The sounds are top notch with excellent engine and warning sounds. I’ve had the good fortune of riding on the Airbus A320 jumpseat many times while exercising my jumpseat privileges and I can tell you that the sounds are spot on. One of my more memorable rides on the jumpseat was into Washington National airport (DCA) prior to 9/11 and I was fascinated with the workings of the A320 systems.
The documentation is very good although PSS would do well to include a Quick Reference Handbook since that is what most line-pilots use for daily operations. The Systems Manual is simply one of the best PDF files ever created. I love the format, structure and content. The pictures and text blend together perfectly and I can’t say enough about how well done it is.
The flight modeling and replication of the Airbus flight envelope protection system is done well. The quirks that exist once you get into the regime beyond even what could be defined as “abnormal flight” are forgivable since you really shouldn’t be there anyway. In manual mode, flying with the stick and throttle is very straight forward and enjoyable. Idle thrust on the ground seems a bit high; the airplane wants to start moving as soon as you take the parking brake off, but that might have been a combination of my very light ramp weight and for all I know it might be realistic. Whatever the case, it is actually a nice feature to not have to bump the throttles during a long taxi to keep the speed up. I wouldn’t want to be buying brakes though!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I wasn’t crazy about the load editor program. I’m sure people aren’t crazy about having to open up their aircraft.cfg file to cut and paste a fix into it. Once it is fixed though, it seems to work, although I still had a discrepancy in my ZFW. Perhaps re-installing and doing the fix first would eliminate all the problems.
The MCDU implementation was excellent, as was the tutorial flight that led me step by step through all the systems and programming the MCDU.
Coming tomorrow: Boeing vs. Airbus Part IV: DreamFleet Boeing 727 WhisperJet
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- Toshiba 5205-S703 Notebook
- Pentium 4, 2.0 GHz / 512MB RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 4-460 Go 64MB Mobility graphics chip
- 1280 x 1024 – no FSAA