Completing the major three alliances and VAS ACARS NXT Published on 1 Jan 2020 by Koen Vlaswinkel
First of all, happy new year! We will be kicking this year off with some major announcements.
After having launched both SkyTeam Virtual and Star Alliance Virtual, only one major airline alliance was still missing: oneworld. Today we are completing the major three alliances by launching oneworld virtual, available now at oneworldvirtual.org.
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 we will not transfer hours 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.
To register for oneworld virtual, visit its website at oneworldvirtual.org.
VAS ACARS NXT
After a few months of behind the scenes work, we now have an early alpha version of a new version of VAS ACARS, 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/EAKR7Qe. 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.
We now also have a better detection algorithm for the pushback phase: we are now able to detect whether you have done a pushback and will dynamically add or remove the pushback phase from your flight analysis based on whether you have done a pushback. If you don't have a pushback phase, the lights that would normally be checked during the pushback are now checked during the taxi-out phase. Moreover, when you do have a pushback it now includes an item that checks whether your engines were shut off at the start of the pushback. That also means that we now detect a pushback even if your engines were already started, which was the most likely cause of your missed pushback before. Now you will instead get a point reduction for starting your engines prior to pushback.
The Complete Guide To Flight Scoring will be updated in the coming weeks to also document this behaviour. Since our last update in August, this guide has also been updated with a section on short flights which is also a new feature of the flight processor. When your flight is very short, you usually do not reach the threshold of 11,000 ft AGL to enter the cruise phase. Therefore, short flights use a different method of determing your cruise phase and skip some phases such that you will still get full score.