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Aircraft Review : Airbus A310-304 by CremonaSoft


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Aircraft Review : Airbus A310-304 by CremonaSoft


Aviation in the 80s experienced many changes like the addition of new aircraft and rule modifications, such as ETOPS or Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards. For those who don't know what ETOPS is, the shortest way to describe it is the maximum time in distance a twin-engine aircraft can be from an airport. Due to these regulations, most long-haul routes were dominated by quad and Trijet airlines, however, this started to change with the introduction of some fundamental aircraft. 


In the late 70s, Airbus presented their A300, the first wide-body twin-engine airliner. Equipped with the JT9D or the iconic CF-6, it became a huge success especially due to its low fuel consumption when compared to the tri and quad jet airliners. A few years later (1982) the Airbus A310 made its first flight, being introduced one year later with SwissAir. Airbus produced the A310 due to a high demand for an aircraft smaller than the A300, which resulted in a greater range when compared to its predecessor. One of the A310 main characteristics was the introduction of a two-crew glass cockpit, which was later adopted by the A300 newer versions and the Fly-by-wire technology. The A310 had two versions, 200 and 300, however, we will only talk about the 300, the version which was designed for X-Plane. Equipped with two JT9D or PW4000 or even the CF6, the engines could produce from 45,800 pounds of thrust up to 57,900lbf. With a wingspan of 43.9m and a fuselage length of 46.66m, the A310-300 can fly up to 5,150nm. Its capacity can reach 280 passengers in a 3-3-3 configuration, as well as 15 LD3 containers. The A310-300 has an MTOW of 164,000kg and a ceiling of 41,000ft.


Older aircraft are starting to get more and more relevant in the X-Plane community, especially airliners. In the last years, we could see the improvement and releases of quite a few high-quality aircraft, like the FlyJSim 727 and 737v3, the new A300 by iniBuilds as well as the MD-80pro and the upcoming MD-11. CremonaSoft released their version of the A310 in October 2018, but sadly the product was way under the expectations. No review related to this add-on has been posted here and after some updates, we taught it was the right moment to post a review.


Airbus A310-304 by CremonaSoft

First of all, this aircraft, like many others, is still in development. You have to keep this in your mind, otherwise you may think this is a piece of crap. As always, let's start with the exterior modeling and textures, usually the first two things you notice when looking at an aircraft. As you can already tell, exterior modeling isn't the best part of this add-on, actually, it is quite under the average for an aircraft of its price. The modeling is good in some areas but pretty bad in others. You will spend, or at least should, more time inside the cockpit than outside cameras, so the exterior shouldn't bother you that much.


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The vertical and horizontal stabilizers are well modeled, just like wings, which aren't the best in X-Plane but doesn't look that bad. The landing gear is ok, even though it could be way better texturized and more detailed, the 3D modeling doesn't seem to have any problem. It does have some metallic details, but as said before, the textures could be better. The tires modeling is quite boring, quite unrealistic too, as well as the textures, which are extremely basic.


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The fuselage is quite complex, because in the same way I like it, I don't like it. I don't see any big problem with, excluding the very poor textures, it does have the shape of the A310 but there something that simply removes the realism. Maybe the connection between wings and fuselage, the weird shapes next to the stabilizers, or the weird lines all around the fuselage, which can be also found in the FF777. Sometimes, especially when looking from the front, the fuselage appears to be too large and rounded when compared to the real plane. I don't know why, but the fuselage seems to be missing something, there isn't any beauty in it, and that may be the problem.


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The real plane, like I said before, could be equipped with three engine variants, two Pratt & Whitney options, and one General Electric. CremonaSoft decided to only model the GE engine, but this isn't a big problem because according to Planespotters.net, from all 37 A310 that are still flying, only 4 are equipped with PW engines. 


The engines are fine. The modeling isn't perfect but manages to be a good replica from the real one. However, as you could imagine, the textures are far away from being good, especially in the pylon area. Generally, the engine is ok, but needs some improvements


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The A310 by CremonaSoft does have a 3D modeled cabin, and its quality is quite controversial. The A310 cabin length is one meter shorter than the A321, 33.25m, and the same cabin width when compared to the A330-200, 5.28m. The A310 maximum capacity is 280 seats, but the average seating is from 190 to 230 seats. The cabin in the CremonaSoft A310 is modeled in a 3-3-3 configuration, with the last rows being 2-3-2 due to fuselage limitations.


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The cabin has three major problems. First, the seats texturing is very basic, which makes the good 3D modeling irrelevant. Second and probably worst, there are no galleys, and this is a shame because cheaper planes like SSG E-170/195 and X-Crafts E145 have some pretty interesting galleys, while this aircraft has just empty spaces. The third is more sound-related when you get close to the walls the outside sounds replace the interior sound, making your life quite harder to set good cameras without hearing the outside sounds (at least for someone like me who likes to have passenger views cameras), but nothing you should stress about.


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As I said in the first paragraph of the cabin section, the cabin quality is quite controversial, but until now I mostly talked about bad things. However, I must say that this aircraft has one of the most, if not the most, beautiful ceiling and baggage bins in all X-Plane. The modeling is extremely sharp and the texturing is very good in some areas like the seatbelts signs, which turns on and off, as well as in the bins. I was extremely surprised by the quality of those baggage bins. Another good thing in the cabin is the 3D modeling, which is simple but well executed.


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As you could see, the cabin has some weak and strong points, however, due to the number and importance of the weak points, the good aspects are a little bit diminished . Probably the best and easier way to fix those problems is by adding high-quality textures in the seats, that combined with the relatively good modeling would result in a way more interesting cabin. Afterward, an addition of galleys would be pretty interesting.



Generally, the cockpit is quite good, especially when looking at the 3D modeling. It's a pretty faithful representation of the A310 cockpit, most switches, buttons and systems are in the correct locations. Just like the A300, the Airbus A310 is also equipped with a yoke, differently from the newer planes which are produced with sidesticks.



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Most of the airliners today are equipped with the so-called full glass cockpit, but the Airbus A310 still uses the well-known steam gauges to monitor the engine parameters. As I said earlier, the A310 introduced the EFIS technology for Airbus which would be later adopted in the A300-600 and evolved in the A320. It's pretty nice to see the LCD screens working together with the gauges, the transition between two eras in aviation.


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Like I said before, the cockpit 3D modeling is pretty nice, with sharp and accurate corners, however, the textures, like in all this add-on, are under the expectations. Even though we have a beautiful modeling and great reflections, the poor textures bring the whole cockpit to an inferior quality level. That's really sad because you can't find this sharp modeling in many add-ons, especially in this price range.


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CremonaSfot has added two nice details their plane, the ability to open the cockpit windows as well as the interactive jump seat. In one of the recent updates, the Avitab compatibility was also added to the aircraft. In order to use the tablet, you will need to click in the small button which is shown in the photo.


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One of the most important things in an aircraft is the systems, and sometimes designers who don't have an extremely beautiful aircraft, compensate that downside with high-end systems. Toliss is a good example, the modeling is far away from being perfect, but the top-notch systems give them the post of one of the best designers. The systems in this add-on are actually quite good, and despite the fact they can't be considered study level,  there's quite a system depth. In its release the systems were awful, but after some updates, the systems got way better. Even though they need improvements, the AP is completely functional, at least I didn't see anything missing, the navigation apparells are working as well as all the ECAM showing systems.


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The way things happen here in the A310 is quite different from what we are used to seeing in an Airbus, especially in the overhead panel. However, I will cover a step-by-step tutorial later in this review. As you could see, there is a custom FMS, another great system feature of this aircraft. Generally, we can conclude that the modeling and systems are pretty strong points with this aircraft, but the terrible textures seem to take over the cockpit and make it look worse than what it really is.


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Setting up the Airbus A310-304

In this section of the review, I will show you how to basically start the plane. In order to learn all or at most of its functionalities you will need to read the several manuals that are included with the aircraft. There you will be able to learn most of the plane resources and features, as well as a startup process similar to what is done in real life.


The flight that we are going to recreate is the Air Transat 125, departing from Calgary heading to Montreal. This route is now being operated by the new A321NEO, but today we are going to use the A310. 


Beautiful sunrise here in Calgary, it's currently 7:25 a.m, and approximately 12°C. Today we are going to transport 176 passengers and 2.7 tons of cargo, resulting in a total payload weight of 20.1 tons, quite light for the A310. The estimated flight time is a little less than 4 hours, a considerable time to cross most of Canada. Let's start the procedures by entering the cockpit.


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We won't follow the Standard Operating Procedures, SOP, manual step by step in this short tutorial, but you can easily access it by looking at the manuals folder. First of all, we need to power up the aircraft, so in order to do that, we need to turn all the three batteries on and use the external power. After that, you should turn your screens bright on and after set the three IRS switches to NAV position.


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Now that your aircraft has stable electric power, you can turn on the required lights as well as the seatbelts signs and test the anti-fire system. Before heading to the FMS I suggest you to load the aircraft. This action needs to be performed by the X-Plane load tab because there is no aircraft menu. This would be a nice addition to the add-on, CremonaSoft could do something similar to the Toliss aircraft menu, there you can set the loading details as well as performance calculations.


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Now that your plane is loaded, let's head to the FMS. If you are used to the Airbus FMS system in aircraft like the A320 and A330 families, you will notice that this FMS works exactly the same way. First, INIT page, there you should set your departing and arriving airports, as well as click in align IRS and set your cruise flight level. I didn't find any cost index information on SimBrief, so I will leave it as default 50. Click on Next Page and set your fuel/load information.  Sorry for the low-res photos but there is no way to make them look better.


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Flight Plan page and now we must set our route. As this can take some time, I won't show you all the steps, but you can easily find many tutorials on YouTube, but don't worry, it's very easy and intuitive. Just be aware that, differently from an A320, you need set your STAR info by the last waypoint menu, not airport. With our route set, we need to go to the Takeoff/Approach page.


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The Takeoff/Approach page is equivalent to the PERF page in the A320, however, you don't need to set any information here, they will automatically appear when you set your flaps to T/O position. Another feature that you can use in the FMS is located in the REF page, there you can open both passanger and cargo doors.


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Well, route and performance ready, let's continue the startup process. Turn on your Yaw Damper, ATS and Pitch Trim switches, click in the electric pump green and start the APU. Make sure to have the fuel pumps on before starting the auxiliary power unit. After changing the APU switch to on position, the ECAM will automatically change to the APU page. Now you can click in the start switch, and after the APU is running, an Available light will appear. You can monitor all this information through the ECAM screen and turn on the APU bleed as well.


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Before calling our pushback truck we must make sure that we have all doors closed, beacon light on, MAX auto brake, hydraulic pumps, anti-ice system and AP panel set. You can also set a desired flex temp. Now that we are ready, let's call it and then start up the engines.


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Now that the pushback truck is connected, let's start the engines. Set your ENG Start knob to Start A or B, click in the START 2 button, wait for 25% N2 RPM and set the HP VALVE ENG 2 to on. Repeat the process with the other engine. In my opinion, the engines seem to start too fast, in less than 15 you already have them in idle, CremonaSoft should take a look at it and rework its performance.  Flaps 15, now you can see the v-speeds in the FMS, so you should the V2 + 15 in the AP. Taxi lights and transponder on, let's start taxiing.


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We will be departing in the runway 17L today, going direct to LOMLO. Quite a long way to our runway, this means more time to get the best, or at least try, angles for the photos. Just some few more minutes and we will be departing.


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Clear to takeoff, N1 to 40% and TOGA. The engine fastly builds up power and in a few seconds, we are accelerating. The v-speeds in the A310 are quite higher than in other planes but the engines have a lot of power available. Actually, they have so much power that they seem to be a bit overpowered. I expect that CremonaSoft fix this little issue, which causes the plane accelerates too fast, even when it is loaded with the maximum weight. 


Climb thrust and bye-bye Calgary, next destination, Montreal. The plane can easily keep a climb rate of 2500ft/min, so we shouldn't take much longer to reach the cruising altitude.


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I've noticed two things in the wings during my test flights. First, there is no wing flex, even in stronger turbulences, I didn't notice any movement in the wings. Second, the wings doesn't go up. What I want to say is that usually, due to the applied forces, the wings flex up during flight, but in the CremonaSoft A310 they stay like in the ground. This gives the plane a strange look, especially during climb. Well, at least the sight from up here is pretty beautiful. A little bit more than 3 hours and we will be approaching Montreal.


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Now that we've started our descent, we must make sure that some things are ready. Right now we only have to check our ILS frequency/course, as well as our vertical deviation. The FMS should now show our approach speeds, and you should select your approach flaps in the indicated switch. As we get closer to the airport we need our altimeter and auto brake to be set, and spoilers armed.


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Runway at sight, we should already have our flaps and landing gear down. As we have good visibility I will also turn the autopilot off, just remember to hit the red button in the yoke in order to turn off the AP disc alarm. Final seconds before landing and the plane feels like a big aircraft, with slow and heavy movements, I like it.


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And touchdown, welcome to Montreal. The plane is very easy to control, with smooth and slow reactions, perfect for a top-notch landing. Spoilers up and reverse open, it's now time to stop. Montreal is the second-most populous city in Canada and Air Transat operations base, situated in the province of Quebec, this city is in my "To be visited" list of cities around the world.


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Clearly, the aircraft has its downsides, but I really enjoy flying it. Yes, it still needs some refinements, however, the path CremonaSoft is following has a good future. In my opinion, the engine performance could be reworked, they seem a bit overpowered, but the general physics are pretty good. If the next session I am going to talk about wasn't so bad, this plane wouldn't be as bad as people say it is.





Well, I'll be honest, the sounds are way under the expectations. Starting with the engines, sincerely, I am very disappointed. In case you found the ignition and spool up sounds bad, they won't get much better at full thrust. The APU sounds are the exact same from the default Cirrus SF50 engine, but at least you have them. Maybe the best sounds are the switches, knobs and buttons sounds, as well as the flaps. Despite that, the sounds could be completely redone. 


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The lighting in the CremonaSoft is very simple but effective, you won't be impressed in the same way that you won't have any with it. Despite the fact that you have very few options, the only downside I can see here is the cabin light, which isn't adjustable and makes the cabin textures look a bit weird. 


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The Storm switch intensifies the current lighting and also add the panel flood lights. I really enjoy using it.


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Last but not least, we have the well-known dome light, which differs from the newer Airbus aircraft, the A310 has only one dome light position; and reading light, which can illuminate any desired location in the cockpit.


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Moving on to the exterior lights, as you would expect from a payware aircraft, they are all there, landing, logo, taxi, strobes... Nice to see the individual runway turnoff lights, as I can remember they operate together at the A320. The external lights are actually pretty strong, so it will be quite hard to not see the runway during your approach.


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Honestly, this aircraft looks pretty nice at golden hours, especially because you can still clearly see the 3D modeling but the textures aren't appearing that much. Here are some nice photos of these moments. 


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CremonaSoft A310 has four more liveries, the classic Airbus house, AirJamaica, S7 Airlines and the Luftwaffe MRTT livery, which fits the A310 very well. The aircraft still doesn't have a paint kit, this means you can't create your own liveries, however, the designer said that this feature will be incorporated soon. I can't wait to see some nice custom liveries for the A310.


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Well, everything must end somewhere, and here finishes our review. CremonaSoft A310 is a quite complicated product with bad reviews on its back, and sincerely, it's really hard to recommend this add-on for you. Yes, it has some good qualities like the engine and cockpit modeling, as well as the system, which in my opinion, are pretty solid for an aircraft at this price range. We could all see that the designer spent a lot of effort into fixing and improving the systems, but all that isn't enough to make me say this is a good aircraft.


Yes, this aircraft is under development by the author, and yes, they have made quite big improvements on it, but there are still many downsides. The Magknight 787 another plane under development, and even though it has its problems, I could easily recommend it for you. Differently from the A310, the 787, and even with a worse cockpit modeling, is funnier and more pleasant to fly. In my opinion that is caused due to the sounds, because many times good sounds make a bad aircraft enjoyable, so they might be the salvation for the A310.


I know, it isn't easy to develop an aircraft for a simulator, especially a plane that is almost no longer in use, this usually means a lower demand resulting in a smaller budget for the designer. However, producing a product with so many downsides won't help you too much with sales. My suggestion to CremonaSoft is very specific: First, add some enthusiastic sounds for things like batteries, ext power, A/C, flaps and especially engines. Just this will make the aircraft way better. After that you can use current the good 3D cockpit modeling and apply better textures, they don't need to be perfect, just acceptable, your plane isn't that expensive. Leave the systems how they are, the way they are working is completely fine, even better than planes like JarA330 and FF777. After all that is done, your aircraft will be way better, and will start selling more, at least that's what I wish. Last, you should completely redesign the exterior, except the engines which are fine. It will take some time, yes, but if manage to do all that I've said before, your aircraft will be pretty damn nice. 


Since its release, the A310 received many big updates, especially in the last 4 months. This is nice to see because sometimes designers release their products and simply abandon them by not releasing updates or significant changes. I can see a good future for this aircraft, however, it won't be easy, a lot of time is required to take this aircraft to a good quality level.


Quite good interior modeling and pretty nice systems are the main highlights, however, the bad textures and sounds, combined with the poor general exterior modeling/textures attract more attention. The other main problem is the fact that it's very hard to spot an A310 flying today, this means that many people are no longer interested in acquiring the add-on. However, this isn't an excuse because FlyJSim 727 and 737 are even older in real life and very popular in X-Plane. My final answer is, just buy the CremonaSoft A310 right now in case you're a great fan of the Airbus in real life, otherwise, wait for a few more updates. I can see a good plane in the future, and it might not take too long.





The Airbus A310-304 v1.6.1 by CremonaSoft is available Changelog at the X-Plane.Org Store


Airbus A310-304 by CramonaSoft


Price is US$49.95




Flight Characteristics:
  • Accurate weight distribution.
  • Nice flight model.


3D Model:
  • Accurate, high quality external models for fuselage, wings, stabilizers and engines- derived from measurements for the real aircraft.
  • All control surfaces (slats, flaps, ailerons, spoilers, rudder, elevators, THS) accurately animated.
  • Engine reverser animations.
  • Detailed landing gear with claw angle and full animation.
  • Open/close animations for both cockpit windows and all exterior doors.
  • Highly detailed 3D cockpit with super-sharp 4K+ textures and 3D lighting.
  • Detailed 3D gauges, counters, switches and knobs with animations.
  • Metallic surface and glass reflection effects in X-Plane 11 render engine.
  • Detailed flight control and throttle animations.
  • Crisp 3D cabin.
  • Super-sharp external textures.
  • Accurate 3D reproduction of all external aircraft lighting.


  • Custom APU start-up and running parameters.
  • Custom electrical system with AC/DC BUS simulation logic.
  • Custom pneumatic system with bleed-air logic.
  • Cabin temperature simulation.
  • Hydraulic system logic simulation.
  • Fuel system logic simulation.
  • Engine start and crank (windmill).
  • Complete exterior lighting control.
  • Slats/flaps operation with accurate timings.
  • Takeoff configuration test system.
  • Landing gear operation with accurate timings and gear status test.
  • Brake ‘Accu Press’ logic simulation.
  • Pitch (with trim wheel animation), aileron and rudder trim.
  • Weather RADAR.


  • General Electric CF6-80C2, with realistic performance and custom engine sound.


Custom Electronics:
  • Airbus flight phase logic implementation.
  • Flight warning computer implementation, with aural warnings and decision height + altitude callouts (integrated into the flight phase logic).






X-Plane 11

Windows only
4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Current version: 1.6.1 (July 30th 2020)

Aircraft Review by Bernardo Pierdoná Casa

25th August 2020

Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews
Review System Specifications:
Computer System: Intel Core I5-9600K 4,30GHz / 4x8 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200MHz - Gigabyte RTX 2070 - Z390 Aorus Master - Kingston A1000M.2 SSD 240GB

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane  11.41

Addons: Logitech Pro Flight Yoke/Pedals/Throttle Quadrant - Logitech Extreme 3d Pro Joystick - Sound: Samsung Home Theater System J5500WK

Plugins:  Environment Engine v1.13 by xEnviro US$69,90 Traffic: Traffic Global by JustFlight US$52.99

Scenery and Aircraft

-CYYC - Calgary International Airport by Canada4Xplane (X-Plane.Org) - Free


(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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