FlyByWire Simulations has recently hosted an informal community event dubbed “Outside The Hangar”. Using Discord’s new Stages feature, the event took place at the developer’s Discord server where anyone from the community could ask questions through appropriate text channels or by joining the stage directly.
Q: Will there be more engine variants in the A380X?
The main issue with creating more engine variants is the complexity of creating an engine model and the amount of required documentation. While it is something the developers are looking into, it is still too early to make any final decisions.
Q: How is THE A380X progressing so far?
While not revealing much, Iceman confirmed that the work is progressing well on all sides of the development – modelling, avionics, and systems.
Q: Are there any plans to make the missed approach procedures working on the A380X and A32NX?
As Iceman said: “Yep, that’s definitely the plan!“.
Q: How FAR ARE WE FROM STATE WHEN the majority of things will be finished in the A32NX?
Being hard to estimate, Iceman replied to the question making it clear, that electronic and hydraulic systems are mostly implemented as of right now, while other systems are still a work in progress. The current priority of the developers is to finish works on the LNAV system so the users could enjoy uninterrupted flights on autopilot.
Q: To what point do you plan on making the a380X project public on github?
Once all the modelling and texturing is done, and the core systems are ready, the project will become public on GitHub so anyone will be able to contribute. The reason behind that is that GitHub does not work well with texture and model file formats.
Q: How deep are you planning to go with lateral and vertical navigation (LNAV & VNAV) with the A32NX?
Radials, time-based constraints, and offset are all capabilities the developers are planning on including in the A32NX eventually. With both VNAV and LNAV, the developers first want to release the basic versions and work on more advanced features later on. Currently, in terms of LNAV, the developers want to push it out as soon as possible, hopefully before the end of the month, but no promises were given.
Q: Is there any take-off calculator coming to the A32NX?
The developers are looking into adding the take-off calculator to the EFB in the A32NX. There is already a calculator available for the landings, but with the take-offs, there is a lack of documentation. With Airbus NEOs, all documentation went digital, and the pilot just imports data to a form and it “spills” out the take-off data without having anywhere said how it got to such numbers.
Q: Is there going to be CPDLC or ACARS IN THE A32NX or A380X?
It is the plan to get there eventually, but it’s not a feature with the highest priority as of right now. Iceman mentioned a new CPDLC client that is on the horizon that looks promising, and once the documentation for that is out, the developers will take a closer look at it.
Q: Are there any plans on integrating Chartfox to the A32NX EFB?
ChartFox being a freeware alternative to Navigraph Charts, the developers plan on integrating it to the EFB in the future, however, not in the initial version of flyPadOS v2.
Q: Once the a380X is out, will the progress on the a32NX slow down?
It is not very likely. The A380X is in a completely different stage of development, and once it will become a public project on GitHub, the A32NX will be in a completely different stage of development in which developers hope to only be bringing bug fixes and more advanced features to the aircraft not affecting the A380X.
Q: How FAR ARE YOU PLAnning to go, in terms of detail, with the A32NX and A380X?
The developers are looking into recreating all small details on the aircraft. With Microsoft Flight Simulator, you can make things a lot more detailed without sacrificing performance.
Q: ARE there any plans on bringing the A32NX to X-PLane 11?
While it is technically possible, FlyByWire Simulations has no plans of doing so. It was though confirmed, that anyone can bring the aircraft to X-Plane 11 as long as all restrictions of the license are maintained and followed.
Q: While developing the A32NX, do you use documentation of other a320 addons available in the community?
No. Iceman has confirmed, that while other addons covering the aircraft in the community are good, they all have some inaccuracies. FlyByWire Simulations uses only real-life references while developing the aircraft.
Q: Do you plan on developing A320 CEO?
Once the v1.0 of A32NX is released, and the initial version of an A380X is available, the developers at FlyByWire Simulations plan on developing an A320 CEO addon for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Q: DO you plan on developing the A321 at some point?
Yes, however, this is not planned for the near future. FlyByWire wants to first focus on the A32NX, and A380X. As Iceman said: “It will take a lot of time, but we will get there.“.
Q: What level oF detail do you plan on going with more engine variants for the A32NX?
The level of detail of the upcoming engine variants is highly dependent on the amount of documentation available to the developers about each specific variant. The developers at FlyByWire hope to bring high-fidelity renditions of the engine variants.
Q: What is the donation money spend on?
All of the donations FlyByWire gets are spend on server costs as well as any other tools the developers need to work on the aircraft. For example, Substance Painter, Blender plugins, API server, or CDN server. All transactions are transparent and can be viewed at FlyByWire’s Open Collective page.
Q: Are you planning to fix model inacurracies on the A32NX?
FlyByWire Simulations is aware of inaccuracies on the model, however, when will they be fixed depends on how fast will the developers get a hand on the aircraft source files from Microsoft or Asobo. In case they don’t get those files, Iceman has mentioned that they will need to model the aircraft from scratch after the A380X is out.
Q: Are you planning to feature cabin in the A32NX?
It is planned, however, does not have the highest priority. There was a cabin done by a community member that was prepared to be used once the SDK would allow it, however, those files were lost.
Q: what is the status of importer/exporter?
The primary developer who has been working on the importer/exporter took a one-month break. With all of the changes Asobo made to the simulator and SDK, it will take a bit longer just to cover those. FlyByWire Simulations is currently assessing all possible ways to deal with the situation.
Q: Are you limited in A380X development with current state of the simulator?
The A380X will not be as complex as the A32NX will be. In terms of the SDK limitations, there are some features the developers can’t work on just yet. This includes, for example, the brake to vacate (BTV) feature, or taxi and tail cameras.
Q: What work is being done to the A32NX performance?
Members of the community have reported to have stutters and lower FPS while using the aircraft. Many features are currently being reworked to improve the overall situation around the aircraft performance. Sid from FlyByWire reassured the community, that users can expect better performance while using the A32NX soon with more updates to come to the aircraft and the simulator.
Q: Will the custom Flight plan manager improve the performance in any way?
Yes! After testing FlyByWire’s private branch of the aircraft equipped with the custom flight plan manager, Iceman experienced about 5-10 FPS boost on his hardware.
Q: Do you havy any plans to remodel the cockpit?
Once the developers figure the best way of doing it, it is planned to improve the cockpit in general fixing multiple inaccuracies and other small issues.
Q: When will it be possible to do an RNP approach with the A32NX?
One of the developers started working on this feature, and as Iceman said in the session: “You might be seeing it sometime in the future!“.
Q: Are you planning on Adding vibrations to the cockpit?
The developers plan on adding some visual effects to the cockpit in the future, however, with the cockpit vibrations, they are not so significant in the A320 as in other aircraft and should not be as visible as in, let’s say, DC-6.
Q: Are you planning on improving the cockpit textures in the A32NX?
The textures in the cockpit are custom-made by the FlyByWire team and they are not currently looking into replacing them. Some tweaks may need to be done once the developers begin improving the cockpit model.
Q: Will there be a heads-up display in the A32NX anytime soon?
Not anytime soon.
Q: Do you think the A32NX will be developed to a level of other airbus addons available (toliss, fslabs)?
Considering that developing such an addon can take from four to six years with a dedicated team, and FlyByWire is around for almost a year now; Iceman believes they’ve done a remarkable job on the aircraft, and hope to surpass them (other Airbus addons) in quality sometime in the future.
The next stream, this time in the format we are all used to – “In The Hangar”, is scheduled to happen in August or September later this year. It will be a celebratory stream of FlyByWire’s one-year anniversary!