January 2021 News Post
First of all happy new year and we wish you all the best in 2021!
This year will prove to be a new chapter for most of the aviation industry, and we will be following these developments as they happen. Primarily this will be the moving of Air Europa to Oneworld virtual as a result of IAG's take-over, and LATAM moving to SkyTeam as the joint venture and takeover by Delta Airlines takes effect. This change will most likely happen in the first half of 2021 as IAG's takeover is finalized.
All Freighter aircraft have received unique identifier and have been split up on the fleet and routes pages, to improve scheduling clarity and better represent the unique uses of these aircraft.
A number of tours have been updated and more are scheduled as always we are happy to hear from you what tours you would like to see.
This year we also hope to make various improvements within the VA's including route suggestions and searchable return flights. Once these features have been released we will let you know via a news post.
Best Wishes and Safe Flights!
VAS ACARS NXT and Microsoft Flight Simulator
Tomorrow (or today depending on your timezone), Microsoft Flight Simulator will release. VAS ACARS NXT is compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator immediately, in combination with the FSUIPC7 beta.
To get started, follow the following steps:
Follow the instructions to download and install FSUIPC7:
Start your Microsoft Flight Simulator
Start VAS ACARS NXT
You can now start recording your flight as usual
Unfortunately, due to some lacking functionality in MSFS2020, you will need to start FSUIPC7 manually before starting your recording. We hope to release VAS ACARS NXT with native SimConnect support in the future, which would work directly without starting FSUIPC7.
Please report any issues you find to us by creating a support ticket.
Migrating to VAS ACARS NXT [Action Required]
At the start of this year, we announced a new version of VAS ACARS, VAS ACARS NXT. After thorough testing, we are retiring VAS ACARS version 1 and are moving all pilots to VAS ACARS NXT. As of now, we recommend recording your flights using VAS ACARS NXT and uninstalling the legacy version. Detailed instructions can be found below.
VAS ACARS NXT is a complete rework of our recording system and is also more stable than legacy VAS ACARS, and as such, we will be shutting down the legacy VAS ACARS v1 on September 1st, 2020. All of your flights can be done using VAS ACARS v1 until September 1st, 2020, but after that date it will not be possible to record any flights using VAS ACARS.
While we announced that VAS ACARS NXT would have chat functionality in our January post, we have decided to instead only use Discord and not integrate chat functionality in VAS ACARS NXT. VAS ACARS NXT will contain the link to the Discord server prominently, and we will make sure there are enough channels available in Discord for all kinds of matters.
Migrating to VAS ACARS NXT
Migrating to VAS ACARS NXT is an easy process:
- Check that all of your flights flown using VAS ACARS have been uploaded in full, as uninstalling VAS ACARS will remove all of your old flight data from your computer (although they will of course still be available on our website if you have submitted your report)
- Uninstall VAS ACARS using the Windows "Add or remove programs" feature.
- Download VAS ACARS NXT and install it.
- You can now open VAS ACARS NXT and start recording your flight.
If you have any problems with VAS ACARS NXT, please do not hesitate to create a support ticket.
A more detailed shutdown schedule of legacy services may be found below the image.
Shut down schedule
We will be gradually shutting down more services of VAS ACARS v1 and increasing our communication of the shut down, according to the schedule below:
|July 25th, 2020||VAS ACARS NXT 3.0.0 is released|
|July 26th, 2020||VAS ACARS v1.5.0 is released, adding a message about upgrade to VAS ACARS NXT|
|August 2nd, 2020||Chat will be shut down|
|September 1st, 2020||VAS ACARS v1 services will be shut down|
As you may know, a lot of airlines have scaled back operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, we will still be keeping our current route network, and we do not intend to change this. Removing all of the routes which have been (temporarily) suspended would be a significant effort and would significantly reduce your possibilities to fly certain routes, tours and airlines. Therefore, we have decided to not remove any of these routes, to keep the fun in simulation and allow you to still all routes that were available before.
Airline fleets will continue to be updated. Aircraft types which have been temporarily grounded will remain bookable. Aircraft types which are scheduled to be phased out completely will be removed and replaced by their successor types. Should airlines permanently suspend their operations, they will remain in the VA for approximately 30 days after the suspending of the operations. This is to allow you to complete tours or routes that will no longer be available.
The news changes rapidly and should we deviate from what is stated here we will update you in a follow up news post. If you have any questions regarding this, please post your questions here and we will do our best to answer them.
oneworld virtual takes off
As of today the trio of major alliances is complete. oneworld virtual aims to simulate the daily operations of the airline alliance oneworld. Over 30 full-member and partner airlines and partners span a network of more than 35,000 routes across the globe.
oneworld virtual is the third in a line of three alliance VAs by VASystem: SkyTeam Virtual, Star Alliance Virtual and now oneworld virtual. All three VAs are part of VASystem and use our in-house developed system. The pilot handbook and rules for all three VAs are the same. However, all three are still completely separate VAs with no integration: profiles are not shared. You will need to register separately on oneworld virtual and hours are not transferable between the VAs to keep the workload managable for the staff members of all three VAs. It is possible to login to all three VAs using a single login, which is described at our support site.
VAS ACARS NXT
With the launch of this VA, we now also have an early alpha version of a new version of VAS ACARS, our flight tracking software, which we will refer to as VAS ACARS NXT. This version is a complete rewrite and uses completely different technology than the current version of VAS ACARS. We hope that this version will resolve issues some pilots experience during flights, or when uploading.
However, as this is still an early alpha, there are of some limitations and things you need to be aware of. One major feature that is still missing is the chat, we hope to be adding it at a later date. Instead, we recommend to join our Discord and ask your questions or chat with your fellow pilots in the appropriate channels. If you have not yet joined our Discord, visit discord.gg/PU5gMJ7. Moreover, as this is a completely new version of VAS ACARS still in the alpha stage, there may be new issues which we might not yet be aware of. Therefore, there will be a separate forum category in which you will be able to discuss VAS ACARS NXT with staff members and of course fellow pilots. You can find this forum category here. We will also be posting updates on the status of VAS ACARS NXT there.
If you have read all these limitations and would still like to try this new version of VAS ACARS, you can download VAS ACARS NXT from here. It can be installed alongside the current version of VAS ACARS will continue being supported whilst more features make their way into VAS ACARS NXT in the future. Note this is a completely seperate version which is installed next to your existing version, the new version can be identified by the new logo present on the created shortcuts.
If you have any questions or suggestions do not hesitate to reach out on the forum, via support ticket or via the Discord server linked below.
We also have a Discord server available. To join it, use discord.gg/PU5gMJ7.