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Update Review : JARDesign A320neo version 1.5

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Update Review : JARDesign A320neo Version 1.5

JARDesign have updated the A320neo to version 1.5 from the interm beta1.5 that I covered on the 7th August 2013. Although noted as just an tuning upgrade there is significantly far more in this release that warrants a look over to see what has also been released.




First there is a common theme coming out of these upgrade releases and that is that JARDesign are intending to keep you on the ground as long as possible before letting you fly anywhere. Most of the items added are all features that getting ready for flight is becoming a ritual and not just a set this or that and then start your engines and taxi out.

The aircraft GPS alignment to which I have honed down to 12 minutes, Has now been lengthened by three extra features.

Fuel Truck
Load Panel
FollowMe Car




Fuel Truck (released in update 1.2)
In my haste to get airbourne I noted in the 1.5b notes that I took off from Brisbane (YBBN) to go south to Sydney (YSSY) and promptly ran out of fuel over Northern NSW.

(menu : Fuel) The Fuel panel allows you to select your fuel (preselected) requirements and then allowing the fuel truck to (refuel) your tanks in its own time is great reality simulation, watching the fuel numbers go up in the cockpit while your are programming the FMS (or FMGS in Airbus speak) shows how good this simulation is getting.
Any fuel load left in your tanks after your last simulation will be still there on the startup of the new one.




Load Panel
The Load Panel (menu : Load) has now been added over the Fuel Panel. This allows you to set the aircraft load of Passengers and Freight. Passengers are listed as (F) First Class and (A) the rest of cattle class, and Cargo (CRGF) front and (CRGA) rear. The menu will tell you your Payload Weight in (Tons) and shows you your CG% (Centre of Gravity) and your THS ((Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer) which has to be set manually.

The panel allows you to quickly set your load factors, but does not have the adjustable CG settings that (FlyJSim’s) aircraft use.





FollowMe Car (Option)
You have now the option of purchasing the option of a “FollowMe Car” (Ver 1.3 and over)

Cost US$2.99 - FollowMe Car for A320neo




First of all there is already a FollowMe Car folder in the Custom Avionics folder of the A320neo, It won’t work unless you replace it with the purchased version and then the FM (in the menu) will then be activated.

Secondly you must have two items available to use the function.
1) The Airport must have the ATC routes set out correctly.
2) you must set your FMGS (route) into the FMS system (in other words you must set the Departure and Arrival - Airports and runways into FMS before they show up on the FollowMe Car Menu)

First the popup menu screen will show your Departure and Arrival Airports. Then when you select the airport it will give you a selection of taxiways. You select you first taxiway and then your second selection and then each taxiway you want to select until you reach your hold point on the runway.

It is all very clever but with a couple of issues. One if you make a mistake you have to start again using the (CLR) button... your route is built up on the bottom of the screen and it would be great just to go back one entry to fix the wrong selection than straight back to the start to input in the points all over again.
Secondly if the airport is big (I used KDFW Dallas Fort Worth) it can be extremely hard to find the right taxiways and the right route.  too many options and too many the same taxiway points means starting over and over again to get the right route you want.

When all the taxi points are inserted (in the right order) then press RUN to activate.

This will bring up the main menu. And it will note your:

Distance to FM Car in feet
FM Car speed
FM Cars position (Taxiway)
Show path Markers
Change the FM car’s speed (knts) in either to DEC (slow) or INC (increase speed)




Showing path markers gives you the route the FM car will use. It’s a great feature but wouldn’t they be better to help you lay out the route?... here it is too late. To see a line of markers from one taxiway point to the next would be ideal in choosing your route and direction around the airport.

FM Car will appear when you pressed the RUN button and it will come and set itself in up your windshield and wait there till you start to move forward

The FM Car speed adjustment is a great feature (I use 15knts which is ideal) and once you start your forward movement the FM Car will move along before you... Setting the 15knts means the car will stay at 15Knts even if you go faster, in doing that it allows you to set your correct pace and speed as to not run it over...  I loved this in that you have to pace the aircraft to the FM car and it will just not stay at the same speed as the aircraft but the distance between the two objects do contract and expand as you move - clever yes!




When the route is completed the FM Car will move out of you way and park up behind you...  The takeoff bit and flying the aircraft is your job.

It works very well. And when you arrive at your destination if you have set up the route, the FM Car is waiting for you.

A bit of practise would make this FM Car work really well. But I would like a better quicker way of laying out complex routes. (there is a video by JARDesign on how to install the FM Car and use the system - the video is at the bottom of this update)

You start to see the workload coming into focus here (And don’t get me wrong this is great simulation). You have to set up the GPS alignment, put in the fuel, set the aircraft load program, input the route into the FMGS and preferences and now  if you have the FM Car set up the route at your departure and destination airports - so how long does that all take?

A long time and especially if you have a long route to program into the FMGS, you can’t save routes remember?
So every time you start a flight you have to have the route listed and ready to input into the system. Why can’t you save routine routes?...

Terrain on ND
This newly added function allows you to use the TERR ON ND button the main panel (one for each the Pilot and Co-Pilot)




The button has three modes: Normal (off), display camera view and display terrain. All items are shown on your ND (Navigation Display).

The first selection is really the X-Plane MAP on the screen, but how handy is this as it can show you your position at the airport. Great for finding taxiways and then to find your terminals and gates and you can easily align the aircraft correctly.
Up in the air and you can see your position relative to the ground on the map. Slide into to a turn and the map goes into an angle position again relative to the ground and if you don’t go “woah!” with that you then owe me a dollar.

The “display terrain” selection will put the ND into blocky squares to show the terrain under the aircraft.



On the ground the screen is full of large squares. In the air you have to find some terrain to see the system at work. I don’t recommend flying at 280knts and at 10,000ft, straight into a set of mountains in a fully loaded A320. But you get the idea.
Does it work? - not really no, as the squares are to big and I was brushing the snow off the tops of peaks and they only went into two colours of green. far smaller squares would give you a better pattern, but overall another clever feature.




So how does all this feel like?   Once refueled, loaded, and everything programmed into the FMGS I flew the standard sector between Brisbane (YBBN) to Cairns (YBCS) of which I have done countless times.

Using the pushback I have taught myself to leave the park brake alone, turn to the “off” position can confuse the pushback truck, It will release and lock the brakes for you on the movement backwards and after finishing the pushback. Just that old habits die hard. Taxi was great with no issues in holding my correct taxi speed. You would be surprised on how many other aircraft it is hard to do just this.

Roll and takeoff was none eventful, but again I had to adjust to setting the V/S (Vertical Speed) before the system allows you to select “speed” on the throttle and engaging the A/T (Auto Thrust).

Familiarity is a great learner, and especially here. It is a complex system that has been made easy to operate. but you have to be aware of how complex this aircraft is to operate. Get it right and the rewards are overwhelming.


The 1.5b fixed that 3º nose down issue and here in the final 1.5 update it is great and you can now also change the pitch in flight. watch the speed though as I pushed m.83 it sent the A/P into alarm, stay at m.82 and that speed will keep it happy and contented.




Arrival at Cairns was through three waypoints (fixes) UPOLO, SUNNY and CODIE. It is a tricky approach and I wanted to be closer on the turn but the FMGS would not accept the fix BCSNI for some reason, and I felt that CODIE was to far north. The problem with RWY 15 approach is that if you get the turn wrong there is a row of mountains that can ruin any simulation.
I rarely get this approach quite right, as an adjustment to the runway angle is always needed. This time I was impressed as the A320 turned a very nice wide arc from the SUNNY fix to the CS15 approach fix (using CODIE as an alignment fix) and lined me up perfectly with RWY 15. I was tempted to use the OVERFLY key at this point in the route to create the same sort of course, but it wasn’t required.

A noted irritant is the fact that you can’t use the mouse to set things on the pedestal, The flaps, the trim wheels or the airbrakes are not adjustable with the mouser, and only the park brake is accessible?

So you can’t set the flaps (I have to use my joystick buttons via the key menu) and worse arm the airbrakes of which there is no key mode (and only the "all airbakes up") and so the automatic deployment is not available.




On the ground the easy menu system turns the aircraft into a credible parked visual experience. Doors open, ground power in attendance...  Catering truck in position. I loved it all. As the night was falling I noticed that the tail lighting lit only on the right side with HDR off?...  To check I turned the HDR on and the lighting was now correct.
The cockpit lighting in HDR was incredibly good, but destroyed your frame-rate sadly, In fact all through this simulation the frame-rate had felt far better than in past flying on the JARDesign A320, and even at the point of sitting in the 3d cockpit tuning the aircraft for flight, of which in the past sometimes would put my frame-rate below that crucial 19fr and less and give me the shudders... here it did feel far better all though the flight and at each end with the heavier airport sceneries in context.

One final note on that if you like to replay your landings. Just make sure you close all your doors and stowaway any vehicles before hitting the replay selection...  

...  If not you will have all the doors open in flight and your catering truck is still loading the aircraft while on finals!

I like in-flight catering but this is going to far.

The A320neo from JARDesign is certainly one of the great experiences in X-Plane. It does require a lot of attention and routine to get the very best out of the aircraft...  but incredibly rewarding this aircraft is. With the A380 Airbus from Peter’s Aircraft and VMAX’s Boeing 777, the Airbus A320neo is one of the best aircraft you can invest in. And the 1.5 upgrade is another decent upgrade that sets out some really great features and fixes a few issues that needed attention, It is challenging this A320neo and it is complex, but you will love it for years.







Stephen Dutton
13th September 2013

copyright©X-PlaneReviews 2013


You can get the 1.5 update here : A320neo update 1.5


The JAR Design A320neo is available from the X-Plane .org Store:


For US$39.00  - Airbus A320 Neo


Developer site: JARDesign A320neo


Version 1.5 list of changes:

+Tuned flightmodel.
+Change pitch when flying at high speed and altitude.
+Add ability to show Terrain On ND. The TerrOnND button now has three modes – normal, displaying terrain, displaying camera view.
+Add Load panel at left Ground menu. Now you can select how much pax and how much tons of cargo you have load. IMPORTANT – for Takeoff you need set THS manually, as calculated at panel.


Review System Specifications:
Computer System:     
- 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”
- 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3
- ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb
- Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2
- X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final)
- ExtremeSceneryMAXX
- Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle


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  • 3 weeks later...

this is a great plane! but there are a few issues and bugs still with it. I don't think I have ever finished a flight with it witghout a major bug that either brings me way off course or terrain alarms going of and crashing xplane at fl 360.

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this is a great plane! but there are a few issues and bugs still with it. I don't think I have ever finished a flight with it witghout a major bug that either brings me way off course or terrain alarms going of and crashing xplane at fl 360.

Yes I have been there with the alarms (Even the real pilots get the alarms) , but you have to plan and practise a few times and gradually you will find it will become more quieter!..  It took me time to do so, but it is rewarding when you get it right.  SD

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  • 6 months later...
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  • 6 years later...
14 hours ago, Stephen said:

Yes you can believe that, but it shows that updates and changes are the lifeblood of any aircraft, for everything the A320neo is still quite flyable so a lot of credit to JARDesign, hopefully the other two can be given a new life and a future.

Yeah the JARDESIGN 320 is quite good but the 380 is way to outdated and the 777 is just decent/average

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