Sidesticks and Euros…

Yes, we know that the XP Jets camp has been a little quiet lately. Our [not so] little hard drive glitch did throw a massive wrench into the works (luckily, we didn’t lose anything terribly important and will be reopening the 757 and 777 projects soon).

In the meanwhile, however, we’ve been hard at work. When we first vacated our positions at the X-Plane Freeware Project, many users felt that our actions were meant to incite some sort of competition. Well, quite frankly, we’ve tried to do our best to be civil about it, and today we hope to finally squelch the warmongering. For the past couple of months, we’ve been hard at work in cooperation with our colleagues at XPFW to bring you one of the most successful narrowbody jets in service today.

So, without further ado, It brings us great pleasure to introduce our latest project: the XP Jets and XPFW Airbus A320 series for X-Plane 9.

The A320 is one of the greatest success stories of modern airliner development. In the 1980s, Airbus began developing a new model aimed at replacing the world’s most popular aircraft at the time, the Boeing 727. The digital technology in the A320 would herald a two-generation technological leap over the all-analog Boeing 727 and be a generation ahead of the Boeing 737-300/-400/-500 series. To that end, Airbus incorporated advanced features including fly-by-wire flight control, composite primary structures, center-of-gravity control using fuel, glass cockpit (EFIS) and a two-person flight deck. First delivered in 1988, the A320 pioneered the use of digital fly-by-wire flight control systems in a commercial aircraft. Powerplants for the A320 family are provided by CFM International (CFM56-5 series) and International Aero Engines (V2500 series).

After entering the market in March 1988 with Air France, Airbus expanded the A320 family rapidly, launching the 185-seat A321 in 1989 (first delivered in 1994), the 124-seat A319 in 1993 (first delivered in 1996), and the 107-seat A318 in 1999 (first delivered in 2003). With more than 3,000 aircraft of the A320 family built, it is the second best-selling jet airliner family of all time after the family’s primary competition, the Boeing 737

Currently, we plan to develop the A320 and A319 series of models, including all derivatives of those two airframes. While we’re currently not ruling out the possibility of future development of either the A318 or A321, they are not on the slate for the time being. For those of you who are curious, here is how we’ve decided to break down our talents on this joint project. We all believe that this combination highlights our specialties as aircraft developers to bring you the best aircraft that we possibly can:

External Model & Master Textures: XPJ
Flight Model: XPJ/XPFW combined
2D Panel: XPJ/XPFW combined
3D Panel/Cockpit: XPFW
Liveries: XPJ/XPFW combined

Although the external model is admittedly quite close to completion, don’t let its current appearance fool you. There is still a mountain of work to do in regards to the panel, flight model, and various other 3D work, so we can’t set any release date or project exactly when it will be ready. We will attempt to provide timely milestone updates as we complete key stages of development (something we were rather horrible at during 777 development!). We will also coordinate with XPFW to cross-post important news on the XPFW forums as development permits.

In the meanwhile, we wish you all blue skies, and enjoy the previews!

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