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Aircraft Review - Airbus A330-300 v2 by RW Designs

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Aircraft Review - Airbus A330-300 v2 by RW Designs

 

On the 1st October 2014, Jetsim (now RW Designs) released their version of the Airbus 330-300. Until that time Airbus A330 series aircraft where quite rare or poor (except the converted FS versions from Samen) and the aircraft certainly had a needed presence on our X-Plane airways, because the A330 Series was one of the best medium range aircraft on the market until the A350/Dreamliner B787 came along and now it is still a market winner because its base cost is quite low, efficient and airlines will purchase on that basis.

 

I noted the A330-330 as raw and slightly quirky on release, and that summed it up correctly. I always give a developer a little leniency on a first ever release because they don't have the background and experience to understand everything that it takes to develop and deliver a top flight aircraft to a demanding audience. Having said that the aircraft has to still show that it has what it takes as an investment and the developer can fulfill that investment with upgrades.

 

But was the A330 - 300 too raw? To a point it was and it felt untested and slightly underdeveloped, but as I noted in the review it did have great qualities as well, but overall the expectations of the market overall were not met.

 

It is the reaction of the developer to deliver a good aircraft that can be the making of their reputation and credibility with their users, It is not that things can go wrong but in the way you react and fix them when they do that makes you a great developer.

Make no doubt that Jetsim could have easily reacted and just quickly patched up this aircraft and made it work. But they decided not to choose that route and that is brave but ultimately a more clever thing to do.

 

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Outwardly the Version 2 (v2) Airbus A330-300 looks exactly the same as the original release. Because it is still the same and there was nothing really wrong with the external and internal design anyway. v2 is otherwise a very different aircraft than the "original release" version. The aircraft has been gutted and rebuilt around Torsten Liesk's Airbus plugin system which is symbolic with all the best Airbus aircraft available in X-Plane from Peters Aircraft A380/A321/A319 series of aircraft, FlightFactor's A350 has the same input as does QPAC's original A320-232. So the aircraft may look the same as before but it is significantly different.

 

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My familiarity with the A330-300 is with Qantas in Australia, and until recently it has been used mostly on the international routes and mostly to Asia. But in the last few years as competition grew (Virgin Australia) in the East coast (BNE/SYD/MEL) to West Coast (PER) market these aircraft have been refitted and used on these long domestic hauls, and now as Jetstar is receiving its first B787 Dreamliners the aircraft is now also replacing the already departed Boeing 767's that were for decades the backbone of the twin-aisle domestic fleet on the "Golden Triangle" of BNE - MEL -SYD that are some of the most heavily populated routes in the world.

 

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The external design is very good. Its not detail, detailed in the extreme if you know what I mean but it is still well done, and all the fixtures and fittings in the wings and undercarriage assemblies are well designed and close up you can find the small stuff that you like to look at while kicking the tyres on a walkaround. Only the slightly too shiny tyres are a visual note. 

Only thing that is not on the aircraft are any opening doors in passenger or cargo hatches, and they are sadly missed here.

More so when you see the cabin interior...

 

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Most developers create very basic interiors for passenger aircraft, but these seats look the best of the lot and are very well detailed for the filler items they are, so for the users that like the cabin window views it is a nice (if lonely) place to be. The overhead bins are for once crafted very well and the whole three classes of cabins look realistic, there are a few gaps though with the wall panels were you can see outside that needed not to be there. The cabin also looks good at night as well and overall it is a very good cabin design.

 

Cockpit

 

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At first glance the cockpit and the panel looks the same as the original. The design is good, very good and the aircraft is well appointed. But it is different...  The older smaller CRT displays are gone and have been replaced with the more modern larger standard flat displays, I don't know if that is better? As I liked the different style of cockpit panel from most Airbuses. But there is no doubting the better efficiency and clearer layout of the change.

Full systems on the overhead panel are available and cover Electrical, APU, Fire Protection, Fuel, three independently operating Hydraulic systems in GREEN, BLUE and YELLOW, Ice/Rain Protection, pneumatic systems for - Air conditioning - Engine starting - Wing anti icing and aircraft lighting

 

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You have the standard Airbus six display arrangement, with PFD (Primary Flight Display) and ND (Navigation Display) for both Captain and First Officer positions (switchable on the pedestal). Central are the two main aircraft information displays with the EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) top and ECAM (Electronic centralized aircraft monitor) lower.

 

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There are twelve pages of displays altogether in the ECAM display including...  Cruise (default), Engine, Bleed (engine/APU), Cab Pressure, Electrics AC and DC, HYD Hydraulics, APU (Aircraft Power Unit), Condition (air/temp systems), Doors (not really useful here), Wheels, F/CTL, Fuel, and Status.

These pages are selected by the rows of keys on the pedestal (airbus standard). So all your systems are active and are well modeled, and any action will be noticed on the ECAM display page for that operation. There is missing on the EFIS general display items as "Seatbelt On", No Smoking on" but "park brake" is on there.

 

FMC/MCDU

The DW Design A330 comes with a working MCDU (Multifunctional Control Display Unit ), and it is a sort of derivative of the Smiths Thales FMC that is used in Airbus aircraft. Both MCDU's pop out and are totally independent of each other (which is very nice) as are the ND (Navigation Displays) for showing different variants of the same information like either route or plan.

 

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The aircraft comes with three different engine options and as this is relevant to the MDCU we will look at those. Engine options are selected by selecting a certain livery and the engine option is shown on the MDCU display when you start up the aircraft....

 

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Rolls-Royce Trent 700 : Rated: 71,100 lbf (316 kN) - ETOPS-180 rated

 

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Rolls-Royce Engine selections include airlines...  Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

 

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Pratt & Whitney PW4000 : Rated: 70,000 lbf (311 kN) - ETOPS-180 rated

 

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Pratt & Whitney Engine selections include airlines... Delta, NWA (NorthWest Airlines) and Thai Airlines.

 

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General Electric CF6-80E1 : Rated: 72,000 lbf (320 kN) - ETOPS-180 rated

 

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General Electric Engine selections include airlines...  Qantas, Finnair and Qatar.

 

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So you need to select the right engine (livery) option before you programme the FMC (Flight Management Computer) because the engine preferences on performance are different in each selection.

 

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INIT

On the INIT (Initial) page you can if required load in an already completed or used X-Plane FMS flightplan, obviously this is not an Airbus standard. But it does save you a lot of time to programme in a route into the aircraft systems. You can move on with inserting the rest of your FMC data on the INIT page with on the Left side ... Co Route (Company), Altn Co Route, Flight number (QF 619, Cost/Index, Crz/flightlevel (just input 355 for 35,000ft) - then on the right side is Route (YBBN/YMML), ALTN and alternate Airport if required. 

 

F-PLN

Once you have inserted your departure and arrival ICAO airports YBBN/YMML (note. if loading a fms flightplan, this is done automatically) you can change or select your departure runway (01) by pressing the airport ICAO key (LK-1) (YBBN).

 

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This brings up the "Departure" page with the option to insert a SID (Standard Instrument Departure) In reality it is not a built in SID, but one you create as a small bookend file with the same set of arrival points for an Arrival STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) at the other end of the route. It works quite well as you then only have to fill in the middle waypoints or fixes to complete your flightplan, but for me I have usually completed my flightplans with my SID and STAR already inserted and that allows me just to load in the complete flightplan from the start.

 

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You have a selection of departure runways to select from and once selected the runway is noted on the flightplan next to the ICAO departure airport.

Then you can add in manually all your waypoints (fixes) until you arrive at your Arrival airport (YMML). if you have a break or need to jump to a certain fix then just type in the scratchbox the fix you want to use (LOKYA) and insert it at the F-PLN DISCONTINUITY key point, and this will tighten up the flightplan correctly.

 

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When you have completed all your waypoints (fixes) you can then add in your STAR (if required) and select your arrival runway by pressing the key next to the Arrival airport ICAO (YMML), and selecting your required runway (16). You can also save the flightplan for another time by pressing "SAVE" on the lower right key (RK 6).

 

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PERF (Performance)

 

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Once you have set up your engine choice and completed your flightplan, you can set your preformance (Perf) or parameters in which runway you are taking off from (01), your flap retraction setting (Flap 2) and your TRANS alt (Transition Altitude - 7500ft). The V1,Vr, V2, speed markers, Flap/slat retraction speeds RETR, Thrust reduction altitude (3500ft) and Flex temp. Other phases covered are CLB (Climb), CRZ (Cruise),  DES (Descend) and APPR (Approach).

 

APPR you will need to note the computed data of the APP Flap extension speeds and most important VAPP (Target Speed) for landing (136knts) and the final flap position (FULL). Decision height (DH) and transition Altitude is also set here.

Once all the Perfs are completed in the F-PLN mode you will see on the bottom of the display the DEST airport with the landing runway YMML16  - Time 1132 - DIST (Distance to go)

 

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Other page selections give you DIR - Direct to waypoint, RAD/NAV Navigation Radio choices.

 

MCDU MENU

 

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The MCDU Menu gives you the choices of SETTINGS and DEFAULT options in Actions, Settings and Default Values. Mostly this covers startup items and aircraft default settings (DH).

 

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If you have become familiar with the original A330-300 FMC process then this is completely different setup and far more polished and thankfully more forgiving. It is still a hybrid but anyone familiar with any of Peters Aircraft or the QPAC A320-232 and even the FF A350 will feel right at home.

 

Pedestal

 

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Central pedestal is very well done, with radio (COMM) and lighting adjustments. Centre is an excellent throttle (beautifully complete) and trim wheels adjustment. Engine startup switches and "Engine Start" select knob are to the rear.  Far rear is the Flap lever (Right) and Spoiler (air-brakes) with arm (left) (however it it does not note the spoliers are armed on the display?) Park brake and another MCDU (dummy) and Rudder trim completes the rear.

 

Airbus A330-300

The Airbus A330 series is a medium wide-body twin-engine jet airliner made by Airbus, a division of European Airbus Group. Versions of the A330 have a range of 7,400 to 13,430 kilometres (4,000 to 7,250 nmi) and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry 70 tonnes (150,000 lb) of cargo.

The origin of the A330 dates to the 1970s as one of several conceived derivatives of Airbus's first airliner, the A300. The A330 was developed in parallel with the four-engine A340, which shared many common airframe components but differed in number of engines. Both airliners incorporated fly-by-wire flight control technology, first introduced on an Airbus aircraft with the A320, as well as the A320's six-display glass cockpit. In June 1987, after receiving orders from various customers, Airbus launched the A330 and A340 as a replacement for less economical trijets in the DC-10 and L1011 Tristar.

The A330 was Airbus's first airliner that offered a choice of three engines: General Electric CF6, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, and Rolls-Royce Trent 700. The A330-300, the first variant, took its maiden flight in November 1992.

The A330-300 is based on a stretched A300 fuselage 63.69 m (208 ft 11 in) long but with new wings, stabilisers and fly-by-wire systems. The −300 carries 295 passengers in a three-class cabin layout, 335 in two-class, or up to 440 in an all-economy layout. It has a range of 10,500 km (5,700 nmi). It has a large cargo capacity, comparable to that of early Boeing 747s. It is powered by the choice of two General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, all of which are ETOPS-180 rated. The −300 version entered service with Air Inter in January 1994.

 

Performance A330-300 - Cruise speed:  Mach 0.82 (871 km/h or 470 kn or 541 mph at 11,000 m or 36,000 ft cruise altitude) : Maximum range, fully loaded 11,300 km (6,100 nmi) : Takeoff Distance at MTOW 2,770 m (9,090 ft) : Maximum fuel capacity 97,530 L (25,760 US gal) : Service ceiling 12,527 m (41,100 ft) : Maximum service ceiling 13,000 m (42,651 ft).

Flying the RW Design Airbus A330-300

 

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I gauge an aircraft by how it goes through the procedures in to not only getting the aircraft ready for flight but also the way it performs as it is used and acted. Although the MCDU is not a totally real completely Airbus item, it is certainly also very quick to program and set up. As is the engine start and final checks, items done are noted on the EFIS. One engine started and you will notice the Push-back truck feature on the original has been dropped, It wasn't that great anyway, so I used Joan's "Ground Services". Engine two and flap select to 2 and clearance to taxi means we are on our way to Brisbane's Rwy 01. The -300 version is a long 207ft aircraft and it shows when taxiing around tighter sized taxiways. BNE's taxiways are very familiar to me but the turns are tight and moving through C2 to B and A taxiways to go west is a slow process as you have nose over the grass to turn and keep the main wheels on the hard stuff, and A taxiway goes on forever...

 

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Final turn on to A9 take you the hold point.

 

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It is important to understand the way Airbuses are being controlled in X-Plane, It is not a new idea but it is now being used in a more forefront fashion than before like with the A350 from FlightFactor and JARDesigns A330/A320 series. Before you pressed the space above the knob to (push) or let the aircraft's computers fly the systems (Managed) and grabbed the knob (pull) to manually control the aircraft (Selected Mode). Now you use the finger to "push" and the hand to grab to "pull" out. That is great and really a two point action in either "push" or "pull". But there is another action in here as well in activate the system. So it is a three way action and not just two.

 

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I like to use a rose style navigation display but it is great to have another choice on the First Officers position, as noted both are fully switchable in selection and screen display position. Clearance and the power goes up. I am heavy at near full gross weight so the speed builds up to v1 slowly. A-THR (autothrust) is armed. Vr is just over 180kts, high but I am heavy, rotate and initial pitch of 7º then 10º when the long fuselage is clear of the runway.

 

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You have to know everything about an Airbus aircraft's performance to get the best flight profile out of it, but then don't actual fly it!

 

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Once over 300ft clear of RWY01, you pull the throttles back to the THR CLB detent (CL-A/THR) and turn on the Autopilot (AP) with the "Push" or Managed mode activated for both the SPD (Speed) and HDG (Heading) which is your A-THR connect and FMC flightplan activation. There is another managed mode to use as well and this is activated on the ALT - Altitude knob (push - manage) and that selects OP CLB (OPEN CLIMB), which is noted on you PFD.

You must be in the THR CLB mode to use OP CLB as it takes the aircraft and finds the best vertical speed to your selected altitude. So once all the three modes are running you are mostly just going along for the ride as the aircraft is doing the hard stuff.

In most cases I like to set the V/S, Vertical speeds to get the best profile (lifting profile I calI it) I can, and I am pretty good at it. And the graphic of the OP CLB was very close to the profile I would use. The thrust reduction altitude and transition altitude went smoothly and I made my first altitude to 7500ft so the aircraft can build a little more speed before climbing to my cruise altitude and again the OP CLB was reactivated and adjusted to the new speed and climb profile.

Yes you miss adjusting the V/S all the way to heaven, but this is what flying an Airbus is about...  management.


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So this is a completely different aircraft than the original release in the software business, full Alpha protection and Airbus laws come with the package, so even if "good lord" you want to fly the A330 manually the protections are built in there.

 

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Sounds

Sounds have been carried over from the original release, and not bad in the lower areas of startup, taxi and climb they are not great in cruise and quite whiny. But this is only a makeshift till a new sound system can be built into the plugin. The cause of Mac failures in the FFA350 and Jardesign A330 have been traced to this complex issue, so for now the same sounds are a fill in so Mac uses don't get the crashes that come with moving to the new flight plugin system.

 

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The RW Design cabin is a nice place to be in, you don't get that worn in look, its clean and plainish with no high totally realistic detailing but still very well completed and really well put together, where it counts it is very nice to use and look at. MCDU pops out for any changes and to check your route and recheck your landing radio frequencies.

 

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Descent and Approach

Like climbing up with OP CLB you also have OP DES (Open Descent) for managing the descent phase, when ready to descend you set your target altitude and press (push) the ALT knob to start OP DES.

 

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Setting your own Vertical Descent speed V/S means you can compute your target altitude and distance from your pitch, but OP DES does not give you that target approach, it just drops you and in this case by 3100fpm so you can reach your target way to early or even late. It settled down around 2300fpm but still to fast for my needs (or the passengers) so I set the V/S manually at 200fpm. I reset the OP DES at 12,00ft and it was more in line with what I required. I don't doubt OP DES would work well, you would just have to work out its calibration to reach your target altitude correctly. 

Flight instruments are clear and totally airbus standard, full speed and altitude tapes with V/S strip on the right. Roll rate and heading are built in, as is the approach guides when the LS is activated on the panel glarescreen and the LS activation does not move your ILS guides on the PFD anymore to fit. Horizontal horizon and pitch are all standard and clear. Standby instruments include Horizontal horizon ball, VOR/ADF switchable, Altitude and Speed dial, and are slightly older in design.

 

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Fix "ARBEY" is the entrance STAR for the arrivals from the North into Melbourne Intl. And I usually cross at 6000ft to the NDB BOL 362 (Bolinda) approach to Rwy16.

 

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A check of your approach notes will give you your flap extension speeds and your final VAPP Speed (Target speed) of which mine is 155kts at Full Flap. This correct speed should give you the correct approach pitch of 3º, But I did find on a couple of earlier flights to YMML that it dropped under managed mode to 132knts which is too slow, if needed you may have to correct the speed manually like I did to the correct VAPP.

Noted speeds are:

Flaps limits (441,405 lbs GW)

Flap setting positions 1   -  1+f   -  2  -   3  -   full

Maneuvering 220 - 210 - 190 - 175 - 165

Vref  179 - 170 - 167 - 161 - 148

Vapp 184 - 175 - 172 - 166 - 153

 

Extended Flaps and animation is excellent as is the animation on the undercarriage. The thrust reversers are set on the setting "Open Thrust Reversers" and you control the throttle to give the thrust power and it is highly effective, the older original buggy thrust reverser action is gone. 

 

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Like noted you can arm the airbrakes and they work as required but there is no notice on the EFIS that they are armed...  Once the aircraft is cleaned up you can easily taxi to the gate, again the length of the -300 is noticeable around the tight terminal areas.

 

Lighting

 

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Aircraft external lighting is good with landing, taxilights and runway turn-off lighting. There is logo lighting and wing (Ice) lighting and the aircraft is easy to navigate around dark taxiways. Standard Navigation, strobe and top and bottom beacon is standard.

 

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Cockpit HDR lighting is also very good. standard dome and main lighting will give you good preparation light at startup. There is Map and side spot lighting and the panel can be adjusted well to meet you needs and minimum reflection at the approach and landing phases, cabin is well lit but not adjustable...  overall the lighting is excellent.

 

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Summary


In many ways the original release of DW Designs A330-300 was certainly raw and to be frank a bit rushed to release too early. It was a brave choice to not only to just fix up the aircraft to a quality product, but to take the time and get it right and bring in a plugin that brings the aircraft up to a quality standard in the way it performs and handles. Torsten Liesk is one of the very best at Airbus systems intergration and it shows and anyone that has already flown other aircraft with this airbus system will feel right at home here.

To a first glance over the aircraft it looks not any different at all, but it is significantly different under the skin and in operation, It still needs a few more refinements and there is not a lot of extra features that come with these aircraft like ground support, menus and all those nice little knick-knacks that we like to play with, but even just opening passenger doors and cargo doors would be very nice.

 

The three engine variants and their liveries are excellent for choice and perform to their different categories of performance. and the lighting and cabin are all excellent. The A330-300 has only a hybrid FMC, but it works in the case of a very quick but effective setup that will get you on the taxiway and flying within minutes when you know it well and to just load a standard X-Plane .fms flightplan and have the bonus of preferences with that flightplan is a bonus, so the aircraft closer to the philosophy of Peters Aircraft A320/A321/A319 series than say the full bang and whistles of JARDesigns A330-243 and is aimed at the user that just wants to load a flightplan and fly, without spending 30-40minutes in flight preparation before even starting the engines. The DW Designs A330 is still a very good simulation but it is also more useable I use it like Peters A320 series and just want to do a route and then fly right now with limited time to spare.

 

The A330-300 is now also good value at $38.00 in its category as it is now a good A330 and a -300 version at that. So yes it needed it to be and it is an excellent update to v2 and really buries the poor original release version in its wake, in fact this aircraft version will soon make the original fade quickly into the past and disappear.

 

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The  Airbus A330-300 v2 by RW Designs is available now from the New X-Plane.org Store :

 

Airbus A330-300

 

Price is US$37.95

If you already own the DW Designs A330-300, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account to get the v2 upgrade which is free.

For a full Original X-Plane Reviews then go here... Aircraft Review Airbus A330-300 by Jetsim

 

Features included:

Detailed modeling

3D Cockpit - HD Texturing
Full 3D exterior model

Aircraft Systems

Electrical - Hydraulic
Complete ADIRU modeled
ILS and VOR work together
Customized ECAM with Airbus flight phase logic
ILS auto-align

Autopilot

All Airbus AP modes modeled (except non-precision approach and LOC backcourse)
Complete HDG-VS and TRK-FPA modes
2 independent autopilots (AP1, AP2)


MCDU and Flight Management

Custom MCDU
Based on XP native data
Both MCDUs  are modeled
Curved trajectories with the turn radius properly computed based on speed and angular turn distance.
Pop-up MCDUs

Fly-by-wire - Highly realistic implementation of the Airbus fly-by-wire system.

3 engines variants

Rolls Royce Trent 700
General Electric CF6-80E1
Pratt & Whitney  PW4000
10 paint schemes included

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Documents :
 
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Download: 418.30mb : Installed 527.20mb

Support Thread : RWD support - A330

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Technical Requirements:

Windows, Mac, Linux (64 bit Operating System) - X-Plane 10.30+ 64 bit (Any edition) - 2,4Ghz Multi-core CPU.8 GB RAM. Video Card: 1Gb VRAM. 

Current version: 2.0 (last updated August 8th 2015)
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Update review by Stephen Dutton

8th August 2015

Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System:     - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb

Software:     - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.30 (final)

Addons: - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose Soundlink WiFi Speaker

Scenery

YBBN -  VOZ - Australian Scenery Packages - Barry Roberts - Free (Australian Scenery Packages)

YMML - Melbourne - ISDG (Chris K) - Free (X-Plane.Org)

 

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Its not PREF (preferences) It is PERF (Performance).

 

Regards.

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Its not PREF (preferences) It is PERF (Performance).

 

Regards.

Changed thanks... I got rapt over knuckles for calling OP-CLB, Optimum-Climb by Torsten and he is correct but optimum seems to note the way it works better than Open which is quite ambiguous, But I'm not going to argue with Airbus.  :) SD

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Absolutely LOVE! This aircraft, always been a massive fan of the a330. There is just a few things I found flawed with the design I wanted to point out. 

1. The Logo Light does not come on.

2. There are a hand full of nobs and switches that once moved cannot be moved back to their original position.

Anyone else having this problem? if so, please let me know. 

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19 hours ago, Guest said:

So this has no sids and stars? Like the A350?

Yes correct, basically it uses the X-Plane FMS system. I call these hybrid FMC's

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How can you get the plane to go faster than 330mph without the auto pilot disengaging.

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3 hours ago, Guest Hawkman225 said:

How can you get the plane to go faster than 330mph without the auto pilot disengaging.

 

My guess here is that you haven't flown the heavies for very long? I made the same mistake "duh", but when you pass through 25,000ft you switch from knts to Mach, the cruise of the A330 is m82... 

 

I actually have a funny story about this as when I set a Boeing 747 out of Singapore heading to London I set it up and went out for a few hours to return to find the aircraft circling over India with the AP disconnected...   The culprit was not switching over to the mach. SD

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Hi does anyone know how to install or can advise me how to use the A330 fuel plugin on this aircraft I can not seem be about to work?

 

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but have or not have pilots inside the cockpit and the doors are painted? if this questions agree, what big trash

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Very big disappointment of this product i can say the Virtual Cockpit is quite well but the model design specially the wings and and animation and quality of texture is less even than freeware plans 

 

this factors are very important if you need to compete with other products i was trying to support this aircraft since i didn't find a lot of reviews .

 

hope they can update the this texture and wing design and animation like speed breaks solid please see the same model in jar design this is fundamentals you spend a lot of efforts in the interior design that is not really needed as much as the exterior design .  

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