, fun to fly and well above average A320 for the time being.  I’m interested to see what they do moving forward to enhance realism and fix the glaring and minor issues.” 

In addition to THAT, it seems you’ve missed my post DIRECTLY above this where I pointed out the VNAV-to encompass open climb (hello 2G pull ups when reducing speed in open climb)  aka THE VNAV IS A NIGHTMARE and needs tuning because it’s simply way too aggressive. Not to mention it sits at the bottom of the speed bracket in a -2400fpm descent which pretty much no Airbus in the history of Airbus making wings (waves to the geniuses in Broughton) has ever done. I literally have been flying the tail off this plane.  It needs tuning and fixing.  See below for example: 
Fenix VNAV

Even BB has said the rotation is cooked-apparently the FBW mod slams the trim to 8° ANU to properly if unrealistically simulate the Ground Mode to Normal Law transition.  
 

What else would you like me to be specific about before you jump down my throat some more? 

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