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Vidan Design Billund X (EKBI): The FSElite Review

Developer
Vidan Designs
Publisher
Vidan Designs
Price
€18.19
Version
1
Provided by
Vidan Designs
We want to ensure that you make the most informed decision you can. We will always put the Simmer First as per our Community Charter. When reading, please use of Review Guidelines to help you understand how we review products.

Danish airports are some of the most popular in the flight sim community. Thanks to the beautiful terrain, challenging and varied weather as well as a huge variety of routes available. Various developers have created some masterpieces for some of Denmark’s biggest airports, yet some of the more mid-range airports have been left relatively untouched. Billund is one of those airports, and lucky for us, Vidan Designs have stepped up to the plate to create the Lego-founded airport.

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REX Worldwide Airports HD: The FSElite Review

Developer
REX Game Studios
Publisher
REX Game Studios
Price
$29.95
Version
5.1.2016.1212
Provided by
REX Game Studios
We want to ensure that you make the most informed decision you can. We will always put the Simmer First as per our Community Charter. When reading, please use of Review Guidelines to help you understand how we review products.

REX Studios released an interesting product not long ago. Worldwide Airports HD! The goal of this product was to improve the textures of Default Airports. Now they have improved textures of airports before, Mostly in the surface and marking department. This addon however set out to improve the building textures of default airports. To quote their own feature list, “Give all default airports the payware treatment.” A very ambitious project indeed, and a really good idea. Since it was 10 years ago some of you may not remember that moving from FS9 to FSX, airport buildings saw a massive texture upgrade. But now those textures do feel a bit lacking when compared to dedicated scenery addons. So if this addon truly accomplishes what it sets out to do; Then it will surely be a must have addon.
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Airline2Sim PMDG 777 Cadet Program: The FSElite Review

Developer
Airline2Sim
Publisher
Airline2Sim
Price
$39.99
Version
Initial Release
Provided by
Airline2Sim
We want to ensure that you make the most informed decision you can. We will always put the Simmer First as per our Community Charter. When reading, please use of Review Guidelines to help you understand how we review products.

The PMDG 777 is on the best aircraft available for flightsim. Without a doubt, it’s got excellent features, a stellar virtual cockpit and it performs extremely well. One of the best features of it is how easy it is to get to grips with. You can be on the runway one minute and cruising at FL350 before you know it. It’s a great aircraft for those long hauls, and airlines even use them for short hops. Whilst this is great, the depth that PMDG have covered is often overlooked. And it’s not a surprise when the manual is as large as it is (not the introduction manual, the FCOM itself). Quite simply, as a study level sim, this documentation will tell you everything you need to know, however, as everyone learns at different paces in a variety of ways, this is where Airline2Sim steps in. This review will be a little different as instead of reviewing something designed to be used in the sim, this has been designed to used alongside as a tool to not only get to grips with the PMDG 777, but to master it.

Some of you may know Airline2Sim from their brilliant Dash 8 Q400 Package programs. Both of them covered absolutely everything you needed to know about the excellent plane by Majestic. It was delivered in a way unique to the flightsim community and put you in the shoes of a real pilot taking you through various situations to really test your skills. The PMDG 777 Cadet Program is the same. Throughout the 20+ hours of content over 24 videos, you’ll shown challenging approaches, short hops, night flying and even dealing with a rejected take off. Each scenario you’re put in is different, and you’ll exploring the world as you go. This is important as it keeps the content varied and allows simmers from all around the world to have their own territory covered.

Each episode is narrated by Ben. Throughout your journey from cadet to full-fledged pilot, Ben plays the role of you – the simmer. As I watched, I found myself wondering the reason why the plane did something or why that was a specific procedure. The problem of course with pre-recorded video is that you can’t ask those questions. However, it felt like Ben was right there in the room with me as he was asking those questions on my behalf. It sounds odd, but then I realised: this is the point. This is why Ben is there – to be you; the viewer. His inquisitive nature and passion for learning is a perfect fit for this type of production. Instead of a single person talk you through the procedures, Ben is there to put the speed brakes on and ensure that not only you know WHAT is happening, but also asking the questions so you understand WHY it is the way it is. Any trainer will tell you the why is just as important as ‘the what’ for people to fully understand and comprehend what is going on.

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Taxi2Gate Charles de Gaulle: The FSElite Review

Developer
Taxi2Gate
Publisher
Taxi2Gate
Price
EUR26.99 (+VAT)
Version
Initial Release
Provided by
FSElite
We want to ensure that you make the most informed decision you can. We will always put the Simmer First as per our Community Charter. When reading, please use of Review Guidelines to help you understand how we review products.

We are aware there have been some updates to the scenery and are currently testing them.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the largest international airport in France, the worlds eighth-busiest airport handling 65,766,986 passengers in 2015. It is also Europe’s second-busiest airport after London Heathrow in terms of passenger numbers. Charles de Gaulle is located 25 km to the northeast of Paris among several communes. It was named after Charles de Gaulle the leader of the Free French Forces during World War II and serves as the principal hub for Air France as well as a European hub for Delta Air Lines. The airport its self is huge covering 32.38 square kilometres (12.50 sq mi), which includes 6 communities in France. Daily departures and arrivals include France, Sweden, Germany, Asia, Brazil and the US. Charles de Gaulle airport offers four runways from 2,700m to 4,200m to accommodate aircraft ranging from GA to Boeing 777.

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RFSceneryBuilding Turin-Caselle Airport (LIMF): The FSElite Review

Turin Caselle Airport is one of their latest scenery packs to be developed for the Flight Sim community by RFscenerybuilding. The airport is located 16km north-northwest of the city of Turin in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. The airfield opened in 1953 on the site of a WWII air base and has seen many renovations in preparation for several major sporting events which thrust the Turin into the limelight. In both 2007 and 2008 the airport won the ACI Europe Best Airport Awards in the category 1-5 million passengers. The airfield has one runway designated as 18/36 with a total length of 10,827ft. Runway 36 is equipped with Cat III-B ILS to help with those low visibility approaches.

The airport caters for many airlines including cargo operators. To name but a few Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, easyJet, KLM and Lufthansa respectively. You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding a carrier for your simulated flights.

Passenger figures through the past five years have been steadily increasing, in 2015 the airport was visited by 3,666,582 people from all over Europe. All of this ensures that many people will benefit from flying here within the Sim.


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Jetstream Designs Milano Linate: The FSElite Review

Developer
Jetstream Designs
Publisher
Jetstream Designs
Price
€20
Version
1.0.0
Provided by
FSElite
We want to ensure that you make the most informed decision you can. We will always put the Simmer First as per our Community Charter. When reading, please use of Review Guidelines to help you understand how we review products.

On 7 km from the city of Milan lies an airport officially named Airport Enrico Forlanini, more commonly known as Milano Linate (LIML). Developer Jetstream Designs have recently released their rendition of this relatively small airport. So let’s take a look at it with this FSElite review.

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UK2000 Manchester V2: The FSElite Review

Developer
UK2000 Scenery
Publisher
UK2000 Scenery
Price
£16.99
Version
1.0.0
Provided by
UK2000 Scenery
We want to ensure that you make the most informed decision you can. We will always put the Simmer First as per our Community Charter. When reading, please use of Review Guidelines to help you understand how we review products.

It hasn’t been too long ago since UK2000, known for making amazing British scenery packages, released their Manchester addon. This addon is a complete overhaul from the previous version and is thus appropriately named version 2. So was this the overhaul Manchester deserved? And does it stack up to its competitors? Let’s find out!

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FSFX Packages Q400 Immersion: The FSElite Review

Developer
FSFX Packages
Publisher
FSFX Packages
Price
$23
Version
V.001
Provided by
FSElite
We want to ensure that you make the most informed decision you can. We will always put the Simmer First as per our Community Charter. When reading, please use of Review Guidelines to help you understand how we review products.

Majestic’s Dash 8 Q400 is by far my favourite aircraft. It’s sophisticated, very in depth, performs amazing, provides a fun challenge when flying it and it looks really amazing. However, the guys over at FSFX Packages thought these looks could get even better, and decided to upgrade this already amazing plane with one of their famous immersion packages. So is this immersion package an absolute must have for everyone flying around in Majestic’s prop-liner? Let’s find out!

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Aerosoft/GayaSimulation Genoa X : The FSElite Review

DEVELOPERGayaSimulationPRICE€25.78
PUBLISHERAerosoftBUY FROMAerosoft

Genoa is a small city that is situated in North Eastern Italy with a population of just over 500,000 people. The city itself has a large port that is situated directly next to the airport with the airport being placed within the port itself. Genoa airport as it is known to most people also resides with the name of Cristoforo Colombo Airport.  The airport sits upon an artificial peninsula that juts out into the sea. It serves a very important purpose and is the biggest and busiest airport within the Liguria region of Italy handling almost 1.3 million passengers in 2014.  Genoa is used by a variety of airlines coming in from a variety of destinations. To name a few, British Airways from London Gatwick, Air France from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Alitalia from Rome Fiumicino and even airlines such as S7 Airlines that operate from Moscow-Domodedovo.

The scenery is distributed by Aerosoft so it uses one of their very simple installers that involve very little hassle. Once the scenery is installed there is no configuration tool that comes with the airport so you are left with what you have. However this is no bad trait. The scenery is very pleasant on performance and I have seen no issues with with performance having flown into the airport various times now. It always makes a pleasant experience when flying to a scenery as detailed as this with minimal effect on performance.

The airport is located within the port of Genoa and is encapsulated by mountains that rise above the city. This scenery makes for some captivating approaches with some coming in through the mountains and others such as the circling approach for runway 10 swooping round the port and lining up with the runway at the last minute. I would highly recommend the circling approach as it allows you to have a good look at the city as well as experiencing a challenging approach.

It seems to be that GayaSimulation have cut no corners when creating this scenery. All aspects of the scenery are accurately modelled and extremely well textured. Hopefully something that we will be seeing in Brussels which is soon to come from them. They have modelled a large portion of the surrounding area which makes the scenery far more complete with the ports being very well detailed and other buildings being accurately modelled and textured also. However, apart from the autogen that directly surrounds the airport it seems to be that they have used default autogen and hand placed it. None the less this does not impact the feel of the scenery too much and it is still excellent. All buildings that lie directly on the coastline also seem to be custom autogen with marinas and sports facilities being well modelled. Overall the airport and surrounding area have been created in excellent detail and you will be more than impressed when flying into this airport. It is hard to notice that some of the buildings are default as they have been hand placed and not generically placed by P3D/FSX.

The night lighting at the airport like most airports we see nowadays is excellent. Upon my first visit to the airport I was surprised as my night lighting seemed to be quite poor. It was in fact due to the fact that my SODE was not up to date. SODE is required for this scenery to function properly. Without it installed you will notice that the night lighting does not function properly and that you will have no jetways appear. Once it is installed it does massively improve the scenery especially with the implication of SODE jetways. This is a newer replacement to the traditional Ctrl + J or no jetways moving at all. It accurately lines the jetway up with the aircraft and is being seen in more and more sceneries. It is good to see developers taking more advantage of this awesome tool and I look forward to seeing it be implemented in more sceneries to come. The jetways that are used at Genoa airport are ones that only move forwards and backwards. This means that your jetway aligment with the door must be pretty accurate in order for SODE to recognise that your aircraft is there.

The scenery has been very well implemented into the surrounding area if you are using either default or Orbx mesh. It will of course look better if intergrated within Orbx scenery but it will still look perfectly fine with default. In my shots of this airport you should hopefully see this. If you are wondering what Orbx packages I am using then I can tell you that it is Orbx Global Base, FTX Open Land Class Europe and FTX Vector. With these three products installed I get a seemless transition between the airport and it’s surrounding area. I would not be able to tell you how it intergrates with other mesh from different developers but I am sure that it would work well. On top of the mesh and terrain intergrating well, the night lighting also flows seemlessly into the surrounding area. It is great to see developers such as Gaya Simulations putting such a great amount of effort into making their airport look good stand alone and when placed amongst the terrain around it.

TFDi Design 717: The FSElite Review

DEVELOPERTFDi DesignPRICE$59.99 USD
PUBLISHERTFDi DesignBUY FROMTFDi Design Store

Intro

The TFDi Design 717 has been one of the most highly anticipated addons for FSX and P3D for a couple of years now. It has seemed as if there may be a new kid on the block ready to bring us high fidelity aircraft simulations. The TFDi 717 has had its fair amount of hype, and after releasing on December 22 for $59.99 USD, it seemed as if everybody had this addon as quickly as the overloaded servers would allow.

TFDi said earlier in the year that 2016 would be “the year of the 717”. They did what most developers don’t by giving a release date. It seemed as if this added to the excitement of the 717. Developing anything is often a fluid process that can take two steps forward and one step back. As such, developers don’t like giving release dates because it puts them in a situation where they have to either release a product that isn’t finished, or deal with the angry customers. TFDi stayed true to their word by releasing the 717 in 2016, but does it hold up to the hype though?

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