Hi, FBW dev here.
One thing a lot of people seem to forget is that if there is any opportunity for someone to do an A380, it’s now, not in 5 years, or 10 years. Older aircraft, especially ones with low delivery numbers, are already hard to find / reference. It is already hard enough to get details anywhere near the scale of accuracy we have for the A320 (for which the data we rely on is technically deep sometimes beyond comprehension - due to the A320 being popular, and lots of data being out there for it), now imagine in 15 years.
It is very fortunate that most of the A350 FMS was developed on the basis of the new A380 FMS software, and that the guidance and path computation algorithms were mostly backported to other aicraft, specifically, the A320, for which we have references. But nothing beats IRL access/references, without which we’d be in a pretty tough position to model the aircraft accurately to sometimes millimeter precision depending on the area.
If the A380 isn’t your type of aircraft, other developers are hard at work making other planes. FBW is part of a network of freeware developers that help each other out, and we are making our very best effort to provide everyone working on OSS Airbus aircraft with our software components such as the FMS, display fonts, EIS code, etc., as it is all open-source. We work with devs such as Synaptic Simulations, NLS and more to develop shared components that improve the experience for everyone and help other open-source devs get their projects going. You will get an A220, A340, A350 and more that meet your standards, so you can look forward to that.
But if you do look forward to the A380, you don’t have to fly it on 15 hour long routes. You can very well do a domestic flight with it for all I care… we don’t police how you use it! Does it really matter if an aircraft is popular IRL ? We respect those who stick to realistic operations, but don’t forget that this is, at the end of the day, for entertainment.
Yes, the original project for this aircraft (project gamma) was an A330+A340. Yes, we ended up doing away with it because it was too similar in systems/avionics to the A320 and no one really had motivation to slightly tweak some systems (cause that is the level we were at at the time now, we’d require a higher level of changes from ourselves). But there are other devs in which we are fully confident working on those, and you can expect us to assist them in bringing the level of precision we ask of ourselves.
I’ve never flown on the A380 and I’ve been in love with that plane since I learned about it as a child, right around when it was being delivered to airlines. There’s luckily going to be just enough airlines using it left that I can probably make it on one during the next decade, but many won’t have that chance if they are not fortunate enough. And while this aircraft came too late and was never a success commercially, it is an amazing piece of engineering and I won’t let the A380 flight sim curse strike once again.