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Aircraft Review: Airbus A300 and A310 by iniBuilds


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Aircraft Review: Airbus A300 and A310 by iniBuilds

 

History:

The Airbus A300 was to be the first aircraft to be developed, manufactured and marketed by Airbus. 

In 1972, the A300 made its maiden flight; its first production model, the A300B2, entered service in 1974.  By 1979 the consortium had 256 orders for A300, and Airbus had launched a more advanced aircraft, the A310, in the previous year. 

 

The A300-600, the subject of this review was first delivered in 1988. It differs from the A300-B2/B4 due to the two-person cockpit, and mixture of glass and analogue cockpit similar in design to the  Boeing 757/767 family  and features the same design as the later A310 from which the A300 is derived. It uses 6 small CRT displays  as the did the first generation of A320 series aircraft

 

The Airbus A310 (initially the A300B10) was launched with orders from Swissair and Lufthansa. On 3 April 1982, the first prototype conducted its maiden flight, and it received its type certification on 11 March 1983.

Keeping the same eight-abreast cross-section, the A310 is 6.95 m (22.8 ft) shorter than the initial A300 variants, and has a smaller wing, down from 260 to 219 m2 (2,800 to 2,360 sq ft). The A310 introduced a two-crew glass cockpit, later adopted for the A300-600 with a common type rating. It was powered by the same General Electric CF6-80 or Pratt & Whitney JT9D then PW4000 turbofan jet engines. It can seat 220 passengers in two classes, or 240 in all-economy, and has a flying range up to 5,150 nmi (9,540 km). It has over-wing between the two main front and rear door pairs.

In April 1983, the aircraft entered revenue service with Swissair, and competed with the Boeing 767-200, introduced six months before. Its longer range and ETOPS regulations allowed it to be operated on transatlantic flights. Until the last delivery in June 1998, 255 aircraft were produced, as it was succeeded by the larger Airbus A330-200. It was available as a cargo aircraft version, and was also developed into a military variant, the A310 MRTT multi-role transport, then tanker.

 

Nowadays Aircraft manufacturers design their products around a specific engine type or variant, but when Airbus built the A300, they did not have this luxury, so they took the next-powerful engine on the market to exceed their requirements. This results in a very steep take-off angle-of-attack which is might throw some new pilots when first flying the aircraft.  

 

In the case of the A300, there are two different engine variants, and each has a passenger and cargo version. When adding liveries, it's important to know that the liveries are dependent on the engine-type, so you will need to be aware of the engine-type (GE or PW respectively ) when selecting your aircraft you wish to fly. 

 

The A310 was initially launched with a choice of three engines: the General Electric CF6-80A (originally the CF6-45B2), the Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D1, and the Rolls-Royce RB211. The specific Rolls-Royce RB211-524B4 engine intended for this initial application was not developed.

 

Installation:

With the inimanager, the installation is now greatly simplified. It's now just a case of downloading the inimanager from here, and then selecting the products you purchased which then become installed to the X-Plane 11\Aircraft\iniSimulations\ folder. 

 

Before the inimanager was released, you had to download each aircraft variant separately and then download the liveries.

The aircraft installation location is in  X-Plane 11\Aircraft\iniSimulations. If you have purchased other variants such as the A300 BelugaST or A310, these will be installed in subfolders,so example

X-Plane 11\Aircraft\iniSimulations\iniSimulations A300 BelugaST or

X-Plane 11\Aircraft\iniSimulations\ iniSimulations A300-600R(F) v2 - Passenger.

 

To get the feel of the aircraft and its systems, I decided to do a quick (but still used) cargo route from EGNX to EIDW which is enough time to get a quick flight in, but keep you busy. The flight time is quite short, ~45 minutes so you won't have much time to get bored. 

Before we start, here's a quick external view from both sides of the aircraft.

 

A300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.50.09 1.jpg

A300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.53.02.jpg

 

You can see the cargo doors and texturing is very nicely done here.

 

A300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.31.56.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.33.47.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.34.34.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.32.35.jpg

 

A300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.39.32.jpg

A300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.42.24.jpg

 

A300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.43.01.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.47.17.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-01 13.47.27.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-03 13.44.06.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-03 13.47.15.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-03 13.51.12.jpg

 

 

A300_PW - 2021-05-03 13.58.41.jpg

A300_PW - 2021-05-03 13.59.46.jpg

 

A300_PW - 2021-05-03 14.26.35.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-03 14.39.56.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-03 14.41.43.jpgA300_PW - 2021-05-03 14.47.13.jpg

 

One of the most annoying aspects of X-Plane for me is the zooming of the views when trying to use the mouse-wheel to turn a switch or rotate a heading or speed knob, with this in mind, I really recommend the use of X-Camera, which gives you the option to disable mouse-wheel. True, this also disables the outside mouse zoom which I like, but it's a small inconvenience compared to the benefits. 

 

I would also add that you will find a Navigraph subscription very handy, as the ILS for each airport is not stored in the database unlike the later A320/300/340 families so the ability to bring up an airport from the Avitab plugin makes life a lot easier when planning your approaches.

 

Airbus A300/A310 gotchas

Even if you are familiar with the Airbus aircraft in general, there are a few idiosyncrasies that might catch you out. 

Some are listed below: 

 

Scratchpad entries on FMC, clear existing data before entering new data otherwise it will not show. 

Flex-To values will not show or become active, until you select an altitude in the ALT-SEL window. 

External Power will not disconnect using EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) until you select "EXT PWR" on the overhead to AVAIL

V1 speed will show as default value 100 even after clicking  "Send Data" - this value needs to be set manually with the "SPD/MACH" knob.

In order to activate the auto-throttle system, you need to manually select the speed, then click on the dial to activate "pre set" which will show up in yellow text. You then need to click on a small area to the bottom-left of the A/THR similar to the operation of the PMDG series (small screw to the below-left of the speed knob). 

Engine spool-up will be slower than expected as these are older engines. 

Landing gear needs to be set to "neutral" (middle position),otherwise the auto-brake system will not activate. 

You can pre-arm the decent profile by using the mouse to the left of the ALT SEL knob. It shows as a down-arrow icon. You will then see a blue P.DES show on the PFD below the P.ALT annunciator.

The course and heading displays are dependent on the toggle-switch on the cockpit VOR/NAV/ILS three-way-switch. The VOR will display dashed lines until you select VOR from the glare shield. 

The range values on the F.C.U (Flight Control Unit), are different to what you'd be used to in the A320, in the A300 series, they are 15,30,60,120,240 as opposed to the A320 series which show 10,20,40,80,160 and 320 

 

There are only the iniSimulation House liveries installed by default when you install the aircraft, So you need to  use the inimanager to install any desired additional liveries (of which there are many). You simply click on the livery tab and choose from Realistic or Fictional under the Freighter or Passenger versions. This is a great improvement on the original version of the aircraft which required you to download each livery manually, and if a new version was produced, it meant you had to download the new version again. With the inimanager system, you can remove or update the liveries as desired. 

 

To see the aircraft type you're currently flying, on the FMC go to REF, then A/C Status. Here you will see engine-type ie: PW 4158

 

PFD/ND XFR is a nice hidden gem, it switches the two displays over in the event of a CRT failure. 

 

General Electric Engines N2 is ~ 20

Pratt and Whitney startup N2 ~ 24 

 

For comparison

Framerate for IXEG 737 ~52 in cruise ~35 in Dublin (Boundless Scenery).

Framerate for A300 in 55 fps in cruise. ~45 fps in Dublin cargo area.

 

New features in A300/A310

CDLPC implementation - you can import the flights with your Simbrief username.

Landing performance page 

Load sheet is now changed so that data is directly entered using your keyboard, instead of sliding values.

 

Currently known issues: 

At the moment, the only issue I have is with the pilot's side altimeter counter. Scrolling between the units 80 and 00 shows a slight skip as the aircraft climbs or descends. Oddly enough, it only happens on the freighter variants of both the A300 and A310 models. The passenger variants are working as expected.

 

Currently, the latest versions are as follows:

A300-600 version V2.09

A300 BelugaST  version V1.12

A310-300 version 1.14

 

You can purchase this aircraft from the following sites.

https://store.inibuilds.com/pages/inisimulations (price does not include V.A.T)

A300-600 (£69.99)

A310-300 (£69.99)

A300-ST Beluga (£44.99)

 

Note that you are entitled to a 25% discount if you have one of their models already.

 

Comment

I would definitely recommend this aircraft as it is one of the best older-style aircraft out there. If you are getting a bit tired of Boeing and modern Airbus aircraft, this is the one for you. It's got the right blend of vintage and modern to keep you interested. 

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i9-9900K CPU 5.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb  DDR4 4300 RAM - EVGA GeForce GTX 2070 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55r2

Addons: Saitek Throttle and Yoke : Sound -Soundblaster Audigy Fx

Plugins: : BetterPushBack - Free LiveTraffic -  Weather ActiveSkyXP https://hifisimtech.com/asxp/

 

Aircraft Review by Jude Bradley

10th June 2022

Copyright©2022 : X-Plane Reviews

 

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

 

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  • Stephen changed the title to Aircraft Review: Airbus A300 and A310 by iniBuilds

On their MSFS endeavor the A310 that is their initial product is going to be free as ‘will be a part of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Standard Edition coming in November of 2022’. Free doesn’t always suggest in depth of course and the two features they focus on is a FMC ( more features than on the Xplane versions) and a new EFB. For me the A310 is a bit of an odd choice for a package aircraft (255 delivered) with the initial Inibuilds version just being a passenger variant. It did cross my mind if this MSFS 40th Anniversary edition might be intended to be something of an XP12 spoiler, but I guess we will see. 
i am probably missing something but normally reviews here are for products you can buy from the Org store but they are no longer listed there (I think they were available, but I bought from Inibuilds direct). Given the flash sales I did wonder how well Inibuilds were faring, but perhaps as has been commented they now intend MSFS to be their focus. They did have quite a lucrative model, much of the underpinnings of the A300, A310 and the Beluga must have been similar but each sold separately. Perhaps that is what they will repeat on the MSFS platform?

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@judeb maybe. Of course we don’t know how MS are going to price this anniversary edition so ‘free’ might not exactly be what it suggests. One wonders if Inibuilds will hide behind their agreement with MS not to provide an XP12 update? If that do that their flash sale on the A300 and A310, when this news must have been known to them, would be at the very least cynical.

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The iniBuilds A300/A310 is a fantastic product, one of my favorite to fly in X-Plane 11.

Suffice to say, would personally be saddened if XP12 weren't a part of these amazing Aircraft's future.


 

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I would have to say that I would miss the A300/A310 on my fleet if they weren't flyable on X-Plane 12. I don't think Microsoft care too much about X-Plane,but I would hope that iniBuilds do not leave X-Plane 12 behind. You cannot really afford to annoy your fan-base too much in these times.

 

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Olderndirt generally I think you will be happy (not that I have any inside knowledge) but its likely that one or two developers won’t play ball either because they no longer have an interest in Xplane or their products are so long in the tooth (maybe originally XP10) that it just doesn’t make sense. Its not just about having product that works completely in XP12 but also product that can take advantage of XP12 features, not just on release but going forward. As an example replacing the rain on the windscreen feature that Librain used to provide. Developers who had 3rd parties do development for them - step forward Carenado - where that development arrangement no longer exists are the kind of people to worry about. 

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They seem to be not even fixing the current X-Plane 11 issues.

I got a standard reply about the issue I reported in the review,that the developers are aware and that they have no further comments.

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I did find this on fsnews.eu

 

‘As part of one of their development updates, iniBuild’s Ubaid has confirmed that iniBuild is looking forward to bringing their addons to X-Plane 12, however, can’t share any specific information as the company does not yet have access to X-Plane 12.’

 

The problem is that the article in question seems to be being updated from time to time so I am confused when he said that. Anyone know? 

 

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On 6/18/2022 at 5:21 AM, Medellinexpat said:

I did find this on fsnews.eu

 

‘As part of one of their development updates, iniBuild’s Ubaid has confirmed that iniBuild is looking forward to bringing their addons to X-Plane 12, however, can’t share any specific information as the company does not yet have access to X-Plane 12.’

 

The problem is that the article in question seems to be being updated from time to time so I am confused when he said that. Anyone know? 

 

To note that as a developer they don't have access to the LR X-Plane12 Alpha feels pretty strange, not only are developers getting access, but are also already producing XP12 ready aircraft. So there is no reason for INI-Builds not to have access to XP12 unless they don't want to.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is on the Inibuilds forum and suggests that they are going to walk away

 

‘We appreciate every single customer for their business and support during our product releases for X-Plane 11. These products were for X-Plane 11 and marketed as such. We have no comments on X-Plane 12, aircraft wise, to make currently, and our focus is very much on Microsoft Flight Simulator. We entered this business to provide the best quality add-ons. Entering a long-term relationship with the fantastic team at Microsoft Flight Simulator, allows us to do just that but to a much wider audience in Microsoft Flight Simulator.’

 

i would suggest Stephen that your review, in the introduction, states clearly that this developer has yet to make any commitment to supporting XP12 and that as a result buyers should consider this purchase only for use in XP11. 

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9 hours ago, Medellinexpat said:

This is on the Inibuilds forum and suggests that they are going to walk away

 

‘We appreciate every single customer for their business and support during our product releases for X-Plane 11. These products were for X-Plane 11 and marketed as such. We have no comments on X-Plane 12, aircraft wise, to make currently, and our focus is very much on Microsoft Flight Simulator. We entered this business to provide the best quality add-ons. Entering a long-term relationship with the fantastic team at Microsoft Flight Simulator, allows us to do just that but to a much wider audience in Microsoft Flight Simulator.’

 

i would suggest Stephen that your review, in the introduction, states clearly that this developer has yet to make any commitment to supporting XP12 and that as a result buyers should consider this purchase only for use in XP11. 

They do seem to forget that the same users that buy their products in X-Plane, also buy their aircraft in FSMS...  I as a customer would not buy anything in future from INI-Builds if they treat their customers so badly, no matter the simulation platform, treat us right then we will transfer our hard earned funds to buy again, but for now I certainly wouldn't trust them...  it is called respect and you could throw reputation in there as well, and they don't have a lot of that at this moment.

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dont forget that the ini A310 is not in the market very long, was introduced mid 2021.   so only after one year INI quit.  thats very rude and not cusomer friendly 

everyone who purchased from ini did that also because of trust in the company, no matter what states in the contract on x-plane versions.

with the 10 pound offer they grabbed all the money which is left in the x-plane market and now they run away. 

but still i see this move very rude in terms of the customers who purchased the A310, A300, Beluga for 150-200 bucks.

 

 

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Going back in the Inibuilds forum in August 2021 they were saying about XP12

 

‘We don't have any information on the new simulator.
If we have the means and ease to port the product over to the next sim, we will definitely consider it since we understand the current user base will be shifting over to the next generation.
Don't take this as confirmation, as we know nothing. For the time being, all of us are sitting tight, and receiving the same information.’

 

And they referred later inquiries in September to the same post. Remember the A310 was released in July and people were asking the question before buying. I wonder if MSFS had not come knocking whether they would have found that they had ‘the means and ease’ of porting their products over?

 

 

 

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On 6/29/2022 at 1:41 AM, Franz said:

dont forget that the ini A310 is not in the market very long, was introduced mid 2021.   so only after one year INI quit.  thats very rude and not cusomer friendly 

everyone who purchased from ini did that also because of trust in the company, no matter what states in the contract on x-plane versions.

with the 10 pound offer they grabbed all the money which is left in the x-plane market and now they run away. 

but still i see this move very rude in terms of the customers who purchased the A310, A300, Beluga for 150-200 bucks.

 

 

Agreed, admittedly was also a bit taken back by their "Copy & Paste' response in regards to XP12, refusing to even allow further discussion on the topic in their forums while ignoring the questions altogether on other forms of social media, last I checked..

I love their A300/310, but part of me is considering uninstalling their products altogether until a more concrete response is given regarding the future of their aircraft on the X-Plane platform. In the off chance that future versions of the Sim would invariably render their aircraft pretty much unusable without further updates/support (Like the PMDG DC-6), I'd prefer not to become too attached to them only to face disappointment later.

Of course, if they do eventually announce XP12 compatibility and the doomsday scenario is averted, I would certainly welcome it.

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