Fenix Sim has started their frequent development update series, where they will gradually unveil all the core features of their upcoming rendition of Airbus A320 for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Following the preview video of the autoland and approach, the developer made a development update article about the MCDU on their website.
Fenix Sim greets us with their huge thanks to the community and the hype the upcoming aircraft got. On their Discord server, they’ve got over 5000 members within 24 hours after the announcement.
In the first part of the MCDU preview, the developer talks about how the AIRAC data will be delivered to the aircraft. Fenix Sim aims to make the aircraft compatible with Navigraph AIRAC Cycle. This will then create a navigation composite, with which the aircraft will be navigating itself throughout the world. All audible VORs will have sound, but you will have to listen closely.
This technology helps the aircraft to know where it is from determining where it isn’t. It will be gathering multiple position sources and then it will mix them to get the best effort location.
Speaking of lateral and vertical navigation (LNAV and VNAV), that will be mentioned in the future update concerning autopilot. However, as it has been stated, every single auto flight mode is modelled and complete. Therefore, you can, already in this early alpha stage, fly all and most complex RNAV approaches.
Fenix Sim has implemented a rather new feature, which is FLS (FMS Landing System). It is a non-precision approach aid that computes a virtual glideslope and localiser. Simply said, it is comparable to ILS, but it is all virtual and there are no frequencies. This kind of approach can be mainly used on airports that do not offer the ILS approach (i.e. Innsbruck LOWI). With this type of approach combined, there is also new symbology included in the aircraft.
Another feature the developer talked about is RTA (Required Time of Arrival). This is a common tool in an A320’s substantial arsenal of pilot aids. This heightens the immersion and allows virtual pilots to operate the aircraft very similar to real-world procedures.
The flight plan in the MCDU will always start with time stamp 0, then, you can input the estimated time of takeoff, with this set up, the aircraft will be able to calculate the time of arrival for each waypoint. This is very helpful mainly for those who fly through the oceanic areas on VATSIM or any other networks.
If you don’t know your exact time of take-off, but, you know when you have to be at your destination, you can put the time of arrival into a destination instead, and the aircraft will give you UTC times of arrival to each route waypoints.
RTA will also be able to manage your cost index, this is called active mode, and it will change the cost index based on if you are late or early for your arrival. This will do the math and even will consider wind speeds to the times. Therefore, the aircraft will exactly figure out how faster, or slower, you have to fly.
The ETP (Equi-Time Point) function will also be implemented. It is a point on a route, from which it takes the same amount of time to reach the destination and departure airport. This also considers wind and outside conditions.
By default, the ETP is generated between departure and arrival. You will also be able to choose ETP when crossing large water areas, to help you with situational awareness, as the developer mentioned.
Furthermore, in the aircraft we can find offsets, step climb, closest airports, fix info “ABEAM” functionality, and last but not least, ATSU function. From here, the developer didn’t speak about more features available in this development update. If you are interested in seeing more about his aircraft, you can check our other article.