Commercial FSX/FS9 Scenery Review
UK2000 London City Xtreme
|Description:||Highly detailed and realistic London City FSX/FS9 Airport Scenery|
|Reviewed by:||Kaspars Fogels|
Computer / Software Specifications
- Toshiba Satellite L500-1UU Notebook
- Intel® Core™ i3-330M
- ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5145 (512MB)
- Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X
|Software:||- Windows 7 x64
- Flight Simulator X SP2
- Flight Simulator 9.1
|Overall test time:||- Ground testing: 11 hours
- Flight testing: 8 hours
London, a city of 5 airports. But this one is special. London City airport is located in the heart of London, trafficking millions of people every year, making a challenge for a pilot every day. Let’s take a look what kind of challenge is brought to us with the new London City Xtreme by UK2000 London City Airport (IATA: LCY, ICAO: EGLC) is a single-runway airport.
It principally serves the financial district of London and is located on a formerDocklands site, 6 NM (11 km/ 6.9 mi) east of the City of London, opposite the London Regatta Centre, in the London Borough of Newham in east London. This airport is mainly for business travelers and due to the high noises it has very strict operating hours. There are several airlines operating from this airport with many different kinds of aircraft.
Although the size of the airport is small, British Airways operates from here to JFK airport in New York with the A318.
The installation process is very simple and takes less then few minutes. You only need to enter the information you made the purchase with and provide the serial number. The installer is great with the fact that the scenery is compatible with numerous other add-ons such as Aerosoft London X or VFR London.
After you’re done with your installation, you are prompted with a configuration tool where you can customize the airport and its surroundings to your liking or the specifications of your computer.
There are numerous high detailed buildings in this scenery. Starting from the highly detailed airport terminal itself to the surrounding bridges, churches, and industrial area buildings. Even the train station taking the passengers to the city is modeled. Most of the buildings are modeled to the highest standard. Every detail is drawn with much attention and care.
As a result, the overall area looks very close to the real deal.
Not only the main buildings have a very high attention but also the buildings that are a bit further from the main center-the apron. This shows the amount of work put into this scenery by reaching high levels of scenery quality.
Wherever you go around the airport you are going to get this level of quality at this not very large airport.
Although there are objects further from the airport, all of them are high quality on both sides of the airport. The hotels and the industrial area all seem to be as good as the mainline buildings.
There are hundreds if not thousands of static and moving objects in the airport and far beyond the limits of the airport. There are many, many 3D objects such as parked cars, light poles, road signs, bridges and many other objects. Although many of the objects are static, a huge amount of them are moving, such as cars that drive around the whole region of the airport inside and outside.
Also the vehicles are of a wide variety, providing a realistic feeling of an airport in a big city.
Even the train station is thoroughly modeled, with moving trains to on sides! There are also 2D images of people throughout the whole scenery, although this is a great addition, they seem to have lack of quality. The people are located in the main areas of the train station and airport employees on the apron itself. There are also numerous static aircraft in the scenery and if you don’t like them, you can choose not to have them, but as they are superb quality I left them in.
The business jets seem realistic, while you taxi past them going or coming from the runway. There are also built in moving objects that arrive at your airplane while you are on the ground. I didn’t find this option very amusing, but it gave the feeling of action happening on the ground. If you need more something realistic like I do, the scenery is compatible with Aerosoft’s AES, and is free of charge (0 credits needed).
Also the lights in this scenery are made so you wouldn’t miss an inch on the approach or while taxing around the airport. All of them are 3D and that makes me feel as I would see them in the real world.
Ground textures in this scenery are simply stunning. Inside the airport you’ll find highly worked textures on the apron, and when you taxi by them, you’ll have the feeling of taxing to the real terminal. The rest of the scenery is covered with high resolution photorealistic textures and these textures provide the feeling of being close to real life. The cracks on the apron seem realistic, and the markings look spot on, so you can follow them easily.
Although the textures are superb, there are few things to take into consideration. The shadows stay in one place because they are photorealistic, but that’s not a big issue. Also there are no real winter textures. I wanted to fight through the clouds and snow, and find myself at an airport full of snow with a winter whiteness, but instead all I got was green grass.
Also there are a few places where the textures aren’t covered with objects, which may bother some at low altitudes, but these are small drawbacks which don’t spoil the overall look of the ground textures.
The scenery is also made to work very nicely with all the components it has. For example, the moving objects are moving on the photo scenery. This makes me feel that this is the real airport… in a simulator.
Although in few places the textures need some objects above those empty spots, in most places they are covered and look great from distance or close up.
For me, flying in the night, is more fun – reduced visibility and so on. At this airport I got the most fun of it. The lights seem to look real, the textures even better and all of the colors seem to blend in the scheme of night. I can certainly say nicely done with the night textures and definitely one of the best out there.
Even the terminal lights up during the night, giving you the feeling of the late night business man in there. It doesn’t matter if it’s taxi lights, landing light’s or PAPI light’s.
All of them deliver the shine of the real ones. But the real advantage comes in when landing. You are clearly able to see every aspect you need to see as a pilot.
Even the streets come alive during the night, which is a huge advantage while you are setting down in the airport.
Obviously with this kind of scenery there comes a performance cost. But how big? It depends on your machine. For me it came down 8 FPS, but I wouldn’t imagine there would be a loss of more than 10 FPS. But as this is a dense area overall I don’t want to put all the blame on the scenery as the autogen is very dense even without it. But UK2000 allows you to increase the performance with the setup tool.
As I said, this airport brings a huge challenge to pilots every day. For me as a virtual pilot it was a test of my pilot skills, and this scenery does make it seem more dangerous, flying through the city, and at night. But I would have liked if they had provided charts, I know there are numerous places to look for them, but for quick reference it would’ve been great. But overall this airport is fun, but dangerous.
You have to able to command every aspect of your airplane and after you’ve managed that, you’ll enjoy the steep approaches, the short runway and the joy being a great pilot.
After testing this scenery for more than 21h, I’d like to say that it’s simply superb.
I like that the buildings are dense and high quality, there are many, many static and moving objects. Night time looks simply superb and fantastic. The ground textures look like the real deal. You can customize the scenery to your liking and computer margins and the scenery is compatible with numerous add-ons, I didn’t like that there were no winter textures for the ground, the services car’s look poor, and there were no charts included.
In the end, the things I didn’t like seem like nothing and the scenery is wonderful.
This review is written for Aerosoft News Service and published via the Aerosoft website.
While the reviewer has complete journalistic freedom, we ask the reader to keep in mind where the review is posted.