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The developers at FlyByWire Simulations working on the highly-anticipated A380X showcased their progress on the wing-flex and engine-wobble simulation!
It’s only been a few weeks since the FBW team showcased their wing flex model for the A380X, and they’re already back to show off the progress they’ve made since then. Releasing three videos demonstrating various physics-based animations for the wings, the FBW team has proven once again that they are at the forefront of free community add-on development! Let’s go through each video here.
The first video showcases some bad piloting and stabilizer wing flex and stresses. The FBW team is demonstrating how the stabilizers react to such a heavy bird, especially when piloted incorrectly. For context, the A380 horizontal stabilizers have a wingspan of only 5 meters shorter than the total wingspan of the Boeing 737-800! Essentially, imagine a 737 is strapped to the rear of this airborne building, and you should be able to understand the amount of stress the horizontal stabilizers undergo through routine flight.
Pet peeves aside (being so far off the centerline is driving me nuts), we can actually see a lot more than just stabilizer stress. First, and most obviously, is the extreme wing flex. During a normal takeoff, the A380’s wings will rise by over 4 meters; however, this is clearly not a normal takeoff… the bad piloting here is off the charts. It’s intentional, however, to showcase how the wings and stabilizers are dynamically simulated in real time.
There’s not much else to note here. However, I should say that the landing gear mechanism is looking great, and it captures my attention just like the real one does. Overall, the video does an excellent job of showcasing the features that bring an MSFS add-on to the next level. I have one thing to note if you are from the FBW team and have any input on these videos: please push for higher-quality recordings. I can smell the pixels from here.
This video, released on the same day as the last one, showcases another exciting detail. Starting off, we get an excellent view of those beautiful A380X wings, really accentuating the phenomenal curves. Showing off just how flexible they are, we’re about to get a look at the amazing surface vibration model. I must say that it is truly a sight to behold. The flex to the engine mounts is spectacular and is, as far as I am aware, unique only to this add-on. The engine wobble looks so incredibly realistic this add-on is threatening the realism of the real-world plane. That shouldn’t be possible!
Besides this, we don’t get much else in terms of a feature showcase. We do get some poor piloting; those taxiway excursions cause my aviation engineering brain great pain. Beyond that, I’d say this video does a good job of showcasing my new favorite feature, engine wobble.
The final video, posted a week after the previous ones, brings everything we just discussed together into one single demonstration. Here we find the A380 at a high altitude in what appears to be a violent storm. Lightning flashes in the background as the building-sized aircraft is thrown around like a leaf in the wind. This video does an excellent job of demonstrating the dynamic simulation occurring with the physical model. FBW is proudly showing off with this one, and it’s well deserved. The wing flex, stabilizer stress, and engine wobble look so amazing it’s easy to forget that this is a FREE add-on.
This is a great visualization of how aircraft wings behave like large shock absorbers, rising and falling dynamically with differing air pressure. The turbulence you experience in the cabin of the plane is a fraction of what is happening to the wings. Take a look at the distance covered by the end plate of each wing; that’s nearly 7 meters.
Not only are the wings moving dramatically, the engine wobble is intense, and the stabilizer is working overtime to keep the aircraft straight and level. All of the oscillations passing through the plane are consistent and really make the whole plane feel real. I cannot stress enough the work that the FBW team is doing on this add-on, putting even top-notch paid developers to shame.
That’s all we have for now. We’re keeping an eye out for more information on this exciting project. While the A380X appears to be nearing completion, it’s important to note that projects like these can take a long time, and a release date is probably still a while away. In the meantime, let’s appreciate the heroic effort being put into this product and wait patiently. If you want to stay updated with all news FBW, make sure to join their discord!
Written by: Noah