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Aircraft Update: Airbus A321-231 XP12 by ToLiss

Dominic Smith

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Aircraft Update: Airbus A321-231 XP12 by ToLiss


By Joshua Moore

Introduction & History
The A321 from ToLiss is well known to be a high-fidelity, highly detailed, and well-loved model within X-Plane. I’ve flown it many times in X-Plane 11 and was quite excited to see it migrate over to X-Plane 12, where the newly enhanced environment allows it to take full advantage of the new lighting and reflection models provided by the new simulator. To complement the base model, I purchased the A321 Neo Add-on in which to increase the aircraft's range - perfect for extended flights.


Note: In December of last year, Stephen published a detailed and extensive review of the ToLiss A321 (V1.31) in X-Plane 11so I highly recommend checking out his review first before reading this X-Plane 12 update.  



The Airbus A321 program was launched in 1988 with the first flight being completed in 1993 with an IAE V2500 equipped airframe, and the second flight with the CFM equipped airframe following shortly after. The A321 entered service with Lufthansa in 1993 and has become a highly successful competitor to the 737-900 and 757. Today, the A321 Neo continues on the successful lineup of the A320 family, with the A321 XLR conducting flight testing to try and compete with the arguably more suited but aging 757 fleets.



Documentation & First Impressions

Documentation of the A321 from ToLiss includes a 57-page manual on the systems, a tutorial flight, and some product info. A full FCOM or in-depth systems description is not provided by ToLiss but can be found quite easily online in PDF format.



Having flown the A321 in X-Plane 11, I know it to be a solid airplane, both in looks and systems. I have quite high expectations for it in X-Plane 12, and I am quite happy to see that it has had no issues maintaining my expectations on the new platform, with it easily accomplishing 6hr flights with no FPS degradation, no autopilot issues, and most importantly, none of those pesky CTDs. The texturing is slowly showing its age, but the systems are top-notch, and the cockpit looks far more accurate in terms of color compared to some of its counterparts.



Electronic Flight Bag
The ToLiss A321 has one weakness for me, and this has to be the EFB. Its main feature is the inclusion of AviTab, but other than that one feature and the ability to control certain loading functions through the tablet, it is more of a visual addition to the cockpit compared to a functional device I use on my flights. There are takeoff and landing performance tabs, however, they are not yet functional and serve no purpose other than being a “provisions for” screen. For those that use AviTab for major functions, it works as advertised in my limited testing with it, though I tend to stick to my iPad which has all my real-world applications installed and is a bit easier to pull from than an on-screen tablet. I would love to see ToLiss revamp the tablets in all three of their airliners, as the enhanced experience would greatly improve the overall quality feel expected of the price we pay for these add-ons.


Exterior Model &Texturing
The Exterior model of the A321 is one of the highlights of this addon. Gone are the flat textures with a static “PBR” reflection that adorned not only the A321 but every airplane in X-Plane 11. This has been replaced with the new X-Plane 12 model, and ToLiss has done an incredible job implementing the new reflection model onto the A321, as it looks incredible. The shine and reflections give the model a more lively appearance. The landing gear is modeled to a highly accurate extent, with grease, dirt, and grime sticking to the struts and various components.



The engine models provided by ToLiss in the A321 are one of the model’s weak points. The IAE model is the worst offender, with the engine having incorrect shaping. The CFM isn’t as bad, but there are still issues. The Neo’s engines look a little better, however, on closer inspection they too suffer issues, namely the fan blades and aft cowling. For this review, I added the Carda engine mod for both the IAE and CFM engines. With these being freeware, I highly recommend these engine mods as being a must-have upgrade to improve the overall look of the engines of the ToLiss A321. These engine mods remedy the issues with the modeling and are quite easy to install. I would love to see ToLiss rebuild their CFM/IAE engines on their A321 or try to work with Carda to make his mods the default standard for their aircraft, they improve the overall look that much. I also tested the Carda Leap and PW mod for the Neo, however, they are currently incompatible due to some texture issues with the fan blades that affect the Ceo as well, so the Neo engines are the default for this review, however, I would say the same for the Neo engine mods. ToLiss could try to work with Carda to implement his engines into their models.



The textures provided with the A321 are well done, albeit a bit on the lower resolution side. They have an acceptable amount of wear and tear that isn’t over the top but does not give the airplane a perfectly clean and unused appearance, which I really like. I would love to see the textures improved in terms of their resolution to allow for a bit more detail on the fuselage, but if you back away a couple of feet, the pixelation disappears and the textures look nice and sharp.



The aircraft options that ToLiss provides for the exterior are quite extensive, allowing you to choose between wing fences and sharklets, Satcom versus no Satcom, door configuration, and engine type. I appreciate having the ability to edit all the options straight from inside the simulator which saves time and effort from manually editing files outside the sim to change these options. This is and has been the standard for years, and it’s nice to have it on the ToLiss A321.



Interior Model & Texturing
The cockpit appears to have changed little from X-Plane 11, though the new lighting model of X-Plane 12 appears to give it more depth and texture. The texture quality is amazing, the text is clear and easy to read, and the overall color of the cockpit compares extremely well to photos my friend sent me from the real aircraft at different times of the day.




Rain effects have been included with the ToLiss 321 and look acceptable, though a little on the light side. I am unsure if it’s a Laminar or a ToLiss issue, but the photos below of the rain were with max precipitation set, and I could see out the windows just fine without wipers on approach. All the videos I’ve seen of airliners flying into heavy rain present a very different picture, with the wipers fighting to keep up with the amount of rain slamming into the windscreen. I can’t confirm that myself as I don’t dare fly the Bonanza into a heavy rainstorm, but it seems like there should be more rain on the windshield with extreme precipitation set in the X-Plane weather tab. We must keep in mind it is a beta, so maybe this will be tweaked and changed.



Avionics Options & Systems

ToLiss is well known for properly simulating the systems of the Airbus series, and it has proven itself in X-Plane 11, so with the port to X-Plane 12, it stands safe to say I didn’t find a single glaring issue in any of the tests or flights I did. FO Shatek and I did the same thorough walk-through we did with the Flight Factor A320 and only found minor issues, one of which turned out to be a company-specific option with the lighting.



Starting with the MCDU, we walked through a full preflight and setup of the box and Shatek had no issues with the system. The “ACARS” pulled the Flightplan from SimBrief allowing for easy implementation of the flightplan, weights, and TO performance. The MCDU menu presented other menus including AOC for free text and weather requests, however nothing there has been implemented yet. I would like to see that implemented into the airplane as it would be a helpful addition to the flight deck.



The only large issue which I would love to see resolved is the lack of weather radar. Supposedly this will be added in X-Plane 12 thanks to the new weather system, so I am hopeful to see it come to the A321 at some point.



Flight Characteristics
I cannot say specifically if the flight dynamics of the A321 are accurate, as I’ve not flown the A320 series in real life. What I can say however is whether or not it feels right, and in this case, it feels quite similar to the flight model in X-Plane 11, perhaps with a bit more fluidity. The flare seems to have changed, with the airplane floating a lot easier compared to X-plane 11, and that caught me off guard on my first flight in the A321 in X-Plane 12, which ended up in two go-arounds due to excessive floating even with the aircraft set right on the Vref. The ToLiss does model Normal, Alternate, and Direct law, which includes control overrides and additional protections being modeled. If you would like to read more into this, check out my review on the Flight Factor A320, where I explain it in more depth. The last area of the A321 I would like to mention is ground handling. It is quite slippery during taxiing and likes to overshoot turns if you are not careful. This could use a little tweaking, as I never remember the X-Plane 11 version sliding so much in a turn, even at 5-10kts.




The sounds that ship with the ToLiss A321, both Neo and Ceo, are in my opinion, quite acceptable. They are detailed and cover all the main points of the airplane, but I didn’t find them to have much of a wow factor, save for the PW4000. Commanding thrust from the PW engines provides you with an amazing spool-up sound, something that you almost need to experience for yourself to understand. For the rest of the engine variants, it’s quite a mixed bag. It is an 80-dollar airplane after all, so I would have loved to see the sounds get a bit more love. Are there better sound packs out there? For sure. Will I spend money on them? Well, that will depend on how much I fly the airplane. If you are a frequent visitor of the long bus then I believe a sound upgrade is worth the cost, though with four engine variants it may get a touch pricey.



Overall, I really enjoy flying the ToLiss A321. It’s a great bird for long hauls when you have other work to do, but don’t want to fly a heavy. With the Neo expansion, it will easily cross the pond and connect your favorite eastern seaboard destinations with Europe, but it can easily turn around and fly short haul quick turns on high-density routes. It’s a fantastic addition to my X-Plane 12 hangar and I look forward to many enjoyable years flying it as I did with the X-Plane 11 model.







The Airbus A321 XP12 by Toliss is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


Airbus A321 XP12 by Toliss

Priced at US$89.99


Officially licensed Airbus product


Major new features:

  • XP12 adaptations
  • Custom engine model for more realistic thrust and fuel flow values and new engine failure modes
  • Circuit breakers with accurate system response (Current over 100 circuit breaker available)
  • ACARS functionality for direct download of Simbrief plans into the active or the secondary flight plan
  • ACARS functionality to retrieve TO data for various runways of the departure airport
  • ACARS functionality to retrieve wind data from SimBrief flight plan and enter them in the flight plan.
  • New ACP interactive screen to request ground services, change fuel or passengers without the ISCS.
  • EFB on captain on copilot side. (Currently featuring AviTab and weight and balance computer)
  • FMGS plan editing overhaul, enabling temporary flight plans also for the alternate plan
  • Database holds are now available (besides Pilot and computed holds previously available)
  • Offset function now available
  • Addition of new failure modes for a total of 210+ different failure modes, these include now recoverable computer failures
  • More than 70 new ECAM messages
  • Animated push buttons in the cockpit
  • Moving pilot seats and armrests
  • Minor new features:
  • VLS increases with speed brake deflection
  • Added (ETP) circle on ND to display the Equitime point
  • Option to control internal and external volume levels via x-plane sliders or custom ISCS sliders
  • Added Filtering and rate limiting for FMGS position for more realistic ND behaviour on ADIRU init completion
  • Open pax doors now have an effect on the temperature in the adjacent zone
  • Added option to always have the display brightness rotaries starting at the 80% position, even for cold and dark start
  • Functional on-ground deicing via the new ACP interactive screen to avoid nasty surprises during take-offs in icing conditions
  • Improved pushback truck
  • Added fuel truck animations for slow refuelling via IACP.
  • Added Radio Navigation and transponder failures, including associated ECAM caution messages and PFD/ND flags



X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 680 MB
Version 1.4.1 (September 23rd 2022)



Review System Specifications

Windows 11 

Ryzen 5800x




Update Aircraft Review by Joshua Moore
26th October 2022
Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions.





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