Latest preview shot as posted on the developers Facebook page - Swiss International Air Lines Airbus 320 with the accompanying description, "A little bit of rain won't delay the A320-X from arriving!"
Next, the entire interview as "publicly" posted on the developers Facebook page - no source provided for original interview:
We were interviewed by a well known Russian flight simulator news site recently. Here's what our team had to say:
Lefteris Kalamaras: Thank you for the opportunity to answer some questions regarding our upcoming Flight Sim Labs A320-X airc...raft. I felt this was a good time to let our developers voice their own thoughts regarding their hard work, so I selected Andrew Wilson and Philippe Gleize to respond with feedback on your questions. Andrew is responsible for systems, special effects and all-around code programming, while Philippe is our flight and engine dynamics model developer. Truth be said, though, all our developers have their hands on various bits and pieces of the code, so those job descriptions are only part of what our associates contribute: Our real strength is the unity of our team and the synergies it provides.
1. Which models will be included on initial release?
(Andrew) Initially we’ll be releasing the A320-X, which will serve as the base package for our Flight Sim Labs A320 series. Following this, we’ll be adding expansion products that will extend the A320 series product line to include the A319-X and the A321-X, each of which will be simulated to the same standard as our A320-X and will include many of the intricate details that are unique to both airframes. There are many things that the A319 and A321 do differently, and we’ll be simulating these differences in our products.
2. Are you planning to realize other Airbus series in future (330/340)?
(Andrew) Yes – we have developed our own specialized infrastructure to support the various digital data networks that form the foundation of the Airbus series. These include ARINC 429 (with ARINC 600/615 data stream support), ARINC 424, and RS422 (with ARINC 600 support).
We have also designed code libraries to handle the analog data systems found on the A320 – ones that use electrical current to send and receive a flow of data between the systems. Most of the components that make up an A320 have been modeled – from relay switches, fuses, circuit breakers, diodes – to fuel pumps, servo control valves, hydraulic accumulators, batteries and transformers. In total we have over 60,000 of these components running in our simulation of the A320-X. The result is a simulation of an A320 that is very much like the real thing.
We anticipate the infrastructure we’ve developed will be used to expand our A3XX fleet at Flight Sim Labs.
3. If possible, please tell us your own opinion about your A320 project. What in this model makes you proud? What is strong side of this model?
(Philippe) The level of realism achieved in our FSLabs A320-X makes us very proud and we are certain it will be a major step up in the development of desktop flight simulation industry. The modularity of its design will allow the professional version of the A320-X (which will follow in the footsteps of our FSX release) to fulfill expectations and requirements of professional pilots and training personnel in their day to day operations: systems, flight dynamics, ground dynamics, engine models, and visuals.
Our team has avoided several FSX limitations by developing flight and engine models that function outside the FSX internal update cycle to render drag (friction, induced, wave, trim, flaps, etc.) and thrust components of each aircraft variant allowing freedom in calculating components of flight such as atmospheric influence, bleed air demands as well as damage caused by overstress conditions.
Realism of a successful simulation doesn’t only depend on the time the aircraft spends in-flight. As such, a lot of attention was paid to the ground model to get the correct ground friction and handling: the lateral component during turns and cross wind landings and the longitudinal component for realistic taxi thrust. A correct wheel shock model was added to absorb the huge mass transfer that occurs during aborted take-offs and while the aircraft is braking after landing.
Hard work has gone into making all this possible: Over 2 years of research and development, hundreds of hours of Class-D simulator testing, in-flight measurements made by our dedicated technical advisor pilot team, technical documentation data mining and high-end tools such as neural network realization software.
4. Are you planning to realize variations in cockpit, for example CRT/LCD displays, different STBY instruments?
(Andrew) Our A320-X is based upon the latest v1.7.0 software standard update to the A320 series with EIS2 LCD displays, which includes the Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS). Given the level of detail we have modeled the A320-X, it would be almost impossible to model the former EIS1 system (v1.3.2) without a significant rewrite of our code. We will, however, be looking to extend the FSLabs A320-X series with a number of airline options that are available to the various operators of the A320 series.
5. Are you planning to make a wing flex?
(Philippe) One of the characteristics of the A320 wing is its rigidity. Those of your readers who have been passengers inside an A320 will have noticed that the wingtip doesn't move much at all during take-off and landings, except for a somewhat small bounce. The wing certainly does not flex due to lift forces, as would, for example, the wing of the larger A340 in the series. Expect to see the same thing in the FSLabs A320-X: The bounce is properly modeled – it would be unrealistic to add wing flex.
6. Are you planning to make terrain and wx radars?
(Andrew) The A320-X is equipped with a working terrain radar – a very complex system to simulate properly. At this time, we are still investigating the possibilities of simulating a weather radar, but our sentiment remains that without proper data that would accurately inform of cloud droplet contents, any wx radar depiction is not less than fake.
7. Are you planning to make payload and fuel loader?
(Philippe) Yes definitely. Our simulated aircraft models weight and balance components with a very high degree of accuracy. The dry mass of the aircraft has been designed for each variant following the W&B manuals accompanying its real-world counterpart.
The fuel model has been treated mathematically in three-dimensional space, resulting in each tank fuel quantity causing a correspondingly accurate CG impact as a proper 3d vector. We owe significant gratitude to our technical advisors who provided us access to their LPC software, allowing us to verify that our modeled configurations were properly following real aircraft specifications during our cross checks.
8. Are you planning to make some non-standard configurations of airplane, for example, A320 from AIR INDIA or A319 with engines from A320 (as in Drukair)?
(Philippe) One of our team’s strong sides is the modularity of the models featured through the A320-X design. If an A319 aircraft needs to wear A320 engines, this is certainly allowed through our configuration files, as the engine component mechanism is plug-and-play.
9. Which liveries will be included in initial release? Will you release a paint kit (before or after release)?
(Andrew) The paint kit will be free and available to all customers of the A320-X.
We expect that the main product purchase will include our default Flight Sim Labs livery, but we’re still exploring our licensing options regarding inclusion of extra liveries to be installed as part of the A320-X base package (we do not wish to step on any toes, given how close our product will be to simulating the real aircraft).
We have been running a poll on our Facebook page (it can be found at http://www.facebook.com/flightsimlabs ) where we ask our friends to vote for their favorite airline liveries – the most popular of which will either be included with the main installer, or be made available to download (as free add-on components) at or around the same time the A320-X is released.
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