It is a long time since I written one of my Friday evening chats where I try to explain what is happening with our projects while drinking a glass of wine. Well, it is Wednesday but after 1700 so I got my glass, the new album of Joe Jackson (yes I am that old) on the stereo and some information to share. Basically, it was very hard to keep you fully in the loop because there were a lot of things I could not speak about, and there are still a few I can't, but today we had a big meeting to align all eyes and it's time to explain some things.
First of all, we do not have new images of the A330 because modeler Stefan is working on another project. That's one of the things I am not at liberty to speak about. It might come to your sims, but it just as well might not, time will tell. In the timing, it all does not matter a lot as I will explain. The 'not to be named project' is a big deal for us, both in growth for Aerosoft in new ways and also financially.
The developers Baylan, Frank and Robert were still basically working on the A320 platform. Now, this is a fuzzy statement because 95% of the code they are doing for the A320 series is part of the A330. But apart from some issues, I will discuss later, the issues they were working on were getting smaller and smaller. Bugs with the chrono starting at every startup tweaks to the many printouts we now have etc. All stuff we like to close but not things that spoil the flights. So today we decided to switch the focus fully on the A330. When Frank installs the chrono in the A330 he will solve the open issue. So all these smaller issues will all be picked up and solved in the ongoing process. We have a solid bug tracker that has over 500 issues we like to look at.
When these fixes are done they are automatically exported to our A320 series. Almost all of our code is built so it works for A318 all the way to A330 exactly the same and uses config files to set different parameters (just as Airbus Industries does it). When they are more than just a tweak we'll send them to you. For example, the moment the PFD we want to rewrite for many reasons is done you'll get it. This means the idea of a fixed SP1 is gone. I much rather send out what we have and not keep it on our systems until it is all done. For example, Connected Flight Deck, one of our core developments, has started performance testing today ( we need to know how many servers we need worldwide), the moment PMDG open up their server for Global Flight Operations we will have the client and share it, etc. You will hear a lot about Connected Flight Deck btw, not just from us.
So what does this mean for 'the schedule'? Well in my calendar it means we are fully on track but my calendar is rather fluid, it has to be. What it means for you, customers is that you will see a rather steady flow of new features added to the busses, slowly a lot of smallish issues solved and hopefully some large issues solved soon. Because for some issues we have not changed focus. We are slowly getting a better idea on the causes of the big issues that happen to some people and we are hard at work trying to think up ways to solve them. These are mainly related to the vertical path following at this moment. We now can recreate most of these issues so we finally can get serious about them. These issues are not moved to the A330 development path, they are on the front burners now.
In my experience, a post like this will make almost nobody happy. I don't give a date for the A330 and the bug you find almost impossible to live with seems to be shifted forwards. We know that if you take off from a high alt airport, at high temps at the southern hemisphere things are not as they should be. But if there is one thing we learned in this looong development it is that a real Airbus is not the near perfect machine many simmers seem to think it is. You know what pilots do when the aircraft does not slow down as it should at a waypoint (could be a database error or a logic error)? They switch off the AP and AT and fly the aircraft. Show me any Airbus pilot who thinks the computers can fly better then he/she can and I show you a pilot who needs more experience. We have hundreds of photographs of ECAM pages that are just whacky or ND displays that show a path not even an F35 would be able to fly.
Now please, do not ask for a release date of the A330 because I have no idea. Honestly, no idea. We release when I feel comfortable and when my CEO does not kill me and my devs do not tell me I am out of my freaking mind. At least you now know as much as I am able to share.
If you have questions you think I can answer, please ask! My answers will be as open and honest as possible. Just not about a date, week, month, quarter, year, decade ok?