As we step into the new year, Fenix Simulations has shared an exciting update on the much-anticipated Block 2 update for their Airbus A320 in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Despite a delay of 11 weeks, the development team is now entering the ‘wrapping up’ phase, promising a release measured in weeks, not months.
Accompanying this update are also new preview images that showcase the extensive improvements and new features that are set to bring further enhancements to what is already a fantastic simulation experience in their A320.
Let’s start with the cockpit, which has undergone significant changes. Notable updates include a thinner center window pillar, new side windows, and additional cockpit configuration options. A major technical achievement is the remapping of the entire cockpit to utilize texture memory more efficiently, now using less than half the memory of Block 1.
Stepping outside, the update reveals a new wing, wingtip fence, nose, and landing gear. A highlight is the soft-body physics system for the tires, allowing them to deform under load, including sidewall deformation on the nose wheel during tight turns.
The attention to detail extends to the new IAE engines, with features like panel deformation due to heat cycling and physically accurate, physics-driven weathering. The accumulation and streaking of dirt and oil on the aircraft’s exterior surfaces are also meticulously simulated.
The Fenix A320 is also set to receive important enhancements to the night environment. The Block 2 update will add new shadow-casting lights, a first in MSFS, which will enhance the realism under airport lighting. The cockpit’s night environment will also see an upgrade with a better dome light, new LCD simulation, and improved materials. The integral lighting system has been revamped to reflect and bounce light across various cockpit surfaces, creating a more immersive night flying experience.
This status update from Fenix in early 2024 is mainly based on the visual enhancements of the Block 2 update, but soon, we’ll also get a deep dive into the new systems and simulation aspects. For now, enjoy the fresh preview images, which anticipate another exciting update for fans of the Fenix A320!