Fenix Simulations Publishes Long-Awaited Development Update for MSFS

May 19, 2023

Fenix Simulations has recently published a new development update, celebrating their A320's first year of release and teasing some of what will come on the V2 update: new engine model, new fonts, flight model improvements, and more.

They begin by thanking everyone for the support over the first year and explaining why the aircraft hasn't gotten any updates as of late: a strategic decision to prioritize work on a more substantial update that could address more things at once. "While I understand this may be frustrating in the short term, we are also incredibly happy with the results of this painful process - and truly believe that there was no quicker, or better way of producing these necessary upgrades for you", completed Aamir Thacker, Fenix Sim's CEO.

The long-awaited IAE engines are now in beta, featuring their proprietary external engine model technology, built on thousands of man-hours worth of work. "The degree of accuracy we were aiming for required that we have concrete, real life, data points to build the model around", they said. Fenix has made sure to model every aspect of the engine, ensuring it was as close as possible to the real-life data they have covered. To further expand their IAE engine development, they have teased its accuracy with different startup demonstrations, albeit without sounds yet, as they claim to be still working on that.

The next "victim" of the upcoming update was the fonts, which were entirely reworked and built on hundreds of high-resolution imagery sourced from their network of technicians and pilots. "We are very pleased with the result so far - but work continues on this project, with further nips and tucks required to font thickness and bolding amongst other minor details, along with the full completion of the various other display elements," they said, followed by two images showing the before and after.


IAE Engines

As if the list of improvements couldn't get any bigger, they have been working hard on lowering the VRAM footprint and improving its performance while also explaining why it used to be so demanding beforehand, dating back to a choice they made in 2020 back when the simulator's SDK did not support the sort of advanced display drawing technology they required to achieve what was envisioned. Things have changed since then, and they have addressed it by switching to a new display rendering method. VRAM-wise, they have performed lots of testing to reduce the memory usage without negatively impacting the visuals, reducing the memory usage by 50% inside the cockpit while also gaining a quality boost.

Lighting is another thing that changed for V2, with shadow-casting lights that have zero performance hit compared to standard/default lights, generating results that, according to the developers, are closer to real life.

The flight model was also not left behind, with fixes targeting crosswind takeoffs, crosswind landings, takeoff pitch input for rotation, and landing issues, followed by a collection of demonstrative videos.

The avionics will also be updated, bringing multiple improvements, including mitigating VNAV bugs, wrong DECEL point calculations, general system behavior errors, hydraulic system improvements, issues with auto flight, FMA improvements, crash fixes, and more. They will expand on that later once the update rolls out.

They finish off with an EFB showcase, which has been rewritten, migrating from a pure Javascript and PHP codebase to a more modern Angular front-end application powered by a C# backend, allowing their developers to work seamlessly on an industry-standard codebase, accelerating the development of new features for the EFB with greater flexibility and extensibility. They mention it's much faster to navigate between "apps," allowing them to remove the transition effects between pages and yield an overall smoother experience. The takeoff performance calculation was moved from the server side to the client side, making everything faster and more accurate on the speeds and landing data.

The Fenix A320 is available on the FenixSim Store for roughly $62.22, requiring at least 3.79 GB of free hard disk space to install.

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