I’ll apologize upfront for not knowing all of the proper terms for the sim.
The 787 has a really nice landing system that kicks in when the plane hits the DECEL point. The plane automatically steps down the speed setting, which allows the pilot to progressively extend flaps right down to the runway.
My question deals with the experimental version of the FBW A32NX. This plane also appears to have a similar system, but it doesn’t behave the same way. In the flight plan on the FMS is included the DECEL point, followed by Flaps 1, Flaps 2, etc., but in this case the plane does not change the speed setting at all, so I would have to change it manually in order to extend flaps for landing.
Does anyone know if the 787 and A32NX landing systems are intended to be similar? The 787 makes landing so much easier, and I know I’ll be extending flaps when appropriate. I’m hoping the same should be true for the Airbus.
I am not an A320 expert, but as far as I am aware, when auto thrust etc. is configured properly, the A320 should switch to Approach mode at a certain point and behave as you would expect. So this mode should have the same effect as you described above, where the plane would target a speed so that the flaps/slats can incrementally be extended by the pilot.
If this mode for some reason does not trigger automatically you should always be able to trigger it manually via the MCDU performance page.
This was available at one point in time in the development FBW A32nx version and I expect, that it should stiil be working. Don’t know about the experimental version.
The purpose of the #bugs-and-issues categories is to discuss issues that affect the base simulator. Please do not discuss issues with third-party addons or modifications in this category. These should be filed via the developer’s preferred support method.
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Thanks very much for your reply, ITDreamFly. I really enjoy flying the A32NX, and that is definitely a handy landing system.
My mistake in not thinking of the FBW A32NX as a third-party addon. For some reason I still think of it as part of the original base program. I’ll keep this in mind when making future posts. Thanks for pointing it out to me.
Providing that the Airbus has an approach loaded, it will calculate a path to descend to it. It will place a marker where it will automatically activate the approach, although you may activate it earlier.
If you are in Nav (push the heading knob), the Bus will follow the lateral path in the box.
If you are in Managed Descent (push the altitude knob) and have a low enough altitude set in the window, the Bus will descend honoring all altitude constraints.
If you are in Managed Speed (push the speed knob) the Bus will follow the speeds in the box including constraints.
Once you activate the approach (or it activates by passing the activation point), the speed will immediately attempt to slow to green dot (Flaps 0 speed) until you progressively lower flaps.
There’s more to it, but that’s the gist. At some point, you will arm the approach, which will enable the Bus to fly both the lateral and vertical path of the approach loaded in the box.
This part is a little confusing to people since there is an “Approach Phase” of the flight that is activated from the PERF page of the MCDU, an “Approach Mode” activated by the APPR button on the screen, and an “Approach” which is part of a flight plan. All three are very different things.
The condition to automatically activate the approach flight phase also does not work in any case. You need to be in a certain range and flying in NAV, LOC* or LOC for it to work.
It’s the same in the real plane. This might lead to a problem when you fly in selected speed, are on final and you engage managed speed again. Guess what happens? Yes it fires you up to 250 kn and might lead to a Go Around because you don’t get the speed down again in time.
I know at least 2 type rated pilots that told me that they experienced this IRL.
Of course the Bus is capable of flying a correctly programmed approach by itself…mostly.
But in practice, at least in the States, we rarely seem to be allowed to let the FMS do its thing. The box will almost always attempt to slow before ATC would like.
As such, the pilot will often select speed himself [pull the speed knob] at around 10kft, and activate the approach manually via the FMS (pardon my mixed nomenclature, there’s a couple of aircraft rattling around in there).
He will then manually select speed as appropriate until he chooses, or is allowed by ATC, to slow to final approach speed, generally on final. He will then reselect Managed Speed by pushing the Speed knob again.
I’m not certain how it’s commonly used in other places.
So, do I understand that the FMS currently doesn’t auto activate?
Does it at least allow you to activate the approach with the FMS?
If so, then you are actually probably using the system the way it frequently is used…if not the way it was designed.