Gift Guide: A2A Aircraft With Accu-Sim
By Peter Carlson
Accu-Sim is the world's most realistic line of add-ons that model real-world aircraft and their functions beyond the capabilities of anything else on the market. A2A Simulations has created a product line, currently of five aircraft, that have been setting the standard for their class of add-on, as each new product has been released. Although they don't product big airliners like Captain Sim or PMDG, nor do they produce the popular General Aviation aircraft of Carenado, all being ever popular, their warbirds are setting the standard of utmost quality above anyone else's. Their products include two lines. First, there is the Wings of Silver, which includes the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser and Piper J-3 Cub. The next line, in the same family is the Wings of Power of which there are two levels, Wings of Power II and Wings of Power III which have an Accu-Sim pack; these include the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (razorback version), and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I and Mk.II (with an MkV coming soon).
Each aircraft brings their own special features, which accentuate the flying characteristics, engine behavior, aerodynamic qualities, sound, and many more features. Their piston engines are remarkable, their sound engine models hundreds of sound bites to create a specific sound shape for the airplane in its orientation and settings. However, I'll talk more about this as the review unfolds.
The Add-On Packs
Each of the five current Accusimmed aircraft (new adjective for adding Accusim to a product) has their own base pack, which include a well-modeled product that serves as the far basic 3D model and FSX files. Then, for an extra price, the Accusim pack, specific to that airplane is purchased and installed; transforms the plane into a new dimension. It changes all the textures; making them, high quality and they conform to the surface of the plane. Next, it installs an all-new engine, yes, it is the same R-2800 being modeled in both P-47s for looks, but on the inside, everything has changed, and it simulates a real, living engine. It also changes the aircraft's behavior, to simulate the airplane's performance to the highest degree, and its takes these basic details, and intertwines them into the base model, making it truly, an all-new product, and a completely immersive and exciting add-on.
What Is Accusim?
The purpose of this article is indeed to explain what Accusim is, but this is the part where I tell you how it works, from the viewpoint as an objective reviewer, and consumer of the product. Now, Accusim's inner workings are highly complex, and they take months of research, testing, programming, and certification from real, experienced sources. To put it into detail, Accusim is designed to model the airplane to a standard that equals the aircraft better than any other developer does. Many developers will say their product is realistic if it achieves the maximum performance numbers that are specified by the manufacturer of the real aircraft. Higher-end developers will make their product exceed this by designing it to conform to a wide spectrum of operation based on many more benchmark positions to achieve actual real-world accuracy.
Birth Of Accusim
The need and inspiration to create Accu-Sim was born during the development of the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, which added an extra 6 months of development. The P-47 Thunderbolt followed next with a full-featured sound engine. This sound engine allowed the team to reproduce every switch, dial inside the P-47, along with dynamic wind, and prop sounds you could hear when you opened the canopy in flight. The Piper J-3 Cub moved Accu-Sim deeper into flight dynamics and physics, with ground bumps, water waves, and wind-over-the-body physics. While on the ground, you can actually hold your brakes, advance the throttle, and balance on your wheels using with the wind forces from the propeller going over your tail. The J-3's new Accusim physics allows for highly realistic and fluid flight dynamics whether you were in a stall, spin, or even dropping out of the sky flying backwards. Additionally, the J-3 introduces a new passenger the community came to know as "Heidi." She responds to many situations differently based on her different moods and personalities. She even spots and calls out traffic. Next came the B-17 Flying Fortress with a historic and naturally animated crew that performs their historical duties in their stations. The radio man scans the skies and can dial into historic radio stations that were aired during the 1940's, the bombardier can open bomb bay doors and drop bombs, the in-flight engineer watches and reports on the systems, and the Co-Pilot can manage your engines. The B-17 also includes an expanded maintenance hangar, which allows you to look deeply into Accu-Sim wear and tear. Most recently, the Supermarine Spitfire was released, this time as an independent module to FSX. This allows Accusim to be developed and managed in its very own space. This brought forth a brand new propeller simulator along dynamic internal engine sounds.