Fenix A320 – Dev Update 27AUG21

Hello everyone!

I’m really glad that last week’s video format feature review was received well! We’ll be doing some more of those now, I think. For today, however, a quick and simple dev update will have to suffice!

To start with, we’ve completed most of the work we’d like to do for our CPDLC integration – and the system is now working quite nicely at a fairly advanced level. The MCDU and DCDU are now linked to one another, allowing us to handle complex requests, automatic responses, and monitoring – features that aren’t often used (or in some cases, even certified yet) on the real aircraft, but we hope some of you on VATSIM or IVAO will have a little fun with these.

Seen here, the MCDU helping “answer” the question of when the aircraft can accept a specific flight level by computing aircraft performance.
And here, seen automatically filling in a position report by pulling this data from the MCDU and automatically composing a reply with it.

The Fenix A320 can provide automatic answer population by pulling information from the MCDU for the following questions:

REPORT SPEED
CONFIRM SPEED
REPORT PRESENT LEVEL
REPORT HEADING
REPORT DISTANCE (TO|FROM) [waypoint]
CONFIRM NEXT WAYPOINT
CONFIRM NEXT WAYPOINT ETA
REPORT POSITION
WHEN CAN YOU ACCEPT [altitude]

The aircraft also now has a MONITORING function, and keeps an eye on your flight so it can prompt and remind you to respond (upon meeting the right conditions dictated by the incoming instruction) to specific instructions issued by air traffic control via CPDLC. So far, support has been added for the following message types:

REPORT REACHING [alt]
REPORT REACHING BLOCK [alt] TO [alt]
REPORT LEAVING [alt]
REPORT PASSING [waypoint]

Seen here, the MONITORING function analyses the content of an incoming CPDLC message from ATC and concludes that it will send you an aural and visual warning upon reaching FL100. When meeting this condition, it also automatically generates a response message to ATC, confirming the crew has complied with the instruction. All you have to do manually is click send.

Incoming message from ATC, with “FL100” highlighted in magenta by the monitoring function. “MONITORING” showing in the middle lower section of the DCDU indicating the system will remind you upon reaching FL100. Error noted in the top right of the DCDU, syntax should be “WILCO”, not “ROGER”, this has already been fixed 🙂

And upon reaching FL100 –

Upon the aircraft reaching FL100, the DCDU generates an aural and visual reminder, and generates a response for the pilot to immediately send.

Definitely a pretty nifty system, and a nice way to round out our DCDU and CPDLC integrations.

The aircraft itself is slowly being prepared for some wider Alpha testing to ensure it behaves well across a larger variety of hardware and system configurations – and we’re currently hard at work with our awesome tech Alpha team refining autoflight and fly by wire dynamics in preparation for moving the aircraft forward through the testing process.

If the glass looks a little dark, that’ll be because this shot is from just after SU5, when we still had our “limo-tints” applied courtesy of the update!

Things like our DRM process are currently in their infancy and have, over the last week or two, commenced. While we won’t speak about this at length for obvious reasons, we’re taking every effort to ensure the user experience is not left behind on the list of priorities here.

Finally, I’ve seen some discussion about the fonts and display graphics – I’d like to confirm that this has not been touched on yet, but we will be coming around to these in due course. For the moment, if anyone reading has experience working with fonts and display graphics, please feel free to reach out to me on Discord!

I, of course, appreciate that this update is rather light on details (especially after last week’s video!) – but the whole team is currently head down and fully focused on bringing this incredible airplane closer to beta, step by step. I have always appreciated a consistent communication schedule from developers, letting you all know that they’re still here and they’re still pushing on – so here we are! As usual, we’re reachable via Discord if you have any questions – and I look forward to chatting again next week with something a little more substantial on the content side!

Note the Arabic text on the door is aligned to the right, per Kuwait’s actual decals.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!
Aamir

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