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  1. Aircraft Update Review: Airbus A340-600 V1.2.2 by Toliss By DrishalMAC2 Introduction The Airbus A340, a long-range, wide-body commercial aircraft, was developed by the European aerospace giant, Airbus. Launched in the early 1990s, it was engineered to meet airline demands for an aircraft capable of flying long distances while accommodating a significant number of passengers. The A340, notable for its unique four-engine design, swiftly became popular for its extended range, comfort, and versatility in covering various global routes. It has been a stalwart in long-haul travel, garnering a reputation for reliability and efficiency in intercontinental flights. Over time, Airbus has produced several A340 variants, each tailored to the specific requirements of airlines and their clientele. However, the use of the A340 has seen a decline in recent years, overshadowed by more economical alternatives such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350. Lufthansa remains one of its most prominent operators. Toliss, renowned for their top-tier Airbus simulations for X-Plane, has brought the A340-600 variant to X-Plane. Initially released in October 2021, the aircraft has undergone multiple updates, with the latest version 1.2.2 bringing a series of targeted enhancements that further refine the experience. Installation & Updating Installing the aircraft is straightforward. After downloading the appropriate file from the store, you need to unzip it and place it in the 'X-Plane (11 or 12)/Aircraft' directory. When you first load the aircraft in the simulator, you'll be prompted to validate the product using the personal serial number provided upon purchase. For updates, the SkunkCrafts Updater is employed, which is user-friendly and efficient. Simply drag the necessary files into the root X-Plane 12 folder and run the updater. It will automatically detect the Toliss A340 and check if any updates are needed. Documentation Toliss excels in providing comprehensive documentation for this aircraft. Within the 'Manuals' folder of the aircraft directory, you'll find three PDF files: an Aircraft Manual, a Simulation Manual, and a Tutorial Flight Manual. Each of these documents is remarkably detailed, offering invaluable guidance on how to pilot this magnificent aircraft. About Toliss Toliss has a reputation for regularly updating their aircraft models and continuously enhancing them. A recent example is the significant overhaul of the A319 and A321 models, elevating them to the quality of the newer A320Neo. This commitment to improvement signifies that Toliss maintains the relevance and competitiveness of their products even after their initial release. Additionally, Toliss offers excellent customer support and hosts a vibrant Discord server, providing a platform for users to seek assistance or answers to any product-related queries. Exterior Modelling The exterior modelling of the A340 is commendable and accurately represents the aircraft's visual aspects. While it may not be the most detailed model I've encountered in X-Plane, the crucial components are modelled with attention to detail, and less critical parts exhibit a slightly lesser quality. This strategic approach likely contributes to the aircraft's impressive in-sim performance, equalling or bettering that of the default airliners in X-Plane 12, a topic I'll delve into more deeply later. The landing gear is particularly well-modelled, with each component clearly distinguishable. The engine modelling also stands out, showcasing all major features with high quality and precision. Exterior Texturing The exterior texturing of this aircraft, for the most part, offers a visually stunning experience, particularly at certain times of the day when the lighting accentuates its features. While it may not be in 4K resolution, the overall quality is impressive, contributing significantly to the aircraft's realism and appeal. There are, however, certain aspects, particularly a few of the finer details, which could benefit from a resolution enhancement. These improvements, mainly needed on elements like the Airbus and the Gliding Kiwi logos on the engines, would add an extra layer of refinement to an already remarkable model. It's worth noting that the text warnings on the fuselage and wings, for the most part, are of high quality and exhibit reasonable sharpness. In future updates, a slight increase in the sharpness of those elements mentioned, not necessarily to 4K but enough to enhance legibility, would be a welcome enhancement to this otherwise splendidly textured aircraft. Interior Modelling The cockpit modelling in the A340 is outstanding, presenting an extremely accurate representation of the real flight deck. Rich in fine details, it greatly enhances the sense of immersion. Every element, from buttons and switches to rotary controls, is meticulously modelled, mirroring the real A340's cockpit with impressive accuracy. The sidesticks, tillers, and throttles are also superbly modelled, surpassing basic standards and contributing to the overall authenticity. Moving to the cabin, its modelling, while not as detailed as the cockpit, is nonetheless commendable. The inclusion of the taxi-cam on all in-flight entertainment screens is an ingenious touch, enhancing the passenger experience. However, the window modelling is quite basic, and while the seats and galley equipment are reasonably well-modelled, their appeal is slightly diminished by the texturing quality. Personally, I rarely venture into the cabin during flights and therefore value optimal FPS and stability over intricate cabin details. Thus, the cabin's modest quality does not detract from my overall experience with this aircraft. Interior Texturing The interior texturing of the cockpit is of high quality, contributing to an extremely realistic and immersive experience. The textures in the cockpit, especially on the overhead panel and lower pedestal, are executed with a wonderful level of detail. Sharp text and visible layers of wear and tear add to the authenticity, making you feel like you're in a real, well-used aircraft. A highlight is the wear and tear on the overhead panel's rotary knobs and buttons, where the paint chipping effect adds a significant degree of authenticity. This attention to detail is noteworthy, with varied and unique textures that steer clear of the repetitive patterns found in other models. This variation not only enhances the realism but also significantly contributes to the immersive experience of piloting the A340. Night Lighting The night lighting in the cockpit of the A340 is exceptional, with each light purposefully contributing to the overall ambiance. The colours and brightness levels are accurately matched to their real-life counterparts, ensuring both functionality and aesthetic appeal. The dome light is a standout feature, offering three different settings that range from a subtle glow to a bright illumination, casting realistic reflections on the windscreen. However, the cabin lighting, while effective, could benefit from a slight adjustment. In its current state, it tends to be rather bright in some areas. Toning down the brightness could improve the overall balance and comfort of the cabin's night-time environment. Despite this, you can be rest assured that flying this aircraft in the dark is a truly enjoyable experience. Flight Model While I haven't had the opportunity to pilot an A340 in real life, my experience with this simulation suggests that the aircraft feels remarkably intuitive and enjoyable to fly, aligning with how I imagine the real thing would handle. The A340's handling is noticeably slower and heavier compared to, say, an A320, which significantly enhances the immersion and the sensation of piloting a large airliner. The Fly-By-Wire system does a substantial amount of work, but the manual flying experience with this add-on is particularly impressive. Toliss has done an exceptional job in capturing the essence of hand-flying this aircraft. Additionally, the A340 handles very well on the ground. Even with the twist axis on my flight stick, I find taxiing the aircraft to be smooth and manageable. YouTube video by the author My recent flight from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, the birthplace of Airbus aircraft, offered a comprehensive view of the A340's flight model. The takeoff run was notably long, which is fitting given the A340's substantial size. Once airborne, the gentle climb out was smooth and reassuring, allowing me to fully appreciate the aircraft's grandeur, especially during turns where its size became more evident. Cruising over the scenic Pyrénées, the aircraft's handling was exemplary, navigating through varying altitudes with ease and maintaining stability throughout the flight. The sense of scale and movement felt authentic and engaging at all times. The descent and final approach back to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport was much like the climb out, smooth and trouble-free. The landing itself, much to my relief, was one of my best, with no issues such as icing this time around! Sounds The default sounds of the A340 are commendable and significantly contribute to the immersive experience. When compared to other payware aircraft add-ons, they stand out as quite impressive. However, I feel the sound mixing could be slightly improved, as it sometimes lacks bass and can sound a bit 'tinny'. This is particularly noticeable with some of the rotary clunks and button presses, which seem to lack depth. This observation doesn't extend to the engine sounds, which I find to be just about perfect. During taxi, takeoff, and landing, the ground rumble sound effects are excellent, adding a great deal of depth to the experience. The use of FMOD technology means that sound varies considerably depending on your location within the aircraft. The difference in acoustics between the cabin and the cockpit is a particularly nice touch. The exterior sounds are also a highlight, with the flyby sounds being especially appealing. While I've never been on an A340 in real life, the sounds seem believable and contribute greatly to the overall immersive feel of the simulation. Performance All of Toliss’ aircraft are exceptionally well-optimised for X-Plane, and the A340 is no exception. On my system, it outperforms the default A330 significantly. Where I might achieve around 40fps with the A330, the A340 consistently delivers a smooth 60fps. Additionally, I've encountered no stuttering when flying this model, even when navigating into CPU-intensive airports such as KLAX or EGLL. In terms of comparative performance, this aircraft holds up well against other Toliss products, despite its larger size. I've also observed that, like other Toliss aircraft, the A340 doesn't suffer from the same FPS loss due to SASL issues as seen in similar add-ons like the FF 757/767 and Felis 747. Systems The A340 truly excels in its aircraft systems, showcasing Toliss' dedication and meticulous effort. All the ECAM pages are modelled to an exceptionally high standard, offering a wealth of detail that becomes particularly invaluable when handling failures. Each system operates as expected, with every action in the cockpit influencing the corresponding system. The depth of these systems is remarkable, one might almost need a type rating to fully comprehend them all, which is a testament to the Toliss team's outstanding work! Additionally, the Toliss A340 features an extensive range of potential failures that can be activated at the user’s discretion. The random failure mode is particularly impressive, adding an exciting and unpredictable element to flights. The recent updates in Version 1.2.2 have further refined the A340's systems, addressing specific areas to enhance the user experience. Notable improvements include the now fully functional weather radar and taxi camera, reinstating essential visual aids for pilots. Additionally, the 'Hoppie ID check' issue has been resolved, ensuring smoother integration with online communication systems. The aircraft now supports more syntax options for pre-departure clearance, and an update to the DCDU messages system allows for the removal of failed messages, preventing clutter and erroneous entries. The fix for the 'GPS PRIMARY LOST' error message enhances reliability, especially when accessing the ATSU on the MCDU. Further technical refinements include enhanced A/THR engagement behavior, which contributes to a more intuitive and responsive flight experience. The update also introduces a more flexible and realistic approach to flight management operations, allowing pilots to revert to FMGS mode on the MCDU by pressing any FMGS page keys. These improvements underscore the continuous efforts by Toliss to refine the aircraft's systems and usability. Toliss ISCS (Interactive Simulation Control System) The Toliss A340 is equipped with an efficient control panel known as the ISCS. While it features an older version compared to the A320 family, its functionality is still extensive. The first page, the Aircraft Situation page, allows for control over autosave timings, which works flawlessly. In my experience, the autosave is less critical due to the aircraft's exceptional stability. Additionally, you can save and load custom situations, ideal for practicing specific flight segments or approaches. This page also lets you alter parameters like aircraft age, which interestingly affects the aircraft’s performance. The second page is dedicated to loading and performance, where all weight settings can be adjusted. If you're using Simbrief, importing your flight plan into the MCDU will automatically configure the aircraft with the necessary payload and fuel. The Ground Services page offers controls for various services at the aircraft, door operations, and a basic pushback system. These features can also be accessed through a popup window, activated by clicking the “int” and “cab” buttons on the captain’s or first officer’s radio tuning panels. The Faults page, as previously mentioned, allows for the management of potential failures. Following this is the Sound/Add-on page, where sound mixing can be adjusted. This is also where you enter your Simbrief and HOPPIE IDs, should you wish to use them. The Joystick Actions menu facilitates the customization of hardware interactions with the A340, including an intuitive setup for throttle detents. Lastly, the Toliss ISCS includes a comprehensive General Settings menu. Conclusion In summary, the Toliss A340 for X-Plane is an aircraft that truly stands out in its class, a testament to the developers' passion and meticulous attention to detail. From the impressively accurate systems that offer in-depth operational experiences to the finely tuned flight model, the A340 delivers an immersive and realistic flying experience. The aircraft's performance on my system was remarkable, outperforming even default airliners, showcasing its excellent optimisation. While there are a few minor areas needing visual upgrades, which are anticipated in upcoming updates, the current level of detail in both the exterior and interior modelling adds significantly to the overall simulation experience. The immersive sound design and the versatile and user-friendly ISCS panel further enhance the aircraft's appeal, demonstrating Toliss' commitment to quality and user experience. Purchasing this aircraft is more than just acquiring a new addition to your flight simulator; it's an investment in an experience crafted with genuine passion and thoughtfulness. With ongoing updates and enhancements, mirroring the improvements seen in other Toliss models, the A340 is poised to reach even greater heights. This aircraft is not just a recommendation; it's a standout example of what flight simulation can offer. ________________________ Airbus A340-600 by Toliss is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Airbus A340-600 by Toliss Priced at $89.99 Features Detailed FMGS Three independent MCDUs providing real life FMGS programming capability Two 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 Detailed 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. Four 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 Four different startup configurations 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 Version 1.2.2 (January 18th, 2023) WX radar working again now Taxi Camera working again Improved issue with "Hoppie ID check" failed Added more syntax options for pre-departure clearance DCDU messages can now be removed if sending fails to allow clearing messages erroneously ending up on the DCDU. Fixed erroneous appearance of GPS PRIMARY LOST, when going into ATSU on on-side MCDU Enabled reverting to the FMGS mode on the MCDU by pressing any FMGS page keys (along as an FMGS available for the MCDU to connect to.) Improved A/THR engagement behaviour when loading an in-flight situation while on the ground with engines off Requirements X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 - not available for MSFS Windows, Mac, or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Not for commercial use. For any commercial use enquiries, please contact [email protected] Download Size: 1.2 GB Current version: 1.2.2 (January 18, 2023) __________________________________ Aircraft Update Review by DrishalMAC2 16th November 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copying of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions).
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