FlyByWire continues to implement great new features on its A32NX, the excellent and free simulation of the Airbus A320 for Microsoft Flight Simulator. One of the latest features to be added to the development version of the A32NX is a web interface for the MCDU, which effectively enables pilots to control the device from a browser in a separate window or monitor, or even access it from a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone.
Having the MCDU accessible in this way, particularly in a tablet or second monitor, enables quick and easy access and configuration of this essential device. You can even connect your real printer and get your METAR reports printed on a real sheet of paper. Great!
Installation is easy, and the FlyByWire team has posted a handy guide to get you started. Basically, after updating to the latest version of the development branch, you’ll have a new MCDU SERVER folder in your flybywire-aircraft-a320-neo folder, located in the Community folder. There you’ll find the server app that will run the web interface.
After a couple of steps you’ll have the links to access the MCDU Web Interface from either the same device running MSFS, or from an external device, that needs to be connected to the same network. After this is done, voilà!, enjoy an easy-to use MCDU interface from an iPad or whatever suits your preference.
The MCDU Web Interface can be used with your regular mouse, or by touch in case of a tablet or smartphone. Even the screen is clickable, so you can enter data directly in each line. Communication with the aircraft is immediate, so any changes you make is reflected immediately in the cockpit.
As for the printer, if you chose your local device when first setting up the Server app, then any print you request from the MCDU will actually come out as a sheet of paper from your real printer. If you selected the virtual printer in the A32NX cockpit (a feature introduced some months ago), then the print will be available in the pedestal.
This is another really useful feature of the A32NX, in line with FlyByWire’s promises to continuously develop the aircraft and bring it closer to the real-world counterpart. With all the talent involved in this project, we can’t wait to see what the team will have in store for us once the A380X is finally released!