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  1. NEWS! - Aircraft Update X-Plane 12 : Airbus A330 by JARDesign The first aircraft to be updated to X-Plane 12 by JARDesign is the Airbus A330-243. Notable this is noted as a Beta release as X-Plane 12 has not yet gone final, so issues and bugs relating to both could be active in the simulation. There are no new features in the update either, except for the required X-Plane 12 compatibility, noted is; v.12.0.1 (beta 1) + XP12 compatible + flight model reworked + load&weight system reworked + lights reworked + sounds reworked X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 features include; Superb 3D Model Detailed Virtual cockpit Detailed Exterior Ground equipment included: Tow tractor, fuel track, stairways, catering truck are included in pack and managed from menu. Vulkan Compatible Airbus FMC SID and STARs are supported Full Airbus procedures MCDU and FMGS Tons of systems are simulated Air Conditioning, Pressurization APU , Auto Flight , Communications , Doors , Electrical , Equipment , Flight Controls , Oxygen Fuel , Hydraulic , Ice and Rain Protection , Indicating Recording Systems , Landing Gear , Lights Navigation , Pneumatic , Power Plant. Ground Handling plugin for JD330 (only) included. (The "Deluxe" version of this plugin -payware is not included in the JD330 pack- works with any X-Plane airliner) FCU manipulators to use Mouse Left/Right/Wheel for Push/Pull/Rotate operation Tested by real Airbus pilots Real Airbus pilots and technicians helped in the development and testing. New 3D-sound engine An easy way to customize soundest and build your own sound effects. Navigation Data The JD330 comes with the NavDataPro dataset by Aerosoft. JARDesign GHD (GroundHandling Deluxe), plugin is also available and built-in on this aircraft. The A330 update can be downloaded from directly the JARDesign site (JARDesign Group Board) or the X-PLane.Org Store, just go to your account to download vXP1200. Support forum JARDesign A330 ________________ Yes! the JARDesign 330 Airliner by JARDesign is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : JARDesign 330 Airliner Price is US$49.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac (Linux not supported) 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: XP12. (November 8th 2022) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 9th November 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 Right Reserved.
  2. Aircraft Review : Airbus A340-500 by JARDesign Group Airbus conceived several derivatives of the A300 Series in their first airliner, and then developed in parallel the A340 Quadjet with the A330 Twinjet. The Airbus philosophy was simple... create the basically the same aircraft, but for different roles and at the same time retain crew compatibility for airline flexibility between the two aircraft. At the time it made total sense, but technology advances in time sort of spoilt the clever idealism of the time. Large (if mega fan sizes) twin engined aircraft now dominate airline fleets, relegating the more less fuel-efficient (but safer) four-engined aircraft out of contention. Today the Boeing 747's, A340's and even the super-sized A380 are all being side-lined because of their so called efficiency rating, and were as the A340s sales stalled the sister A330s sales went through the roof (mostly because the new-generation twinjets in the Dreamliner and A350 were late in their development) as ten years ago you couldn't buy a A330 for the love or money. But four engined jets are the backbone of long haul routes, and the A340-500 is the king of long haul with a 16,670 km/9,000 nmi range, it was the longest-range airliner at the time, and is still highly effective as a trans global aircraft today. JARDesign as a developer is one of the sort of pioneers and to a point even a renegade of development for the X-Plane Simulator, they have produced aircraft for as long as I have been in simulation, and mostly all are Airbus aircraft. Their aircraft in the A320 and A330 have been the mainstay of early Airbus flying in the simulator, but also there is the addition of some very clever addons, with the Ground Handling Deluxe (GHD), FM (Follow Me) Car, X-Life (Traffic) and their latest in a fully operating Co-Pilot feature. This JARDesign Airbus A340-500 has been in development for quite a few years, to the point that if at times the project had actually been abandoned, but no... here is that A340 Quadjet to join up with the same sister aircraft in the JARDesign A330. If you own the JARDesign A330, then you would very likely easily fit in to this A340 as well, as both as in real aviation are very, very similar in mostly the same context and content. You can't avoid the fact that another A340 is also coming to X-Plane later in the year via ToLiSS who are developing a A340-600, yes a different variant, but still a A340 airframe. "when it rains"... But also remember the -500 model is the long-long range champion of long but thin routes, if you want that challenge, then this is the best airliner currently to do so... and very good long-haul/range aircraft are very thin on the ground in X-Plane. I always thought the A340 looked like a modernised Boeing 707, maybe it is the Quadjet arrangement, but in reality the A340 is an Airbus through and through and not a product of Seattle. There has always been a very definitive feel about JARDesign aircraft, maybe it is the same materials used in every design, some really love it, some not so much... but you have to admit they are really well modeled and superbly created, in that aspect JARDesign was a pioneer years ago for detail and quality, and the A340 in quality and detail delivers again on that promise... in that JARDesign sort of way. Engines are Roll Royce Trent 553s of 248.12–275.35 kN (55,780–61,902 lbf) per engine (as a note the -600 variant uses the Trent 556 engines). And here the pods and engines are very nicely modeled and recreated... ... it is not "blow your mind" spectacular in the visual aspects and grungy dirt, but it is all professionally and very complementary done and complete. The main and famous three bogie arrangement is perfectly realised here, and really well done... ... observational detail is actually excellent here, and the bogie detail is extremely good, as is the assembly detailing that is really well conceived and delivered, notable are the massive gear pins, but hollow... exceptional detail and the hub detailed wheel covers, there is some nice dirt work done as well. Nosewheel, strut and link detail is also excellent... ... and again the pin details are the highlights, with rubber inserts and bearing detailing... small stuff but it really counts in realism. Wing detail is again very, good with nice NML normal mapping, or Dot3 bump mapping, highlighting the wing and fuselage surfaces... note the drooped flying surfaces with no hydraulic pressure, a nice touch. So the modeling and detail is very good, but I will bring up the factor, that with other developers their textures have improved consistently in the last few years with the more modern texture tooling, were I think JARDesign still uses the same older process... you certainly can't tell the differences between the A320, A330 and now the A340 in feel or look, and to think that the A320 is now years old... it is their design philosophy, and that is fine, but your not seeing that expected consistent overall progress in design that other developers are developing as they go forward. Glass and windows are okay, but lack depth and even a bit of realism. The reflection detail is very high, and maybe too much, so the glass looks a little unrealistic as the front windows are very rainbowish, and the side windows, do look really very good, but have a golden look about them... it is again fine, but there is far better quality glass out there. External Features The JARDesign A340 comes with their own built-in JARDesign GHD (Ground Handling Deluxe) plugin to handle all the external elements. The (aircraft restricted) plugin is free with the aircraft, but if you already own the GHD plugin, then it works here as well, and you will get more elements active if you use the payware addon, including using the local custom liveries. And exceptional aircraft elements and vehicles they all are, including chocks and external GPU (Ground Power Unit) but only in the addon pay version. The other internal GHD menu is on the MCDU, but restricted to only these 10 items, compared to double or more than that with the Pro version addon. All the A340 doors open again via the MCDU Menu (They open automatically if you use the GHD), all six deck doors and the three cargo (including the rear Bulk door) can be activated... Cabin JARDesign also usually delivers a full cabin on their aircraft, and it does not disappoint in here either... There are three distinct classes installed, Large Economy class rear, and a shell Business class centre (the outside seating is rotated outwards towards the windows, but not in the severe Herringbone arrangement beloved by many airlines)... between the two classes are the two bar areas. First Class are Suites (or Cabins or even Open Suites, Closed suites and even just plain old First Class)... here you are cocooned in luxury, as First Class elites are won't to do. Galleys are basic, but with some nice detail... Oddly the door(s) detail is also quite basic, even the locking handles are missing? so they look plain... another surprise is the average window surrounds and plain glass... JARDesign in their A320 has those lovely authentic window surrounds, double windows, and even a realistic air hole in the base... but here it has nothing of that sort of deeper clever detail? Forward entrance area is quite big... but the focus is on the cockpit door? Oddly it does not open to reveal the cockpit... disappointing, but then the A330 door didn't open either. The A340 cockpit all looks and feels almost exactly the same as both the JARDesign A320 and certainly the A330. The seat materials and interior panel colour and texture are quite if exactly the same, and even the rear seat and dropdown jump seat are the same modeled and textured details, but there is a slight difference between the A340 and the A330, in that the Captain and First Officer (F/O) seats have sheepskin covers on the A330... the look and feel in here denotes an early model build in the early 90s, as in the Airbus blue-grey look and not the later grey-grey feel, it is all very nicely done though, but there are not many of those playable animations in here... the nicely sculptured seat armrests are static as is the mentioned locked cockpit door... however there are animated side window blinds and the front window pull down shades, which I really like and use a lot on long flights on the A330. Menus Before we get into the instrument layouts, we will look at the Start up options and Menu options. Far lower left corner is the usual JARDesign "Hot Start" selection, but added here is an option to just select the "APU" (Auxilary Power Unit) startup (added to the A330 later). The "Hot Start brings the aircraft up to a full running status and almost ready for flight (Route and Performance settings are however still required). Note if you select "Right" button mouse option, only then does the right button operate the lower left on-screen buttons. Top X-Plane banner menu shows the "JD340-500" title dropdown. This menu has two menus in "Aircraft" and "Failures" Aircraft: The Aircraft menu has two Sub-Menus in "Sound Volume" that shows the Sound 3D Panel with 0%to100% sound volume options. Second Sub-option is another selection for the quick "Hot Start" option. Failures: The "Failures" pop-out panel has five selections of failures on the aircraft; APU, ELEC (Electric), HYD (Hydraulics), FIRE and ICE/RAIN. The Failure feature is new to JARDesign, neither the A320 or A330 have this option. It is currently quite basic, as there is no timer function for failures, but it could also be a "Work in Progress" as most JARDesign aircraft are.. Cold to Hot To bring the A340-500 to life, you hit the two Battery buses A-B on the overhead panel (OHP)... a nice touch is that the displays go into a 40sec self test before activating, but not all of them... then start the APU, or connect the external GPU to give more power to the system and activate the OHP switch, finally you turn the three ADIRS (Air Data and Inertial Reference System) switches to "NAV" to align the navigation systems... this takes about 8 minutes. I really do like this cold to hot start up procedure, but if you want to not waste 10 Minutes or so, then just press the "Hot" start up and alignment "Quick" button or use the banner menu to do the same actions. In this JARDesign have done a nice job in representing the startup. Lighting adjusted and the instrument panel looks very nice, with a lot of the authentic panel lighting options correct. Instrument and panel detail is very good, but everything is far more condensed centre display wise to fit in the four engine configuration, this is highlighted on the -500 by its complex fuel tank arrangement, not only laid out on the OHP, but also on the ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor) display. There are actually eleven tanks altogether, but two are surge tanks and a trim tank in the tail. So everything obviously is 4x4 in most areas... the ECAM is quite complex, in need of study, but very good. Every ECAM profile is available...ENG, BLEED, PRESS, EL/AC, EL/DC, HYD, C/B, APU, COND, DOOR, WHEEL, F/CTL, FUEL, and STS ... but oddly, the change "Please Wait" and 3 sec delay between the changing profiles is not on the A340, as like it is on the A330? A feature I really liked for realism... but it is again something I would expect to come in time. Once you get past the centre console four throttle arrangement and the four Ignition/Start switches, which by the way are extremely nice and compact... ... the rest of the instrumentation and switch layout is to the full Airbus layout philosophy standards, you will not be searching or learning anything extra than in say the A330 or to a point even in a A318, A319 or a A320... the A350 and A380 have however a slightly different layout and Airbus philosophy standard. Jardesign still uses their Push/Pull manipulator system for selecting modes on the Autopilot. A fingered hand is "Push", and a clasped hand is "Pull", it is very easy and effective... You can also through the menu use left and right mouse clicks to do the same Push/Pull actions which works really very well here (preferred), but it is annoying in that some areas (Autopilot) is all scroll, and that most of all the other switches are twist and turn, so you can get confused, or get that annoying zoom action if you get the wrong manipulator action. Also when using the optional left and right mouse clicks, then the info text will appear somewhat semi-transparent over the knob... annoying or not, it tells you which click mode you are in. The MCDU - Multi-Function Control and Display Unit (Airbus Flight Management System) is surprisingly very good and based on the Smiths Thales A 1 0 1 system... Not the first all round MCDU for X-Plane, but still one of the very early simulations of an Airbus styled Thales MCDU, the in-house JARDesign unit was very competent and has been very bug free, and right from it's early introduction... which is very rare for these complicated and troublesome systems... very true to the Airbus system and quite comprehensive in detail, yes some other MCDUs maybe slightly more deeper and detailed (Flightfactor A320 Ultimate) data, but this unit covers everything you really need for a realistic operation of the Thales MCDU unit. Both the Captain's and F/O sides (a third unit is set rear console) of the MCDU units are all connected together and are not sadly individual unit's as per all JARDesign MCDUs, but the pop-outs work from each side. WebFMC Pro currently does not work on release, but as both the JARDesign A320neo and A330 are already connected, so it shouldn't be too long before that handy addon becomes active in the A340. Another oddity is that you can not save Flightplans? You can build the route in a .txt file format, and that route file can also be collected (transferred) from a SimBrief build, and then deposited in the "FlightPlans" folder. Then it can be inserted by using the CO-RTE selection... but a built route in the MCDU can't be directly saved to the same folder. As the A340/A330 use long haul routes that can be very, very long and complex process, so it is a bit of a surprise of why by now this can't be done? Departure Runways and SID insertion and any changes to the procedures are however very good. AIRWAY insertion is also very good, again with no hicups. But to note if you use the .TXT install route then the detailed data of the individual AIRWAYS sectors are lost, so only the intermediate waypoints in the AIRWAYS are retained. So if you want all the AIRWAY data detail in the flight, then there is only one way to access it, and is to type it all in from the start manually? Both INIT pages are available here... the (right) INIT FUEL PREDICTIONS page includes the important ZFWCG/ ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight Centre of Gravity)/(Zero Fuel Weight) and BLOCK (Fuel) load, which is essential to complete the full route data on the F-PLN (FlightPlan) detail, the ZFWCG/ZFW can be set via the fuel loading. So you can see the MCDC here is quite comprehensive on the small detail stuff. Another INIT detail is that it will accept -/+ weather temperatures, of which a lot of MCDUs won't do. FUEL PRED (Fuel Prediction) page is also excellent as is the PROG (Progress) page, not as good as any Boeing PROG data, but still authentic to the Airbus shown data. All PERFORMANCE parameters in Phases; TAKEOFF, CLB (Climb), CRZ (Cruise) DES (Descend), APPR (Approach) and GO AROUND are all catered for in detail. (Only TAKEOFF and APPR are shown below). Takeoff Prefs for v1, vR, v2... THRUST REDUCTION, FLAPS THS and TO FLEX can be added in automatically if you press the corresponding key, but you can set your own TO data if you know it. Like using the INIT FUEL PREDICTIONS page, the data in the actual F-PLN pages are double (below), and filled out with all UTC, SPD/ALT, EFOB, T and WIND data in the flight, so all very to the good and as authentic as basically required. MCDU Menu The MCDU also has a built in aircraft menu. There are four selections in LOAD AND FUEL, GROUND HANDLING, DOORS and SETTINGS. The Load and Fuel menu page in reality is excellent, and a very easy (and quick) way to get the aircraft ready for flight, MAX (Maximum) conditions are set out on the right side, and your flight settings are set out on the left. You are restricted to exactly 250 passengers (all classes), but -500 variants can carry up to 270-310 passengers, so you feel a bit under loaded at that low passenger count number (Simbrief wanted 269). Any adjustments in fuel or Weight (passengers cargo) is instantly corrected, so there are no slow loads of passengers and fuel available. The Ground Handling Menu page is the restricted GHD (Ground Handling Deluxe) setup seen earlier, and as noted restricted (although free), the full GHD plugin is certainly more advisable to use. The last main menu is the DOORS selection, and open/close door position is shown on the ECAM page profile. The SETTING menu is three pages of settings, Settings include; USE COPILOT - You may turn On/OFF copilot plugin (not included) if you have it already installed. Please leave it OFF if copilot plugin not installed to avoid graphic artefacts. FPS MESSAGE - Allow you to switch OFF alert message about low framerate value RIGHT CLICK - Allow you to switch manipulators style on FCU, may be applicable for VR usage. WIND & DISP REFLECT - You may turn off, or turn on display reflection, using this option. TCA QUADRANT - If you use TCA Quadrant - for special profile for TCA Quadrant or to Reset It to the Default at Joystick Settings. LOAD WITH MCDU - MCDU widget will appear on the screen every time you load aircraft. THR LEVER AXIS - you may select how many hardware axis have your device 1, 2 or 4. SPOILERS AXIS - for users, who want to set one of joystick axis, on Ground Spoilers Control. T/D PAUSE - Simulator will paused, when your aircraft will be close to Top Of Descent. A very useful tool for long flights. THR CLB POS: If you hardware throttle lever has a "too short moving" issue. Here you can tune the percentage of your hardware throttle lever to where CLB position may be. So overall the Systems in the A340-500 are very good. Study grade? it is all done by the official Airbus documents, and certainly at a level for you to get that Airbus experience feeling, and it is also a good transitioning aircraft if you are doing a first learning on these heavier long haul Airbus style airliners. ___________________ Flying the Airbus A340 I recommend a full clean startup from the desktop, not an internal X-Plane aircraft reload. JARDesign's aircraft are a bit like FlightFactor's in reloading sometimes half-way, and this makes some systems not to co-ordinate or set up correctly, a full clean start can reset this. Obviously a situation reload is not advisable at all. That does mean also a full aircraft setup for every flight is from scratch as well. The A340 has been refined to use the BetterPushBack Plugin (most developers now have given up creating custom pushback tools and now just use the BPB tool)... There are a lot of engines to start. Engines are started in sequence, preferably engine No. 1 first, in order to pressurise the blue hydraulic system, that also supplies the parking brake accumulator. APU bleed does however 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 system depth with the new "Failure" feature has certainly improved, and it is all quite detailed it is as well on ECAM warnings, noted in the lower HYD page, but also on the STS (Status) page. They OHD Hydraulics panel is not a pretty or a flight worthy picture either. Checking the TO CONFIG button showed (deliberately) that the Take Off Trim had not been set in the MCDU TAKE OFF phase... a warning "PITCH TRIM MCDU CG DISAGREE" also came up on the ECAM? You can get the CG number from the MCDU - LOAD AND FUEL menu, THS TO SET R6 Key, then fill in the TAKE OFF PERF page R3 Key with the correct TO Trim setting, I really liked the way the trim wheels then slowly moved to the correct takeoff trim position, very slowly... very realistic. and a very good and detailed the TO CONFIG system is as well... impressed. With the engines running, the sounds now fill the cockpit and I really liked the start up procedure sounds, you are however sitting in a cockpit that is a fair distance from those Trent 633s, but they do sound nice. As noted there is a lot of sound adjustment 0% to 100% in internal and external sounds, and I really liked them to be honest... obviously not BSS (BlueSkyStar) 360º dimensional quality, but still very good for a basic sound set. As BSS have already done sound packages for the JARDesign A320neo and A330, I would expect the same package later for the A340. So you have to be impressed by the depth of the systems here, as we always really expected a JARDesign to be a bit lightweight in such areas, so they have come a long way in those aspects. The single switch between the APU and 1 and 2 electrical buses is really well done, and I loved it on the A330... but oddly the DCDU - "Data Communication Display Unit" does not work, as it does in the JARDesign A330, a really big oversight is that one. But my gut says there is an external issue for the failure. External lighting is well done and thankfully tuned (focused?). Nosewheel Taxi and Runway Turnoff lighting is perfect, as are the really nice twin-set fuselage wing lights. Tail lighting, Beacon and Navigation are all excellent. Everything set and it is time to go... Brakes off and throttles slightly forward (Plural), you have to give the A340 a fair push to roll, with a Gross weight of 274427 kgs, there is a lot of weight to move, and you feel it, and it feels very, very good, with also a nice engine whine building in the background... ... Taxi feel and sounds are really good... but you don't have the "Roll" tiller feature choice here, a new setting to turn via the roll movement, rather than the yaw movement, is fast becoming a must have feature now on larger aircraft for me. On to EDDMs (Munich) Rwy 26R and you settle ready for the takeoff, I notice the APU is taking a very long time to switch off or shutdown, but then slowly the power numbers start to fall... again great detail on the APU ECAM page, and note the Terrain display, that also works very nicely. Throttles all up to the orange marker on the ECAM, and you have four engines all powering out the thrust, the particle effects are really, really good on the A340, they are showing the right amount of density to the power output, engine sounds both external and internal are also good... You power down the runway, a long way, as the v2 marker is 202 knts, and you need another +10 knts to rotate into the air... but you can feel the bite of the aircraft starting to lift at the same time, I really loved the feel here. At a 10º pitch you climb out cleanly, storing all that complex gear takes time, but also fascinating to watch on the complex lower ECAM display. Aircraft control feel is actually very good, but two JARDesign niggles come back to haunt you... First is the Autothrust CL (Climb) position, that you have to guess to activate, it takes ages to connect (Climb) and display in the PFD (Primary Flight Display)... the second niggle has always been a long time JARDesign major annoyance... Once turned and on track, you hit the AP1 (Autoplot 1) button, and it will very quickly disconnect with a warning? But you are in the right position and on track and climbing in the right vertical speed (V/S)... so why disconnect? I set a manual speed (245 knts) for the initial climb, but the A/THR just does not see it or react either? Finally you get the AP1 to connect and the V/S is set 3800 fpm , and yet I am only holding a 10º pitch? So you get a sudden nose up pitch to match the V/S number, I have had these issues consistently from the JD A320neo to the A330, and now here again in the A340... you can work or fly around them, but after all these years why haven't they been by now dialed out or refined compared to the A320 Ultimate and ToLiSS A319/A321. Note I did another try on the takeoff later and reset the V/S AFTER in the climb-out, and it worked far better... but it needs a coding reset to realistic. The altitude climb (which I call "lift") is quite powerful as the A340 can hold an easy 2,000 fpm lift to 30,000 ft (FL300) then a reduction to 1,500 fpm to the first selected altitude of 34, 000 ft. Note that yes I have a full passenger load, but the distance is only less than half of what this aircraft can actually do at 2,347 nm (Munich to Doha), so yes I am not at full GW or that really (fuel) heavy, heavy here. The Austrian Alps beckon, and already the fuel tanks are pumping to distribute the fuel load, as it should do, but still a great detail that can be easily missed, and the tank pumping goes on intermittently right through the flight as required, impressive. FL340 and finally at a cruise altitude and .83 mach set speed. It is a nice place to be. I have done a LOT of long hauls in the JD A330-200, and they are a very nice place to be for long periods of time, yes it is only a simulation, but it has to still work at being the best simulation of realistic in flight flying... The A330/A340 aircraft are not in the faster .86 cruise speed zones as say the B787/A350, as Mach 0.86 (493 kn; 914 km/h) is the maximum speed, with a Mach 0.82 (470 kn; 871 km/h) cruise (the A330 is Mach 0.80), I found Mach 0.83 (Simbrief recommended) a good compromise depending on the winds. Range is that amazing 16,670 km / 9,000 nmi distance and the ceiling is 41,450 ft (12 634 m), but you can cruise around 38,000ft to a max of 40,000ft. The JAR is great for snuggling down, pull-out the working tray, pull down the blinds and settling in for the long haul... background sounds are very good and not annoyingly monotonous, as you really do feel as you do on a real aircraft with that feeling of movement, but also with those comforting background sounds (In other words the engines are working!) Avitab is installed (Plugin required) and well positioned for in-flight use, and on both Captain and F/O positions... Lighting The lighting set up in the A340 is absolutely perfect. Internally all the Airbus system lighting knobs works as per correct (how long have we waited for ToLiSS to do that... forever). All instrument panel lighting is as per all manual systems information, as noted the under instrument panel knobs covers the drop down lighting (each end) and Autopilot displays (inner two knobs)... Overhead adjustable lighting is for (central) console lighting (note the third working rear MCDU unit)... and there is two spot lights over the Captain and F/O seats. Overhead cockpit lighting is controlled by two switches... CTL left, turns on the overhead lighting, but once switched on you can then select with the right DOME switch three cockpit lighting settings; DIM, BRT (Bright) and STORM (really Bright)... it all works perfectly. The cabin lighting is also really good. You don't get that over bright night lighting in the cabin, but a soothing soft light that is perfect for night flying... in other words realistic. The First Class compartments are nicely inner lit, so you can easily have a break back here mid-flight and relax. External lighting is very good as well. With the soft inner cabin lighting the fuselage looks very nice in the air at night as well, with no bright passenger liner porthole feel... Lovely tail lighting, but no auto setting to come on below 5,000ft, but I don't care as I love the tail lit in flight, those twin-wing lights are also very nice and look great from the internal cabin viewpoint. Navigation, Strobe, Beacons are all nicely tuned and look perfect (no blobby lighting here), as does the nosewheel lighting (as seen) and landing lights. The changing vistas of long-haul flying, the green gives way to the desert browns... this why you do the long routes, you going to another very different place on the other side of the world. You are going to get a nasty letter from Greta Thunberg... with all four of those horrible billowing contrails ruining the atmosphere, but I love it anyway. Long haul flying is all about the numbers... taking into account the slight fuel departure difference (for running the APU on the ground), I am within a fine percentage of my required fuel burn to the SimBrief Flightplan... it is very satisfying to know on long routes that your fuel flow is close the hourly or waypoint numbers. Fuel data via the lower ECAM and MCDU is very good (below left). Exactly 4h 30m Flying and the TOD (Top of Descent) marker comes up in the flightplan, up to now it has been a bang on perfect flight (sorry simulation). Time to get out the OTHH charts, check the weather and air pressure at Doha. I have reached TOD, but I am already losing my altitude... I tend to drop about 10nm to 15nm before the TOD drop point. That gives me a more longer descent (about 1800 fpm) so you save fuel as the engines drop to mostly idle, but also be able to control my height and speed at the other end of the descent... notable that the JARDesign has no altitude target marker to set your altitude descent rate,, so you have to work out the numbers out manually, I'm okay with that, but it is an essential tool missing, and a requirement for most long haul liners. Bahrain, comes up on the right and I am right where I want to be... my target is 10,000ft before entering the STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route), then down to 5,000ft as I enter the BAYA2E STAR landing circuit.. again perfectly on target. The sign of a good development is in the feedback and response of the controls and the input settings you give the aircraft, turn a knob or set an action and the aircraft responds perfectly to your wishes, it makes for a good if not a perfect simulation. Finding the right speed to the right flap position, is one area of real talent, 185 knts to flap 3 feels a little slow, but it doesn't feel slow in the cockpit, but at least you don't get those nasty gaps when extending the flaps as they push the nose down as the speed is now higher than the flap position, put the speed below the orange flap markers at each flap position, and it is all very clean going forward... thank you very much. Now Hamad International Airport appears to the right in the BAYA2E STAR approach... I am already set up ready for landing at 2,500ft, as I approach MUXED, a 90º turn... a short 5 nm flight puts you then at LAGMA and into the final turn into the approach of OTHHs Rwy 34R... At LAGMA I let down that extensive rear three gear arrangement, I love dropping the gear on the last tight turn to finals, if the approach is short enough to do so... and so very dramatic! Forward lighting as noted is very good, and it is nice to see tuned lighting for once. Out of the murk appears OTHH Rwy 35R, now in the ILS cone my approach speed is 152 knts, a bit below the APPR PREF recommended 157 knts for final with the FULL flap setting down, but 157 knts gave me too much nose or pitch up? Descent into Rwy 35R is very good... then over the threshold. Call outs are also very good (remember there is that JARDesign active Co-Pilot option not shown here), and the LAND then FLARE modes are perfect. The opposite centre gear reverse tilt is well done here and the animation also well done, and a solid touch down says "Welcome to Doha"... The Four Engine thrust reversers are very effective in rubbing off the speed, reverser sounds are very good and the action can easily be seen from any rear window cabin windows (outer engines). The REV note on the ECAM is however very hard to read in being so small and with the four REV icons squashed into a tight display, you can be not sure if you have activated/deactivated the reversers or not, so you have to look closer, and not good doing so in the high workload roll out, but they do work as noted effectively... A note here is that the X-Plane Replay mode is pretty useless with the JARDesign A340, most items in the cockpit and flying surfaces, flaps and pretty well most things don't replay or are stuck at odd angles, worse in the saved "Replay mode" the aircraft won't reset itself correctly at all? My assigned stand is Concourse C - C5 and I take taxiway C to E (4to1)... On the taxi in I restarted the APU, but unlike the shutdown procedure, it restarted normally, and was running hot and powered by the time I got to the gate... APU ECAM detail is very good. ... so the engine(s) shutdown (great sounds) was able to be performed normally. The timer was stopped at 5h 15m, official is 5h 40m duration, so I am happy with that. With the engines shut down and the aircraft secure, it was time to unload the A340-500, the GHD was called and they got quickly into action... As a simulation goes I was seriously impressed and totally enjoyed the flight from Munich to Doha, it was a seriously clean and a bug free flight, and that is mostly everything you really want from any simulation, a perfect experience... and the JARDesign A340-500 certainly delivered very well that aspect. This is an addon note to the above flight... to see the differences between the A330 and this latest JARDesign A340, I flew the current JD A332 back to Munich from Doha. Surprisingly they did feel quite different... not in the actual aircraft flying or performance areas, but certainly in the features and the interaction menus and even missing the AviTab option... in these areas you could see a very substantial forward progress from the older to newer aircraft philosophy, and the A332 has had a lot of substantial updates. So there is now actually a lot of changes to be done by JARDesign to equalise up the two aircraft to get a cross-rate between the two in parallel synchronicity... saying that as a simulation, like the A340 here, it was a very, very good if perfect flight back... like mentioned in this long-range area, JARDesign aircraft are very good. Liveries There are no official liveries provided with the package (no manuals either). But JARDesign have a dedicated Simliveries site for livery downloads, a paintkit can also be downloaded. The default livery is a JARDesign A340 livery, and the current offerings are; Aeroflot, Air Canada, American Airlines, Azerbaijan, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa and Qatar. ___________________ Summary JARDesign has been around X-Plane as long as I have, which means now nearly a decade, and in that time they have created not only Airbus aircraft in the form of a A320neo and a A330-200, as in also the addition of some very clever addons, with the Ground Handling Deluxe (GHD), FM (Follow Me) Car, X-Life (Traffic) and their latest in a fully operating Co-Pilot feature... Here now is their third Airbus Aircraft in the form of a A340-500 four-engined airliner, it spent a very long time in development, but finally it is here. There is certainly a certain style and feel of JARDesign aircraft, so to a point this new release and being in real life a sister design to the Twin-Engined A330, in the A340 being all very familiar from the start. You sort of know of what you are going to get, and on that aspect it delivers about perfectly as you thought it would. So the design, modeling and features are really almost an exact replica of the A330, but with four engines instead of two, but there are thankfully some significant differences that make this a more deeper simulation than it's sister aircraft. The bothering aspect of that is that in most cases you are not seeing that forward design movement that other well known developers are currently doing in X-Plane, so it all comes across like a Toyota car, safe, reliable but not at all really absolutely cutting edge.... Competent no doubt. But don't get me wrong, as a simulation in the Long Haul category it flies in, the JARDesign A340 is a great if perfect simulation experience. JARDesign is a bit like Apple, you go into that world and it delivers everything in there. The aircraft has the built-in but restricted Ground Handling Deluxe GHD (the payware GHD works with all the bells and whistles), and the Co-Pilot feature will also work. As for systems they are actually very good in delivering a rather deep Airbus experience. MCDU, FMGS and ECAM detail is very good and even excellent, but the new "Failure" system which is quite basic on the surface, but uncovers the deep system detail in operation. If you don't follow the correct procedures and you will get a difficult aircraft to use and fly. With the four-engined layout then the system detail is very good and very immersive, the modeling and aircraft detail is as noted as what you would expect from JARDesign, but I really liked the sounds, however a BSS package would certainly take the aural messages the next level above, but for a basic sound pack, it is still very good. Lighting is excellent, great cockpit and external lighting and the cabin at night is a nice place to be (for once). Oddites as usual are also in here... missing is the working A330 DCDU, The change "Please Wait" and 3 sec delay between the changing profiles is not on the A340 either like on the A330?... and that annoying A320neo/A330 autopliot activate and that bad transition from manual to auto flight (both A/THR and AP) is still in here after all these years, and has not still not been refined out. As Airbus flight procedures go, it is very good, but it is no ToLiSS deep in Airbus laws and actions. MCDUs are also duel (or triple here) and not independent of each other, as showing the original designs age. Most however should be quickly updated via a few updates, and JARDesign does a lot of updates and also gives great after purchase service. The overall aspect of an aircraft purchase, is to receive a very good simulation of an aircraft, its systems, its flight performance, its features and even more importantly a great experience in return... on all of these levels and more the JARDesign A340-500 does deliver and even exceptional well here, so you are getting great value for your money... ultimately you want a bit more in progressive ideas and quality, but the basics are very sound, of which overall is JARDesign's and their philosophy that are built on... I have done a lot of JARDesign routes (mostly in the A330-200) and they do return, certainly in long-haul simulation a great if perfect return experience, and overall that is the main if absolute case to a great simulation for your investment.... ... Highly Recommended. ___________________ Yes! the Airbus A340-500 by JARDesign is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : JARDesign 340-500 Airliner Price is US$59.95 Features Beautiful and Detailed 3D Model: External, Cockpit and Cabin 3D model based on real aircraft data Hi-Resolution External 4K PBR textures with normal maps Advanced wingflex simulation with ultra-smooth animation Highly detailed Landing Gear animation Animated cargo and passengers doors controlled via MCDU 3-class passenger cabin with automatic controlled 3D lights Virtual Cockpit Animated Switches, Knobs, Levers and Tables in the cockpit Animated wipers and windshield sun visors in the cockpit Custom plugin based Realistic cockpit and external 3D lights Advanced custom real-feeling FCU knobs control system Pilots seen in cockpit in external view mode Hi-Resolution PFD, ND, EWD and SYS displays Flight Model and FMGS: Custom FMGS system with all main features required for normal flight Common failures can be triggered SID / STARS procedures based on NavData Take off data - V1, V2, VR, DTo and THS/FLAPS calculated by helper on MCDU Perf page Multi-function MCDU for full aircraft control, optimum flight level, fuel prediction, etc. Multiple ECAM pages for review and selection Ground Handling operation via MCDU or automatically by Ground Handling plugin (by JARDesign) Easy-to-use PayLoad and fuel loading via MCDU menu Embedded Flight Plan generator based on navdata cycle Enter Flight Plan manually or read from SimBrief/PFPX text file Aircraft systems with real aircraft logic and indications Custom Fly-By-Wire system with Normal law and Flight Envelope Protections Custom terrain radar Custom DCDU Metar reading System modelled Air Conditioning, Pressurization, Ventilation, Auto Flight,Communications, Electrical, Equipment, Fire Protection, Flight Controls, Fuel,Hydraulic, Ice and Rain Protection, Indicating/Recording Systems, Landing Gear, Lights, Navigation, Oxygen, Pneumatic, Information System, APU, Doors , Power Plant Other systems Weather radar for default XP weather Custom Hot-Start function MCDU 2D pop-out widget Sound volume control 2D widget Lateral and Vertical Flightplan 2D widget Realistic 3D sound based on real aircraft sound recording CoPilot (by JARDesign) plugin compatible (not included) Ground Handling (by JARDesign) plugin compatible for free (not included) X-Life (by JARDesign) plugin compatible (not included) Better PushBack plugin compatible (not included) Integrated tablet using popular Avitab plug-in Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac (Linux NOT supported at this time) 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 415 MB Current and Review version: 1.0R1 (August 1st 2021) The AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft Ground Handling Deluxe Plugin by JARDesign is recommended Installation and documents: Download is 721Mb. Installation size in your Aircraft folder is 1.44Gb. (with the set of original ten liveries installed) Documents All documents and liveries are downloaded separately and are not included in the package... Manual is basic but covers all the install and aircraft details (17 Pages) JARDesign recommends and supplies official Airbus system documents that are worth downloading and studying to get the best out of aircraft systems and flight capablities. Manual.pdf Smiths_Thales_A_1_0_1_FM_Pilot_Guide A340_Flight_Deck_and_Systems_Briefing_For_Pilots Updates are via the: JARDesign Group Board (registration required) : A340-500 Downloads here JD340 v.1.0 SIMLIVERIES Category Archives: 340 Liveries PaintKit download link:AFL http://jardesign.org/jd340/download/JD3 … 310721.zip Designed by JARDesign http://www.jardesign.org/ticket/support_view.php Users Support for the A340 _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 4th August 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 : Ground Handling Deluxe Plugin by JARDesign US$14.95 (recommended) Scenery or Aircraft - EDDM - Munich Airport by ShortFinal Designs (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95 - Qatar - Doha City & Airports 1.0.0 by renair2 (X-Plane.Org Downloads) - Free! (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  3. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : Airbus A340-500 by JARDesign After a very long development period, JARDesign have now released their Airbus A340-500 aircraft to join their already successful A320neo and A330 Airbus aircraft fleet. The A340-500 model is the long-long range champion of long but thin routes, if you want that challenge, then this is now the best airliner currently in to do so... and very good long-haul aircraft are also very thin on the ground in X-Plane and this aircraft fills in a nice niche that is missing from long-haul flying with a sensational 16,670 km / 9,000 nmi range. JARDesign as a developer is one of the sort of pioneers and to a point even a renegade of development for the X-Plane Simulator, they have produced aircraft for as long as I have been in simulation, and mostly all are Airbus aircraft. Their aircraft in the A320neo and A330-200 have been the mainstay of Airbus flying in the simulator, but also there is the addition of some very clever addons, with Ground Handling Deluxe (GHD), FM (Follow Me) Car, X-Life (Traffic) and their latest in a fully operating Co-Pilot feature. Feature list is extensive! Beautiful and Detailed 3D Model: External, Cockpit and Cabin 3D model based on real aircraft data Hi-Resolution External 4K PBR textures with normal maps Advanced wingflex simulation with ultra-smooth animation Highly detailed Landing Gear animation Animated cargo and passengers doors controlled via MCDU 3-class passenger cabin with automatic controlled 3D lights Virtual Cockpit Animated Switches, Knobs, Levers and Tables in the cockpit Animated wipers and windshield sun visors in the cockpit Custom plugin based Realistic cockpit and external 3D lights Advanced custom real-feeling FCU knobs control system Pilots seen in cockpit in external view mode Hi-Resolution PFD, ND, EWD and SYS displays Flight Model and FMGS: Custom FMGS system with all main features required for normal flight Common failures can be triggered SID / STARS procedures based on NavData Take off data - V1, V2, VR, DTo and THS/FLAPS calculated by helper on MCDU Perf page Multi-function MCDU for full aircraft control, optimum flight level, fuel prediction, etc. Multiple ECAM pages for review and selection Ground Handling operation via MCDU or automatically by Ground Handling plugin (by JARDesign) Easy-to-use PayLoad and fuel loading via MCDU menu Embedded Flight Plan generator based on navdata cycle Enter Flight Plan manually or read from SimBrief/PFPX text file Aircraft systems with real aircraft logic and indications Custom Fly-By-Wire system with Normal law and Flight Envelope Protections Custom terrain radar Custom DCDU Metar reading System modelled Air Conditioning, Pressurization, Ventilation, Auto Flight,Communications, Electrical, Equipment, Fire Protection, Flight Controls, Fuel,Hydraulic, Ice and Rain Protection, Indicating/Recording Systems, Landing Gear, Lights, Navigation, Oxygen, Pneumatic, Information System, APU, Doors , Power Plant Other systems Weather radar for default XP weather Custom Hot-Start function MCDU 2D pop-out widget Sound volume control 2D widget Lateral and Vertical Flightplan 2D widget Realistic 3D sound based on real aircraft sound recording CoPilot (by JARDesign) plugin compatible (not included) Ground Handling (by JARDesign) plugin compatible for free (not included) X-Life (by JARDesign) plugin compatible (not included) Better PushBack plugin compatible (not included) Integrated tablet using popular Avitab plug-in The long awaited JARDesign Airbus A340-500 is now available for the X-Plane Simulator from the X-Plane.OrgStore Images are courtesy of JARDesign X-PlaneReviews extended review of the new JARDesign A340-500 will follow soon... So look out for it! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Airbus A340-500 by JARDesign is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: JARDesign 340-500 Airliner Price is US$59.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac (Linux NOT supported at this time) 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 415 MB Current version: 1.0R1 (August 1st 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 1st August 2021 Copyright©2021: 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
  4. News! - JARDesign Airbus A340-500 goes into beta JARDesign have declared their coming Airbus A340-500 is soon to go into it's beta testing phase. First announced back in April 2018, this is the third Airbus project from JARDesign after their Airbus A320neo and Airbus A330-243. Notable is the fact like in most X-Plane releases, get one finally released and you are bound to get another... that aircraft is coming via ToLiSS who are developing a A340-600, yes a different variant, but still a A340 airframe. "when it rains"... JARDesign have released some in progress in cockpit images with the announcement; Average beta phases are around six weeks (unless something nasty comes up), so late July or early August would be a nice release timeframe, it is going to be a very busy late summer period. The JARDesign GHD (Ground Handling Deluxe) and CoPilot plugin features should also be available on the A340 when released. Images are courtesy of JARDesign ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 21st June 2021 Copyright©2021: 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
  5. News! - Aircraft Update : Airbus A330-200 v3 by JARDesign The Airbus A330-200 by JARDesign has been upgraded to version v3.0. The main focus of this update is the transition of the aircraft's coding from the SASL plugin to C++ (instead combined of SASL & basic X-Plane FMS). This has changed the dynamics of mainly the FMGS or Flight Management and Guidance Computer but also removed the menu system that was located on the left of your screen. So all the menu elements are now located within the MCDU Airbus (Mulitpurpose Control & Display Unit). This includes the Load & Trim Sheet, Doors, Ground Handling, Push Back and Sound Volume. The settings were on the MCDU before. The ground handling can be used with the Ground Handling Deluxe (GHD) plugin, because they are basically the same thing. But there are not as many items on the aircraft as there are on the plugin version, and you can't select your liveries either? (You must also use the latest GHD version v.040118 as the earlier GHD versions conflict with the aircraft v3 version) The move to ++C also means you also have to have installed the "Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable 2010" http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download … x?id=14632 for the aircraft to work, but most of should already have all the C++ Redistributable already installed. Full v3 Feature list is: + compatible with GHDeluxe v.040118 + new MCDU MENU functions (you can operate with Ground Handling, Doors, Loading, Tow) + operate settings via MCDU MENU + separate Ground Handling operation (MCDU MENU -> Handling, next - select neeeded cars and click Drive Up) + MCDU movable widget (click on 3D MCDU or use Command jd/fmgs/CommandShowMcdu) + ND non-movable widget (click on ND) + Save coRoute flightplan using MCDU DATA -> Click right Arrow -> Pilots ROUTES, enter name and click SAVE + takeoff with heading preset + ND && MCDU indication and functions reworked + follow Speed Constraints + add instant flightplan generator Cockpit still a very nice place to fly and is mostly unchanged... ... as are the extensive cabins. This v3.0 update is free if you have purchased the JD330 for X-Plane 11 version, just go to your X-Plane-Store and to your account. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Airbus A330-243 v3.0 by JARDesign is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A330-243 and is priced at only US$60.95 This update is free if you have purchased the JD330 for X-Plane 11 version, just go to your X-Plane-Store and to your account. Requirements are: X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows or Mac (10.9+) - 64bit Operating System (Linux not supported) CPU: 2,4Ghz Multi-core. Memory: 8 GB RAM. Video Card: 2Gb VRAM. high-precision joystick, rudder pedals, throttle controller (separate throttle controllers not support now). For best performance, you need a 3Gb Video Card. ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 3rd March 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  6. News! - Cyber attack : JARDesign site attack The X-Plane JARDesign developer site was involved in a cyber attack, details from JAR are noted here: "On the night of January 31st 2021, our website and servers were attacked," the developer noted in a Facebook message. "The attack on the servers resulted in crashes when loading the X-Plane if our products were installed in the plugins folder." "The services were unavailable and it took us about 5 hours to fix the problem. I apologize to our users for these problems and these terrible 5 hours. Now, the work of the web-site, forum, download pages and plugins Internet services has been fully restored. Sorry again." Not that JAR needs to apologise for something that is not of his doing? A video was also circulated... While the servers were down, users were able to access JARdesign aircraft and products, messy for all of us, but at least the attack seems to have done no permanent damage... ____________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 1st February 2021 Copyright©2021: 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)
  7. Aircraft Update : Airbus A330-243 v1.2r2 by JARDesign In April this year JARDesign unleashed on to X-Plane their greatest masterstroke yet in the Airbus A330-243. The accolades came and with justification as it is a simply brilliant aircraft, and another milestone in X-Plane development. But it did have one issue and this was a global issue that affected other SASL powered aircraft and was not just related to JARDesign in that there was a crash for Mac users in the sounds department. It was a tough nut to crack but a solution has finally been found and the plugin has been fixed. So the core of this update 1.2r2 is that the Airbus A330-243 is now cleared as Mac compatible and may we rejoice in that. I personally (Mac) never had an issue with the crashes, and I pushed the aircraft very hard in constant simulations over a period of three weeks to create the release review... Aircraft Review : Airbus A330-243 by JARDesign The aircraft was very complete on release, but a few bugs have been cleared in v1.2r2 (full Changelog below) but the highlights are you can now install custom sound files, AirFMC ready, external lights and strobes have been refined and 3d cockpit errors addressed. But there are a few other new bonuses in the release that are also worth highlighting... Last month JARDesign released a new plugin beta called "GroundService", a brilliant plugin that allows you to create service vehicles around your aircraft, It is immensely clever and here in the "GNDHandling" version included with the A330-243 you can see it not only in operation but how it will totally transform again our ramp areas. The menu allows you to - "Drive up All" and "Drive Away All" service vehicles in the list, "To Hide all" and a Control Panel that allows you to activate or hide individual vehicles. Press "Drive up All" and you unleash mayhem!... The Service vehicles all appear and then go about their business with gutso. And totally great fun it is. Open the Control Panel and you can see the list available, and it is extensive. Even better the system allows you to add vehicles as well. Three buttons do the work in Press + to activate a vehicle and Press - to drive it away and "Hide" will make the vehicle disappear. The top three buttons are the "All" activations. The highlight certainly are the pallet loaders, Pallets come on to the base, turn, then lift and then move the pallet inside the aircraft, then repeat. Brilliant, loved it, with a wide smile... only two small things is that they don't load many pallets, and there is no reverse to unload? but I am sure that will happen and a pallet truck with pallets to be loaded would be a great addition. Other loaders also go about their business and the excellent elevated service vehicles are also here. A few of these items were of course available with the release of the A330-243, but you didn't have the total control of them like you do here, and the sheer amount of activity you can create. If you select the Fuel Truck the load sheet is visible as well and you can load the fuel from the panel. One odd thing is that if you select the activity to finish the vehicle (or vehicles) will then line up direct behind the aircraft, so how can you pushback with a row of vehicles standing there? You can make them disappear, but why not line them up to the side and out of the way? The scope of this system is certainly amazing, just think of this with the x737, and hopefully JARDesign will install it with their A320neo as well. No offence to the other developers that have create good ground service vehicles, but this system should be either licensed or installed in all good payware and top quality freeware aircraft... it should be the standard throughout X-Plane. As you wrap up the loading the mayhem subsides as the vehicles are slowly removed from the aircraft. The A330-243 is still a beast to prepare for flight, the "Hot Start" goes a long way in helping you get the aircraft running, but watch those few switches that are left on in the wrong position (APU Bleed, Ignition switch and One Grd power button), but the FMC programming is still a long list of settings to get everything ready for flight. Route: EIDW-Dublin to BIKF-Keflavik I'm still not totally happy with the pushback feature, you can't see the buttons (direction) when starting the pushback and pressing any of the buttons twice or more makes the truck go faster, that is fine but you can catch the buttons while try to stop it instead. Dublin is busy as WorldTraffic 2.0 works its magic, so you wait ages for clearance. You have to be very much in control like I remember on the release aircraft on leaving the runway. The A330 will climb hard up unless you control the pitch and settle the vertical climb rate. It should be automatic on this being an Airbus, but you have to get your speed and pitch numbers almost correct unless you get an annoying Autopilot alert and disconnect. Get it right and the A330 will settle down nicely and you can activate the "OP" (Option Climb) to gain the cruise altitude you want. Modeling wise the aircraft is exceptional. The A330 looks excellent in any light, and the sounds are good as well. Engine design and detailing is very realistic and... No Mac crashes yet either. Cockpit is an exceptional place to be. You would be very hard pressed to fault the design and textures of this cockpit environment, in the right light the sheen of the paneling is about as real as it gets. Functionality of the switchgear and levers are at an also high level. Another new feature is a different knob manipulator. It is noted as "Push-Pull and Rotate" for a scroll mouse, but It didn't work for me because I only use a single click mouse. You can change the manipulator back to the older half-moon tool under the A330/Settings menu. Only thing is found the old half-moon are manipulators lower down and they sometimes contacted (activated) the lower buttons. Overhead Panel is again fully functional and so are the aircraft's systems. It is the small things of detailing that make it great... like the pull down adjustable shades and sliding side shades. Three class cabin is first rate, It is amazing the amount of detail and equipment on the aircraft and how good and refined it is on your framerate, so much is packaged into so little. BIKF-Keflavik I found the aircraft even more complete, or I am now just familiar with the aircraft. On release the review deadline can want you to post a good review, but these latest aircraft for X-Plane demand attention and the sheer complexity of the systems can take time to be really comfortable with the total flying experience. Airbuses do help in as they are cross-cockpit in design and systems, but it is more the subtle areas in weights and fuel planning for range that will take the time to get totally immersed in the aircraft and its complete simulation. The A330 "Autoland" is sensational, it will put this huge weighted aircraft down on a dime. And then the visual rumble feature comes in with a shock and a bounce... so very realistic. Thrust reverse is effective (open doors and thrust up) but you have to watch your brake heat (switch on the BRK FAN before landing) if you have a heavy passenger and cargo load and are close to the Max landing weight limits. Keflavik is becoming a busy airport lately, WorldTraffic 2.0 provided more movements than Dublin, and that created a lot of activity and realism. Once shutdown at the gate the fun stars again. This time I use more (self) control and use only the vehicles that are required, but still soon had the aircraft swarming with equipment. GPU is required attached for ground power to the aircraft. It is quite easy to configure the ground vehicles to what you want, and in this case Gate Gourmet catering and with a bit of creative spirit I created KEF buses to match the airport surroundings. In time it should be easy to have sets of vehicles for certain airports as well as aircraft and the basic system can support that. And there is selection of different Ground Service vehicle textures: JarDesign Ground Services Textures Gate Gourmet/Sky Chefs/Globe Ground/Lufthansa V 1.2 Turnaround time is one hour and I will be heading back to EIDW in Ireland... Liveries There is a huge selection of liveries for the aircraft, just go to the official JARDesign site: JARDesign Liveries Here are a few. Summary In reality this 1.2r2 small update to the JARDesign A330-243, only a few bugs and the Mac SASL compatibility is now confirmed and both could have easily been covered in a patch. But that does reinforce the fact on how good and bug free the release version actually was. In a small way the update release is overshadowed by another project that has yet again the power to change our simulations to the great by the excellent GroundServicing and GndHandling plugins. now your already long pre-flight procedures and data input on this aircraft is now even longer in servicing the aircraft in turnaround by manipulating your vehicles to come and go and do the work on the ground, in other words the complete simulation and there will be more to come when users start creating versions of their own to meet their needs and share the versions of ground traffic and vehicles to others. The token "Best aircraft in X-Plane" is a hard one because simulation users need and use different aircraft for different reasons and simulations, a top ten with no winner can cover the very best. But the "Heavy Aircraft" category is certainly the trophy area, Three vie for top honors with FlightFactor's brilliant Boeing 757 series just a nose ahead of its Boeing 777 Series. But this Airbus A330 from JARDesign is well within that company, as an Airbus it is top certainly and the most complete simulation in X-Plane on this level. If JARDesign's A320neo was upgraded to the level of the larger A330 then it would be a top four but at this point the aircraft feels slightly dated when related to the other more updated machines. But there is no doubt on the quality and deep immersion of simulation that the A330-243 from JARDesign delivers. Mac users can now fly with safety and the rest of us can enjoy their turnaround times with far more gutso and... well fun, in watching the aircraft being loaded/unloaded as part of the simulation. So the A330 is great, good, brilliant... everything you would want in a great Airbus and X-Plane has to proud of how far it has come to deliver such simulation on this level. _______________________________________________________ The Airbus A330-243 by JARDesign is now available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A330-243 - Price is US$60.95 Current Version 1.2r2 is Aug 27th and if you have already purchased the JARDesign A330-243 then go to your X-Plane.Org Store account and upgrade for free now! Features include: Superb 3D Model Detailed Virtual cockpit Detailed Exterior Ground equipment included: Tow tractor, fuel track, stairways, catering truck are included in pack and managed from menu. Systems Simulated: Air Conditioning, Pressurization APU , Auto Flight , Communications , Doors , Electrical , Equipment , Flight Controls , Oxygen Fuel , Hydraulic , Ice and Rain Protection , Indicating Recording Systems , Landing Gear , Lights Navigation , Pneumatic , Power Plant. Ground Handling plugin for A330 (only) included. (The "Deluxe" version of this plugin -payware, and not included in the A330 pack- works with any X-Plane airliner) FCU manipulators to use Mouse Left/Rght/Wheel for Push/Pull/Rotate operation Tested by real Airbus pilots Real Airbus pilots and technicians helped in the development and testing. New 3D-sound engine An easy way to customize soundest and build your own sound effects. Navigation Data The A330 comes with the NavDataPro dataset by Aerosoft. Now compatible with both Windows and Mac OS Developer site : JARDesign Group _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements Windows or Mac - 64bit Operating System (Linux not supported) X-Plane 10.35+, with HDR mode ON, CPU: 2,4Ghz Multi-core. Memory: 8 GB RAM. Video Card: 2Gb VRAM. high-precision joystick, rudder pedals, throttle controller (separate throttle controllers not support now). For best performance, you need a 3Gb Video Card. Current version: 1.2r2 (last updated August 27th 2015) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Full 1.2r2 Changelog: +AirFMC ready (please update your AirFMC plugin and AirFMC application) +Custom soundpack ready (you can install and use custom sound packs from another developers) +Glideslope engage softened +RNAV arrival Transition wrong reading and drawing fixed +Double/triple/multiply saying "Checklist ... completed" fixed +Doors auto open when ground staff come after landing + «TA only» indication add when takeoff +GPWS front panel button add +HYD SYS identification numbers fixed +FUEL PRED & Time checked and fixed +Strobe pattern after Place The Aircraft via The X-Planes Location Menu fixed +Table Checklist add +some External light improvements +ND Wind indication fixed according FCOM +Minor 3D cockpit errors fixed +Waypoint delete error in MCDU fixed Update by Stephen Dutton 28th August 2015 Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb - Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final) - Tested also in 10.40b10 (fine) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini - WorldTraffic 2.0 by Classic Jet Simulations (WorldTraffic 2.0) - X-Plane.OrgStore - US$24.95 Scenery - EIDW - Dublin International Airport by Aerosoft (Airport Dublin) X-Plane.OrgStore - US$29.99 - BIKF - Keflavik by Aerosoft / Icarius (Airport Keflavik) - X-Plane.OrgStore - US$19.20
  8. JARDesign : A320neo Beta Update v1.55b JARDesign has posted a small inclement upgrade to 1.55b... note it is a beta. The added items are noted as: +Tuned fuel flow. +Dynamic camera. +New SASL server activation protocol compatible. +More short period of switching GROUND mode - NORMAL mode (after takeoff). I couldn't work out the Dynamic camera? and there are no notes on how to use it from JARDesign either. I noted the poor fuel flow when I did the BNE (Brisbane) to CNS (Cairns) route, so the fuel tuning should hopefully fix that. The 1.55b update is available from here: JARDesign - Updates : A320neo The .org update thread is here : 1.55 beta (test, problems, e t.c.) Only a few weeks back Thomas Cook revealed their new livery, as with the same makeover for their German subsidiary Condor. I loved the clean bright livery and RC Marple went straight to work and has now released both. You can download the Thomas Cook livery here : New Thomas Cook Livery for JAR Design A320 NEO You can download the Condor livery here : New Condor Livery for JAR Design A320 NEO Two really good liveries for the A320neo that are very useful for Northern Europe to Southern Europe (Ibiza, Spain) destinations. The livery is very well done by RC Marple as well. But he does note there maybe still some fine detailing to come as he get more pictures from working aircraft and not just the promotion images. The JAR Design A320neo is available from the X-Plane .org Store: For US$39.00 - Airbus A320 Neo Developer site: JARDesign A320neo Stephen Dutton 14th October 2013
  9. Aircraft Update : Airbus A320neo v3.0r1 by JARDesign This new v3.0r1 version of JARDesign's Airbus A320neo is not just a version update, but also a compliant version for X-Plane11. Yes you can now fly the Airbus in X-Plane11 and use all the features of this latest version of X-Plane with one of the most popular aircraft in the simulator. To signify the new X-Plane11 era then JARDesign has added in a new livery to the collection called "Home" by Slava. And very X-Plane11 it does represent as well. The Airbus A320 on the surface my look outwardly exactly the same but v1.30r1 has had a significant 3d modeling overhaul, the external by Felis and the internal by Dron. The Airbus always had a nice shine in X-Plane10, but in X-Plane11 it now looks like it has come straight out of the paint shop and straight to the operator in you. X-Plane11 does also highlight the detailing on the aircraft far more as well, the A320 looks beautiful and glowing in the morning light. Nice improvements also include the metalness and chrome feature in X-Plane11, this looks very nice as well on the engine inlet cowlings and winglets. Both engine configurations that was with the v2.7 update are still here with the older ceo CFM56 or the latest neo PW1100G-JM engine options available. Internal At first glance the excellent A320 cockpit looks exactly all the same. But in v1.30 update all the instrument panels and the panel display glass has had a total makeover to match the new X-Plane11 material effects and the windscreen glass is also updated to use the X-Plane11 reflections better as well... ... and the panels now also fit far better together and to avoid those nasty "marching ants" around the displays, and yes if you look at the older version they were quite bad... you did notice that didn't you? Overall the panel fit is far more precise and is now totally perfect. The Airbus's cabin in v1.30r1 has had a huge upgrade as well. The cabin has been changed from the ceo (older) style cabin to the newer neo LED lighting style of cabin, which is very similar to the Boeing "Sky" interior designs. There is now a well defined business class and economy class. The neon lighting was in the older v3.0 upgrade, but this is a different colour and is better intergrated. The economy style seating is absolutely first rate, with beautifully formed rear panels (the same ones you stare at for hours) and excellent overhead paneling with passenger air vents and lighting controls, this is the A320 cabin you always dreamed of. Over-wing exits are well done, but the minute detailing is everywhere and the highlights are the actual windows with great cabin reflections and even the air hole between the external and internal glass. You now have the best airliner cabin window seat in X-Plane. Note the lovely X-Plane11 PBR lighting across the cabin. Only item to note that the cabin overhead and sidewall lighting is connected to the cockpit overhead lighting, it is also adjustable, but only with both areas lit at the same time, and the No Smoking/Seat belt signs don't glow either and the monitor screens are blank, but you can't have everything. FMGS (Flight Management and Guidance System) First to note that X-PLane11 changed the internal navigation data source that is different from X-Plane10. The A320 has been updated to reflect that change, but the Nav data is a little old, JARDesign recommends to update your data (current cycle 1704) if you have an account with Navigraph or Aerosoft-Nav Data Pro, you can also use the installed X-PLANE 11/Custom Data/GNS430/navdata/ folder data if you wish to as well, just copy and paste the data to the root folder "_navdata" in the A320neo aircraft folder. And you can choose your data source from the "MCDU" status page of which selection has now been improved. The FMGS is also looks outwardly the same unit, and the actual input of data and flightplans is not changed, but the system has had a large amount of attention under the skin. All fuel and performance calculations are now correct for X-Plane11 performance, and the actual FMGS was broken by the new model and that is now also fixed. Vertical profiling performance has been revised to be now better as well, but the upper ECAM (Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor) profile display over lies the ECAM engine displays making it hard to read? There was always an issue with the CRZ level setting when you inputted the data, and you always needed that the CRZ level number was reset before you displayed the route data on the FMGS screen. It is still worthy to rechecked this item after all performance data is set, but this quirk has been addressed. Flight Ground Equipment has had a touch up as well with better textures to match X-Plane11. I personally always use the Ground Handling Deluxe plugin and either the built in ground vehicles or GHD can be used. It is important to update to the latest v.240317 version of GHD if you are running X-Plane11 and with this aircraft in that you not get simulator crashes, the older GHD affected xEnviro as well. If you fly this A320neo from JARDesign, then purchase the excellent BSS sound pack. Overwhelmingly brilliant, startup is totally realistic, so turn your sound up for simply great sonic detail. Aircraft looks excellent bathing in the X-Plane11 lighting... The A320 is an aircraft you need to fly regularly, It requires a mastering of its behaviour, certainly in the takeoff phase and the transition too auto pilot flight, if you get through the full process without any autopilot cutoff's you are doing well. Cabin view out is now excellent, great for replays and sitting back and enjoying the scenery... and of course your mastery at the controls! Cockpit panel reflections in PBR are incredible, breathtaking... ... The panel lighting brightness has been increased to give you more chance to see through the cross lighting better to read the instruments and it is thankfully better. Over items covered on the instruments are in the SPEED mode was unstable and now fixed, that annoying LVR CLB mode flash has also been addressed. and the ND (Navigation Display) path drawing (the line) has been redone. Other notes include small items like the baro and clock lighting and baro selector have both been fixed. You now also have two mousewheel selections in "classic" or "comfort" (in the MCDU MENU), but the speed manipulator is annoying in if you try to adjust by moving the manipulator and not using your scrollwheel, it jumps to a very high or lower speed very quickly. Note the annoying vertical profile on the upper ECAM (left image above). Cockpit lighting has had a few changes and adjustments, but the main overhead lighting is still on and can't be toned right down dark for landing and that makes the cockpit brighter than it should be on approaches, also like noted the overhead lighting is also connected to the cabin lighting. Arrival at Manchester and down you go. It is all about hitting the numbers... get the correct speed and height and the Airbus rewards you with a great simulation. You are going along for the ride as you twist into finals... but you get great views of your approach through those nice clear cabin windows. A lot of attention has been given to the ILS and approach phases of the flight with this 1.30r1 update. Covered are items including that the GA - Go Around has been fixed, ILS lock and approach has been fixed with the ILS dots and diamonds being now correct and finally your "Rollout" mode or Autoland has also been improved, and so there is no more hunting or missing the ILS zone area. Manchester's western approach can always slightly confuse you? Runway 05R is far more forward than your runway on 05L, if there is a slight mist or haze (of which there always is at EGCC) then the mist can hide out 05L and all you see is that the runway is not in alignment, but that is of course the more forward right side positioned 05R... It catches you out almost every time? Oh and for the final piece of good news... the engines will now switch off and power down and thankfully no more sitting around at the gate with the engines running like crazy. Summary Any really good update is welcome, but this JARDesign aircraft is one of the most popular in the X-Plane simulator for payware. More importantly it is now X-Plane11 compatible and like any aircraft that is used in the new simulator it brings out the best in the design, but more so here as the aircraft has had a few new renders to take advantage of the new PBR features. Most notably the cockpit panel area and reflections getting a big overhaul. They is also more than a few changes here. Both externally and certainly with that excellent cabin makeover, you do get a highly revised aircraft as well with a lot of small issues being addressed, most notably for the FMGS, flight performance (X-Plane11 compatible) and ILS/landing tweaks. Once savoured in X-Plane11, you will love this aircraft as more than ever before. There is a huge selection of liveries now (134 at last count) at a new website for JARDesign liveries called "Simliveries", so go there and take your pick of many and download for your requirements. A note that if you bought the Airbus A320neo after November 2016 (v2.7) then you only just have to upgrade and get a serial number for both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11 versions. If purchased before Nov 1st 2016 then you will have to pay an upgrade fee of $19.95 for the new versions. So this 1.30r1 update is a very worthy step forward for JARDesign's Airbus A320neo. I spent a lot of time with the aircraft during the X-Plane11 conversion period and enjoyed this aircraft enormously in it's new X-Plane11 environment, and I am very sure you will too. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Airbus A320neo by JARdesign is NOW! Available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : JARDesign Airbus A320 Neo Price is US$59.95 JARDesign Developer Support : A320neo JARDesign Full details and links for the BBS - Blue Sky Star Simulations sound packs is here: Aircraft Addons : A320neo/A330-243 Sound Packs by Blue Sky Star Simulations ______________________________________________________________________ Full changelog v3.0r1 + External 3D updated by Felis + Internal 3D and Ground stuff updated by Dron + Systems updated by JAR Need details? Well.. + objects and textures was reworked according with new material system of XP11. + redesigned/retextured MCP especially around displays (so you can see all panels layers here) + new textures on spots around + reduced amount of loaded textures (some are gone) + no more any gaps between panels (no flicker on any gaps in cockpit) + new reflections + now all cockpit screens/lcd panels have new glass with reflections + new things in cabin and new cockpit/cabin glasses (inside and outside) + some changes in Sky lights in cabine by yours requests + reflective ground stuff + NavData was removed from XP11 by Laminar Research and this was fixed for a320 (add _navdata with old Aerosoft cycle direct to a320 folder). Fixed. + User can select navData source at MCDU Status page. Improved. + add Diagnostic plugin, what can help if some installation was wrong (red message at screen if problem happen) + Perfomance and fuel calculation was broken in XP11 and fixed for version 3.0 + Navigation system was broken and FMGS was reworked to be compatible with new XP FMS. + Cockpit buttons night lighting was broken. Fixed. + rework ND flightplan path drawing. + vertical profile calculation reworked + NEW CRZ FL option was reworked + Go Around fixed + ILS approach fixed + Impossible engines shutdown fixed + cockpit 3D light fixed + SPEED mode unstable fixed + LVR CLB flash fixed + display brightness improved + flight log improved + horizontal FD during SRS/RWY fixed + "CF" legs drawing improved + Rollout mode (Autoland) unstable fixed + reflection maps for external 3d improved (thanks Rashid) + brake and clock night lighting (front panel) fixed + baro selector work fixed + fcu knobs work improved (mousewheel selection work both for classic/comfort manipulators style) - please use MCDU Menu page 2 to switch style + not-transparent in-cockpit sunglasses fixed + engines start issue fixed + ILS DOTs indication fixed + JARDesign "Home" livery add (Thanks to Slava!) + www.simliveries.com download service add for free a320 liveries _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 4th April 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (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) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11r1 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Headshake by Simcoders : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe GHD plugin Scenery or Aircraft - EDDH - Airport Hamburg by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.34 - EGCC - Airport Manchester by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$22.00
  10. Update Review : JARDesign A320neo Version 1.5 JARDesign have updated the A320neo to version 1.5 from the interm beta1.5 that I covered on the 7th August 2013. Although noted as just an tuning upgrade there is significantly far more in this release that warrants a look over to see what has also been released. First there is a common theme coming out of these upgrade releases and that is that JARDesign are intending to keep you on the ground as long as possible before letting you fly anywhere. Most of the items added are all features that getting ready for flight is becoming a ritual and not just a set this or that and then start your engines and taxi out. The aircraft GPS alignment to which I have honed down to 12 minutes, Has now been lengthened by three extra features. Fuel Truck Load Panel FollowMe Car Fuel Truck (released in update 1.2) In my haste to get airbourne I noted in the 1.5b notes that I took off from Brisbane (YBBN) to go south to Sydney (YSSY) and promptly ran out of fuel over Northern NSW. (menu : Fuel) The Fuel panel allows you to select your fuel (preselected) requirements and then allowing the fuel truck to (refuel) your tanks in its own time is great reality simulation, watching the fuel numbers go up in the cockpit while your are programming the FMS (or FMGS in Airbus speak) shows how good this simulation is getting. Any fuel load left in your tanks after your last simulation will be still there on the startup of the new one. Load Panel The Load Panel (menu : Load) has now been added over the Fuel Panel. This allows you to set the aircraft load of Passengers and Freight. Passengers are listed as (F) First Class and (A) the rest of cattle class, and Cargo (CRGF) front and (CRGA) rear. The menu will tell you your Payload Weight in (Tons) and shows you your CG% (Centre of Gravity) and your THS ((Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer) which has to be set manually. The panel allows you to quickly set your load factors, but does not have the adjustable CG settings that (FlyJSim’s) aircraft use. FollowMe Car (Option) You have now the option of purchasing the option of a “FollowMe Car” (Ver 1.3 and over) Cost US$2.99 - FollowMe Car for A320neo First of all there is already a FollowMe Car folder in the Custom Avionics folder of the A320neo, It won’t work unless you replace it with the purchased version and then the FM (in the menu) will then be activated. Secondly you must have two items available to use the function. 1) The Airport must have the ATC routes set out correctly. 2) you must set your FMGS (route) into the FMS system (in other words you must set the Departure and Arrival - Airports and runways into FMS before they show up on the FollowMe Car Menu) First the popup menu screen will show your Departure and Arrival Airports. Then when you select the airport it will give you a selection of taxiways. You select you first taxiway and then your second selection and then each taxiway you want to select until you reach your hold point on the runway. It is all very clever but with a couple of issues. One if you make a mistake you have to start again using the (CLR) button... your route is built up on the bottom of the screen and it would be great just to go back one entry to fix the wrong selection than straight back to the start to input in the points all over again. Secondly if the airport is big (I used KDFW Dallas Fort Worth) it can be extremely hard to find the right taxiways and the right route. too many options and too many the same taxiway points means starting over and over again to get the right route you want. When all the taxi points are inserted (in the right order) then press RUN to activate. This will bring up the main menu. And it will note your: Distance to FM Car in feet FM Car speed FM Cars position (Taxiway) Show path Markers Change the FM car’s speed (knts) in either to DEC (slow) or INC (increase speed) Showing path markers gives you the route the FM car will use. It’s a great feature but wouldn’t they be better to help you lay out the route?... here it is too late. To see a line of markers from one taxiway point to the next would be ideal in choosing your route and direction around the airport. FM Car will appear when you pressed the RUN button and it will come and set itself in up your windshield and wait there till you start to move forward The FM Car speed adjustment is a great feature (I use 15knts which is ideal) and once you start your forward movement the FM Car will move along before you... Setting the 15knts means the car will stay at 15Knts even if you go faster, in doing that it allows you to set your correct pace and speed as to not run it over... I loved this in that you have to pace the aircraft to the FM car and it will just not stay at the same speed as the aircraft but the distance between the two objects do contract and expand as you move - clever yes! When the route is completed the FM Car will move out of you way and park up behind you... The takeoff bit and flying the aircraft is your job. It works very well. And when you arrive at your destination if you have set up the route, the FM Car is waiting for you. A bit of practise would make this FM Car work really well. But I would like a better quicker way of laying out complex routes. (there is a video by JARDesign on how to install the FM Car and use the system - the video is at the bottom of this update) You start to see the workload coming into focus here (And don’t get me wrong this is great simulation). You have to set up the GPS alignment, put in the fuel, set the aircraft load program, input the route into the FMGS and preferences and now if you have the FM Car set up the route at your departure and destination airports - so how long does that all take? A long time and especially if you have a long route to program into the FMGS, you can’t save routes remember? So every time you start a flight you have to have the route listed and ready to input into the system. Why can’t you save routine routes?... Terrain on ND This newly added function allows you to use the TERR ON ND button the main panel (one for each the Pilot and Co-Pilot) The button has three modes: Normal (off), display camera view and display terrain. All items are shown on your ND (Navigation Display). The first selection is really the X-Plane MAP on the screen, but how handy is this as it can show you your position at the airport. Great for finding taxiways and then to find your terminals and gates and you can easily align the aircraft correctly. Up in the air and you can see your position relative to the ground on the map. Slide into to a turn and the map goes into an angle position again relative to the ground and if you don’t go “woah!” with that you then owe me a dollar. The “display terrain” selection will put the ND into blocky squares to show the terrain under the aircraft. On the ground the screen is full of large squares. In the air you have to find some terrain to see the system at work. I don’t recommend flying at 280knts and at 10,000ft, straight into a set of mountains in a fully loaded A320. But you get the idea. Does it work? - not really no, as the squares are to big and I was brushing the snow off the tops of peaks and they only went into two colours of green. far smaller squares would give you a better pattern, but overall another clever feature. So how does all this feel like? Once refueled, loaded, and everything programmed into the FMGS I flew the standard sector between Brisbane (YBBN) to Cairns (YBCS) of which I have done countless times. Using the pushback I have taught myself to leave the park brake alone, turn to the “off” position can confuse the pushback truck, It will release and lock the brakes for you on the movement backwards and after finishing the pushback. Just that old habits die hard. Taxi was great with no issues in holding my correct taxi speed. You would be surprised on how many other aircraft it is hard to do just this. Roll and takeoff was none eventful, but again I had to adjust to setting the V/S (Vertical Speed) before the system allows you to select “speed” on the throttle and engaging the A/T (Auto Thrust). Familiarity is a great learner, and especially here. It is a complex system that has been made easy to operate. but you have to be aware of how complex this aircraft is to operate. Get it right and the rewards are overwhelming. The 1.5b fixed that 3º nose down issue and here in the final 1.5 update it is great and you can now also change the pitch in flight. watch the speed though as I pushed m.83 it sent the A/P into alarm, stay at m.82 and that speed will keep it happy and contented. Arrival at Cairns was through three waypoints (fixes) UPOLO, SUNNY and CODIE. It is a tricky approach and I wanted to be closer on the turn but the FMGS would not accept the fix BCSNI for some reason, and I felt that CODIE was to far north. The problem with RWY 15 approach is that if you get the turn wrong there is a row of mountains that can ruin any simulation. I rarely get this approach quite right, as an adjustment to the runway angle is always needed. This time I was impressed as the A320 turned a very nice wide arc from the SUNNY fix to the CS15 approach fix (using CODIE as an alignment fix) and lined me up perfectly with RWY 15. I was tempted to use the OVERFLY key at this point in the route to create the same sort of course, but it wasn’t required. A noted irritant is the fact that you can’t use the mouse to set things on the pedestal, The flaps, the trim wheels or the airbrakes are not adjustable with the mouser, and only the park brake is accessible? So you can’t set the flaps (I have to use my joystick buttons via the key menu) and worse arm the airbrakes of which there is no key mode (and only the "all airbakes up") and so the automatic deployment is not available. On the ground the easy menu system turns the aircraft into a credible parked visual experience. Doors open, ground power in attendance... Catering truck in position. I loved it all. As the night was falling I noticed that the tail lighting lit only on the right side with HDR off?... To check I turned the HDR on and the lighting was now correct. The cockpit lighting in HDR was incredibly good, but destroyed your frame-rate sadly, In fact all through this simulation the frame-rate had felt far better than in past flying on the JARDesign A320, and even at the point of sitting in the 3d cockpit tuning the aircraft for flight, of which in the past sometimes would put my frame-rate below that crucial 19fr and less and give me the shudders... here it did feel far better all though the flight and at each end with the heavier airport sceneries in context. One final note on that if you like to replay your landings. Just make sure you close all your doors and stowaway any vehicles before hitting the replay selection... ... If not you will have all the doors open in flight and your catering truck is still loading the aircraft while on finals! I like in-flight catering but this is going to far. The A320neo from JARDesign is certainly one of the great experiences in X-Plane. It does require a lot of attention and routine to get the very best out of the aircraft... but incredibly rewarding this aircraft is. With the A380 Airbus from Peter’s Aircraft and VMAX’s Boeing 777, the Airbus A320neo is one of the best aircraft you can invest in. And the 1.5 upgrade is another decent upgrade that sets out some really great features and fixes a few issues that needed attention, It is challenging this A320neo and it is complex, but you will love it for years. __________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 13th September 2013 copyright©X-PlaneReviews 2013 You can get the 1.5 update here : A320neo update 1.5 The JAR Design A320neo is available from the X-Plane .org Store: For US$39.00 - Airbus A320 Neo Developer site: JARDesign A320neo Version 1.5 list of changes: +Tuned flightmodel. +Change pitch when flying at high speed and altitude. +Add ability to show Terrain On ND. The TerrOnND button now has three modes – normal, displaying terrain, displaying camera view. +Add Load panel at left Ground menu. Now you can select how much pax and how much tons of cargo you have load. IMPORTANT – for Takeoff you need set THS manually, as calculated at panel. Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  11. Aircraft Review : Airbus A330-243 by JARDesign JARDesign is well known for their excellent (if slightly misnamed) A320neo as it should be the A320ceo (current engine option). When the aircraft was first released in December 2012 it created new ground in detailing and features that pushed X-Plane to the next level in flying immersion and systems, it was without doubt a new yardstick in design. At that time it was also slightly buggy, certainly in its flight modeling and profiles. But over the years the aircraft has become one of the very best in simulation and that has been mostly by the constant improvements and new features that has kept this aircraft ahead of the pack and created now one of the best experiences in X-Plane. The announcement that JARDesign's second aircraft would be the A330-243, is by and large a natural extension of the A320neo and a perfect fit in every respect. Only the thought of a good A332 with the quality of the original A320neo and its features would certainly make you want to start your savings and adding up your pennies (or nickles) for the release of this aircraft. The nature of this review is to find if the aircraft can live up to or even surpass the sort of hype and expectations that is leveled upon the aircraft in relation to its forebear's success. First point to be made is that the A332 from JARDesign is a complex and deep simulation. If you already have the A320neo you already know what I mean by that, so to those users this A332 will be actually quite easy to translate over too, which in the Airbus philosophy of the way they design their aircraft as well. But if you are new to these sort of simulation designs then the aircraft is demanding of your skills and requires a learning curve (or study) to get the very best out of the aircraft, anyone can certainly fly this aircraft, but it is also demanding to a level that requires time and practise to extract that complete performance and make that perfection of commercial flight in a simulator. In most cases here it is in the area of setting the aircraft up correctly and then flying the A330 in its profile of flight dynamics that is the demanding skill, both of course only come after practise and time. So you will need to invest your energies in those areas to feel the full power of the simulation. To a point it is that like in the real world, pilots usually spend their time on one aircraft for periods of time to be a professional on that airframe, and to a point simulation in X-Plane is now requiring users to invest time and the skills to get to the same proficiency to get to the same level of skill and knowledge to get the return on your investment. JARDesign A330-243 First view of the A330 is certainly not going to disappoint even the hardest critics. The aircraft is simply superbly modeled, simply first rate. This aircraft is fitted with the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines 772.B-60 and creates 71,100 lbf (316 kN) of thrust. Engine design and textures is very well executed, you can almost smell the Jet-A fuel around this aircraft. The huge by-pass blades are perfect and the engine pylon is filled with great detail that is usually over-looked like vents and mesh screens. The wing is very complete as well with perfect spars, and as the hydraulics are powered off the ailerons droop in their loss of power. But if you are wanting the full effect of the detailing of this aircraft then the undercarriage is the place to have a good nosey around. Absolutely perfect design with everything created, as they are a perfect reproduction of the real gear and everything is reproduced here in fine detail. Highlights are the wheel rims and the hydraulic lines, up in the wheel bay is also few items, but the only slight is the connection of the main support link to the airframe, it just rests on a texture image. The whole aircraft glows in the warm sunshine (yes the sun does shine sometimes in the UK) and you want to get on board to see what have inside. But first we will note the menu system. Menu You have a drop-down menu for the A332 in the X-Plane plug-in menu. The menu has three menu selections in Ground Equipment - Doors - Settings Ground Equipment In the Ground Equipment menu there are eight selections.... Ground Equipment Call - Ground Equipment Remove - Open Loadsheet - GPU - Pushback/Towing - Fuel/Weight - Catering - Stairway Not all of them are relevant at this point in time, and so we will focus on the outside items. First is Ground Equipment Call and Ground Equipment Remove. One of the outstanding main features of the original A320neo was the great ground vehicles and animations, and here you have the same excellent feature. You can call all your Ground Equipment by selecting the first menu (Ground Equipment Call) or remove them all the same way (Ground Equipment Remove). When activated all the ground equipment will appear and then move into their respective positions around the aircraft, then the doors or hatches will open to accommodate them. Not only is the animation first rate, but the actual vehicle design and quality is excellent as well. It take a short while for the equipment to place themselves and animate the dropping of the stands and lift their catering boxes or the stairs into the correct positions, and each set of equipment can be selected to work separately in the Fuel/Weight or Catering and the Stairway from the menu. If the fuel truck is selected the pop-up fuel panel is displayed on the screen. Stairways depending on the weather will either be open or covered... I would personally like a manual choice here as I like the covered version better than the open stairs. You can connect up the GPU (Ground Power Unit) to power the aircraft, again the design of the GPU is excellent. Second menu will open all the doors, Two front, Two mid and Two rear passenger doors, Front and Rear Cargo doors and the smaller BULK cargo door. Detailing is again a highlight, animated latches open/close and even the cargo door catches and locks are detailed... There is a "Close All Doors" one click to do all doors, that is great for a quick aircraft cleanup before departure. Third menu selection in Settings, covers two items in you being able to "disable" the rain effects and a frame-rate warning message on the bottom of your screen... Cabin Inside the aircraft the cabin is well represented in three classes. The quality or the non-fuzzyness of the seating is excellent as there is no short cuts here to save frame-rate by putting in poor textures. So the cabin is a quality cabin right through the aircraft. Moving through the cabins, you realise how big and how much space there is in a modern aircraft today. Views out of the cabin windows is excellent, and you can easily find that perfect viewpoint if you like the replays of takeoffs and landing from the passenger view like I do. Externally looking into the aircraft you have a real realistic view, on the ground or in the air. And that is harder to achieve than it looks, but it works well here. Cockpit Into the office and you won't be disappointed. This cockpit is really beautifully designed. Again JARDesign created the best A320 aircraft cockpit with their original A320neo, and here you now have the best A330 cockpit in X-Plane. Quality seeps from every area, the panels are simply gorgeous beyond belief in their textures. Every knob, switch and lever is perfectly Airbus recreated and useable. The one thing that really strikes you is the sheen on the panel (certainly the Autopilot panel) as it looks so authentic. Nothing can be really singled out because it is all quite perfect. One note is that the cabin door can't be opened?, but you can also move easily into the rear cabin if you set up your X-Plane views, so a quick wizz to your favorite passenger seat view and a second wizz back to the office is easily done... Power It is time to set up the aircraft for flight, so first we need the power to come to life. As with JARDesign's A320neo the aircraft always starts up powered down or cold (It also turns off your X-Plane "Start up flight with engines running" like the A320neo as well) Battery switches (yellow) are mid overhead panel, you do have two choices in either one: Select the GPU from the menu and turn on the EXT A & B buttons for power from the external cart, or two: Start up the on board APU via the two lower switches. You now have to align the three air data inertial reference units (ADIRU) top left of the overhead panel. Now the aircraft is powering up and the display's will come alive. It was a feature of the A320neo to always start up from cold (like the A330 here) and you had to power up, align the ADIRU's, set up all the systems and god knows what more before actually flying the aircraft. Don't get me wrong, I love that sequential process and the feeling of really setting the startup of the aircraft from scratch, but it was also to me its biggest drawback in using the aircraft. I finally refined the process down to 12.32 min/sec (yes I timed it) but that is most times 12.32 secs more than I wanted to go right through the whole process again. In other words I would usually select another A320 aircraft than face all that startup process just to fly a few sectors in a the few hours I had spare to fly or complete a review. The A332 here does need a set up process as well, but there are thankfully here a few quicker routes to get flying quicker than the "going the whole hog, all the time" way. There is now a "HOT START" system on the A332 that will power up the aircraft for you!, this will show on the bottom left of your screen unless you start the startup process yourself... Just press the button and the aircraft will set itself up and be ready and powered for flight. You still have to set the GPS alignment and put in your route or flightplan, but otherwise the aircraft is ready to go, and it saves you a lot of time and waiting... Setting up the MCDU/FMC The Airbus A330 uses the excellent Thales and Smiths Aerospace "Topflight" FMS (Rev2+) FMC (Flight Management Computer) and this is based in the MCDU (Multipurpose Control & Display Unit ) on the upper pedestal. If you have flown the JARDesign Thales then there is nothing new here except the weights and performance of the A330 compared to the lighter A320 aircraft. If you know how to program the Thales system or know the system on the A320neo backwards then you may want to skip the next phase. With the ADIRU switches set to "Nav" you insert your aircraft's GPS position by inserting your route on the INIT page, in this case EGKK/LIRF for London: Gatwick to Rome: Fiumicino, type in on the scratch pad the route and insert it into Key 1 right on the MCDU, this will bring up the "Align IRS ->" and you activate by pressing Key 3 Right. The aircraft will align itself and it will take 7 minutes to do so, in some ways this is still similar to the alignment on the A320neo, but it is quicker in the set up as well. Set up of the rest of the INIT page is your flight-level, cost index and flightnumber. There is no "save" of any routes you create on the FMC, which is annoying, but you can actually make one up and save it to the "Flightplan" folder in the main A330 aircraft folder in the format "EGLL SID DVR UL9 KONAN UL607 KOK STAR EBBR" for EGLL to EBBR. and recover the flightplan by inserting "EGLLEBBR" into the "CO RTE" boxes Key 1 Left (top left). Fuel You can select a "Loadsheet" from the menu to help you configure the aircraft. Here you can insert your passengers, cargo and fuel requirements and select the right weight for the aircraft, it shows you your CoG (Center of Gravity) as well. When ready, you select the Fuel/Weight from the menu to bring the fuel truck to the aircraft and begin loading your fuel for the flight. This can be seen best by selecting the Fuel menu on the SD (Systems Display) center panel and INIT Fuel Prediction page on the MCDU. To access this secondary INIT page you select the right arrow key on the MCDU keypad to access the right page noted by the arrows on the top of the display . It is highly important this Fuel Prediction page is correct and activated as it will afect many other functions of the aircraft in flight. Perf (Performance) You can set up your performance preferences via the "PERF" key. Here in PERF's you can set the TAKE OFF - CLIMB - CRUISE - DESCENT - APPROACH - GO AROUND phases, most items will fill in automatically by pressing the corresponding key, but you need to study the items and set these portions correctly to get the best performance out of the aircraft, wrong numbers here have a significant impact on the performance of the FMS system. Most boxes are required to be filled and not glossed over, and you can set your FLEX modes correctly here also. This is the guts to flying the aircraft precisely. Route The Thales FMC is actually quite easy to program in setting up a route, the version on this A330 is quite simple and very robust with few quirks that seem to riddle these complex systems. Creating a route and installing it is quite easy and quick. Select the F-PLN Key to start your flightplan. Both of your DEP (Departure) and ARR (Arrival) airports are already shown. To start then select your DEP airport (key 1 left) of which in this case is EGKK (Gatwick). Then select your runway which today is RWY26L (a good feature is the noted length of the runway on your RWY selection), Then your SID (Standard Instrument Departure) which is DVR1X (Dover) with NO TRANS. All your selections are listed across of the top of the MCDU display. The end of your SID here is fix DVR (Dover) and then between the DVR and your ARR airport LIRF is --- F-PLAN DISCONTINUITY --- which is to note that the flightplan has a break between different points, in this case between the fix DVR and the ARR - LIRF airport positions. Next is to insert all your fixes (or waypoints) between the end of the SID and the start of the STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) at your ARR airport. You can use Airports, VOR, NDB and Airways as points (fixes) on the flightplan. I use VOR fixes mainly because they are very easy to insert and have distances that can be checked built in. So my first VOR fix after DVR is LEQ (Lesquin) which is inserted. To insert a fix you type in the fix in the scratch box, in this case my next VOR fix is RLP (Rolampont) and to insert it I press the key to overwrite my last Fix of LEQ? (key 3 Left) That may sound odd to replace the last fix, but the system does not do that but actually inserts the fix in the next line below (Some FMC's do insert on the next line below, but not in the Thales). From this point on I just continued to insert all my waypoints to the start of the STAR at LIRF with the last fix of GRO (Grosseto). Now I select my ARR airport of LIRF (Key 5 Left) and select my arrival runway in RWY34L (ILS). Next is to select your STAR approach and I am using TAQ1C and that is inserted via the relevant key and also NO TRANS is inserted on the right side Key, the STAR arrival selections are listed across of the top of the MCDU display. Pressing NOTE: It is significantly important you select the right ARR Runway... In this case ILS34L, if you select say VOR34L it will not lock on to the approach... and there is a few different ones in there to choose from? So always look down the list for the ILS approach. On the main flightplan display you now have to join up the end of the inserted fixes to the STAR Approach, this means deleting the --- F-PLAN DISCONTINUITY --- in between. To do this is simple, just press CLR key to put "CLR" in the scratch box and then delete the --- F-PLAN DISCONTINUITY --- by pressing the relevant key (Key 3 Left) to delete the DISCONTINUITY. Your flightplan is complete, but you now have to activate the plan to the system. To do this you select INSERT (Key 6 Right) to activate the flightplan which will turn green. You have the option here to also CANCEL the flightplan to start again by pressing (Key 6 Left). You can activate the flightplan (Green) at any point during the setting up of the flightplan even if the flightplan is not complete. You can see how the flight plan with the inserted SID and STARS looks like (or to find any wrong issues or fixes) by switching the ND (Navigation Display) mode to PLAN on the EFIS panel on the glare shield. You can see on the ND (Navigation Display) the route and you can move through the route by pressing the arrows (up or down) through all the waypoints on the MCDU key pad. (shown above is both the active SID and STAR routes) If you have already set the Flight Level on the INIT page you will find as you change the weight and Fuel of the aircraft,and then inserted other items and activated the Flightplan... the FL inserted disappears? So you have to go back after activating the flightplan and reinsert the Flight Level (FL) on the INIT Page, and you can now also change your flight level (with the fuel now loaded) to a higher FL than you could when you started... In this case FL335. When you do this, the flightplan will then change to show your running time to your destination and flight altitude profiles on the main flightplan for you to use. As noted, programming the MCDU with a route is actually quite quick to do, and easy as well. In all cases you should be ready at the same point the ADIRU's are aligned and the aircraft with the green activated flightplan is usually ready to go. Aircraft Start Engine starts are very easy on airbus aircraft as the process is mostly automatic. APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) need to be running and "Avail" on the Overhead panel, switch on the APU BLEED button and turn the Bleed switch to OPEN. Beacon lights on to warning the rampers that you are now going to power up the aircraft. The engine ignition switch is below the throttles on the pedestal, and goes to "ON Start"... Only thing to do now is push up the switch of which engine you want to start, in this case engine two. The rest of the engine start up procedure is now automatic, and when both engines are running you switch off the ignition switch and the overhead bleed switch and APU bleed button. Note the excellent DCDU (Datalink Control and Display Unit) that shows DEP and ARR airports Metar weather reports (DEP and ARR Airports must be inserted in the MCDU for this to work). SD (Systems Display) The SD screen centre lower panel is your visual information point for the aircraft called ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor), you can select the different screens by pressing the control panel buttons on the pedestal below. A great feature is the "Please Wait" intermediate screen, it pauses while transferring you to the relevant screen... very realistic. The JARDesign A330 comes with full working systems that include Air Conditioning, Pressurization, APU, Electrical, Oxygen, Fuel, Hydraulic, Ice and Rain Protection, Indicating Recording Systems, Landing Gear, Pneumatics, Power Plants and every aspect can be observed here, all system items are accessed by the comprehensive overhead panel. Mostly the aircraft is in auto mode, or a clean board. You rarely have to adjust anything ready for flight except for the Cockpit and Cabin temperatures. Pushback/Pull The A330 comes with its built in Pushback/Pull tractor. The Pushback/Pull tractor can be called by the menu. It will take its time to latch on to the front gear of the aircraft, when the tractor is in place it doesn't mean it is ready to pushback. It still animated to open latches and finally grab your front steering gear. You have a remote control outline on the very left of your screen to control the tractor, the button's are ambiguous and not outlined, so you have to sort of guess where they are? push once for one speed and twice to go faster, stop is the button in the middle. It takes a little practise to get the tractor to do what you want it to do, because the time you press the stop button to the point the tractor actually stops usually means the aircraft is out of angle to the taxiway? You get it right... finally after several goes. Click remove and the tractor just "bummmpfs" and is gone! as there is no unlatching animation at the end and drive away from the A330 like at the start? Tractor design is however excellent. Taxi I'm not going flying yet but still to load my passengers at the gate. EGKK is very busy today, so I did most of the preparations and cargo loading at the remote ramp and a quick taxi is required to collect the humans (sorry fare paying passengers). A bit of throttle is needed to get the aircraft moving, but only a slight thrust is needed to keep the momentum. You have "Terr on ND" like on the A320neo, which you can switch between the standard Navigation Display (ND) and the "Terrain" mode and the "taxi" mode, which shows you your position on the local map on the ND screen. Great as it is, it is also a frame-rate user, so keep its use to minimal. Aircraft works fine with the animated airbridges, and soon we are ready to depart... Pushback again and you are soon back into the taxi and heading RWY26L, and Flap 1 Flying the A330-243 At 237300lbs the aircraft is quite heavy and you can feel that weight, certainly once you put up the power and release the brakes. The A332 takes awhile to gather momentum, very slowly, but surely. Vr at rotate is 165+10 knts and the aircraft is very slow to respond into the air, you need to have a full control of the pitch which is required at 15º, but you wrestle the aircraft airborne and try to keep that momentum, selecting "THR CLB" has no effect. The A332 seems to lose a lot of speed at the 15º angle and I'm not completely happy with that, as speed should be constant and you seem to be sliding back and too close to Alpha Floor? This without the FLEX mode set. If you don't get the angle of attack right and the correct speed it is very hard to switch on the Autopilot and not get a quick alert as the AP disconnects again? The AP wants a higher pitch degree, but you can't do that because the speed is too low? so your best bet is to get the speed up then adjust to a higher pitch and then activate the AP. I climbed to 8000ft, and then retracted the flaps to zero. And from that point on the climb to 33,000ft was quite easy with 1800fpm to FL220 and 1000fpm to FL260 and finally 500fpm to FL330, then I then stepped three times at 300fpm up to my final cruise altitude of FL355. Climbing out of EGKK (Gatwick) is exhilarating, and the second officer call outs were very realistic. But you have to watch your speed and adjust the pitch to get the best performance to your climb. Once the takeoff has commenced the UTC time will sync with your local time, and with the flightplan. Which is very useful in the context of distance and time to your destination, but also times to the next fix in the flightplan. You can see the route profile by pressing the "North Ref" button on the panel. Here I am climbing higher than the plan, but I found the profile too shallow at the start and no altitude steps in there, you can of course adjust that, but you would need to work out your best profile for that in advance. But for now a few manual fights would give me the numbers to better adjust the profile later to my liking. TOC (Top of Cruise) is noted on the flightplan and on your Nav display The A330-243 looks magnificent in the air, a simply beautiful aircraft, with the HDR on the aircraft glows. There are two blinds that can be pulled down with one on the front window or side blind on the front side window. The drop down blind is excellent as it can be positioned in just the place you want. Cockpit lighting is first rate, with fully adjustable panel lighting (and drop down), instrument highlight lighting, overhead main cockpit lighting (very real) and four spot lights that are adjustable for brightness. Cabin lighting internally is excellent, very realistic and the external lighting also very good, certainly the view through the cabin windows, but the Logo tail light didn't work with HDR on? As the European Alps drew nearer, you think about how good this aircraft really is, sounds are very good in most instances, from the startup, cockpit, take off and cruise sounds, but the external is a very focused 3d sound and towards the tail, good but feels a little blank everywhere else. But there is a way included to customise soundsets and build your own sound effects for the aircraft. Internal announcements are automatic so you don't need a separate "announcement" menu, I find this way far better as you don't have to do anything and they are highly realistic in the background. Call outs are excellent right across the board (If a little loud). There is "Fault Panel" listed in the MCDU menu, and you can turn it on or off on the menu, and you can also in this menu on the MCDU adjust the sound settings, Turbulence on/off (be careful you don't over do the turbulence with the X-Plane weather settings, because you can easily send the aircraft into a spin?) and the Shake Camera on/off setting (which we will come to on landing). The sound settings is comprehensive, so you can find the volumes that you would easily like. Liveries There is only one livery with the aircraft, the default Airbus "House" livery... However like with the A320neo there is a smorgasboard of liveries available from the JARDesign site or from the X-Plane.Org, and all are free... here is a small selection. Panel The main Flight Display for the PFD (Primary Flight Display) is pure airbus with Normal Law, Alternate Law and Direct Law... Speed tapes and altitude tapes with V/S Vertical Speed pointers are all standard Airbus issue. The Navigation Display (ND) has everything you need with "Rose" functions Standard, VOR and ILS. ARC and PLAN positions are also available and note the detailing of the current timer noted in the ND display. ADF and VOR selections are also available and can be set either via the radio panel or MCDU Radio page (Which is quicker) All instrument displays are complex, adjustable and highly realistic... I will note again that to get the best out of the displays and for the display of information, it is all in the MCDU set up. So it is important to get that right at the start of the flight. You can see the local map view (directly down) on the ND in the air, by pressing the "Terr on ND" button, handy if you want see if you are flying over a certain place or city. A note to set the VOR on the radio. Mostly we use the ARR VOR (OST - OSTIA 114.90) to show our distance and position to the ARR airport. But it is best to set the VOR on the Radio on the pedestal and not the one in the MCDU? You get a lock C-O to note the VOR Freq and it sets the VOR Frequency not on the right, but the left top of the FMC? Just make sure it is locked in to the correct placement point. There is a PROG (Progress) page, but it isn't as good as what you get on the Boeings, just some altitudes and the distance to next waypoint? Time to go down as we are reaching the point on the flight profile of ToC (Top of Cruise) which is shown on the ND and the MCDU display. I followed the flightplan profile down directly but I was not happy with it? It put me too high were I should have been 5000ft lower and slower. I corrected it manually, but be careful if you don't adjust the flightplan and follow it blindly by having faith in it. No doubt these are significant areas for adjustment to your flightplan and flight planning. Rome is visual now, but we are landing to the south of LIRF and the passengers get a closer view of Italy. Now into the STAR we pass RATIR fix and turn out to the coast at a projected 3000ft. On finals and I found I was too fast and needed to adjust the speed manually. You require the LS button active to show the vertical and horizontal ILS alignments on the PFD... Then pressing APP to lock onto ILS34L... note again that you select the right runway from the ARR list selection? Get that wrong and your frustration in a non-lock will totally ruin your landing? Ready for landing, I set my speed to 171knts and arm the "airbrakes". It is just a very small arrow that you push to do the actual arming, so make sure that they are armed by the Warning Display E/WD on the panel. ILS34L capture is on the money and I adjust my speed down to 162knts, Gear down and the rear bogies cantor back. Height call outs are excellent and at 200ft the Auto "Land" takes over and is displayed on the PRD... nice flare and your down. Don't fight the aircraft in the landing sequence, it does a very good job for you, so just go along for the ride. On landing your world starts to shake! And then vibrate madly as it does on a real landing. This is the "Shake Camera" feature, and works... really well. very realistic. Sadly the image does not does do the action justice. Engine thrust reversers are the "open" the doors then throttle up control, throttle down and disconnect and work very well and are highly effective on running off the speed, you get a clap from the passengers if you get it all right... Clean up and taxi nicely to the gate... Engine shutdown and open up the aircraft and cargo doors. How good was that flight... simply brilliant. The Airbus A330 is a medium wide-body twin-engine jet airliner made by Airbus, a division of Airbus Group. Versions of the A330 have a range of 7,400 to 13,430 kilometres (4,000 to 7,250 nmi) and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry 70 tonnes (150,000 lb) of cargo. The A330-300, the first variant, took its maiden flight in November 1992 and entered passenger service with Air Inter in January 1994. Responding to dwindling sales, Airbus followed up with the slightly shorter A330-200 variant in 1998 which is the aircraft here. As of January 2015, A330 orders stand at 1,352, of which 1,159 have been delivered. This A330ceo (current engine option) since 2014) is to be replaced by the A330neo, which includes new engines and other improvements, and on 19 November 2014, Delta Air Lines became the first airline to announce a firm order for the Airbus A330neo by ordering 25 A330-900neo aircraft. Specifications A330-200: Max speed - Mach 0.86 (913 km/h or 493 kn or 567 mph at 11,000 m or 36,000 ft cruise altitude) : Cruise Speed - Mach 0.82 (871 km/h or 470 kn or 541 mph at 11,000 m or 36,000 ft cruise altitude) : Range - 13,400 km (7,200 nmi) : Service Ceiling - 12,527 m (41,100 ft) - Max 13,000 ((42,651 ft)) : MTOW - 242,000 kg (534,000 lb). Summary There is no doubt this Airbus A330-243 from JARDesign is aimed at the upper professional market. That is not saying anyone can fly this aircraft, because they can. But it is a professional aircraft and demands time to get the full rewards and flying profiles to really understand what you have here... Preflight, there is a lot to do and insert in data, and you have to dot all your i's and cross all your t's to see what you want in the simulation. The "Hot Start" feature is hugely welcome and even programming the MCDU is quite easy once you understand the process. But you really have to commit to study of Airbus manuals and flight profiles to understand how the systems all work and set up the correct flight configurations, because mostly everything that a real A330 does is in here as well, so you have to approach the aircraft from that perspective. In features and quality you have a smorgasbord (that word again) and brilliant animations abound, and the quality is outstanding on everything from the extreme detailing of the aircraft to the clever ground equipment and even that "shake" on landing will bring a smile to your face... its brilliant, but very complex so expect a few bugs with the early releases. I actually found and why I made those study notes is because the more you know the aircraft the less things can look like actual issues, like I mentioned time and familiarity with the aircraft does in every case fixes things that can go wrong (or look like they are going wrong) like with the case of a simple thing of selecting the wrong runway selection in the process of building your flightplan. If you understand that point, you understand what I am try to demonstrate about what this A330-200 is all about... "The devil is certainly deep in the details" No doubt the JARDesign A330-243 is one of the best X-Plane investments, you will want nothing else to fly in this category and the aircraft will return years of great simulation flying and a great hangar companion to the JARDesign A320neo, If you loved the A320neo, then the A330-243 will put you into a seventh heaven... Its that good.... a simply superb aircraft.... _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Airbus A330-243 by JARDesign is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A330-243 and is priced at only US$60.95 It is noted that only a WINDOWS version is available at this time. I am Mac OS and I had very few issues with the aircraft, but one does stand out. I found that if you move the aircraft via the X-Plane Local Map or place the aircraft at a gate via the airports selection it will crash! The issue to me is that the SASL plugin does not restart cleanly when the aircraft is moved within X-Plane? A start up from the desktop (Or clean start as I call it) will give you no issues. Installation : Download is 301.70mb that is unzipped to 467.20mb to your X-Plane - "Heavy Aircraft" Folder. Online key activation and serial number required.(I recommend a full desktop restart to reset the SASL plugin after key activation!) It is advised that you require a for best performance, you need a 3Gb Video Card? I found that frame-rate is very good and performance is on par with the Flight Factor professional aircraft (B777/B757). HDR can be limited, but otherwise I found the aircraft ran perfectly well with my settings and computer specifications with no limitations except the usual scenery and weather pull downs. I found a very good pilot briefing manual for the A330-200 Aircraft... 7.03mb A330_Flight_Deck_and_Systems_Briefing_For_Pilots.pdf Requirements: Windows only at this time! (Mac coming soon) X-Plane 10.35+, with HDR mode ON, CPU: 2,4Ghz Multi-core. Memory: 8 GB RAM. Video Card: 2Gb VRAM. 64 bit OS high-precision joystick, rudder pedals, throttle controller (separate throttle controllers not support now). For best performance, you need a 3Gb Video Card Features Detailed Virtual cockpit Detailed Exterior Ground equipment included: Tow tractor, fuel truck, stairways, catering truck are included in pack and managed from menu. Systems Simulated: Air Conditioning, Pressurization APU , Auto Flight , Communications , Doors , Electrical , Equipment , Flight Controls , Oxygen Fuel , Hydraulic , Ice and Rain Protection , Indicating Recording Systems , Landing Gear , Lights Navigation , Pneumatic , Power Plant. Tested by real Airbus pilots Real Airbus pilots and technicians helped in the development and testing. New 3D-sound engine An easy way to customize soundest and build your own sound effects. Navigation Data The A330 comes with the NavDataPro dataset by Aerosoft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Developer site : JARDesign Group Review by Stephen Dutton 17th April 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb - Seagate 256gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Scenery - EGKK - Gatwick Airport, United Kingdom by tdg (X-Plane.org) - Free - LIRF - Roma Fiumicino Leonardo Da Vinci Airport 3.01 by Seaman2020 (original work by wehrlipub) (X-Plane.org) - Free
  12. Sound Update : BSS v4 for JARDesign A320NEO Blue Sky Star Simulations have updated their excellent JARDesign A320NEO sound package to v4. More refinement and more sounds are now part of this sound experience, there is over 400mb of sound files in here now to create the most complete aircraft sound package in X-Plane. There are simply just too many sounds to cover here and both the CFM56-5B and IAE V2500 Engines are updated to the new v4 specification (note the CFM Installation sound pack is required for the IAE sounds). From start up to shut down every switch and every noise you can make on a real A320 aircraft is brilliantly replicated here. New in the v4 update is first the cockpit and system sounds: -Avionics fan and sounds -Bat relay -Blower -Extractor -Numerous switching/selectors/buttons/rotary/levers -Cockpit door, lock -PAX chatter -Hydraulics -Packs -Packs smooth and correct timing -Packs air will depend on engine thrust -PTU -Relays -Tray table -Outside blower/extractor -Outside packs -Open door logic sound smoother Aircraft movement has been enhanced with : -Centerline thumps, depending if nose wheel actually riding on centerlights -Roll sounds -Ldg gear turbulence -Touchdown -Panel shake -Brake fans And with new surface sounds: -Turbulence depending on flap position -Smart wind sound -Engine cowling wind sound -Spoilers New engine sounds include both Engines CFM/IAE: -Sound volumes have been reworked to be the most realistic sounds you can get for an A320 aircraft, and all sounds are measured by prof. hardware in real the A320 aircraft. -Cold section air bite at low thrust -Bleed air rush -More clean sounds -Compressor/Fan sounds depend on how much air passes through them. I will note a couple of things. In the change from the earlier multiple sound packs to just one to insert into your JARDesign A320 plugin folder I found I lost a lot of the cabin sounds? In this v4 version they have been restored and the cabin now sounds correct (again). Second is that I can't seem to adjust the external sounds very well? They are just as loud no matter were you put the "External" sound slider in the FMS and with the X-Plane default sounds off? They sound great of course, but are quite loud if you switch often between the internal or external views. There is there some help in "Sound3d (Custom)" menu available from the "plugins" menu were you can adjust the sounds, but the external goes almost to the 10% before it drops in volume, but at least you can cut a little of the overbearing noise here. There is also the option of adding in "Optional FA announcements" that are added into the "Custom Avionics folder. Another option is to assign certain key commands to certain sounds... ADF 1 flip standby – ATC chatter ADF 2 flip standby – Passengers (the sounds will be playing corresponding to a status of cabin door) Lavatory flush – white flashlight button (have to assign) However I don't know why they couldn't have assigned these sounds from the keyboard plugin assignments? Like engine startup, then shut down is a feast for the ears, and engine thrust changes are now more noticeable with the better gear wind noise also adds to aural feel, and altogether it is simply sensational on landing. Always a big fan of excellent sound which I feel was very much neglected in X-Plane and so then if you want the best aircraft sound to date then this is it. Blue Sky Star Simulations are the best in the business and it shows here. If you have already purchased the BSS sound pack for the JARDesign A320neo, then go to your X-PlaneStore account and upgrade to v4 for free, If you want the BSS sound package then go to the X-PlaneStore below, but you have to have already the ARDesign A320neo to fit the package. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Blue Sky Star Simulation Sound Packages by Real Pilots is available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A320neo JARDesign A320 CFM Main Sound Expansion Pack Price is US$19.99 (JARDesign Airbus A320neo US$59.95 is Required to use this sound pack) JARDesign A320 IAE Sound Expansion Pack Price is US$7.99 (JARDesign Airbus A320neo and CFM main Sound Expansion Pack is Required to use this sound pack) ______________________________________________________________________ Blue Sky Star Developer Site : Blue Sky Star Company ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 22nd May 2017 Copyright©2017: 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)
  13. Details Revealed : Airbus A320neo 3.0 by JARDesign JARDesign's A320neo deep into its next upgrade testing stages and we can have a look at the new features coming with this release. The first big feature is that the A320neo is finally going NEO! The aircraft comes with a new engine option in the Pratt & Whitney 1100G Engines or New Engine Option (NEO). First look reveals a pair of really nice engines on the A320 airframe, a sure one to really love. The cockpit has had a lot of attention with new instrument display reflections and new glass reflections and totally new textures for higher quality, slightly controversial is the new night panel colour and lighting in a more darker yellow orange than the current bluer version in the "Dark cockpit" option ... Wipers operation effects and some rain improvements have been added and also there is now a Visual Ice detector, that includes icing effects The cabin has the new "Sky interior"... Drop down blinds are very welcome, to now compliment the side windows. Full changelog is here: + MAC OS Sierra compatible + New PW1100G Engines 3D model included (need to select by MCDU MENU) + Pause at TOD added (MCDU MENU Page 2) + Possible to unlock and then to open cockpit door + New cabin ("Sky interior") lighting system + New cockpit "Dark cockpit" lighting system (please use "Dark cockpit" option by MCDU MENU) + New cockpit manipulator system "mouse wheel control" (need to select by MCDU MENU) + New ground equipment set, include new lighting system + Working sunshields + Cockpit textures and details improved + Cockpit Integ.light/light system improved + New cockpit and cabin windows set + Visual Ice detector added, include icing effect + Few bugs fixed + Some PFD/ND details changes + Wipers operation effect and some rain improvements added + New cockpit “reflecting” glass effect added + New cabin windows textures added and fixed issue with “missing strobe glass” for cabin view + Fixed wrong left wiper handle orientation + Fixed wrong “Cold & Dark” Ground power and battery voltage indication + New controls for door switch and trimmer handle added + Possibility to control Flaps and Speed brake lever by mouse added + Some issues with wheel mouse control fixed + New ground Handling + Landing Gear tuned No date yet on this latest release, but I would say in a few weeks or late November. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Airbus A320neo by JARdesign is NOW! Available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : JARDesign Airbus A320 Neo Price is US$59.95 JARDesign Developer Support : A320neo JARDesign ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 1st November 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2016
  14. News! - Plugin Release : X-Life Traffic from JarDesign X-Life is a new plugin from JARDesign that is to cover your immediate X-Plane environment in ATC, Ground Traffic, Air Traffic and flightplan planning. The idea is in the areas around you as you move around from airport location to airport location in that they are filled out with animated ground traffic and airborne traffic and they with you all interact with a built in ATC system. Flightplanning is a big part of the system and that is required to be filled out before departure. ATC control has these built in features: Basic ATC Control: ATIS and METAR info for Departure and Arrival airport (internet connection need) Delivery clearance with Departure info, Runway, SID, initial altitude, Squack Engine startup and pushback clearance Taxi clearance and taxiroute to Departure runway Takeoff clearance at hold short Initial altitude and cruise FL climbing clearance Reporting TOD request Arrival info (Runway, ILS Approach, STAR, descend FL) Approach clearance Tower control with landing clearance/ GoAround instructions Runway vacation request Taxiroute to arrival gate Flightplans are created and activated via an excellent popout interface... Flightplan Panel: Enter Departure Airport, Arrival airport, Alternate airport, cruise flightlevel and CallSign Generate flightplan with “Generate” button Or Enter flightplan by hands (ICAO format) Import flightplan from aircraft C0Rte/FMGS (if supported, like JARDesign a320/330) Import flightplan from text file with ICAO-format flightplan string (may use http://rfinder.asalink.net/free/ ) Export entered/generated/readed flightplan direct to aircraft FMGS and text file (if supported, like JARDesign a320/330) Sent flightplan to ATC to continue work with ATC If Generate function not work well for some Departure/Arrival pair, best way – to use routefinder website, prepare text file with ICAO-format flightplan string and import it with Plight Plan panel. Most activities are noted via their various side tabs around your screen for ease of access and availability. Acitive flightplans are both visual and vocal in operation. In the creation of flightplans if you have a supported aircraft FMGS and the correct text file, you can then export the flightplan directly to the FMC system. Once the flightplan is created it is filed with the ATC to proceed. Interface Side-menu covers all areas of operations. You can adjust your air traffic and ground traffic density and runway operation separation. On screen data can give you your current situation. There are algorithms of ground-routes building will avoid conflicts and based on data from apt.dat sceneries files. A great level of detail is available to see your control tower workflow in what is current and who is going where. An overall data operating radar screen gives you your current situation around the airport with zoom range options. Another feature is the "Follow Me" car that is included with the plugin package and is directed by the built in ATC. X-Life has taken more than 2,000 hours of coding by JARDesign for this project, and X-Life has been in development for more than 1.5 years and has had more than 6 months of testing. Your first thoughts are going to be that X-Life is the same as Classic Jet Simulation's "WorldTraffic" and on the surface they do look the same. But they are fundamentally very different under the skin. WorldTraffic is completely standalone with everything sourced from imported files and has imported fully animated aircraft. The X-Life plugin is connected to your X-Plane A.I. system and uses OpenSceneryX as its source of aircraft. So you are restricted to the 20 X-Plane A.I. aircraft allocation by Laminar Research, plus to remember the framerate hit of using these extra A.I. aircraft or having your usual X-Plane aircraft in the system and 20 A.I. aircraft is a lot of pressure on your processors. WorldTraffic is also due for a complete overhaul upgrade very soon. The interfaces on X-Life are however very nice and Laminar Research could do with looking at them for future X-Plane interface requirements. You can download X-Life for Free, but only for the ground and flight air traffic. If you want the full package including the ATC, Flightplanning, Radars and all the niceties then go here: ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the X-Life by JARDesign is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : X-Life Traffic for X-Plane 10 Price is US$19.95 Plugin Requirements are: X-Plane 10.45+ (Any edition). Running in 64Bit mode Windows or Mac 64Bit (no Linux support at this time) Multi-core Modern CPU 8 GB RAM. Video Card: 2Gb+ VRAM. Stable internet connection OpenSceneryX library installed. . OpenSceneryX should be installed to ../X-PLANE 10/Custom Scenery/OpenSceneryX/ folder. Please not rename this folder. For ATC features, your aircraft requires a working TCAS. Images Courtesy of JARDesign ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 5th April 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  15. Plugin Update : Ground Handling Deluxe by JARDesign JARDesign's Ground Handling Deluxe plugin was my "Plugin of the year" in 2015 and a worthy winner it was. Selections of criteria for yearly submissions is not if the aircraft or plugin is just good at the point of release but also it's future contribution to the overall X-Plane landscape. The Ground Handling Deluxe plugin is a clever idea of extending an aircraft features with ground support animated vehicles for any X-Plane aircraft. Obviously that has some great advantages because of the many great aircraft we fly like the x737 series and the FlyJSim aircraft which don't come with ground support equipment and static elements. There is another bonus in the fact you also get a consistent type of a quality set of ground vehicles whenever you use it, I like that option because some developers use very eastern-block types of support tankers and trucks that don't really fit into the landscape of western airports. But the plugin is becoming far more versatile than that as we will see. For myself the impact of the plugin was enhanced because I couldn't use it. For a few months it crashed my X-Plane app that was traced to a faulty key (the installation system has since been overhauled) and it affected only me and no one else. But my empty gates were a reminder that how much I missed the activity and control the plugin created around the aircraft before departure or after arrival. I am one of those users in that I want the full impact of from battery on to battery off and the full service in between. Landing and opening up the aircraft and loading and unloading the aircraft is as important as actually flying the machine... I want the full deal. And in a way the Ground Handling Deluxe plugin fills in a big part of that picture. I looked quickly at the plugin in the JARDesign A330-243 update and we will quickly recap the plugins features here... The GHD (Ground Handling Deluxe) plugin is activated in the drop down X-Plane/Plugins menu. And that brings up a floating menu selection. Including: Drive up All Drive Away All Hide all Control Panel Build Aircraft Set Registration News Liveries The allows you to - "Drive up All" and "Drive Away All" service vehicles in the list, "Hide all" vehicles and brings up a Control Panel that allows you to activate or hide individual vehicles. It is best to bring up first the control panel (highlighted larger)... Open the Control Panel and you can see the list available, and it is extensive. Even better the system allows you to add vehicles in as well. Three buttons do all the work in Press + to activate a vehicle and Press - to drive it away and "Hide" will make the vehicle disappear. The top three buttons are the "All" activations. This system allows you to control the vehicles on the ground, when you want them to appear but also when to finish the job and go away, simple but very effective. Press "Drive up All" and you unleash mayhem!... The Service vehicles all appear and then go about their business with gutso. And totally great fun to watch it is. The highlights certainly are the pallet loaders, Pallets come on to the base, turn, then lift and then move the pallet inside the aircraft, then repeat. The catering trucks are also excellent and the Neoplan buses are very realistic with opening doors. Quality of the vehicles in design and texture quality is outstanding. As noted you have total control, or just use the three "All" commands to use every vehicle and static elements. Sets There are "Sets" for different aircraft that can be created or completed sets that can be downloaded from the JARDesign site (registration required). And there are defaults sets that come with the plugin and "custom" sets that can be downloaded. As an idea of what is available here are these five different aircraft: EADT x737 The x737 from EADT benefits by a huge amount with the GHD plugin. Even a fire truck in case you spill some fuel. But I loved the fuel truck that goes very well with the x737 fuel loading system... overall excellent. FlightFactor Boeing 757 The FlightFactor Boeing 757 already comes with a great set of ground support systems, but you can mix and match more by combining both the GHD and the FF default units to your benefit. X-Plane Boeing 744 The default X-Plane Boeing 744 is greatly enhanced by the support ground services. The days of sitting alone at the gate after a long haul are long gone. It just looks excellent and realistic with all the gear packed around the 747 at the gate. Regional Aircraft You are not restricted to the "Heavies" either. The plugin enhances other aircrat that you wouldn't associate with static ground vehicles like regional aircraft. Here is the FlyJSim Q400 and Aerosoft ATR72, and they both benefit from having a built in ground handling support. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Ground Handling Deluxe update January 2016 That is the basics of GHD, now what is new in the update. The eagle-eyed of you would have noticed that a lot of the support vehicles have different liveries. And you don't have them either... When the first release of Ground Handling Deluxe came out if you wanted a brand at an airport it was quite difficult as you had to change over the actual art of the vehicles in the root folder of GHD. I created a great KEF for Keflavik (BIRK) but when I arrived at Manchester (MAN) I had to change the files over directly to get the representative brand there? And then worse I had to restart X-Plane to get the new branding to appear. I loved the idea, as you could tailor the brand to an airport or company, but the process was very awkward. In the update we have a brilliant fix to the problem of different brands. Now there is a "livery" option as part of the menu (bottom). This option now allows you to change the brand livery on the run, select a new livery and "wah-la" you have a complete set of new branding for your airport... It is extremely easy now to create your own sets of liveries. Duplicate a livery set you like or duplicate the default set. Then there is a great paintkit as part of the plugin package that allows you to create very quick branding of your required vehicles. And replace them (with the same correct title) of the vehicle you want. Here in the first column is my saved QF.psd (Photoshop) files and the paintkit. The Liveries are stored in the Plugin in the "Liveries" folder and in the far right column is the replaced QF (Qantas) liveries in the .png format. It is important that in renaming your set of liveries that there is no breaks in the title (It won't work). When you run X-Plane and select the plugin and the liveries option it will change instantly to the correct branding.... brilliant! As a note I will upload these liveries to the JARDesign site. You can create your own aircraft sets as well. There is a built in system for creating sets under the GHD menu selection: Build Aircraft Set There are a few video's that show you how to build sets or modify them. Like all things there is a little learning curve. Here I am adding in a second set of chocks under my QF Q400. But once you get the hang of the system and its animation it is quite easy to do. ___________________________________________________ Another exciting additional feature to the update is.... K Loaders! The really big ones! There was the smaller K's "Container loaders" also known as a Unit Load Device (ULD) with the original plugin release, but what of those huge 30Ton container lifting loaders. If you are a serious cargo hauler like me there was nothing worse than flying 10 hours half way around the world to just parking your freighter on the cargo stand and... going home. No fun in that. Now you have in the update a smorgasbord of fun as the aircraft is swamped with huge loaders to load on and unload off your precious cargo. These huge loaders will bring tears to any hardened cargo flyer. And for myself I can now wallow in the loading and off loading at my ports around the world. Hopefully the new Super K Loaders will be soon part of the FlightFactor Boeing 777 and 757 Freighter sets... please. A full v220116 update list is: +Add ability to change Liveries using Menu->Plugins->GndHandling->Liveries +6 Liveries as example +Improved registration system +Add Instant News system +Add BIG loader +Add set for 747F cargo aircraft +minor bugs fixed A small note on the "news" system in that JARDesign will let you know of any changes to the JARDesign products. Which is very good. But the problem with developers "Letting you know" is that they think their notice is the only one going to you. If the trend continues it may clog up the X-Plane start up with you waiting for all the notices to parade in front of you... so we do require the choice if we want their notices or not, I still prefer the Email version. _____________________________________________________________________________________ JARDesign X-Life A notice that the next product from JARDesign is X-Life. It is a plugin that allows you to have the tools around you that covers the full flight from gate to gate. The plugin will create Aircraft Traffic (using X-Plane default aircraft), Aircraft Traffic maps, ATC and vocal ATC interaction, Follow Me car and flightplanning. You can try out a beta version for Windows and Mac then go here: X-Life Public Beta And there are a few YouTube videos to see the action then go here: X-Life EDDL Departure Well worth checking out. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Ground Handling Deluxe Summary Once bitten you will never want to be without "Ground Handling Deluxe". As noted it was my "Best of 2015" for plugins and it is now even better with more excellent functionality of the changable liveries (and very easily customised) and those brilliant new huge K Loaders... GHD is a really great addon and for action around the ramps it is just invaluable, and simply adds so much more to the whole X-Plane simulation. An amazingly great investment at a great price. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! Ground Handling Deluxe by JARDesign is available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Ground Handling Deluxe Price is US$14.95 Features : Perfect 3D with Awesome animation 3D Sound and Light Advanced motion algorithms Set-Editor to Create your own set easy Ability to change Liveries News System Compatible with any X-Plane 10 airliners Installation : Download file size is 433.20mb into your X-Plane Plugin Folder. Installed file size is 817.10mb. Registration is required and a product key is deposited in the plugin for use. Notes: Aircraft for sets are not provided. Most current X-Plane payware and main Freeware aircraft are covered. Requirements : X-Plane 10.40+ Any Edition (64 bit only) CPU: 2,4Ghz Multi-core. Memory: 8 GB RAM. Video Card: 1Gb VRAM. 64 bit OS (Windows 7 / Windows 8, Mac OS X) For best performance, you need a 2Gb Video Card, with HDR mode ON. Last updated January 22 2016 Developer Support Site : JARDesign Group Board _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 28th January 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini
  16. JARDesign : Aircraft Update - Airbus A320neo v2 Route : EGSS (Standsted) to EIDW (Dublin) JARDesign has now released Version 2 of the Airbus A320neo, this update covers more new features and more even more depth to the systems. In that the update is mostly focused on giving more detail on the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and auxiliary instrument items like the ISIS ( integrated standby instrument system) and the DCDU (Data Communication Display Unit). Outwardly the A320neo v2 is unchanged, The modeling is excellent and the A320 is an excellent aircraft to enjoy. Detailing is very good and you can have the choice of the original wingtip devices, or the new "neo" Sharktlet version. I still like the original and that is what I have flown here. (You can change the different wingtip types in the MCDU (Multifunction Control Display Unit)). The first noticable change in v2 is a Fr (Framerate) counter above the menu tag on the left side of your screen. It can be handy or an irritant depending on your mood swings. I use the "Discrete Framerate" counter plugin (Very top - left) that can be hidden when required. But I can't find a way to hide this version. The menu is again comprehensive, with load and weight factors and refueling amounts that are loaded via the tanker provided. Just make sure you do this because it is the only way to put fuel into the A320, the X-Plane menu version does not work. Startup is a long process on the JARDesign A320. You align the aircraft and wait while the systems bring themselves on line. As simulation goes it is one of the best, but annoying if you want to reset the aircraft to another location or worse just restart. The cockpit looks like it has had a light touch over, The OHP (Overhead Panel) looks more well lit and detailed, but the frame-rate looks far better as well with the changes. You can easily change the Aircraft Registration on the panel to the one you want. In the v2 Aircraft file is a "Plate txt" file, that can be changed to the rego you want via a text editor. Just be careful to do this before starting up X-Plane as it can only be changed before opening the aircraft file. If you start the aircraft up (like I did) you will then have a long restart to just get back where you were originally. The ISIS ( integrated standby instrument system) is now excellent and very detailed, The idea of the ISIS is to combine all the functions of an altimeter, airspeed indicator and the attitude indicator, into one instrument. It is primary used as a standby instrument to cover any electronic panel failures. There is now a compass that drops down from just in front of the top of the windscreen pillar. Highly detailed it a clever addition. There is also a clever DCDU (Data Communication Display Unit) instrument. There are two situated above each of the MCDU's (Multifunction Control Display Units). This instrument can show weather (metar) information at your departure and arrival airports. For it to work you have to program the MCDU (the Dep/Arr airports) so it can access the data. It is very clear and an excellent tool. The MCDU's are however fixed together, in that change one and the other will change also. You will notice the time to get the aircraft ready for flight. I have mentioned this before in that you will need to be patient in setting all this data up, and including the programming of the route into the MCDU. It is very involved and it also very time consuming. and certainly if you are creating a new route from scratch. Forward planning will help if you intend to fly the A320neo a lot, but for a once off quick flight, you may find it slow and frustrating to get airborne. The pushback truck is first rate, but a little fast. I like the design of the truck and the handling is easy, but I miss the throttle and speed selection of the Flighfactor truck. The follow-me car is now included with v2 (I covered the Follow-me car in detail in the post "". Another new feature is "Rain". Most high-end payware aircraft now feature this addition, and now it comes to the A320neo. As spots and dribbles go they are excellent. They plop down and run down your windows. But the wiper(s) do not clear the screen for you? Which is a shame as the wipers are independent and realistic. While taxiing you can feel (and see) another new feature. The "Camera Shake Effect". Touch the brakes and you dip down, but not totally with the aircraft. It is a shake effect that gives you realistic bumps and movements - and it is very good. An older feature that is activated by the "Terr On" switch are the ground maps. These are simply the X-Plane ground maps, but they are excellent for finding your taxiways and your route around the airport. Flying the A320neo is very involved. A pure Airbus in its systems and flying capabilities. It is not an easy aircraft to fly until you really adjust to its systematic approach. To not touch the speed knob is hard when you like to set certain speeds at certain points of the flight. But it does it very well here. you get a lot of alarms if you are not on top of the aircraft, so time spent learning is worthwhile to get a smooth cockpit flow of actions. In v2 the PFD (Primary Flight Display) has been redesigned and on first impressions it looks not that much different. But it is and you can see the quality in both the PFD and the MAP display with the shadings, reflections and the amount of data now displayed. Another feature is the oxygen masks that are stored down by the side of the pilots (and co-pilots) seats, you have to flip the lip to see the fittings inside and you can test the system with a whooshing sound, A note is that the rubbish container above opens as well. Sounds are all round excellent, but do need to be adjusted via the "MCDU Menu" as they are a set a bit to low a volume. It all comes together really well, with like in this instance on approach to EIDW (Dublin RWY10). The weather turns nasty at low cloud and the raindrops appear. The shaking gets violent as we pass through the cloud with the "Camera Shake Effect" (Can be turned off in the "MCDU Menu") but then the rain goes into a cross pattern that looks not very believable for a moment?. The wipe away (raindrops) effect however is very good. The PFD and the MAP displays are very good with the ILS Function now active. One thing I did notice is that your speed depends on your height. I was down to the approach height of 1800ft and my speed was too high to drop the flaps (It tells you, you can't do that?). To get the flaps down I had to come out of the auto mode to set the speed manually to get the flaps down before collecting the glideslope. (Okay I chickened out?), no doubt that as you went down the glideslope the speed would have dropped accordingly. But it made me nervy as I felt you are going to fast. Just an old (Boeing?) habit really. Conclusions One of the big achievements of 2013 has been JARDesigns continual upgrades to this aircraft. It is not totally perfect yet with still no manual setting of the throttles, flaps and the arming of the brakes for landing and a few other items. There also needs to be more information on how to use all these features. The aircraft is getting very complicated and you now need some help in navigating the settings to get them right for the correct insertion of MCDU and the best way to fly the aircraft and its systems. The JARDesign A320neo is certainly one of the most comprehensive aircraft in X-Plane, highly detailed and with some great features. This v2 update takes it a lot further as a great simulation. It has come a very long way in 2013. And this is certainly a great investment. A final word is that it requires time to start up and fly, but it is very worthwhile in taking the time to do so. Stephen Dutton 2nd December 2013 If you already have purchased the A320neo you can get the v2 update here : A320neo update 2.0 The JAR Design A320neo is available from the X-Plane .org Store: For US$59.95 - Airbus A320 Neo Developer site: JARDesign A320neo Version 2.0 list of changes: +Camera Shake effect +Hold (Computed Hold) function add to FMGS +Full custom PFD (Yes, many people ask!) +ISIS (electronic standby at front panel) +Full custom Autopilot +DCDU at front panel (show metar info for DEP and ARR airports) +Dynamic Rain effect (FPS friendly) at cockpit windows +FollowMe car will integrated to distributive pack +STBY Compass +STBY VOR +Oxy masks +ILS RAW DATA approach +Possible to set your own plate nomber with plate.txt file Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks v10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
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