When the A32NX was pulled from the Marketplace in September, a move that also left Xbox pilots out of the A32NX userbase, FlyByWire said that it was for the best of the overall project, since this enabled resources to focus on the core PC experience and implement new features more easily. The team has continued to bring regular updates to the package, and over the last few days has previewed some of the features that are due for a release very soon, which include realistic nosewheel steering, the addition of ground equipment, and much more accurate LNAV.
Starting with the new ground equipment, FlyByWire previewed how the upcoming addition of cones and wheel chocks will look like when placed in the exterior of the aircraft. It’s a simple visual feature, but it’s unclear whether this will have a practical effect or if it’s just for the looks. For example, it would be great to have the chocks actually hold the aircraft, relieving pressure from the brakes. The team also didn’t reveal how they will be activated, although it’s likely to be a feature implemented in the EFB.
In terms of systems, the A32NX is getting some great new features. FlyByWire is working to bring to the FMS significantly improved path predictions and turns. With this change, LNAV should become more accurate and realistic. In a quick preview, the developers showed a comparison between the current and the upcoming implementation, showing a capture turn into a course-to-fix leg, and an overfly turn direct to a fix.
Another change to be introduced to aircraft behavior is related to the TCAS functionality. Soon the A32NX will have a new FD/AP TCAS guidance mode, also known as Auto TCAS, that will automatically respond to traffic conflicts by doing the necessary changes to avoid an air collision. See below a preview video that shows this behavior in action.
Finally, the A32NX is also getting hydraulic nose wheel steering, despite current MSFS limitations that should have prevented that from being implemented. This didn’t stop the FBW developers from trying, though, so this feature will soon be integrated in the hydraulic system, with realistic tiller handle + rudder steering.
These are just the latest new features of the A32NX, which should be hitting the Experimental branch very soon. As usual, expect some bugs to be present, as these additions are always a work-in-progress and in very active development.