Commercial FSX/FS9 Airport Scenery Review

Mega Airport Athens X

 

Publisher: Aerosoft
Description: Highly detailed and realistic Athens Eleftherios Venizelos FSX/FS9 Airport Scenery
Software Source/Size: 296Mb (FSX) / 166Mb (FS9)
Flight Simulator: FSX / FS9
Reviewed by: Kaspars Fogels
Published: May 6th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Computer / Software Specifications

Computer System: - 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 Time: - Ground Testing 10 hours
- Flight Testing 17 hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

On the coast of the Mediterranean lies the beautiful city of Athens, and nearby, there is the airport of Eleftherios Venizelos. The beautiful approaches, the exeptional design of the terminals, all of that is brought to you by FlyTampa’s new scenery for FSX and FS9.

Athens International Airport known as “Elefthérios Venizélos”, (IATA: ATH, ICAO : LGAV), began operation on March 29, 2001 and is the primary civilian airport that serves the city of Athens and the region of Attica. It was necessary to replace the existing 11 million passenger a year facility at Hellenikon to the south of Athens, which was no longer capable of coping with increasing air traffic.

The Athens International airport serves more than 14 million travellers annually and it’s name honours the Greek satesman Eleftherios Venizelos. The airport has become increasingly popular as a gateway to Asia and the Middle East.
 

Installation

The installation is very simple and takes a few moments. You can download which version you need for your simulator. After that you simply enter the e-mail address and the serial number you were given, and you’re set. All this is wrapped in the Aerosoft installer.
 

Documentation

After you have installed the scenery, you’ll find all the needed documentation to get started.
The 28 page manual consists of all the needed information from the installation and adjusting the proper settings as well as removing the scenery if that’s needed and all that in English and German.

You also receive a set of charts. It’s nice to see that they haven’t forgotten to add those.
 

Buildings

All the buildings that you can see in the real airport, and even beyond the terminals and cargo centers are modeled to the finest detail that should suit your taste very well. All of the terminal buildings have been done to the highest standard.

After spending a few minutes, you’ll understand the huge amount of work put into this scenery and the seriousness these guys take to make this scenery.

Every inch of these buildings is designed with carefulness and precision, to make it the right color, shape and look. Although the coverage area is huge, all of the buildings you are going to see will have the same kind of attention. Close up or far away, they will look simply stunning.

The coverage area extends pretty far from the main terminal and apron areas. This mostly is caused by the construction of the airport. On the long taxi trips you’ll see the petrol filling stations and IKEA furniture shops.

No matter where you are, it’s going to look good. One of the things that caught my eye is the multistory architecture. There are numerous levels of buildings, starting from the bottom of the train station, all the way up to the main departure lounge and even higher.

There is also a very careful detail to the second hand buildings and the smaller ones, like the security checkpoints and the cargo centers, scattered around the airport. Although they don’t bring any added bonuses to your flight, they are all a great addition to the scenery and makes you feel like you’re taxiing there for real.

What’s even better is that all of those structures have the same attention given to them comparable to the rest of the scenery. So if you go closer, nothing changes. It looks crisp and sharp, and I think it’s one of the things which make this scenery great.
 

Objects

There are thousands of objects. Moving, static, exciting, normal and abnormal, around this scenery. There are a few car parks with static 3D cars in them around the airport. From the terminal area, to the hangars where the workers park their cars.

There are road signs that are crisp and very readable inside the dense area. Outside, stretching to meet you on the approach, there are ring roads which are an architectural miracle for an airport, that look marvelous and which also go further than any of those buildings, so that you see them while on approach. Maybe, it will take your eyes away.

There are also a few static aircraft scattered around the apron. I don’t like that the jetways are static, although AES is available. Some screenshots from the previous paragraph, can be found below.

As for the more exciting stuff, there are hundreds of moving objects. There are cars that drive around the terminal area outside the apron which always makes me feel happy, because I know that it’s supposed to happen like that in the real world and they have brought that in to my virtual world.

As for more, those vehicles extend even further than the buildings and together with those ring roads and those road signs, they make the perfect traffic while you are in approach or you’ve just taken off. The thing that I mostly enjoy, while preparing for my flight is the apron traffic. There is so much of it, but not enough to make you feel like it’s a highway.

It’s the perfect amount of traffic. Now and then, a few tug’s pass by, then a van and so on. It’s a while before the same vehicles appear again which gives you the variety and the feel of realism, because while sitting in the terminal or the cockpit, you don’t see 10 tug’s, then 10 follow me cars and then in a loop again. Just the thing you need.

For the more unusual objects, there are a lot of them. The train is modeled coming in and out of the train station and those details are things I like in a scenery. It helps makes the world come alive. It just feels good to fly there, and the train moves quite often so I had no worries that I’m not going to see it.

For VFR and general notice, even the windsock is moving, which at first I thought was the consequence of the long flying hours, but as I found out later, it is an active animated windsock. For FSX users there are some things that are exclusive to you, and which are really things that you would expect from a scenery with the finest touch.

There is volumetric grass. A really great addition to have, but it’s FPS reducing so you have to have a good machine to use this option.

The second thing that I found out were the birds. Not a thing you want to see near the airport or your aircraft, but they are in this scenery, and both the birds and the volumetric grass unfortunately eat frames, so I left them out of my daily use.
 

Ground Textures

Ground textures are one the essentials of a good scenery, you have to provide a simmer with a good look on the ground. They definitely have accomplished that here. The ground textures look very crisp and sharp. I found that the ground textures are very well done, although in few places bit too light.

The best part of the textures are on the apron and the runways. All the tire dirtiness and the scratches in the tarmac are things that I like to see while taxiing around. They also seem to have the right contrast in color. But the fun doesn’t stop there.

When you go outside the apron, all of the streets in the site have a very nice looking ground texture. And they are not driving on that default textures, since the cars are lined up nicely also.

 

 

Night

There is something about night that makes me fly more and this airport is no exception. The light work in the airport site is done with a superb quality and the things all around the airport seem to have the same look and the feel as in the real world.

The lights have been given special care and even taxi signs illuminate the grass while you taxi by.

This scenery is one of few that provides the real deal feel in night, from tiny light poles to taxi-way signs and car lights. Also, the most important thing for the pilot, the landing lights, PAPI lights, and essential lighting systems were done to a high standard and met my expectations.

 

 

Performance

The performance of this scenery on my system was outstanding. It dropped only about 2 FPS while on the approach, and 2 while looking around in the distance and the whole airport in short view. It’s one of the things that I like about every scenery that delivers this kind of performance rating.
 

The Challenge

Although this airport is surrounded by mountains, the airport has a very simple approach, VFR or IFR. You can lay back and enjoy the view around beautiful Greece, but keep your eyes open, because a mountain can find its way towards you quickly.
 

Summary

After testing this scenery for around 27 hours, I can say that I did truly enjoy it. I liked the simple installation and that they provided a detailed manual and some very useful charts. I liked the quality of the buildings and objects. Night flying was great. I didn’t like that the jetways were static.

For more information about Aerosoft’s AthensX, visit Aerosoft’s dedicated Athens X eShop web page.
With Greetings,
Kaspars Fogels

 

 

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.