• Review: CLS Airbus A330-200

    Panels/VC/Systems

    This aircraft does indeed have extensive systems modelled, as well as 2D panels, which I'm not sure how many of you out there still use. I do indeed find flying from the virtual cockpit more realistic than perhaps using a 2D panel, but I still stick to the 2D panels for things such as checklists, and the occasional flipping of a switch, as I find the knobs and switches in the VC hard to reach and see. Nevertheless, no matter what your style is, this VC will cater to you. Here are some screen shots:

           

    Now for the complaints: I do find that CLS did not model all the systems correctly, and switches such as the master avionics switch are left out of the package. I also found that most of the gauges are inoperable, and serve as decoration only. The panels were also slightly compressed, and I feel that CLS should have better sized the panels. Nevertheless, the panels are of high quality, and what is modelled is done decently. However, there is a weird glitch in the VC if you turn on the panel lights during the day. I'm not sure what is causing the problem, but here is a screen shot:

    I just used the A340 to illustrate the problem, but this problem also affects the A330 aircraft/model in this package. I guess that just about sums the review of the virtual cockpit up. I'll follow this with some specs from the product page, and I'll see you in the next part of the review!

    • Eight distinct flight models - two for the A340 and six for the A330 covering different variants and engine configurations.
    • Custom utility to allow switching between standard and easy flight models
    • 150 detailed liveries spread over the different aircraft - fantastic value for money!
    • F-Lite branding guarantees high quality and detail -animations range from thrust reversers and control surface droop to air stairs and pushback truck.
    • Cockpit features include custom Airbus gauges, easy-to-use Airbus style MCDU/Autopilot, realistic EICAM displays, limited function FMC which allows for SIDs and STARs in the MSFS database, EFIS displays, realistic PFD with limited Airbus Laws Logic and Alpha Protection; overhead panel comes complete with switches for air-con packs, fuel pumps, engine fire and more.
    • Comprehensive, detailed manual includes flight tutorial and all the information virtual pilots will need to begin long haul flying.
    • General features:
      • Highly detailed exterior models
      • Interactive 3D Virtual cockpit
      • 2D panel with custom gauges
      • 150 liveries
      • Comprehensive manual with tutorial flight
      • Option for showing wings from the interior view (wing view)
      • Pushback truck (can be switched on/off in FSX)
      • Air stairs
      • Dynamic wing flex
      • Dynamic shine
      • Realistic landing light bulb and housing illumination at night
      • Every single static discharger is modelled
      • Detailed flight deck when seen from the exterior
      • Numerous animations - passenger and cargo doors, flaps, rudder, elevators, undercarriage, engine fans, thrust reversers; control surface droop when engines are not running, spoilers, flaperons
      • Jet blast effect from engines
      • Realistic thrust reverser animation
      • Fully animated control surfaces
      • Highly detailed texture mapping with no detrimental effect on frame rates
      • High-quality sound set
      • Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric engines modelled
      • Layered paint kit included to help create your own liveries (suitable paint program such as Photoshop required)

    13 Comments
    1. jandcbear's Avatar
      jandcbear -
      would love to see a review include the "super guppy"
    1. QANTAS4EVER's Avatar
      QANTAS4EVER -
      My Pushback tug doesn't show up. Any one know why? The A340-500/600 it works but the airstairs dont' work for both of the add-ons. yet they are amazing add-onns
    1. sith's Avatar
      sith -
      Sometimes I feel flightsim.com reviews are made by people interested in selling those products... CLS A330-340 may be lite which will discourage serious flightsimmers but may encourage a few others, reviews miss several issues that are vital for example in this case the absolute fail in designing the MCP knobs which are a pain to operate in the VC and so for my case rendering flying this model useless... I bought it mainly for the exterior models of the A340 maybe to try to merge the panels with Wilco with no success... Sadly the merge wasn't good and I had to storage this CLS for good..... no use for it....
    1. mangoes's Avatar
      mangoes -
      I am the unfortunate owner of this addon, which I can only describe as rubbish, after reading this review I am left wondering if I have the same product. My advice is save your money.
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by mangoes View Post
      I am the unfortunate owner of this addon, which I can only describe as rubbish, after reading this review I am left wondering if I have the same product. My advice is save your money.
      I do indeed find this add on to be of rather poor quality, and this is what I found through the comments around the Internet. However, I did find the textures and the exterior model rather good, and at least useable. While I do agree that this add on may not be too good an add on to burn your money on, I do have to say that the add on isn't completely rubbish, although parts of it, like the vc, are not quite up to spec.
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by sith View Post
      Sometimes I feel flightsim.com reviews are made by people interested in selling those products... CLS A330-340 may be lite which will discourage serious flightsimmers but may encourage a few others, reviews miss several issues that are vital for example in this case the absolute fail in designing the MCP knobs which are a pain to operate in the VC and so for my case rendering flying this model useless... I bought it mainly for the exterior models of the A340 maybe to try to merge the panels with Wilco with no success... Sadly the merge wasn't good and I had to storage this CLS for good..... no use for it....
      Honestly, I do not have the intention of selling this product when writing this review. I just want perhaps to discuss more on the older products, which we all seem to forget. As I have said in my other comments, I do agree that the vc for this add on is trash, but other parts of the add on, like the exterior and flying dynamics do deserve a good rating. I also try to be as nice as possible with my reviews, so I can't critique the add on in an extent manner. So in conclusion, average add on crappy vc but good exterior for me.
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by QANTAS4EVER View Post
      My Pushback tug doesn't show up. Any one know why? The A340-500/600 it works but the airstairs dont' work for both of the add-ons. yet they are amazing add-onns
      I would suggest emailing Just Flight support. Go to their website at Justflight.com and click on support. Then submit a ticket. They'll get back to you shortly. I think it may be a corrupted file somewhere
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by jandcbear View Post
      would love to see a review include the "super guppy"
      Which super guppy? The one by A2A? I'm afraid that one is part of the Boeing 377 package, and has already been reviewed.
    1. sherv_cls's Avatar
      sherv_cls -
      Thanks Meng for your review. As the model designer for this package, this add-on is approaching its 6th anniversary. It was created initially for FS9 so by today's standards I do admit it has aged. Make sure to download and install the service packs for this add on. If you are having issues with this add-on please visit the CLS forums for assistance. I am eagerly creating my next project for CLS which will be FSX only. At some point in the future we at CLS do plan on doing an extensive upgrade to the A330/340 package. When that time will be is uncertain. There is a paid expansion package that has significant improvements. However, it is still based on the FS9 platform but is compatible with FSX. Rest assured that my next project that I am working on with the CLS team will be visually stunning and incorporate the latest FSX visual techniques. System wise it will be marketed as an F LITE product. Official info will be posted in the coming months.

      Thanks,
      Shervin Ahooraei
      CLS
    1. dalefhs's Avatar
      dalefhs -
      I have had this addon for a while now and I have had no problem with it at all. I have both FS9 and FSX versions and can't complain. It seems that I am the fortunate one as I have had no issues at all. for me its a 10/10. Good review as well
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by sherv_cls View Post
      Thanks Meng for your review. As the model designer for this package, this add-on is approaching its 6th anniversary. It was created initially for FS9 so by today's standards I do admit it has aged. Make sure to download and install the service packs for this add on. If you are having issues with this add-on please visit the CLS forums for assistance. I am eagerly creating my next project for CLS which will be FSX only. At some point in the future we at CLS do plan on doing an extensive upgrade to the A330/340 package. When that time will be is uncertain. There is a paid expansion package that has significant improvements. However, it is still based on the FS9 platform but is compatible with FSX. Rest assured that my next project that I am working on with the CLS team will be visually stunning and incorporate the latest FSX visual techniques. System wise it will be marketed as an F LITE product. Official info will be posted in the coming months.

      Thanks,
      Shervin Ahooraei
      CLS
      Hi,
      Thanks for stopping by! I am indeed looking forward to CLS Products, and although I hope that the 2D panels for your more recent releases could be more complete, I must say that overall, CLS maintains a very high level of quality in your products. I will be watching the CLS fourms for the upcoming product, and once again, I really enjoy working with your products. Thanks for stopping by!
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by dalefhs View Post
      I have had this addon for a while now and I have had no problem with it at all. I have both FS9 and FSX versions and can't complain. It seems that I am the fortunate one as I have had no issues at all. for me its a 10/10. Good review as well
      Well, it's not everyday you get a person with both sides of a story. Thanks for sharing!
    1. hawkeyepilot's Avatar
      hawkeyepilot -
      A recent sale at Just Flight enabled me to pick up the Airbus Long Haul Collection, which I'd avoided due to many negative comments. I was not disappointed. My first goal is to learn about aviation and modeling and simulation is exactly what affords me the opportunity. First thing, I replaced the sound set with the appropriate model from Turbine Sound Studios. Now with great exterior textures and sound, it was a real treat just to look at, taxi, and take off. Next, I was able now to see what the Airbus strategy was in terms of aircraft design. What is going on here, is complete accommodation to airline needs in order to be competitive. Not exactly a whole different than the way GE makes appliances. Many models, all similar in size shape and color, available to meet just about any requirement. As a flight simmer, I was avoiding the notion that the flight decks "are all the same" and focusing on how these aircraft meet the needs of airlines. My take away here is that I know have a quite comfortable grasp of how Airbus looks to a great deal of customers who operate the A330/A340 aircraft. The addition of a sound package, apparently quite well suited to this collection was very well worth the additional cost (call it "ear candy" I guess). I try to imagine each of these Airbus A330 and A340s trying to compete with Boeing in the market and succeeding or failing based on the merits as well as on package price deals. Sometimes quality takes a back seat tot price, sometimes it doesn't. After reading this review, I will have to go back and take a much closer look at performance. I am not concerned with stalls, engine outs, and the like. My main interest is in learning how they perform as designed, that is can they make economic sense to their owner operators and do passengers crave them over the competition. So, my challenge herein was to look well past the relative simplistic model (made more problematic by the Airbus design philosophy, which is basically "commonality" at almost every turn). True enough, the flight decks are practically 'one and the same' across models. Add to this the high levels of automation and you have "not a lot to compare and contrast models". I expect that to complete my study of these important pieces of aviation history, I will have to build a table of weights, capacities, and performance measures, such as passengers, cargo, fuel, and cost per mile in order to see how they actually compare and contrast. Again, fro reading this article, I am interested to see performance limitations. IN my brief trials, I was careful to use recommended trim, flap, slat, pitch, and N1 settings during take off and climb. I experienced no issues performance. My main focus is to operate these aircraft economically, which is the airline's goal. So, thanks to CLS, Just Flight, Airbus, and FlightSim, I now have some interesting trials to run. THANKS for the review and the discussion.