Airbus A330 Professional
So at long last the Aerosoft A330 hasbeen released and is now available for us finally to try out. I am avery big fan of their previousA320 series,so I cannot hide my excitement about this aircraft coming to themarket and I am very keen to share my experiences about it. It ispossible that this excitement has come from the fact that there arenot many long-range Airbus aircraft available in Prepar3D v4 that comewith the high level of immersion that Aerosoft can replicate. For somepeople it has felt that Aerosoft have taken their time to produce thisaircraft, with some in the community comparing the development time tothat of the Quality Wings 787.However, in the case of the Quality wings 787, the long developmenttime equalled a superb product, so hopefully this time has been wellspent.
In regards to the installation, uncommonly I did experience anissue with trying to get this product installed. This was quite asurprise, as usually I find with just a few clicks of a mouse button Ican install Aerosoft software very quickly and with noissues. However, with this particular aircraft, after installing it, Inoticed that no external lighting was shown. After some investigation,I figured out that this was an issue with my system. I have also hadsimilar issues with other aircraft so the end result was to reinstallPrepar3D entirely. I found this corrected the issue I was having with theAerosoft A330. Even though this problem was an isolated technicalissue with my own computer, I would still advise that anti-virussoftware is disabled when installing this product, and to follow allassociated prompted instructions during the installation process.
One of the reasons why I like Aerosoft aircraft so much is thegreat job they do on the exterior model. The Aerosoft A330 lives up tothis reputation, with a fantastic amount of detail shown on theaircraft. Everything you would expect to see on the exterior is there,such as 3D static wicks, pitot tubes and antennas.
The use of PBR can be seen throughout the aircraft, especially onthe fuselage and wings as they possessed a very heavy metalliclook. The use of reflective textures has also been used throughoutwith a great amount of detail previewed on the wings, where at timesthey looked as if they were glowing from reflective sunlighttextures. Of course, these reflective textures can be witnessedthroughout the aircraft with a staggering effect. Already I have beenable to take a number of great cinematic shots thanks to thisfeature.
In regards to the animations, I was not disappointed, as overall Ifelt that the external animations were nicely modelled andaccurate. This was something that Aerosoft needed to pay particularattention to, as each aircraft will behave differently, especially onthe A330 due to its unique fly-by-wire system. I would describe thecharacteristics of the flight controls as being somewhat delayed inresponse time (compared to other large aircraft), so it was nice tosee how well it was integrated.
Another area that Aerosoft have paid particular attention to wasthe landing gear. In real life I would describe the animation of thelanding gear to look somewhat slightly delayed, as if the gear iscoming up in sequences rather than one continuous and seamlessmotion. Regardless I believe the animation is accurate to the realthing. Then of course you have the usual control surfaces which I feltlooked realistic and accurate.
The cockpit overall was accurately modelled and well presented;just as well really, as I would not have expected anything less fromAerosoft. Of course, the A330 has the same common rating with theA320, so if you have been flying A320's beforehand, this will be avery familiar cockpit. I have no doubt that Aerosoft have inserted anumber of things onto this new plane from their already produced A320product. For example, despite having the same screens as the A320,they now have a warm-up feature included with them, as well as anupdated ECAM and EICAS, appropriate for the larger A330. Compared tothe A320 the cockpit feels larger, but at the same time resembles thatcompact feeling.
Functionality And Handling
I felt that overall the functionality of the A330 was similar tothat of the Aerosoft A320. Of course, they share a number of systemswith identical layouts, as is standard with Airbus cockpits. As such,I would expect not to have an issue operating some of the systems; forexample, ADIRS, ECAMS and FCDU, and I didn't.
I found that I could operate them easily and similarly to what I doin the A320, but at the same time the A330 is not just a shell of anA320 with systems thrown in. No, this aircraft retains the featuresunique to the A330, but at the same time, Aerosoft have ensured aneasy transition over from the previous Airbus products.
Other than that, I found the majority of the switches were usableand accurate. My only real issue in this area was that I found anumber of backup systems, such as the fire push buttons and ram airturbine system were not functional. I was hoping to possibly see thesefeatures being added and for Aerosoft to capitalise on their A320series, but not so in this release. Perhaps in a later patch?
I would not describe this aircraft as being study sim, but despitethis, Aerosoft have done a good job with modelling all the systems andit does feel as if I am flying a heavy Airbus. One of the features Iwas keen to test was the automatic trimming. At first it seemed thatthe aircraft was slow to trim itself out, and subsequently, wheneverthe autopilot was disengaged the aircraft immediately pitcheddown. However, I believe that this issue has been resolved with recentupdates as I am no longer experiencing this issue.
In regards to hand flying the aircraft (now with the latestupdate), the plane does feel different thanks to the fly-by-wirecontrol system. In my opinion Airbus aircraft feel less responsive andslightly sluggish in comparison to Boeing and Cessna aircraft. This isquite normal for Airbus aircraft, however, initially I felt that thehandling was seriously off and very unresponsive. Yet again I foundthat after I updated the aircraft this issue was rectified and I feltthe handling to be both more responsive and accurate. Due to theissues I initially experienced, I would recommend updating theaircraft straight away after it has been installed (if it is an olderversion).
Airbus aircraft also feature enhanced flight protection thanks inpart to their fly-by-wire system. This means that pilots are not ableto put the aircraft in potentially dangerous situations, such as astall. The real-life system is highly complicated and can be very hardto accurately authenticate, but I do feel that Aerosoft have done afantastic job at recreating it in this product. The pitchcharacteristics were similar to that of an Airbus aircraft when at lowspeeds, and there were preventions in place to preventexcessive/dangerous roll. Overall it felt very good and surprisinglyaccurate!
EFB: I was very excited when I heard about this feature, as the useof an EFB can be extremely helpful. This is especially true when itcomes to chart viewing as it saves using external pieces ofsoftware. Unfortunately, only NavDataPro Charts are supported and nooptions are available for the use of Navigraph or AivlaSoftcharts. Nevertheless, I was able to add my Simbrief documents to theEFB, which was still a helpful feature as well as having access tovarious online weather sources. Overall though, the EFB was very good,despite the issue with the charts.
Printer: One of the more quirky features included with thisaircraft is the printer. Here you can print out weather reports, fuelreports, you name it! This is a feature I absolutely loved, as itreally added to the experience. I really do wish more developers wouldinclude such things. The only thing I felt lacking, was that I wasunable to store all of the printouts (unlike in Aerosoft's A320).
Checklist: The checklist once activated, will read and set theaircraft up appropriately. This is another feature which greatly addsto the authenticity of the product, and one which is also quitedifferent and unique. An issue I did come across with the checklistthough, was that it could get stuck on one or two items, especially ifthe system has already been set up. However, this can be rectifiedquite simply by clicking the skip item option.
GSX: Usually when I fly an aircraft, I have to juggle setting it upand having to open/close doors for GSX. Well fear not, because theAerosoft A330 helps you out here by having seamless integration withGSX! What this means, is that when things such as opening and closingdoors is required, they are done automatically.
The lighting overall I found was quite good. The external lightswere very bright and clearly presented, with good use ofPBR. Internally, the lights were rather dim in certain areas, such asthe overhead panel, but I did like the number of lighting optionsavailable in the cockpit. These included reading lights, flood lightsand map lights.
The aircraft comes with a number of liveries such as:
- Airbus house livery
- Cathay Pacific
- Dragon Air
- Euro wings
- Lion Air
I have to say I was a little bit disheartened at the lack ofliveries included, but thankfully a large selection of repaints can befound in the community.
Included in the package is a wide selection of comprehensivemanuals, and these range from checklists, to a full in-depthexplanation of the systems and how to fly the aircraft. These manualsare so extensive I am still reading them, three weeks after installingthe aircraft! Some people may find this to be a frustrating ordeal,but for me personally, I like to do a bit of research before I hopinto an aircraft. It wasn't all clear sailing though, as I found someaspects rather confusing, such as how Aerosoft have stated that theA330 only has two wing tanks and a trim tank, but then fails to talkabout the use of a center tank. Furthermore, the documentation talksabout aspects that are not even modelled, so I would describe theprocess of trying to study the documentation as daunting. I would alsohave liked to have seen these manuals fully included within theinternal EFB.
Aerosoft have done a very good job in the sound department,especially in regards to the spool up sounds on the Trent 700. Likemany, I find that Rolls Royce engines have a particular note that isdistinguishable from other engine variants, and so felt the spool upto be very realistic. The internal sounds from all the switches weregood, and there was plenty of differentiation between knobs, switchesand buttons. To summarise, a very pleasant sound experience.
Usually with an aircraft of this complexity, I would have expectedto see quite a drop in frame rates, but this wasn't to be the case. Infact, apart from when I entered the airspace of a large airport,frame rates were no different to what I normally experienced. When youfactor in that this was with several applications running in thebackground like Active Sky, GSX and Project Fly, plus only 8 GB of RAM,then it's quite impressive!
Each time I fire up Prepar3D, I want to fly the Aerosoft A330, it justfeels right and is one of the most authentic aircraft I have flown(albeit with the issues mentioned). The aircraft not only flies great,but looks good too, and definitely ticks all the right boxes. Betweenyou and me, I think I might possibly have become addicted to flyingit, and I have no doubt that Aerosoft will continue to offer updatesto small bugs and glitches, especially the ones mentioned in thisreview.
Out of all the aircraft I have flown over the last twelve months,including the Falcon 50, the PMDG737 NGXU, this definitely is the mostenjoyable!
Because of our reviewer's outstanding findings, FlightSim.Com gives the Aerosoft Airbus A330 Professional our Award of Excellence
A330 Pro System Requirements
- Lockheed Martin Prepar3D V4.5.x Hotfix 2 (the latest version of Prepar3D is always needed)
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64 bit) (older 64 bit versions not tested)
- Processor: Intel Core™ i5 (i7 recommended) or AMD Ryzen 5 (Ryzen 7 recommended)
- Memory: 16 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
- Graphics card: 4 GB VRAM (DirectX 11), e.g. GeForce GTX 1050 (6 GB, GTX 1070 recommended)
- Requires HDR setting to be active!
- Control hardware (joystick) with rudder and throttle channels
- Download size: 1.9 GB
You can also find a series of Aerosoft A330 videos I have made onmy YouTube channel, and these include amoungst others, a cold and darktutorial. The link is below:
Purchase Aerosoft A330 Professional For Prepar3D v4.5
Enhance your A330 experience with the FS2Crew Aerosoft Airbus Pro Edition
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