• Review: Airbus A330 X-treme Prologue

    Airbus A330 X-treme Prologue

    Publisher: Blackbox Simulations

    Review Author:
    Meng Yu

    Suggested Price:
    $59.00

    Buy Here

    Foreword

    This plane is part of the Airbus A330 X-treme Prologue package. I decided to review the A330-300 model, with PW engines, but the packages includes the A330-200 (GE, PW and RR), A330-300 (GE, PW and RR), and the A330-MRTT military version. This package is called "prologue" since Blackbox Simulations has not released the full package yet, but is rather offering this preview package. If you get this "prologue" package, you will be able to get updates, and eventually amounting to the full version 1 product. Enough of that, let's move onto the review!

           

    Background Information

    The Airbus A330 is a wide-body twin-engine jet airliner made by Airbus. Versions of the A330 have a range of 7,400 to 13,430 kilometres (4,000 to 7,250 nm) and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry 70 tonnes of cargo (for the -F version).

    The origin of the A330 dates to the 1970s as one of several conceived derivatives of Airbus's first airliner, the A300. The A330 was developed in parallel with the A340, which shared many common airframe components but differed in number of engines. Both airliners incorporated fly-by-wire flight control technology, first introduced on an Airbus aircraft with the A320, as well as the A320's six-display glass cockpit. In June 1987, after receiving orders from various customers, Airbus launched the A330 and A340. The A330 was Airbus's first airliner that offered a choice of three engines: General Electric CF6, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, and Rolls-Royce Trent 700.

    Manufacturer Airbus
    Engines General Electric CF6-80E1A2
    or
    Pratt & Whitney PW-4164 / PW-4168
    or
    Rolls-Royce Trent 767 /Trent 722
    Fuselage Length 198 feet (60.3 meters)
    Service Ceiling 42,000 feet
    Economical Crusiing Speed 464 kt
    Cruising Speed 475 kt
    Range 4500-5500 nm
    (based on engine options)

    Review

    The A330-300 is based on a stretched A300 fuselage 63.69 m long but with new wings, stabilisers and fly-by-wire systems. The -300 carries 295 passengers in a three-class cabin layout, 335 in two-class, or 440 in a single-class layout. It has a range of 10,500 km (5,700 nm).

    It has a large cargo capacity, comparable to that of early Boeing 747s. It is powered by the choice of two General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, all of which are ETOPS-180 rated. The -300 entered service in January 1994.

    First Impressions

    To be honest, this aircraft is difficult to fly, and when I first looked at the aircraft, I just shut down the simulator and told myself there was no way I could fly this thing. However, as I decided to take a further look at the aircraft, I found it to be actually rather forgiving, with computers taking care of plenty of things. However, I do find the auto-engaging auto-throttle very irritating, as it would just turn on whenever it likes, and leave the plane floating on landing, or nearly stalling on departure. Do note that with the A/T on, you cannot make manual adjustments to the aircraft, relating to the throttle. However, I would like to say that this aircraft offers plenty of choice, and is very detailed.

    Exterior Model

    Moving out onto the tarmac, we'll take a look at the exterior of the A330-300. As with my recent reviews, I'll split up this section into paragraphs explaining each aspect of the plane. To allow you to grasp a picture of the aircraft, here are a few screen shots:

           

    Firstly, I would like to talk about the model in general. This aircraft is very detailed on the outside, and the exterior model is indeed accurate to the real A330. If you need a comparison, here are some links to pictures of real A330-300s. Compare them to the screen shots above.

    Links:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/Usairways_a330-300_n278ay_arp.jpg
    http://www.flugzeuginfo.net/acimages/a333_kp.jpg
    http://images.hardwarezone.com/hwm/2009/04/a330-300-lores.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Qantas_Airbus_A330-300,_SIN.jpg
    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/lmk/aviation_wx/nwa_plane.jpg
    http://www.airpics.net/UserFiles/pics/large/D-AERQ-Airbus-A330-300-Air-Berlin/6650/6616l.jpg
    http://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/uploaded-images/2010-12/5/111657.jpg
    http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/1/3/0/1465031.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/Usairways_a330-300_n278ay_lands_arp.jpg


    15 Comments
    1. 2010's Avatar
      2010 -
      I can't help but feel that due to your lack of knowledge this aircraft did not get a fair review.

      The A/T switches on automatically when you enter CLB/MCLB/FLX or TOGA modes. It does not just randomly turn on as you stated.

      You can indeed make manual adjustments to the throttle. Did you calibrate your throttle with the FMGS before flying?

      I don't get how floats result in off centre landing. Would you care to explain please?

      I can assure you the BBS A330 is the most well simulated hight quality A330 currently available. I think it would be advisable to read the manual and to properly understand the Airbus logic. Also, please do not compare it to the CLS A330/340, they are 7yrs old FS 9 models. It is like comparing apples to oranges.

      There is no more of the package to be released. All the models are their unless you were implying that the regularly updates they provide to increase already very accurate and detailed systems and flight dynamics.

      What flaps setting did you use for landing? I assume flaps 4, hence the floating. Normally flaps 3 is used in my real world experience. The A330 is a very aerodynamic aircraft and it does tend to float somewhat.

      I am going to be frank - none of your recent reviews have inspired confidence in me. They lack substance and would be more suitably for a 'quick look' rather than a full review. Sorry for perhaps coming across rude but it has really been beginning to twitch me.

      I hope you can take my feedback on board and provide more accurate in-depth reviews in the future.
    1. Pencilman's Avatar
      Pencilman -
      sorry, but bad review actually
    1. baumgartnerja's Avatar
      baumgartnerja -
      This is not a good review at all. I have never had an issue with engines not going to idle, and they have never "shutoff on their own without user input". I do not feel you have given this aircrft justice at all.
    1. wigerup's Avatar
      wigerup -
      Quote Originally Posted by baumgartnerja View Post
      This is not a good review at all. I have never had an issue with engines not going to idle, and they have never "shutoff on their own without user input". I do not feel you have given this aircrft justice at all.
      I have been running BBS/PSS addons for as long I can remember back in time. I am glad they took up the Airbus again
      to FSX/P3D. Theese are quality add ons. It gives me a side kick to fly. No question that PMDG and BBS are strongest at the
      market today. BBS a little bit forward due to there comp. to P3D.
      But......
      You always have to read the manuals before flying a new model or add-on. Just to be fair to the aircraft/model.
      Real pilots read there manuals( for this kind of people its called check-list) every day every flight, so why dont we???
      Regards
      Bjorn
    1. msa1005's Avatar
      msa1005 -
      Hi,
      thank you for spending you time with the reviews. I consider them very useful and in most case money-savers!
      In this particular review anyway I consider you miss the goal. It is clear that your knoledge about Airbus systems and "philosophy" should be expanded, so avoiding the the irritation about the auto-engaging auto-throttle. Forgive me but you should not present unknown fact as irritating or weird systems.
      The auto-throttle would auto-engage when you push the throttles forward? Yes, this is exactly what an Airbus is supposed to do!
      From my point of view, the review would have had sense if the analysis was focused on the core of an Airbus, the fly-by-wire and autothrottle systems, the first never mentioned, the second not known.
      For me, you conclusion about being this package more "eye-candy" than full on realism is not suitable for the simmers.
      I'm totally agree with you that "this is a "in-development" plane, there are bound to be room for improvement". That's what you buy.
      Regards. Fabio
    1. macca22's Avatar
      macca22 -
      Quote Originally Posted by msa1005 View Post
      Hi,
      thank you for spending you time with the reviews. I consider them very useful and in most case money-savers!
      In this particular review anyway I consider you miss the goal. It is clear that your knoledge about Airbus systems and "philosophy" should be expanded, so avoiding the the irritation about the auto-engaging auto-throttle. Forgive me but you should not present unknown fact as irritating or weird systems.
      The auto-throttle would auto-engage when you push the throttles forward? Yes, this is exactly what an Airbus is supposed to do!
      From my point of view, the review would have had sense if the analysis was focused on the core of an Airbus, the fly-by-wire and autothrottle systems, the first never mentioned, the second not known.
      For me, you conclusion about being this package more "eye-candy" than full on realism is not suitable for the simmers.
      I'm totally agree with you that "this is a "in-development" plane, there are bound to be room for improvement". That's what you buy.
      Regards. Fabio
      I must join with others and say that this review reveals more about the reviewer than it does the aircraft. There is still a fair amount of development to go, as BBS says frankly on their site, but as it stands the A330 flies extremely well and follows the Airbus 'law' accurately. Also like others I have to say the comments about the auto-throttle are quite wrong, and engines do go to Idle on managed descent, and also bring power up as needed if the profile calls for a shallower descent, or a period at level. All done automatically as it should.

      I fly the smaller BBS Airbus 320 in preference to another highly popular version on the market, as it is more accurate even if there is less eye-candy.
    1. betelgeuse's Avatar
      betelgeuse -
      I agree with most of the comments about the review. It says more about the reviewer than the aircraft - clearly the reviewer does not understand much about Airbuses.

      Although the 'Prologue' is part of a phased introduction to the 'Definitive' version, it flies as I would expect an Airbus to fly (I'm a RW pilot but not an Airbus driver). All the important systems are modelled and are fully functional. Best of all, I enjoy flying this 'bus'. I get a very real sense of immersion on my widescreen set up. In particular I love the (optional) 2D panel - it does away with all that zooming and sloshing around. It's no mistake that commercial simulators use 2D. Having said that the virtual cockpit is lovely to look at and is bound to satisfy even the most demanding VC jockey.

      As you might expect, I have some reservations - one to do with toe-brakes (fixed in an update), the other relating to the VNAV function on descent. This is too crude - it gets you down but not smoothly - the passengers would be agitated to say the least. I would expect this aspect to be refined in the definitive version. In practice most pilots prefer not to use VNAV for descents anyway and it is a simple matter to change to 'manual' control of descent rate/IAS.

      THe FMS is easy to use and observes the Airbus philosophy - somewhat different from Boeing but perfectly logical when you get the hang of it. Speed limitations, SIDs, STARs are all functional and the navigation data can be updated from Navigraph (oddly - you must select the 'native' PSS data set from the Navigraph FMS list.

      I'm looking forward to the final version of this magnificent simulation but in the meantime I'd like some more liveries, please, especially I'd like Air Macau (they fly A319/320/321 if anyone is reading this!).
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by 2010 View Post
      I can't help but feel that due to your lack of knowledge this aircraft did not get a fair review.

      The A/T switches on automatically when you enter CLB/MCLB/FLX or TOGA modes. It does not just randomly turn on as you stated.

      You can indeed make manual adjustments to the throttle. Did you calibrate your throttle with the FMGS before flying?

      I don't get how floats result in off centre landing. Would you care to explain please?

      I can assure you the BBS A330 is the most well simulated hight quality A330 currently available. I think it would be advisable to read the manual and to properly understand the Airbus logic. Also, please do not compare it to the CLS A330/340, they are 7yrs old FS 9 models. It is like comparing apples to oranges.

      There is no more of the package to be released. All the models are their unless you were implying that the regularly updates they provide to increase already very accurate and detailed systems and flight dynamics.

      What flaps setting did you use for landing? I assume flaps 4, hence the floating. Normally flaps 3 is used in my real world experience. The A330 is a very aerodynamic aircraft and it does tend to float somewhat.

      I am going to be frank - none of your recent reviews have inspired confidence in me. They lack substance and would be more suitably for a 'quick look' rather than a full review. Sorry for perhaps coming across rude but it has really been beginning to twitch me.

      I hope you can take my feedback on board and provide more accurate in-depth reviews in the future.
      I will take your feedback seriously, and I'll go and learnup on my Airbus knowledge. At the very least, thanks for your feedback!
    1. voyager747ft's Avatar
      voyager747ft -
      Hi all,

      Let me just say that $59 for a beta version is a little over the top. And to add that Airbus aircrafts have not been simulated for the FS world. So I see a huge market to be explored. CLS has the A330 as well, but maybe not to the level of PMDG or Level D. I am very curious to see how the final product will turn out. Until then I will keep an eye out for updates from BBS.
    1. Okphillip's Avatar
      Okphillip -
      Buyer beware...totally not worth the money. This is a 1/2 done product that I paid $36.00 for and flew once. Check back on this in 18 mos. and see where they are. Not being mean-spirited here , just trying to save someone from spending their hard-earned money on this.
    1. tajuddin's Avatar
      tajuddin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Okphillip View Post
      Buyer beware...totally not worth the money. This is a 1/2 done product that I paid $36.00 for and flew once. Check back on this in 18 mos. and see where they are. Not being mean-spirited here , just trying to save someone from spending their hard-earned money on this.
      I do agree with you. I did bought this add on since its first released (ver. 0.60). It is not properly functional. No further updates since 18 months. The developer does not even announce any progress.

      NOT WORTH THE MONEY for an un-complete add on.
    1. turnerc346's Avatar
      turnerc346 -
      I go along with the general consensus of this review and state that it is by the most superior A330 on the market. And the A320 family is a dream to fly by BBS

      Quote Originally Posted by tajuddin View Post
      I do agree with you. I did bought this add on since its first released (ver. 0.60). It is not properly functional. No further updates since 18 months. The developer does not even announce any progress.

      NOT WORTH THE MONEY for an un-complete add on.
      I read alot into this aircraft before purchasing it and i knew exactly what i was signing up for and spending money on as people put it ''An uncompleted add on''. If you do some research on a well know social media site BBS have a ''page'' which is frequently updated, and all questions are answered extremely fast, However the most common phrase they use when some one says ''this is half finished'' is ''This is not an Alpha or Beta it is... a prologue''

      Anyway rant over! This A330 IS well worth the money, and with free updates for life and usually a few sneaky treats i'm a happy bus simmer!
    1. wiebe's Avatar
      wiebe -
      I do have a throttle problem when switching off the AT. When I turn the throttle to idle n1 stays at 41% until 50 ft above the runway. I switchend back to 0.60. The reason I switchend off the at is because it would not properly maintain the selected approach speed.
    1. scjb's Avatar
      scjb -
      Definitely not worth the money - over 12 months after this review customers are still waiting for the promised update. Avoid like the plague.
    1. Orez's Avatar
      Orez -
      First of all, I'd like to say that this is a great aircraft and I love to fly it. However, I too have had problems with the BB A330-200 not working properly when auto landing. On flare, instead of settling on the runway, the BB A330/200 does indeed FLOAT along the runway with the auto throttle seemingly active again. My ground spoilers are armed but do not appear to have any useful effect in spoiling lift. I have configured my manual joystick throttle but bringing this to idle does not seem to help either, instead, the speed comes back up to 130 kts or so and the aircraft begins to rise from 20ft onwards. The only solution it seems is to activate the reverse thrust. This can result in a rather bumpy landing This is so very inconvenient when you have made a long haul trip with your V/A and you end up being disqualified.

      Please guys, don't shrug this off. Please look at the problem and fix it for us or tell us what we are supposed to do in order to settle the aircraft down smoothly on the rwy. And if there is a specific reference to fixing this in the manual, can you be so kind as to tell us what page it is on please.

      Thanx
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