• Airbus A380

    Airbus A380

    By Ali Mujtaba (21 May 2001)

    After a positive response from many budding flightsimmers on my previous C-130 review, I was prompted to write another one. This time it's on an Airbus A380 designed by the maestro himself, Camil Valiquette! Camil is a prominent figure in the FS aircraft deign world and we all know him for his excellent ProMax series aircraft (777s, A330 & A340). This time it's an Airbus A380, the future jumbo which is set to take over the reigns from the mighty 747. This is an all FSDS design and is truly a work of art. This package also comes with a panel designed by A. Asensio. OK, without much further ado, let's start by reviewing the test flight.

     


    Test Flight

    I started by parking the A380 on the Terminal 3 ramp at London Heathrow. After being pushed back I started the engines and slowly started to taxi. The aircraft was quite responsive when it came to ground handling and I was expecting the same when airborne. After taxiing to runway 27L, I slowly pushed the throttle forward and picked up speed quite quickly. After rotating the aircraft at V2 (160 kts) the plane rocketed into the air and I had to pull the throttle back to keep it below 250 kts below 10,000 feet. As expected, the plane was responsive and was stable in flight. After passing 3500 feet I switched to autopilot and started to climb to 24,000 feet. After reaching the desired altitude the A380 sailed gracefully without any hiccups. After 20 minutes of flight I slowly started to descend & headed back to Heathrow. Again the aircraft was extremely responsive and no problem occured. On reaching 1500 feet, I turned off the autopilot and flew manually. At flaps full down I was flying at a speed of 152 kts. I was amazed that the aircraft was handled well at such a low speed. And that's what Airbus aircraft are reknowned for in real life. On touch down I applied the reverse thrusters, spoilers and autobrake and the plane came to a full stop in virtually no time at all. I exited the runway on the first available taxiway and headed back to the ramp.

    Visuals


    A good design of the A380 panel by A. Asensi. Features an overhead panel and a center console panel
         
    One thing I like about this panel is simplicity and the default FS2000 gauges.

    3D virtual cockpit. Forward left view
         
    3D virtual cockpit, looking to the left

    3D virtual cockpit. Right view. Just Look at that shading!
         
    3D virtual cockpit, forward right view

    Alas those wing views. Something that you don't often find in FSDS aircraft
         
    Wing views! something that I crave for and I know a majority of flightsimmers share the same view. As far as I know, this is the first FSDS aircraft with natural wing views and without any bleed throughs. I simply love those slat and engine movements. Camil, You're the man!

    The majestic A380 with gears extended.
         
    Wow! Look at that detail of the undercarriage.

    Landing gear fully extended. Features a smooth sequenced animation.
         
    Crisp and clear textures. No matter how close you zoom in, those textures would still appear sharp.

    Have a look at those engine and pylon texturing. Superb details.
         
    Smooth flap railings.

    The wingtip of the A380. Also features a typical Airbus flashing strobe sequence.
         
    Right down to every little detail. 3D wheels with awesome texturing.

    Thrust reversers being applied.
         
    Excellent rendering of the cockpit window frames. If you look a bit closer, you can also see the flight crew.

    Steerable nose wheel of the A380.
         
    Rudders being put to test

    Hit the spoilers key, and get ready to unload the cargo
         
    The 3D interior of the rear cargo hold.

    Conclusion

    An excellent FS2000 aircraft, with crisp textures, nice and smooth animation and excellent 3D rendering. The only drawback in the aircraft are the sliding cargo doors which open up on activating the spoilers (only if the strobe lights are also off) when the aircraft is moving on the ground. But all in all a job well done and Camil, as always, living up to his reputation as the greatest FS aircraft designer in the freeware world.

    Ali Mujtaba

    ali2128@pakistan-flightsim.every1.net

    Download Camil Valiquette's Airbus A380's.