Stephen Posted October 19, 2021 Report Share Posted October 19, 2021 Aircraft Review : Airbus A340-600 by ToLiSS Any new aircraft release from ToLiSS is always a reason to celebrate, in a short period of years the developer has entrenched themselves into delivering extremely high quality Airbus aircraft and their systems. First release was the Airbus A319-122, then the larger A321-123. Then both aircraft came with NEO (New Engine Option) upgrades. In the background however was a far more ambitious project and certainly the largest Airbus yet from ToLiSS, the... Airbus A340-600. The Airbus A340, along with it's Twin-Engined sister design A330 was built to compete with the Boeing 777 in the 1990s, in reality the A330 is only used as a long-medium range aircraft (13,450 km / 7,250 nmi), along with the Boeing 777 (13,649 km/ 7,370 nmi ), were as the four-engined A340 can do a extremely long-range (16,670 km / 9,000 nmi) in -500 guise, the -600 version produced here by ToLiSS swaps range for payload, but can still do a significant 14,450 km / 7,800 nmi range, so you would expect the aircraft to be extremely popular on long distance hub to hub routes. But fate and the growing environmental concerns have reduced the demand for aircraft in this A380, B747, A340 capacity... overall it was the Boeing 777, with it's capacity, better efficiency and the lesser ETOPS restrictions that has ultimately slowed the A340 orders and finally removed the aircraft from services... it survives servicing currently only on the ultra long routes around the world, as the airlines are slowly reducing it's serviceable numbers, the Covid19 interaction didn't help the cause either. Thankfully there are still 60 A340-600s in service with six airlines worldwide, but the numbers are dwindling away fast. The A340 was the right aircraft at the right time, but the world itself changed around it, to defeat it. The A340-600 was stretched by 20–22 frames over the -300 to 75 m (246 ft) in length, making -600 at the time the longest Airbus built until the A380 a decade later, Internal layouts are in a 3-4 class arrangement of 320–370 seats, and the aircraft is powered by Three-shaft High Bypass Turbofan Rolls-Royce Trent 556s engines at 55,780–61,902 lbf thrust output, it is a derated engine, because there are four of them, and for efficiency and the reduced fuel consumption. The -600 also has a larger wing area 439.4m², to accommodate larger fuel tanks. The release from ToLiSS of the A340-600, also breaks new ground for the developer. For the first time the complete aircraft has been 100% created in-house, were as in the past the modeling and other various elements were exported out to 3rd party commissions (most notable was Roman Berezin of FlightFactor fame), some commissions still however are in use as Ekran Design, SamWise and SpeedM have all still been assigned. But the now internal aspect of almost everything in the process was to create a far more tighter control over the quality and a faster output, plus the addition of more features and detail. External Details As noted this Airbus is now a complete in house design, and to be honest the earlier ToLiSS aircraft were good and well modeled, but not in that so called upper quality area. So there are two important things to keep in mind here when reviewing this aircraft... This is their first internal modeling project, so there will be the odd issue and quality quirk, and two with the quality now being in house, quirky areas will and can be updated very quickly and resolved... that said, the first impressions of this A346 are extremely good. At 75.36 m / 247.24 ft the -600 is a loooong barrel style aircraft, I found the -500 version quite Boeing 707 in proportion, but the -600 just doesn't have that profile, but to more the Douglas DC-8-63/73 style. Shape and barrel are actually very good, but you do feel and even in areas you can see the drawn on lines, but closer in the detail and the NML normal mapping, or Dot3 bump mapping is really very good if even discrete, and the excellent (all) door(s) and external cabin window detail can highlight this excellent mapping in the right lighting conditions. Close inspection shows Lo-Res cockpit metal window surrounds, they look okay, but are a bit washed out/buzzy close up... but the glass is excellent, right colour and the right depth of thickness, the side cabin windows are very good as well. We were not very impressed by the NEO upgrade engine modeling on the ToLiSS A321, but these Rolls-Royce Trent 556s are excellent, lovely shape and great internal inlet and external pod detail... a marked step forward. A bit more wear and burn realism on the outlet cowlings would be nice though. Wings are very nice, with still only a few noticeable lines, but overall very nicely done with perfect tank under wing access plates. Airflow markings on the flaps is nice, and note the realistic drooping of all the aerodynamic surfaces when not hydraulically powered up... ... the wing tip detail is excellent, with the winglet that are well proportioned. Tail and rear elevators are really good as well, nicely detailed and formed... the point rear APU outlet looks a little too modeled and added on, and may require later a texture with some exhaust gas markings for more realism... but otherwise the rear is very good. The main gear and the famous A340 three bogie arrangement is perfectly realised here, and really well done... ... the gear strut assembly and components are very realistic and detailed, they look and feel real, but don't feel over worn or used heavily year on year... but still it is all is very nicely done. Strut labels are good (but reversed?), and the wheel well detail looks still a bit of WIP, with no attachments or internal box textures (photos?) if you go looking. The central middle strut is mostly hidden on the upper parts, but the lower bogie assembly is excellent, and certainly around the hydraulic piston and support arms. The massive hollow gear pins are all correctly modeled, with the wheel hub and realistic rubber tyres are also very well done. The complex nose-gear also delivers brilliantly, again all struts the and linkages are perfect, and the in-built TAXI and RUNWAY TURNOFF lighting are all very realistic. So overall (discounting the inner wheel-wells) all the gear is all excellent and delivers the gear realism you need on an aircraft of this calibre. Cabin Stepping aboard the ToLiSS A340 and you are overwhelmed by the greyness, with a lot of beige thrown in... There are as noted four classes... First, Business, Premium Economy and a huge Economy class... In the forward cabin there are eight First Class seats (in a Dark Grey) in a cubicle arrangement... ... next cabin is a thirty seat Business or Executive Class layout that blends into another thirty seat Premium Economy layout, and all are covered in Grey and Teal (ToLiSS livery) materials... ... then on it goes, cabin after cabin, and the of rows and rows of grey and teal seating in economy. Seat quality and design is actually very good, with some really lovely seating materials and high quality stitching... but it will be interesting of what the painters can do to recreate some authentic A340 cabins. Galleys are nicely detailed as well, but also feel slightly bland with the samey colouring used here. Using metal surfaces (and Trolley Carts?) or creating the more realistic workplace surfaces would probably make these areas come more alive... it is early days. Unique on the A340 is the lower (economy) floor toilets... the access is via some stairs rear to the lower floor, and it is really well done (note the nice shiny metal rails!), and great for an in flight explore. The A340 is supposed to have two subterranean areas, with a forward lower floor crew rest area and toilets as well... but I could find a forward area. Two more cabin notes... One is that all the seats have a built in (forward view) screen (Larger in First and Biz) to mimic the unique tail camera on the A340, which is great for watching landings! But at night all the screens turn into a nasty green? Thankfully you can turn the screens off on the OHP, via the "Landscape Camera" switch. A great touch is that both the overhead "No Smoking" and "Seatbelt" signs actually work... and can be set individually... nice. The main front and rear cargo holds are also textured in, but not in a highly detailed design, but still another nice to have. Cockpit It is what is through the cockpit door that really counts... first thought is the overwhelming 90s feel, as the cockpit material is the dark blue and white stitched stripe in design, first impressions are very good to the very impressed and I will call the look overall very professional. Over a period of time you really come to like being in here, important for 12+ hour flights. The rear has one rear seat, and one unfolded jumpseat, it feels nice in the rear... left rear is a wardrobe (with hangers) boxes for manuals, extinguisher and other various items, the modeling is good, but not in that higher Hi-Def realism in that there is a mixture of both Hi and Lo modeling elements. Front Captain and First Officer seats are really well done, nice materials and come with a nice hard shiny shell back, but the armrests are not animated, but at least they are positioned in the stored position as to not block-out the pedestal panels. All the Instrument Panel, Pedestal and Overhead Panel (OHP) have this lovely (Airbus) bluey-grey sheen, and that shows off the very nice PBR (Physical Based Rendering) effects to their maximum, it looks and feels oh so very realistic. But far more to the FlightFactor A320 feel than the JARDesign feel. So it is really not noticeable at first, but the quality of the instrument panel texture and knobbly feel is absolutely first rate when the lighting is at it's best... you feeeel this aircraft in it's top draw quality. Overall highlight is certainly the throttle quadrant, with it's four knobby throttles (rear reverser levers) and companion fuel switches... look closely and there is some very nice scratch work for wear and tear aging on all the panels. But I am not crazy about the external wipers, they look quite clunky from the internal viewpoint, and even distracting from the pilot's seat, the real A340 wipers do have the large attachment clasp, but not the large thick body it is attached to. Power and Alignment Power up with both Battery (BAT 1/BAT 2) and I am also using EXT (External) ground power and you have two "EXT A and EXT B" inputs available on the Overhead Panel. On power up I was surprised that only the left PFD (Primary Flight Display, and top ECAM (EWD) screen tested up first (40 Secs). And not the usual all instruments "Self Test" mode, so I checked that out with ToLiSS and here is the reply... "The Captain PFD and EWD get powered as soon as the batteries are on, whereas all other displays need to wait until AC power is applied. So the Captain PFD and EWD finish their self test much earlier." Fair enough... and it is the same with the ADIRS navigation alignment. When the left MAP/NAV display is already set (MAP alignment is also nearly complete). The right MAP/NAV display however still has to wait until the alignment process has been completed. Now the reason is that the ADIRU on alignment is now also susceptible to the small pressure sensor differences between the units, and in to also the more random switching of the sources for the PFDs, in so creating the non-same time visual display differences... ... so I again enquired about that aspect of the odd screen start up alignment as well... another ToLiSS reply. "Each ADIRU aligns on its own. ND1 uses data from ADIRU1 and ND2 from ADIRU2. Each of these will transition to HDG displayed as soon as it's own ADIRU is ready. As you do not switch them all on at the same time, the situation can happen that one display is already valid and the other one is not." end of debate. Once powered and aligned, the instrument panel is all Airbus... in a six panel T panel display arrangement, in all cases Airbus panels are extremely similar, the only concessions are the engine layouts on the two central ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor) displays, in this case the four engine arrangement. Notable is the blank lower DCDU - Data Communication Display Units, ToLiSS says they will come soon in an update. Both left and right PFD (Primary Flight Displays) are the standardised layout. Speed and altitude ribbons, V/S indicator, rate of turn high and rotating bearing lower and the centralised Artifical Horizon, the display is bright and clear and adjustable for brightness. There is a really nice rich tone to the PFD display of which I like... MAP/Navigation Display is standard fair as well, Compass Heading top, GS (Ground Speed), Adjustable range and VOR 1 and VOR 2 left and right lower. ECAM is two displays with the E/WD (ECAM Warning Display) top and the various SD (System Display) modes lower... Every ECAM profile is available...ENG, BLEED, PRESS, EL/AC, EL/DC, HYD, C/B (Circuit-Breakers), APU, COND, DOOR, WHEEL, F/CTL, FUEL, and STS. All modes are accessible via the ECAM Control Panel below the SD display. Everything feels exaggerated on the SD screens and that is because everything in the A340 is duplicated by four, and then there is the extensive fuel tank layouts and the four (nose, two main and one central) and undercarriage arrangements, comparing this SD display to the A330 or A320 ECAM arrangements, the SD feels far more crammed and more complex than on the other Airbuses except for the other Four-Engined A380. It is a marvel on how much has been now inserted with these system modes and their high complex detail in Simulation... ToLiSS was one of the first custom developers with the QPAC A320 that delivered these early Airbus system modes, and this is now a serious deep dive of system functionality, it is also all very authentic to a study grade Airbus with here there is an active 30 warnings and with over 200 caution messages built in to the system.... we have come a very long way in only half a decade. All the display panels can be popped out (touching glass).. and easily scaled (with your mouse-scroll) for screen space or home cockpit builders. Over the years there has been also the many various manipulators to try to recreate the Airbus push-pull knob system, some were more successful than others. Here ToLiSS has done another take on how to manipulate the Autopilot control knobs. The half-moon manipulators turns the knob (scroll), but to Push-Pull you press the mouse and create a fist, then drag the fist either upwards or downwards to PUSH (drag up), or PULL (drag down)... It take a little getting used to, as all the Push-Pull movements are quite if very small, and you are not sure if you have done the required action. After a while however it does easily become second nature. Multi-Function Control and Display Units The two Multi-Function Control and Display Units (MCDU) are excellent, and better still are both separate individual units for both the Captain and First Officer. The left MCDU is set for the left (Captain) MAP/NAV display and the right MCDU is for the right side (F-Officer). The left MAP/NAV shown here is set in ARC mode.. and right MAP/NAV shown here is set in PLAN mode. The pop-out plate facias however are a far more brighter bluish tone than the installed pedestal Blue-Gray units, and to a point they don't really match up together very well. You can type directly into either MCDU, by pressing the panel facia, but if you however press the glass area it simply and quickly disappear? and so it is very easy to point yourself into the wrong area and lose the unit... touching the MCDU glass on the pedestal units is the way to pop-out the units, all like the same with the PFD, NAV/MAP and ECAM Displays. Ease of use of inserting flightplans and the editing of the flightplan on the MCDU is simply excellent, it is obviously an all Airbus dialogue and layout, but it isn't hard at all to master. But be aware that you should understand the data you are inserting into the system get the correct flight profile out of the aircraft. Even small mistakes can do weird things to these very complicated machines, as we are at a study level here and the aircraft reacts only to the correctly inputted data in that aspect. Thankfully ToLiSS provides you with the most critical data required on the Menu. INIT pages 1 & 2 (INIT FUEL PREDICTION) can be inserted (arrowed below left) and the required data (ZFW/ZFWCG) and (BLOCK) data is important... ... this can relate to the separate "FUEL PRED" page, which is very good in it's in-flight fuel prediction detail. Notable is "SEC F-PLN" or secondary flightplan (above left) than can be copied (COPY ACTIVE) from the main flightplan and can then be changed and used to create a different departure or arrival route. SID/STAR and airways support also a fully custom and supporting a FMGS backbone of all A424 leg types (Arc, course or heading to intercept, Radius to Fix and Holdings). Also a note... on the TAKE OFF (Performance) (upper right arrowed) phase the FLEX TO TEMP input has to inserted as an "F" in front of the Flex Temperature to get accepted (i.e. F41). So very Flexible, detailed, the A340's MCDU, Flight Management Guidance Computer (FMGC) is excellent in the A340 and very authentic to look at and access. Pedestal The pedestal is perfect... Radios top (each side) of the fully formed four Fuel Switches (they feel gorgeous), with Radar left and ATC (Transponder) right... Notable is that you will notice that there is a basic skeleton installed for the ATC Comm page, another feature of the upgraded ATC, coming in X-Plane12. .... lower are is the Speed Brake left and Flap lever right (again both beautifully modeled). Set centre is the standard Airbus engine start (Ignition) switch and the backup (Multipurpose) MCDU. Noted here are ACMS, CMS, SAT and ATSU options, and ToLiSS notes these will later become active on all three MCDU units with the Controller–pilot data link communications (CPDLC) link as a high priority, and I like the idea of a printout option, that creates a TXT file that you can print out externally. Bottom left of the pedestal is the cockpit door lock, main PARK BRAKE and RUDDER TRIM knob. Overhead Panel (OHP) The OHP is noted as a “single slope”. with the "Forward zone" for the most frequently used functions, i.e. - System controls, that are arranged in three main rows : - center row for engine-related systems, arranged in a logical way. - lateral rows for other systems. The Aft zone (top area), is not really used in flight, and is mainly for being a small maintenance panel corresponding to some maintenance controls. Notable is the complex fuel tank arrangement of six main tanks (Two tanks each Wing, Centre Tanks and the tail Trim tank), plus each has a "Vent" tank open to the elements. Engines also have four separate electrical generators adding into the complexity. Yes study is required if you want to go deeper into these elements. TISCS Menu The menu system or "ToLiSS Interactive Simulation Control System" is a bit long winded but it is shortened as TISCS, but it is an important if essential part of the system, so we will need to go through the TISCS first. I do recommend in setting up a key command input to bring the TISCS menu up, as you will access the TISCS a lot (I use "S" and the same TISCS menu key works for all the ToLiSS aircraft, A340, A319 and A321). There are seven TISCS tabs available covering: SITUATIONS A/C CONFIG, LOADING PERFO, GROUND SERVICES, FAULTS SCENERIOS, SOUND/ADDONS, JOYSTICK ACTIONS and GENERAL SETTINGS. The default is the "Ground Services" panel Situations A/C Config The "Config page" is used to set up the aircraft with two sections, "LOAD/SAVE SITUATIONS" and "AIRCRAFT CONFIGURATION" Load/Save Situations is an absolute gem of a tool, basically it is "Save" tool, but it saves EVERYTHING including the important MCDU settings and your full route (yes even the SIDs and STARs), and better still it gives you a backup "Auto-Saving" feature in case X-Plane does a nasty CTD (Crash to Desktop) or a freeze on you, all the saved files are held in the X-Plane Plugin's Folder and not in the A340 Aircraft folder... It is years better than any other save tool in X-Plane, as it is simply golden to set up or to have your aircraft ready at a certain state of "ready to Flight" or in certain flight position or situation. So if you just want to come back and just fly from a certain (takeoff) point, then you can simply save the aircraft ready to start that way... it is just simply brilliant. The Auto-Saving function can be set at save intervals from 1min to 30min, but 5min is the best or turned off. The saved situations can be "Filtered" to find certain saved situations (image below right) Aircraft Configuration section is different to the A319/A321 TISCS layouts. Gone (for now) are the engine configurations, and replaced by; HAS BRAKE FAN (Yes/Auto/No), USE WEIGHT VARIANT (Auto/Regular/HGW - High Gross Weight) and the use of IMPERIAL UNITS (or KGS) Lower is a new TISCS option to adjust the aircraft's performance relative to it's age (NEW to OLD), on the AIRCRAFT AGE and ENGINE AGE sliders. Note: all the A/C Configurations page settings have to be saved before use. Loading Perfo This tab covers the AIRCRAFT LOADING, BLOCK FUEL, CG-GW and TO-PERFORMANCE AIRCRAFT LOADING: This setting zone sets up the aircraft's payload for; Passengers, Passenger Distribution, FWD Cargo (Lbs/Kgs), Aft Cargo (Lbs/Kgs) and then you can apply the load settings to the A340. BLOCK FUEL: allows you to set the BLOCK (to BLOCK) Fuel amount (Lbs/Kgs) with a "QUICK REFUEL/DEFUEL". CG-GW: the diagram shows you via a graph the CG Limits (Centre of Gravity) and current CG position in three colours: Black TO (Takeoff) CG Limits, Blue FT (Flight) CG Limits and Red LDG (Landing) CG Limits. TO-PERFORMANCE: This is a calculator tool to find the TOGA (TakeOff/Go-Around) performance numbers... you set the (S/F) Flap Configuration (1+F) and the calculator will give you the V1, VR and V2 ref speeds (For input in the MCDU (PERF) TAKE OFF page). Plus the CG/THS and Flex Temp (F)... ... to use the TO-PERFORMANCE calculator though you have to set the Departure Airport and Runway in the MCDU before the TO-PER calculator will work? Other MCDU input data notes are in the left side "AIRCRAFT LOADING" Section, this includes the ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight), and ZFWCG (Zero Fuel Weight Centre of Gravity), they are both inputted on the INIT B PAGE (The BLOCK FUEL is also inputted on the same INIT B page). Ground Services This tab covers the external factors on the aircraft in; QUICK SERVICES, PUSH-BACK, ANIMATED SERVICES and AIRCRAFT DOORS QUICK SERVICES: provides options for "Ground Power" (Two units in POWER A and POWER B as noted on the OHP) and "HIGH and LOW PRESSURE AIR" which is there to start the engines and provide ventilation/air-conditioning while on the ground. There are no external physical units, But there is a built in PUSHBACK feature... PUSHBACK: is quite basic in look and to use in AUTO (Set distance and Rotation) or MANUAL modes. However I always use the excellent BetterPushBack Truck as an alternative. The ToliSS A340 has also been configured correctly for the BetterPushBack use, so it works extremely well here. Note in watching the pushback operation details on the ECAM SD "WHEEL" page! ANIMATED SERVICES: panel is not currently operational at this time, so there are no chock's, flags or engine covers... as ToLiSS notes that flying performance and systems are more of a priority than any addon features. AIRCRAFT DOORS: have three selections with Auto (default) Close and Open. The Auto setting will open the doors when the park brake is set and the engines are off. But they do have a tendency to be a bit uncontrollable in opening the aircraft, and you then have to (constantly and annoyingly) reset all the doors back to the "AUTO" preference state, and as this is default auto setting it will always switch back again and have the front left and the two cargo doors open every time you load up the aircraft? The Door Auto setting is my only really pet peeve with ToLiSS aircraft and now with eleven doors and hatches... but it has gotten better in the save department if you do a "Save" on the Config page. Faults Scenerios The A340 like the A319/A321 has a great failure system, or FAULT SCENERIOS. These failures can be set up on the TISCS Panel. You can ENABLE the RANDOM FAULTS feature and set the FLIGHT TIME FACTOR of LESS or MORE Flights. You have a total random setting that covers a wide range of 140 system faults, or you can set your own failure with the options including: NOW, AT TIME(set time in Seconds from now), AT IAS (Speed), AT ALT (set altitude) or RANDOM, and you can set as many failures as you like. My selection here is ELEC (Electrical)/BATT 2/AT ALTITUDE (You can also set the altitude for the failure), and the fault worked as set, second failure was FLT (Flight) CTRL (Control)/R OUTBD AIL JAM/RANDOM/FLIGHT or Flight Control-Right Outboard Aileron Jam-set at Random in Flight. All Faults can be deleted or changed at will. Sound/Addons SOUND SETTING: panel covers the aural areas of; Engine Volume, System Volume, Cockpit sounds, Environmental sounds, Ground Contact, Aural Alerts and External Volume. Doppler sound effects and 3D Sound Fading which is an option to switch off the sounds from the PTU (Power Transfer Unit) and Flaps in the cockpit. ADDONS: Currently there are no "Addon" options at this point in time. Notable is that the JOYSTICK ACTIONS that was situated on this "Sound" tab on the A319/A321 has been moved to it's own tab (Below). JOYSTICK CONFIGURATION: selections options cover the "Primary Joystick" FOUND, and the PRIMARY STICK DEADBAND margin selection. The control of NWS (NoseWheel Steering) has been changed to select the "JOYSTICK ROLL in No/Auto/Yes options, Enable Second Joystick (For custom setups like home built panels or for training) as it supports the use of two sidesticks (pilot and co-pilot side) again the FOUND option and another DEADBAND slider is available for the SECOND JOYSTICK. Tiller Assignment. Pedal Brakes Assignment with brake strength, Smart Park Brake, Allow Brake on One Pedal are all for optional Rudder Pedal addons with built in braking actions. THROTTLE CONFIGURATION: This is a brand new option on ToLiSS aircraft, but some actions have been reassigned. One moved here is the F1/F2 Toggle reversers (I use a joystick trigger!) option, and SMART THR LVER IDLE LOCK and REV ON SAME AXIS are both new options... with CL DETENT LOCATION (Interesting?) and MCT DETENT LOCATION are both here in having adjustment Sliders for throttle addon systems. ACTIONS: include "ADIRU Quick Alignment", and "Jump to next WPT (Waypoint)". "Auto-Pause " has four settings: OFF, ON WARNINGS, ON WARN + CAUT (Caution) and ON WARN/CAUT/TOD (Top of Descent). At these points the Auto-Pause will automatically pause the (X-Plane) simulation, say as if a master caution or master warning goes off. Again you have to save the Settings on the menu for any of them to be effective. General Settings The General Settings tab has five sections in: PRODUCT INFO, VISUAL SETTINGS, STARTUP BEHAVIOUR, USER INTERFACE and MISCELLANEOUS. PRODUCT INFO: (Information) covers the current (ToLiSS) Version and build number and LICENSE ID, or Authorisation. VISUAL SETTINGS: include new options in; WING FLEX STRENGTH, WING FLEX FROM GEAR BUMPS (Landing) and (PFD, MAP/NAV & ECAM) SCREEN BACKGROUND GLOW sliders. Display (Instrument) reflections has been changed to just a REMOVE SCREEN REFLECTIONS (On/Off) selection. SKI/RAIN Windshield (Librain) effects can only be used currently in Open GL, but expect this item to change significantly with the release of X-Plane12 in that Librain/Rain/Snow features will then be the built in default effects in the new X-Plane12 version. "REFRESH PDF EVERY X CYCLES" This is an option for the weak graphic card users, in that instead of the heavy use every cycle to refresh the system displays, you can set the cycles to be redrawn either every 2nd or 4th cycle. STARTUP BEHAVIOUR : sets the aircraft to a certain startup situation (known as Cold or Hot), options include: OVHD XP START SETTING. COLD START TYPE in COLD+DARK, EXT POWER (connected) and the really all on with APU+ADIRU ON. DEFAULT TO COPILOT SEAT (On/Off). DEFAULT BARO in either HPA or InHG. Finally you can set your own default "Transition Altitude" via a slider. USER INTERFACE: are options on how you interact with the aircraft. Options include: USE MOUSE WHEEL GESTURES, SYNC BARO SETTINGS (separate or aligned Baro settings), POPOUT WINDOWS FOR POPUPS and you can save your set, or save your POPUP CONFIGURATION (Cockpit builders) on Quit. MISCELLANEOUS: ILS AUTO ALIGN is a feature in that if the custom scenery that rotates the runway; for in these cases when the ILS and the runway are not aligned anymore. The ToLiSS A340 plugin thereby contains a feature that detects if there is such custom scenery installed and then automatically realigns the ILS in the internal database to the new runway heading. XPDR COMPATIBILITY MODE, is the use of different transponder modes. CACHE ROUTES ONLY ON STARTUP; a setting that prevents interruption when you enter your FROM/TO in the MCDU. If you enable this option, the plugin will only check your fms files once on startup. and the advantage is that you do not have interruptions when entering your FROM/TO, the disadvantage is: if you created the fms file for your flight plan AFTER loading the aircraft it won't find it. ENABLE AVITAB TABLET, The AviTab tablet is installed on the lower left of the Pilot and usable if you have the AviTab plugin set in your plugin folder. For those that have an Navigraph account the use of Navigraph maps and tools are also available in the A340. You can hide or show the Tablet via this switch. Again remember you have to save the Preferences and Default values for them on the MISCELLANEOUS Page for them to be effective and in some instances a restart is required to activate a setting. ____________________ Flying the ToLiSS Airbus A340-600 First thing to get into your head is just how long the -600 aircraft is... don't think like A330/A350 or even a Boeing B787 pilot, but be in like a A380 or B748 sized mind. Code F gates are the safest (A380/B748), The A346 is actually Code E, but you will need the extra space... ... repositioned the A346 at Gatwick (EGKK) and finding a stand large enough to cater for my size was far harder than it looked, and I still felt my tail was hanging out. There are no ground vehicles or service elements (yet), and being in a beta version there is no GHD (Ground Handling Deluxe) vehicle .set yet either, but no doubt these aspects will come very quickly (there already is a .set for the JARDesign A340). Wind changed on me... so I used the "Second Flightplan" option to copy my installed route, make it active and change it for use with the reassigned Rwy 26L and SID WIZA4M to DVR (Dover). So easy to do. Yes Second Flightplans are not new to X-Plane, but here it is very easy to copy and quickly adjust the route, and that the MCDU does the job so very neatly as well is really impressive. Second (Better)Pushback of the day, and I can now start the engines, APU is running, so BLEED ON and ENGINE START to IGN (Ignition) Engines are started in sequence, preferably with engine No. 1 first, that is in order to pressurise the blue hydraulic system, that pressure also supplies the parking brake accumulator. APU bleed does however also allow you to start two engines simultaneously. The preferred order of engine start is 1, 2, 3 then 4... easy... but get the engine start sequence wrong, as I did intentionally (Starting No.4 first) and you get a load of electronic warnings (Hydraulics) and it is not at all easy to rectify. The engine bleed model is very good in considering the bleed mass flow for the engine start, in other words each engine start is not an exact replica of each other, but adjusted to each engine for realism. Engine sequence startup sounds are very nice, and now a far cry from the early ToLiSS days, all sound packages now are of high quality and come with specialised custom effects. All powered up, flaps set (1+F) and lighting on, it is time to go and the clock is now running. Notable is the set (check) the TO-Config button to display the right configuration for takeoff, very easy to forget, so I make it a takeoff mantra... Gatwick is busy, always busy... so you really feel the size of the -600 here, and of where you can or can not go. I take Taxiways AN and A, that gives me more open space to turn the A346 onto the runway RESA as the overrun at the start of RWY 26L is very large. Chrono (Clock) running and you push all the four petit throttle levers forward to the takeoff point. There is nothing like the push of a "Heavy" to get your adrenaline running, BIG and HEAVY are two words I love in aviation and the A340 fills that aspect perfectly... .... my TOW (Total all up Weight) is 269585 kg, of that my fuel load is 44121 kg, and that means I am heavy with passengers, but with a flying time of just over 4 hours (4h:08m) I am heavy on payload, but lighter (on fuel) than when flying usually a very long haul route that this A346 is quite capable of. So the speed gathers rather quickly down RWY 26L... ... Rotate is 173 +10 knts, and the lift and "Positive Climb" is clean... and your away! Tilting gear now hangs in space, outboard bogies cant backwards, and the centre bogie cants forwards... retracting the gear comes with some great sounds of mechanical and wind noise, not so much in the cockpit forward, but great in the cabin (Cabin sounds do nicely change frequencies as you move around the or go to the more front or rear of the aircraft). 90º south follows the departure track of WIZA4M, then another 90º to MAY (Mayfield 117.90) then to DVR... ... ToLiSS aircraft are amazing physically to fly (yes you can actually fly an Airbus manually). As the words "Smooth" and "Fluid" that comes easily to mind, and the aircraft will respond perfectly to your actions. So flying tight 90º turns are perfect and clean. ToLiSS has certainly set the benchmark on how these "heavy" aircraft respond and feel to your input actions. Heading towards the Channel, it is time to settle down after takeoff and fly the route, first is a change of speed to 305 kts, then a climb up to 35,000 ft, at 2200 fpm, with a reduction around 28,000ft to 1200 fpm... various weights (heavier or lighter) can obviously alter this procedure and the climb to altitude, but the A346 takes it all in it's stride. Tanking already begins... the complicated fuel system will transfer fuel as required, as the fuel system includes inflight CG control by pumping fuel to and from the tail tank. There is also here fuel jettison, manual and automatic transfers between the different tanks, and across the from the outer wing tanks to the inner tanks, all these procedures are fully automatic and every tanking action is displayed on the E/DW display. Long haulers love their toys... Flip out work tables (yeah!) and pull down front window blinds are a super nice to have now in a ToLiSS aircraft, the side window shades however don't work (yet). Greta Thunberg would stamp her little feet and wave her little finger in the air... the A340 is a serious climate killer, with four engines all pumping out that nasty oxide, "who cares", this is a great if brilliant aircraft to transport you (virtually) around the world. The Airbus A340-600 looks simply brilliant powering through the sky at altitude. Quickly we are already approaching Frankfurt, with EDDF now sliding below at 47m on the clock... .... this point in my mind brings up the debate? Over the last few years, regularly now, we have had the same repeat inquiry on the .Org Forums. "What is the best aircraft for long haul"? To be honest X-Plane didn't deliver really good Long Haul aircraft... that is not totally absolutely true, but the best ones in the FlightFactor's Boeing 777 and Peter's A380 are now very old, very dated. The FF A350 is not bad (after the last update), but the Magknight B787 Dreamliner also still falls far short of it's potential. The JARDesign twins A330/A340 are actually not bad and I like them a lot, if you like their old styling design, and finally the two 747s by SSG and Felis (B742) are quite complicated machines to fly. So there are really no clear winners here. The problem is highlighted even more in that most of the users in asking this "Long Haul Airliner" question are also very new to long haul flying... ToLiSS aircraft are interesting in this regard. They are certainly study depth, as the avionics, systems and Airbus laws are very and highly refined and ToLiSS is the X-Plane master Guru of Airbus behaviours and systems. That also makes it interesting? Because the systems in here are so highly refined and detailed, then this ToLiSS and the A346 is actually very easy to fly, even to a point being an automatic machine to Boeing's more physically manual aspect. I'm not saying you don't still need to understand the A340's systems and the flying behaviours, because you do... but the A340 is quite an easy aircraft to learn on and to fly (very) long distances, and certainly if you are new to Airbus philosophy. Basically ToLiSS is doing the heavy lifting for you here, so the A346 aircraft is currently the No.1 choice if you want to do "Long Haul" flying and are new to the genre... but don't just pop in and fly it around all the time just on automatic, learn the systems, learn the Airbus philosophy, as the ToLiSS A346 is light on the top, but very deep down below. You can jump from waypoint-to-waypoint through the cruise phase, and by-pass the boring bits... to me this is an anathema in Long haul flying, as it is about the distance covered in real time and the numbers in feedback the aircraft gives you... but the impatient out there will jump ahead to do long haul in a short haul time period, the ToLiSS A340 allows you to do this and very well in this aspect, but it goes very much against my long haul personal coda. The longer lighting as the day moved onwards (going faster as I am flying East) showed off the excellent detail and lovely textures on the instrument panel... the more time you spend in here, the more you really love this A340 aircraft. You cruise around Mach 0.82 (470 kn; 871 km/h) at 35,000ft-39.000ft, but I found Mach 0.83 to be easily achieved with no loss of extra fuel consumption. Lighting Another ToLiSS weakness on the A319/A321 was the internal lighting, before it was okayish. ToLiSS is now more in control on what features and areas than they were before... but still to a point I approached the A346 lighting with some trepidation... ... but I wasn't at all disappointed, if in the very opposite and being very excited of all the lighting possibilities in the A340. All the lighting knobs work as per Airbus layouts... including (now) all the under panel four lighting knobs. The two inner knobs cover the Autopilot panel top displays and lower text instruments... The two outer knobs we will talk about in a moment... Above on are the three spots for the (Centre) Pedestal, and the two outer Reading lights... Plus there is a MAP Switch (and even Console switches) left and right of each PFD that lights up both of your side panels. Roll out your work tables and the two outer under panel knobs adjust the lighting for each left and right tray for your convenience! Using the standard seven; FLOOD LT (MAIN and PED), INTEG LT, PFD, ND and the two ECAM (upper/lower) knobs you can successfully adjust to any sort of lighting conditions you want... including (above right) my perfect cockpit dark and warm lit instrument panel for takeoff or landing, we will see this again in action on landing. Over head cockpit lighting is the standard Airbus three way CTL (main cockpit lighting switch) and the three way set STORM, BRT (Bright) and DIM selection. So the cockpit lighting in the overhead and the instrument panel selections is pretty well perfect... The cabin is a surprise as well! In the day the cabin felt a bit grey and bland, but at night it is excellent. In the external dark the cabin comes well and truly alive, and a very nice place to be it is as well. With better lighting the cabin detail also comes out far better, including the window side panels and overhead bins. Most in here is lovely window and centre strip lighting, it is very well done. As it got darker we can now also look at some of the external lighting... ... overall the exterior lighting is very, very good. There is nice star effects on the brighter lighting, and the cabin windows at night are very nice and not with the usual over bright cruise liner look. There are four (two each side) wing lights and they light up the wing and engines very nicely externally and from the cabin (for those who love their wing lighting effects), and the strobe lighting can be a bit blobby but work well in context.. Navigation lights are all basically similar in detail but again very good. Not keeping an eye on your instruments? The flightplan will alert you to important points if you forget to do them... here it was a "Decelerate" alert in missing my TOD (Top of Descent) marker for Tel Aviv? I was bit a apprehensive of (yet again) having to learn yet another manipulator system, but the ToLiSS idea is actually very good, the trick is just to remember your PUSH (drag up), or PULL (drag down) positions, but was very quickly using it like a pro... "just a bit of practise". I like the option, that when you have taken off... the TISCS "Loading INFO" page will then show you your destinations METAR information, a great tip in getting your airports air pressure and wind direction/strength inserted ready for landing. Below 6000ft, Airbus allows you now to switch on the tail light which is an automatic system anyway, so you don't have to physically switch it on/off manually, and very good it is... ... now I set up the cockpit lighting for landing, with most of the overhead lighting off, and the instruments modes set, the visual feel is subtle in your face with that perfect view out, I find it perfect! External lighting for landing is also very good... Main landing lights and the twin taxi-lights give you a great lighting spread (and I do like the cloud reflections from the lighting, as they are excellent here). 163 knts at full flap on finals and she feels good, ToLiSS aircraft are exceptional handing aircraft for manual landings, but be aware of the length of your long -600 tail as so you don't hit the runway rear first! The Autoland system is perfect, personally you could land almost hands off (the rudder inputs are important though) and the system will automatically guide you in... over the threshold of LLBG Ben Gurion's 08L and your almost there... a nice touch is that the cabin(s) darken for Takeoff/Landing, and I really like that aspect, and the view out is excellent. After three or four landings now, I am finding I'm coming in slightly too nose (pitch) high, not that bad... but something I need to work on? On the ground and I activate the reverse thrust of those fantastic Rolls-Royce Trent 556s, the reverser sounds are really excellent, they roar and blast into slowing you down... another point is I feel the braking (Auto BRK) feels a bit weak, I set it for "2" but I still have to use the brakes a lot to reach my turnoff point (tricky here at the end of 08L into taxiway E, as it is so easy to miss and go down RWY 03/21). There are still two more nose lights available in "RWY TURN OFF & CAMERA"... with all forward lighting on, and it is excellent to find your way around the field on the ground, as the beams in spread is very good and the light goes in were you are wanting to look. Assigned Gate D7 beckons, you have to be aware of the steering, as since the QPAC days then the ToLiSS aircraft nose steering is very authentic, but can also take it's time to turn, so you have to anticipate your turns perfectly, certainly here with the A346 as it is so long an aircraft. APU Available (started on the taxiway), and you power down the engines, again in reverse 4,3,2 and 1... look around and sigh! Good news is you get to do it all again tomorrow in this magnificent A340-600, just in going the other way. Liveries Provided are three official liveries (more may come yet if completed on time)... (Disclaimer): ToIISS notes that it is their policy in not to endorse brands or logos in being that Toliss is not licensed to use them, so the engine logos here are a GK (Gliding Kiwi) branded (Airbus however is officially licensed). I did personally however add in the RR logos to a livery to make the review more authentic to the real aircraft. And you will find most if not all 3rd party liveries will be also correctly branded. Painters have already produced a fair few A346 liveries... I will note I found a lot incorrectly titled and don't work correctly (I think the PaintKit is incorrectly labeled), but they are easy to fix if you have the time... in time everything will be corrected, but watch out for those missing winglet logos? Those already presented on the X-Plane.Org are excellent.... with Emirates, Lufthansa (Star Alliance), Virgin Atlantic and Swiss all great liveries. __________________ Summary This is the third aircraft release form ToLiSS after their extremely well received and very popular Airbus A319-122, and then the larger A321-123. Both aircraft then came with NEO (New Engine Option) upgrades. In the background however was a far more ambitious project and certainly the largest Airbus yet from ToLiSS, the... Airbus A340-600. The -600 is not the longest range of the Airbus A340 family, that accolade goes to the -500, but the A346 is the most versatile in both payload and range, sadly for four-engined aircraft have been on the decline around the world with their effenciency and environmental issues, but that should not take away anything from this extremely popular and really one of the great long-range aircraft. In the past the modeling and other various elements were of ToLiSS aircraft was exported to 3rd party commissions. But this A346 project was created totally 100% in house and this was to create a far more tighter control over the quality and a faster output, plus the addition of more features and detail. And the quality now ooozes out of this aircraft like none of the other ToLiSS aircraft before... it is not totally complete yet, as there are still a (very) few quirkes, but overall it is far higher and far better quality standard than any of the previous releases... much improved over the other aircraft is the internal lighting (exceptional now) and external lighting and the external modeling (mostly with the far better engines) is all of a far higher quality, working animated work tables and windows blinds are new features to ToLiSS aircraft. System and Airbus Philosophy (flight control laws) are coming from the best X-Plane developer there is, so the Fly-by-wire system here is not only extremely good in normal law and alternate law 1, alternate law 2 and direct law, but even close to perfection... plus they are some of the most natural flying Airbuses in simulation. Fuel system includes inflight CG control (excellent), ADIRU alignment (perfection), deep ECAM system with 30 warning and over 200 caution messages and a built in 140 system faults system that will either at a specific point in flight or randomly during a flight phases cause you issues. System wise this A340 is now the best X-Plane Airbus out there. Multi-Function Control and Display Units (MCDU) are excellent, and better still are both individual units for both the Captain and First Officer. These MCDUs are again top-notch with SID/STAR and airways support, VNAV guidance with TOC, TOD, Deceleration point, speed limits and full fuel prediction, Altitude and speed constraints and support for Go-Arounds and diversions, only thing I am not fussy about is the pop-up plates don't match or even feel like the same units installed, they are far too blue to the background grey in my eyes. The TISCS menu system or "ToLiSS Interactive Simulation Control System" is again also exceptional... it comes with lots of features including the best aircraft SAVE system in X-Plane no doubt (It just works beyond and beyond), aircraft setup and performance tools are also excellent as are the new packaged sounds, the auto door system however has even more doors to correct now than ever before? One other important aspect in the ToLiSS Airbus A340-600 that is worth understanding, is that it is a very flexible aircraft to learn on and fly... for the professional Airbus devotees out there, then they will revel in the complex systems and deep Airbus Philosophy... but that is not to say that newcomers to Long-Haul flying are not provided for here either, as this excellent A346 is so well developed. As that a new pilot to these (Heavy-Extremely long haul) aircraft can also fly the aircraft (and actually) quite easily get a lot of learning and enjoyment out of the machine, and that factor is remarkable in that everyone all along the whole scale here is catered for, and X-Plane has wanted of such an accessable aircraft in this category and capacity for a long time. We always expect brilliance from ToLiSS and any aircraft they develop... This Airbus A340-600 is a mastercraft of a machine, in detail and systems, there are a (very few) areas that are yet still to be covered or touched up, but with projects this size, that is to be expected, and ToLiSS deliver updates very quickly... But currently this is simply an exceptional release for the X-Plane Simulator, and on this very date the very first A340-300 took its maiden flight on 25th October 1991. We should be so lucky to receive the same in it's -600 guise all these years later... This Airbus A340-600 from ToLiSS is a brilliant Simulation, and simply packed absolutely to the top with features and is certainly a... "Highly Recommended Purchase". _________________________________ Yes! the Airbus A340-600 by ToLiSS is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A340-600 by ToLiSS Price is US$89.99 Most accurate system functionality for any A340 aircraft in the flight simulation world Fully Featured Detailed FMGS: 3 independent MCDUs providing real life FMGS programming capability 2 independent autopilots SID/STAR and airways support in a fully custom FMGS backbone supporting all A424 leg types (Arc, course or heading to intercept, Radius to Fix, Holdings, etc.) Support for all approach types present in real life A340-600s, including GLS, ILS, LOC backcourse, etc. Full VNAV guidance with TOC, TOD, Deceleration point, speed limits, fuel prediction, etc. Altitude and speed constraints as the real aircraft deals with them Support for Go-Arounds and diversions Nav Aid autotuning Pilot item database, such as pilot fixes, pilot navaids etc. Flight plan saving via the Pilot routes page Equitime point computation and nearest airports page Accurate systems: Fly-by-wire system with reversion between normal law and alternate law 1, alternate law 2 and direct law as per real life logics. Hydraulic model for flight control actuators computing hydraulic flow through the actuators, the control surface hinge moment, maximum feasible deflection etc. This gives realistic surface floating angles if a control surface is lost due to combinations of hydraulic and computer faults. Quantitative hydraulic model considering the maximum hydraulic flows of the different pumps as a function of engine speed. This is most noticeable when flying on RAT or with wind milling engines Quantitative bleed model considering the bleed mass flow for engine start, wing anti-ice air conditioning packs etc. High fidelity fuel system including inflight CG control by pumping fuel to and from the tail tank, fuel jettison, manual and automatic transfers between the different tanks Detailled model of each ADIRU including alignment, small pressure sensor differences between the units, switching of sources for PFDs Fault injection system allowing to trigger over 140 system faults either at a specific point in flight or randomly during a flight phase Cockpit display system simulating the dependency of the displays on the Display management computers resulting in real life display limitations ECAM system with over 30 warning and over 200 caution messages including associated ECAM actions. 3d modelling Detailed 3d cockpit with animated switches Mouse gesture system for interaction with push-pull knobs emulating the motion on the knob with the mouse Detailed cockpit lighting with reading lights, console light, tray table lights etc. 4 class passenger cabin with underfloor lavatories and crew rest Custom particle effects for engine heat trail, Fuel jettison etc. Custom landing gear model for bogey touch down. Usability features Situation loading and saving. It is possible to save the flight at any point in time and resume it another day. This can also be used, e.g., to save the position just before approach and practice just the approach many times Autosaving allows recovering where you left off, should the X-Plane session end unexpectedly Jumping waypoint-to-waypoint through the cruise phase: Shorten your flight to focus on the more interesting parts as you like 4 different startup configuration from Cold and Dark to engines running and ready to go In-screen popup displays or use of x-plane windows for popups Adjustable Wingflex via a slider in the ISCS Possibility to turn the screen reflections on and off Auto-updater by Skunkcraft Included Requirements Support for X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.5GB Release and Review Version 1..0 (October 25th 2020) The AviTab Plugin IS required for this aircraft Installation Download of the Airbus A346 is 986mb and it is installed in your Airliner Folder as a 1.85Gb folder. On start up you will have an activation screen presented to enter your Serial Number (Key), and then press the "Activate" bar to authorise the aircraft. I recommend to totally restart the aircraft from your desktop to realign all your plugins and load the aircraft cleanly. There is extensive full instructions on how to set up the aircraft to your X-Plane settings (commands) and addons (Joysticks/Throttles) and other 3rd Party items in the "ToLiss_AirbusA340-600_SimulationManual". Auto-updater by Skunkcraft is Included for any updates and changes Documents There are Three Manuals Included with the package. All are extensive and well laid out with great details Aircraft manual, which is primarily intended as a reference after the tutorial has been completed. It provides a reference for standard operating procedures, as well as a more in- depth look into the different systems of the aircraft. Simulation manual : Describes installation, and setup of the model as well as usage of the “Interactive Simulation Control System”. Tutorial flight, which provides a step-by-step description of a complete flight from cold & dark to aircraft shut-down after landing. This is the best manual to learn flying the aircraft. ToLiss_AirbusA340-600_AircraftManual.pdf ToLiss_AirbusA340-600_SimulationManual.pdf ToLiss_AirbusA340-600_Tutorial _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 25th October 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGKK - London Gatwick Airport v2 by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.00 - LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99 - Full review availble here: Scenery Review : LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft (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) All Rights Reserved AirbusMan 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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