It’s been a while since I took the time to write a flight sim blog post. I’ve been busy with lots of DIY projects and just enjoying the spare time I have flying. As I discussed soon after the release of MSFS, I decided to continue to fly Prepar3D v5 for all my airliner flights and have enjoyed Microsoft Flight Simulator mostly for General Aviation flying. While I recognized from the very beginning that MSFS was going to be the new flight simulator standard, I saw no immediate need to begin flying airliners in the platform until just recently for several reasons.
First, while I did briefly play around with the FBW A320 in MSFS and will admit that what that team accomplished with the FBW A320 project is truly amazing, I didn’t see it replacing the FSLabs A319, A320, A321 I had in P3Dv5. Second, from a short-haul perspective….I had everything I truly needed between the FSLabs and the PMDG 737. I truly was waiting for something to grab my attention to the point where it would suck me right into MSFS. Third, I must admit that I’m super spoiled with using Chaseplane to handle all my camera views in P3D. The MSFS camera view system is seriously lacking when compared to Chaseplane and as I’ve been a Chaseplane user from the very beginning, old habits are truly difficult to break.
While I’ve been anxiously awaiting PMDG’s release into MSFS, I was slight disappointed in their release strategy. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason behind releasing the Boeing 737-700 first, followed by the 737-600 then finally the 737-800 followed by the 737-900. After all, had PMDG released the B738 first, they might have struggled with getting the sales on the –700/-600. But, for me personally I’m just not interested in owning a –700 or –600 variant. My primary interests are in the 737-800 and the 737-900. As I fly mostly American Airlines with some Alaska Airlines flights mixed in. But I digress as this blog post is supposed to be about the Fenix A320.
I began hearing about the Fenix A320 project a few months ago. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t pay much attention to it until the last 60-90 days before release. But the more I read about it the more I anxiously awaited its release and realized this could be the airliner to finally bring me more into MSFS. After all, I absolutely love the visuals (eye candy) in MSFS over P3D and truly want to do more airliner flying in the new sim.
The Fenix A320 was a day one purchase for me and since the release, install and setup…I’ve flown nothing but the Fenix in MSFS. I’ve successfully logged 24 flights in the Fenix and absolutely love it. I’ve managed to setup the MSFS camera system to a point where I can use it and have been having fun. I’ve flown a variety of short flights (1-2 hours) and several longer flights of 3-4 hours. Both the Fenix and MSFS have performed flawlessly. I’ve also started adding a few airports into MSFS from both some freeware selections on Flightsim.to and a few payware options where I’ve had discounts from previous P3D purchases. While I’m not ready to uninstall P3D as I plan to fly P3D tomorrow in the Boeing 777, I’ll do the majority of my short-haul operations, and certainly all my Airbus flying in MSFS.
Final thoughts on the Fenix A320. I don’t like to “Never Say Never”, but if the devs behind the Fenix project remain true to their word and release the additional engine types and sharklets for the A320 and if they also produce (in time) an A319 and A321, I’ll be a Fenix customer from this point forward and won’t even consider any future FSLabs purchases in the A319/A320/A321 categories. But of course time will tell.
As always, thank you for reading.
Until next time…
Aerosoft Airbus for Prepar3D v4 Release Date Announced
Ladies and Gentlemen…the wait is almost over. Earlier today, there was a not-so-public announcement regarding the date which we could expect the highly anticipated release of the Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320 & A321 series for Prepar3d version 4.x.
The announcement was posted in the Aerosoft forums by Mathijs Kok (see below)
What? You didn’t see the release date? OK…hang on, let me try this again……
Is this any better?
LOL Yes, it was hidden in white text and one needed to simply highlight the area to see the special hidden message. But just in case you still can’t see it, the target date for release of the Aerosoft Airbus A3xx series for P3D v4 is 26 June.
This is really great news for the flight sim community. Especially those who have made the move to P3D v4. It feels like a mini-lifetime since I’ve flown the Airbus. I’m mostly a Boeing guy, but I did purchase the Aerosoft Airbus series for FSX and used it in P3D up to version 3.x. I must admit that I was never that proficient in the Airbus and I’ll certainly be starting over from scratch at learning her once again. But I’m really excited for this release for a few reasons.
First, while I’m mainly a Boeing fan, I do enjoy flying a variety of aircraft and truly enjoy simulating many different airlines both in the US as well as in the UK and Europe.
Second, I’ve been following the progress of the Aerosoft Airbus for P3D v4.x from day one of the release of the sim platform. While others managed to get their older 32 bit versions of their aircraft converted to 64 bit compatibility, Aerosoft took the approach of practically rewriting the entire aircraft series (or much of it) and states that many aspects of the Aerosoft Airbus A3xx Series will be the most advanced you’ll see.
Third, and this is the most important. Upon installing the Aerosoft Airbus A3xx series we won’t have to worry about any malware being hidden inside the installer. The same can’t be said of the FSLabs version as reported here.
Fourth, while pricing information hasn’t been made public just yet. Mathijs Kok has stated multiple times that Aerosoft does not charge twice for the same code. In other words, if you purchased the Aerosoft Airbus for FSX, you’ll only be charged for the code which has been modified to ensure it’s compatibility for P3D v4. This is extremely fair.
So 26 June is a Tuesday. I’ve already marked my calendar to remind me a day or two before. Between now and then I’ll re-watch some of the older procedure videos and be ready to purchase, download and install both packages (A318/A319 & A320/A321) into my sim.
I can’t wait…
Until next time…
I’m increasing my collection of add-on scenery for the European region and just recently purchased the Aerosoft version of Gibraltar LXGB for FSX. This is a fantastic little airport and reminds me of my St. Maarten TNCM package I have from FlyTampa. I currently own scenery from Aerosoft, FlyTampa, FSDT, Orbx, and UK2000 and truly love them all.
I suppose one can quickly go broke on purchasing add-on scenery. One criteria I attempt to use in making a decision on whether to purchase a particular scenery package is the frequency I think I may use it along with just how much more the scenery package will enhance FSX. I really enjoy the KMIA to TNCM route in either a 737 or 757.
I’ve recently performed a lot of flights out of both London Heathrow and Gatwick, so adding those packages from UK2000 was an easy decision. I also picked up the UK2000 package for London City as that is a really neat airport and one I fly into in real life every other year or so. Plus I’m really looking forward to completing the EGLC-EINN-KJFK flight in an Airbus 318 soon.
Another factor I use in my decision is the level of difficulty a particular airport may offer. Perhaps better known as the “Wow” factor. I watched a History Channel program a few years ago called “Most Extreme Airports”. Gibraltar is identified as the 5th most extreme airport. If you are not familiar with this History Channel program, or just want to watch it again. It is available onYouTube. Fast forward to minute 33:00 for the Gibraltar LXGB segment.
Our simulated flight today is the British Airways flight 490 from London Heathrow to Gibraltar in the Airbus A320. Gate to gate time is 2 hours and 50 minutes. Our departure from Heathrow was uneventful.
Our route today
BAW490 departing EGLL runway 27L
Conditions for Gibraltar are showing winds 090 at 6kt. We’ll be landing on runway 09 which is the more difficult approach.
Thick clouds and light turbulence as we approach the southern coast of Spain.
Clearing as we continue the descent.
Flying the published approach and configured at gear down and flaps 3 upon crossing the 5 mile radar fix.
Beginning the turn after crossing the 3 mile radar fix. Airport and runway clearly in sight.
Just a slight cross wind and hoping the aircraft ahead will soon exit the runway.
BAW 490 Clear to land runway 09.
Slowing with plenty of runway to spare.
At the gate.
The Rock of Gibraltar in the background.
Terminal at Gibraltar
Additional detail shown for the LXGB scenery. Need to watch those towers on departure.
All-in-all I’m very pleased with my purchase of the Aerosoft Gibraltar scenery for FSX. If you like flying into and out of some of the worlds most extreme airports where weather, neighboring obstacles, traffic and shorter than normal runways are the featured attraction, then Gibraltar is an add-on I recommend.
Now to return back to Heathrow along with 127 vacationers and crew so that we can plan the next adventure.
Until next time…