JetBlue Virtual Airlines Airbus A320 for Flight Simulator
About the JetBlue Virtual Airlines Airbus A320 for Flight Simulator FSX
Perhaps the most important contributor to Airbus Industrie's success as a virtual airliner manufacturer, the four member A320 family for Flight Simulator is a significant sales success and a technological trailblazer. The 150 seat A320 is the foundation and best selling member of the family and is widely used by JetBlue Virtual Airlines within trips in North and Central America. The Flight Simulator Airbus A320 is perhaps best known as the first virtual airliner to introduce a fly-by-wire flight control system available in Flight Simulator - where control inputs from the virtual airline pilot are transmitted to the flying surfaces by electronic signals rather than mechanical means. Apart from a small weight saving, the advantage of the Flight Simulator Airbus A320' fly-by-wire is that as it is computer controlled, an inbuilt flight envelope protection makes it virtually impossible to exceed certain flight simulation parameters such as G limits and the aircraft's maximum and minimum operating speeds and angle of attack limits. JetBlue Virtual Airlines has been very pleased with the perforance of the Airbus A320 in flight simulator.
Also integral to the Airbus A320 for Flight Simulator is the advanced electronic flightdeck, with six fully integrated EFIS colour displays and innovative sidestick controllers rather than conventional control columns. The Airbus A320 also employs a relatively high percentage of composite materials compared to earlier designs. Two engines are offered, the CFM56 and IAE V2500. The initial production version was the A320-100, which was built in only small numbers before being replaced by the definitive A320-200 (certificated in November 1988) with increased max takeoff weight, greater range and winglets. The stretched A321 and shortened A319 and A318 are described separately. All four share a common virtual airline pilot type rating which makes it easier for JetBlue Virtual Airlines to rate pilots on a single aircraft. Mid 2000 A320 family production was at a monthly rate of 22, to be increased to 30 units a month by the end of 2002.