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Aircraft Review : Airbus A330-300 by Jetsim

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Aircraft Review : Airbus A330-300 by Jetsim

 

Note! This version is now not available...  The new updated v2 version Review is here!

 

In the last few years Airbus gained a lot of sales out of an aircraft that was technically past its prime. The cause was the delay after delay of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from "The Boeing Company". Many of the airlines operators that had ordered the Dreamliner were totally caught in that it would be years before the new generation aircraft could and did join their fleets. So they had to fill in the gap. Only one aircraft came very close to filling that service hole and that was the Airbus A330-300. So from out of nowhere this aircraft was suddenly the biggest wanted serviceable aircraft in the world and any fleet that had them would find buyers and leasing companies clamouring and out bidding each other to secure an aircraft at any price. For Airbus they couldn't turn out enough A330's either from a production line that was close to finishing in a few years time. The demand is so much that Airbus has even decided to give the A300 the NEO (New Engine Option) upgrade to keep the aircraft into production now well into the 2020's and 30's.

 

For X-Plane the A330 has come to us quite late. There was the wonderfully converted FS versions from Samen. But these aircraft just didn't get their final tuning to make them really exceptional. So finally X-Plane has an A330 and with a virtual cockpit from Jetsim, Jetsim is a new developer on the simulator scene and the A330 is their first aircraft.

 

JS_A330_300_Head 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_Head 2.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_Head 3.jpg  JS_A330_300_Head 4.jpg

 

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).

 

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JS_A330_300_SubHead 3.jpg  JS_A330_300_SubHead 4.jpg

 

JetSim A330-300

The Jetsim Airbus A330-300 comes in the three engine variants that is available on the aircraft...  So we will go through those first.

 

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

 

JS_A330_300_RR 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_RR 2.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_RR Above.jpg  JS_A330_300_RR Rdoors.jpg

 

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The iconic bulbous pod shape of the Rolls Royce engine is prominent on the wing of this variant, The aircraft comes in four liveries of Cathay Pacific (default), Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

 

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

 

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JS_A330_300_GE_Engine 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_GE_Engine 2.jpg

The CF6-80E1 is a derivative of the successful CF6 family. The engine started by being installed in the DC-10 as the original CF6, and entered service in 1971. The CF6 was also selected for versions of the Boeing 747. Since then, the CF6 has also powered versions of the Airbus A300, 310 and 330, Boeing 767, and McDonnell Douglas MD-11. The aircraft variant comes in three liveries of Qatar (default), Qantas and Finnair.

 

JS_A330_300_GE_Qatar.jpg

JS_A330_300_GE_QF.jpgJS_A330_300_GE_Finnair.jpg

 

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

 

JS_A330_300_PW_1.jpg  JS_A330_300_PW_2.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_PW_Engine 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_PW_Engine 2.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_GE_Engine 3.jpg  JS_A330_300_GE_Engine 4.jpg

 

The second family of the PW4000 is the 100 inch (2.5 m) diameter fan engine developed specifically for the A330 twinjet. It has certified thrust from 64,500 to 68,600 lbf (287 to 305 kN). Models are numbered PW4164, PW4168, and PW4168A. It features advanced technology materials and Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) for good fuel economy and reliability. The aircraft variant comes in three liveries of Thai Airlines (default), Delta and Northwest Airlines.

 

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JS_A330_300_PW_Delta.jpgJS_A330_300_PW_NWA.jpg

 

Design

 

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Any new project is a design in quality in this category of payware aircraft. And for a first time developer the A330 is very good and very well done. The aircraft looks really good and very well constructed and the detailing is very good as well but not exceptional. All animations that include flaps, leading edge spoilers and undercarriage in rear bogies and twin front wheels are very well recreated and animated. Retraction on takeoff of all the gear is very realistic. The various types of engines and certainly the 3d engine fans (when stationary) are very well done as well. But there are signs of areas that are not fine-tuned or not finished...  The wing strobes and a beacon are not connected to the aircraft (and wings) and there is no glass in the sides of the fuselage and they are just just holes. The tyres are a bit too shiny for me and none of the doors or cargo doors open as well, but the interior is very well fitted out in all three classes. Lighting is okay but just the standard light dots for the main landing lights and front gear strut lights.

 

JS_A330_300_Cockpit 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_Cockpit 2.jpg

 

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The panel on this A330 is not the latest Airbus TFT (Thin-Film Transistor liquid- crystal panel display) but the older CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) style displays for the EFIS and ECAM. These six CRT's do create a very different look of the panel for an airbus, and that is great when you want diversity in your flying as this is of the older style variety . Overall though this is an airbus through and through and it is very well modeled in here and all the switches work and click like they should do. Detailing is fabulous, but in an X-Plane way you will struggle to turn a few of the knobs.

 

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The Electronic centralized aircraft monitor (ECAM) systems are all here except notifications that of things that are active like your AUTO/BRK settings and airbrake ARM...  the display is empty? otherwise the feedback from the ECAM display pages are excellent.

 

JS_A330_300_Panel Dialog 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_Panel Dialog 2.jpg

 

There are twelve pages of displays altogether including...  Cruise (default), Engine, Bleed (engine/APU), Cab Pressure, Electrics, Fuel, Status, Hydraulics, APU (Aircraft Power Unit), Wheels, Conditions (air/temp systems) and doors (not really useful here). 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. Pedestal layout is standard airbus (two engine version and not the four engine A380 version) and you have the two FMC/MCDU's screens at the top of the unit.

 

FMC/MCDU

The Jetsim 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. It does come with a built in SID/STAR (Standard Instrument Departure/Standard Terminal Arrival Route) system and it is pretty easy to use.

 

Flying the A330-300

 

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Pushback is built in. And it is accessed by pressing the "ALL" button on the "CALL" segment on the Overhead panel. You get a fixed view from the front of the aircraft and press "Start" to pushback. And you can turn with your joystick or yoke. It goes a little fast so you have to use the brakes to keep the speed down. When done the press "STOP" to finish and another button is there to return you to the cockpit. It is great idea, but the panel is very large and blocks out most of the aircraft and would be better lower and at the bottom of the screen away from the aircraft. And as the view is fixed, so you can't scroll around to get a better viewpoint?

 

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JS_A330_300_Taxi 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_Taxi 2.jpg

 

After pushback and taxiing is very good. The aircraft feels good on the ground is easily at the hold point.

 

JS_A330_300_Push.jpg  JS_A330_300_Pull.jpg

 

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 coming A350 from FlightFactor. 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. So it is a three way action and not just two.

The issue is you don't know if you are active or not? Some actions do show on the PRF (Primary Flight Display), but in many cases you are not really sure until you feel the aircraft is in the active mode. The trick in flying the A330 well is knowing when that the active mode is...  well active.

 

The A350 as noted uses the same system, but I didn't have the issues with that as I have here, It worked in all three modes.

 

JS_A330_300_Backup.jpg  JS_A330_300_A-THR armed.jpg

 

Preparation is always important, but in the A330 it is crucial. I set all the manual settings ready even though in Airbuses you use the automated systems. You have to make sure the Altitude is armed, which is not easy but you do get three squares in the V/S display, I set the V/S (2000fpm) anyway. Transition Altitude is 8500ft, but if you are not armed the aircraft won't stay at the designated altitude and keep climbing? Heading is set as a backup in case the route is not active. Again to set the heading you have press the finger, but that is putting the system into "selected" mode and out is "managed" mode, but you can pull the knob out but the aircraft will not respond to the action, A push then will activate the "managed" mode and the aircraft will turn to the heading...  confusing. well it is at first, and you have to very well prepared that you are in the correct active mode on every selection in Speed, Heading and Altitude if using the manual modes. with the V/S you just select your pitch and pull the knob out. You can pre-set the autothrottle (A-THR) and you know it is armed by the white rectangle on the upper right of the PFD.

 

JS_A330_300_GE_Takeoff 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_Takeoff Cockpit.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_Takeoff 2.jpg  JS_A330_300_Takeoff 3.jpg

 

Full throttle up and takeoff is very nice with a 7º pitch. The throttle quadrant has a set three place setting you have to push (or click). You can still use your add-on throttle to push up the power to the engines, but you can here also press a point by the side of the throttle quadrant that takes you directly to the TO-GA (Takeoff-Go Around) position, you can also select the FLX (Flex) position and once airborne the CL (Climb) position. by pressing the touch point you engage the throttle to that position which is good to press and them let the throttle go directly to the correct place. If you have flown Airbuses with a add-on throttle, you know when you are in the correct zone by the "speed" in the PFD, but sometimes it can be a bit hit or miss as you don't look directly at the throttle quadrant itself. So here you are sure you are engaged in the right detent, however it also means you have to look away and down at the throttle quadrant at the crucial point of climbing out of the airport...  So which way is the best? Certainly the adjust the throttle by hand version, but I did find once I got used to the system it was a one click to the CL detent and forget action. 

 

JS_A330_300_throttle Idle.jpg  JS_A330_300_throttle TO GA.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_throttle FLX.jpg  JS_A330_300_throttle CL.jpg

 

The actions of takeoff are challenging in the fact that you have to set all your Speed, Heading (press in "managed" mode will lock the aircraft into the flightplan) and Altitude. It is a winning skill to make sure your speed is armed and your altitude is armed correctly, get it wrong and your speed keeps climbing and so do you in height. Get it right and the aircraft will settle on the settings correctly. Your speed has to absolutely spot on when you clean the aircraft up...  If not you go into the bounces!

 

JS_A330_300_GE_Bounce 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_Bounce 2.jpg

 

That is your aircraft will climb and then stall, pickup speed and then climb again and then stall again an...   In other words a nasty rollercoaster ride. Yes you can get into this difficulty on any aircraft, but here it is very pronounced, and you have to absolutely correct on your speed to retract the flaps to get that smooth transition to a clean aircraft. This issue is explained better in the landing phase later.

 

 JS_A330_300_Takeoff.jpg  JS_A330_300_waypoints.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_Rose.jpg  JS_A330_300_Cockpit 8.jpg

 

At this point there are no fixes or Nav-Aids in the Navigation Display (ND) ...noted to be coming soon? Which is really annoying if you are wanting to track to a position, as noted the flightplan course and names are too big as well, so if there were any fixes you would see them anyway? There is no "PLAN" mode for the flightplan either. The Compass Rose does not show the VOR/ADF indicators, so you have to rely on the manual backup Radio Magnetic Indicator (RMI) needles, The VOR (VOR2) does show on the ND display, but only at the final landing phase.

 

Settle into the cruise and the aircraft is very good. The climb and steps were quite good to FL355, and the numbers feel good, there is still room for a bit more fine-tuning, but they didn't seem too bad.

 

Nightlighting

 

JS_A330_300_Lighting 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_Lighting 4.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_Lighting 2.jpg  JS_A330_300_Lighting 3.jpg

 

The instrument/switch high-lighting is very good, but there is no storm or overhead lighting and that makes the cabin quite dark. HDR on makes no difference either? On the external as noted the main landing lights are little too small (not by much) but the runway turnoff and wing lighting is very good, as is the logo (but only in the dark). The cabin is lit, but with no glass in the fuselage it comes over as too bright.

 

JS_A330_300_Landing 1.jpg  JS_A330_300_Landing 2.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_Landing 3.jpg  JS_A330_300_Landing 4.jpg

 

You can say one thing, but the Delta livery looks brilliant on this aircraft. Frame-rate is excellent as the modelling is quite light, even the 3d cockpit won't really tax your system. So the aircraft is very useable, but HDR on in the cockpit at night sent me down to single digits? But I wasn't too concerned about that as I didn't really need to use the HDR.

 

Like when you retracted the flaps to after takeoff, the reverse situation comes into practise on landing and more so. It is important then to look at those flap limits and landing speeds.

 

Flaps limits (441,405 lbs GW)

  1   -  1+f   -  2  -   3  -   full

Maneuvering

220 - 210 - 190 - 175 - 165

Vref

179 - 170 - 167 - 161 - 148

Vapp

184 - 175 - 172 - 166 - 153

 

Note on how low those speeds are? nothing really in the approach phase is above 200knts, so your speed has to come down a long way before you start to bring the flaps out, get the speed wrong and the aircraft is nose down very quickly and again the reverse is in then too going to slow and you are stalling again. So your numbers at each flap stage has to be absolutely spot on, there is no room or flexibility available for you (or you will get that nasty bounce behavior again). The bonus is that your final approach speed is very low (I found it was around 155knts). And here again you are reminded on how very precise you have to be with this aircraft in all the phases of the flight, you have to hit the numbers and the right actions at the right time to get that smooth transition right from the point of leaving the runway and right back to the point of touching back down again.

 

Landing

 

JS_A330_300_Landing 5.jpg  JS_A330_300_Landing 6.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_Landing 7.jpg  JS_A330_300_Landing 8.jpg

 

On an Airbus panel you use the LS to switch on the ILS vertical and lateral deviation guides to show your deviation to the runway. However here the deviation guides are turned on by the LOC button? So you can't use the guides to show your position to the runway if you are approaching from an angle. (You have no fixes either at this point in time to guide you either) because the moment you activate the LOC to get the guides you also get the direct LOC onto the runway as well and the aircraft will then focus itself directly on the ILS beam. So you can only use the guides when you want to finally lock on to the tractor beam (in other words close in). My approach is to press the LS and then center the aircraft to the runway with the guides and then press the APPR button to lock on when ready. If you are lazy then the LOC version is easy. But is that flying an approach correctly? A side point is that that when the deviation guides are activated, they push the artificial horizon sideways to make the guides fit in the PFD?  As noted earlier you have no notifications your AUTO/BRK settings and airbrake ARM for landing... so are they armed?

 

JS_A330_300_Radio.jpg

 

The radio is quite basic in VOR1 on the left side of the RAD NAV page of the MCDU and VOR2 on the right side... There is no separate ILS freq channel on the FMC. Input is without a decimal in 10995 instead of 109.95 .

 

JS_A330_300_Landing 9.jpg  JS_A330_300_Landing 10.jpg

 

JS_A330_300_Landing 11.jpg  JS_A330_300_Landing 12.jpg

 

Speed correct and height is correct and the aircraft will capture the ILS easily and as that landing speed is very low the aircraft is easy to handle in the flare, however you will like with the B777 make the wings flap on landing a little no matter how smooth you are.

 

Off the runway and taxi speed is easily reached to taxi to the gate.

 

Summary

If you fly Airbus aircraft a lot, then you will find the A330-300 from Jetsim slightly quirky. Not outlandishly so... but just the small things that you do in the flow naturally are just different. In some aspects the ideas here can be a better, but this is not the right set of procedures either. They are small things in the whole, but that sums up the aircraft. Flying the aircraft is a precision of actions to get the flow from leaving the runway to landing again as smooth as you can. Miss an action or a speed point and the aircraft will tell you by behaving rather badly or not doing something it should. Get the procedures right and get them in line and the aircraft will reward you...  but you will have to practise a lot to get to that point.

So what is missing is flexibility and finesse in the way the aircraft is set up with the FMC and all the small bugs that are still not covered or even some basic items are simply missing altogether (ND waypoints and Nav-Aids), In trying to make the FMC a more simple process for users that find FMC's hard to learn, it just corrals you in with no flexibility and actually makes the programming of routes harder.

 

There are no menus or features except the pushback that comes with most modern payware aircraft today in like stairs, fuel tankers, chocks or even a GPU (ground power unit), and the doors don't even open. But the interior is fully modeled and is well done.

 

Raw and challenging is the way I would describe the A330-300 from Jetsim at the moment, but the fundamentals are all in there and the bonuses of a great 3d cockpit design and great frame rate make the aircraft highly useable and flyable. Dig deep into the characteristics and the aircraft will reward you, I found my first flights were so out of the box I wondered if anyone could fly it, but it soon came together and the aircraft is addictive in that you keep redefining your own parameters to dig deeper to get that perfect gate to gate flight. No doubt the A330-300 is one of the more interesting aircraft that has come our way, and in a short time and some final fine tuning it will be also be a very good aircraft for those medium to long routes.

 

 _____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Note! This version is now not available for sale...  The new updated v2 version Review is here!

 

Support Thread : Jetsim v1.1 support - A330

 

 

Review by Stephen Dutton

Copyright © 2014 : X-Plane Reviews

1st October 2014

 

Technical Requirements:

Windows, MAC or Linux.

X-Plane 10.30 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible. (X-Plane 10.25 not supported - X-Plane 9 not supported)

8Gb RAM - 1Gb VRAM

Current version: 1.1 - Last updated on September 27th 2014

Updated store#

 

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

- Singapore WSSS - Singapore Changi Int 1.3 by Kris28 Free (X-Plane.org - WSSS - Singapore Changi Int 1.3)

 

 

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A pretty spot-on review I'd say... still getting used to her odd quirks myself (I keep getting distracted by liveries... the A330 is my favorite aircraft for them...) but when everything goes right it's a very pleasing aircraft to fly!

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Sorta okay, but looks and feels slightly underdeveloped...

 

post-2-0-44159300-1416811699_thumb.jpgpost-2-0-69041900-1416811701_thumb.jpgpost-2-0-96861700-1416811703_thumb.jpgpost-2-0-78824900-1416811709_thumb.jpg

 

Cockpit was too dark for me, just needs a few more lighting details.

 

SD

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Guest JamesHuang   
Guest JamesHuang

Hello 

I have two problems:

 

1.No night lights

2.I can not swicth form MAN TOGA to FLEX or CLB after take off, i have checked everything, so i think there is something wrong with a330 itself.

 

I wonder if it is worth buying this a330, if you can not solve 2 problems above, i really want to return this a330.(although i know it can not be returned)

 

Thank you! I hope i can get your reply soon!

 

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Hello 

I have two problems:

 

1.No night lights

2.I can not swicth form MAN TOGA to FLEX or CLB after take off, i have checked everything, so i think there is something wrong with a330 itself.

 

I wonder if it is worth buying this a330, if you can not solve 2 problems above, i really want to return this a330.(although i know it can not be returned)

 

Thank you! I hope i can get your reply soon!

 

There is a v2 of this A333 in development, and it will be interesting to see how that version goes a long way in polishing up the aircraft to correct most of these niggles. Remember this is still a first release from a new developer, even the best have to learn the final 2% of the already completed 98% is always the hardest to achieve that 100% of final polish.

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Guest Jaris   
Guest Jaris

Hello, excellent post. I'm new flying X-Plane and I bought this aircraft just because I liked it but learning to fly it is very complex, I come from Carenado B1900D jejejeje

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Guest Dario   
Guest Dario

I have a question about the A/THR. I have after TO the CLB mode but I when I pust the A/THR button he does't spring on. Whats the problem?

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Guest David   
Guest David

Does the developer of this aircraft have a website?  I would think I could find some helpful info there.

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Guest Nectarios   
Guest Nectarios

Hey guys,

 

I tried to land it with a friend of mine (he is a pilot in a major airline, flying A330 every 2 days) with ILS using the FMC but it was very disappointing. The FMC is not fully functional. He told me that is rubbish!!!!!!! We could not land the plane. We tried to land on ATH airport (Greece). Any ideas????

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Is the a checklist / flows / procedures manual ?

 

There was a Flight Tutorial with the Original Release version (not the v2 version) and I have loaded that here. It has a basic Checklist inside.

 Flight Tutorial.pdf

As The v2 Aircraft is more correct in the A330 procedures then also use the:

Smart Cockpit Series

SD

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