Commercial X-Plane Review
Aerosoft Airport Keflavik
|Publisher:||Aerosoft Airport Keflavik|
|Description:||Real presentation of the airport of Keflavik|
|Software Source/Size:||167Mb (download 130Mb)|
|Flight Simulator:||X-Plane 10|
|Reviewed by:||Stephen Dutton|
Computer / Software Specifications
|Computer System:||- 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”
- 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3
- ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb
|Software:||- Mac OS Lion 10.7.3
- X-Plane 10 Global
Introduction | The Airport
Keflavik International Airport is Iceland’s premier port and gateway to this highly mountainous and spectacularly visual country. KIA (IATA BEF, ICAO BIKF) is located 1.7 NM (3.1 km; 2.0 mi) west of Keflavík and 50 km (31 mi) south-west of Reykjavik. The airport has two runways 02/20 3,054m and 11/29 3,065m and the airport area is about 25 km2 (9.7 sq mi). Most international journeys to or from Iceland pass through this airport – but all domestic services are flown from Reykjavik Airport.
The airport was originally built by the United States military during World War II and was known as Patterson Field. There is still a large separate military presence on the airfield. The Airport has one terminal named Leifur EirÌksson Air Terminal, named for “Leif Ericson”. It was opened in 1987 and separated the airport’s civil traffic from the military base. It was later extended with the opening of the South Building in 2001. It is the main hub for Icelandair and Iceland Express and most International carriers services are mostly seasonal.
BIKF is also used as a test base by aircraft manufacturers because of the Icelandic extreme cold weather and strong crosswind conditions – Boeing also uses the airport as a refuelling stop for delivery flights going east-west or west-east across the Atlantic Ocean.
Installation and Documentation
The installation file is 167.40Mb in size and comes with installation instructions (drop the file into your custom scenery folder).
Manuals and charts are included and come in English and German.
Visuals | The Actual Airport
On first sight Airport Lugano feels a like a very small airport and is situated low down in a valley on the shore of Lake Lugano – too which of course it is in its role as only a small regional airport. It is also quite empty in its ramp areas and with the limited airport infrastructure as well.
But overwhelmingly is the view that Airport Lugano sits in beautifully within the X-Plane10 default scenery, the definition of good scenery is its definition on the fact that to be excellent is to not stand out, here Lugano fits in perfectly with no dividing textures between the default scenery and Aerosoft’s custom scenery – and in that then creates a wholeness of one landscape.
The airport’s location benefits from an excellent X-Plane10 feature of OSM (OpenStreetMap) roads and rail, The major European route E 35 transverses the airport’s eastern boundary and the feature creates a perfect replication of the thoroughfare that is busy and active and adds greatly to the scene, a railway line also transverses the eastern and northern airport boundary.”
The Airport consists of the main terminal areas which include maintenance hangers, Icelandicair offices and associative buildings. Furthermore, car rental facilities and a cargo hub. Across the perpendicular runways you’ll find the military facilities, including office buildings with a control tower, storage and maintenance hangers, fuel supplies and a large barracks and military Icelandic village.
Spread around the airport property, you’ll find other buildings that relate both to the military and civilian facilities.
Under the actual airport scenery is a photo representation of the airport perimeters – the scenery is a converted version of the MSFS Keflavik X scenery and has been modified and enhanced for the X-Plane 10 platform.
Because both come from the same source material, they will be both very similar sceneries, however there are some differences; X-Plane 10 uses a OSM based system of roads and vehicles that can be integrated into the scenery. Here it has been mildly effective, but not used to its full potential. The same can be said of the underlaying photographic elements, which use a very different process than MSFS.
Both are not a noticeable factor, but not a feature used to its potential. X-Plane 10 also uses a different system to create the default scenery in housing and buildings. And the differences are again striking, this is one of the minus’s of porting MSFS scenery to X-Plane, however X-Plane will soon have a “regional areas component” that will allow for local architecture. And with more designers creating products for this platform, the scenery can then be adjusted into the default items and with this these two differences should merge.
The biggest feature is “HDR” which is a lighting system that is built into the simulator. It not only throws light but also reflects on objects and in the right conditions like in this scenery, it can create a very different feeling and quality from the same product for MSFS. Ground textures are excellent with a gravel base and sharp perfect runway and taxiway linage, Grass and weeds are very prominent as well and are used to a great effect.
All buildings are created to a very detailed degree. For example, the Terminal is especially well-designed and constructed out of steel, glass and brick – and excellent detail like the Saga lounge entrance shows the quality of the design work.
Airport and ramp equipment are all provided and all the gates are created to the same high standard – The ramps are very empty and static, but can be filled by using a few A.I. aircraft for movement – All ramp linage is excellent.
Night lighting is of course excellent. Your choice is HDR ON or OFF, with in OFF, you don’t lose the effect too much and mostly it looks the same and gives you a far better frame-rate. With HDR switched ON, its effect is more subtle but the reflections on the aircraft and buildings gives it a better depth and dimension.
Arriving at night at BIKF is great experience with two distitict areas of lighting. From a distance the HDR effect is as good as much as sitting at a gate – clear and precise. All runway and taxiway lighting is superb.
Keflavik International Airport is the first product created for the X-Plane 10 platform, It is a converted product of Keflavik-X and in some areas its heritage is noticeable, however as scenery it is an excellent product. Add that with the X-Plane 10 features, it becomes far more and above average in the simulator. It is also of a higher quality than most products now created for the platform; Excellent frame-rates! Even with HDR ON, it was a positive factor, and of ocurse with HDR OFF, I was seeing frame-rates in their 50’s which is awesome.
The overriding feeling is that it is a very useable product and that is significant, fly in during the day or night and the effect is the same of a great experience. You can be a regular airline service or a cargo operator and even a military logistic supplier and the airport will fulfil all the separate roles with ease – above all, it is of a high quality and priced to match!
Then it’s time to have a look at the dedicated Aerosoft Keflavik X-Plane eShop web page.
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.