Browse Category

Reviews

BlackBox Simulation Cessna L19 Bird Dog: The FSElite Review

Developer
BlackBox Simulations
Publisher
BlackBox Simulations
Price
15.99 Euro
Version
1.1.0
Provided by
BlackBox Simulation
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.

Let’s first address the elephant in the room: I’m not a huge fan of the BlackBox Simulations Airbus series. I’ve personally had problems with it, but I know that many people have enjoyed the simulation. It certainly caught the community by surprise when people saw that the developers behind the “prologue” series were working on other products at the same time, but rest assured that this aircraft was a side project which hasn’t impacted the Airbus series.   You can imagine then my surprise when BlackBox Simulations asked me to review their recent aircraft, the Cessna L-19C ‘Bird Dog’, and honestly, my expectations weren’t very high. You can then imagine my even greater surprise when I found myself having a relatively good time with their latest entry into the simulation world.

It’s no secret that previous projects from the team have been very much like Marmite: either love it or hate it. I of course had the same fear for the GA aircraft BBS have suddenly turned towards. However, we shouldn’t let previous perceptions impact this aircraft. So clear your head and let me explain why actually, the plane is pretty damn good.

Keep Reading

FSLabs A320X: The FSElite Review

Developer
FSLabs
Publisher
FSLabs
Price
$99.95 (FSX) / $135.95 (P3D)
Version
1.0.1.196
Provided by
FSLabs
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.

Update: We fixed a few grammar issues within the review. If there’s anymore let us know. It’s a huge review so apologies for any we missed.

The Flight Sim Labs A320 is a study level simulation of the Airbus A320 platform that released for FSX on August 24, 2016 with the P3D version releasing on January 20, 2017. The price tag has come under fire as for being what many call “too expensive” for a single aircraft. For years this add-on was highly anticipated as the community craved an in depth A320, but does it hold up to the long-time hype? Is it worth the high price? Based off of the Prepar3D version, we’re going to do our best to cover this highly detailed Airbus simulation.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot to cover in this review. Simply due to the complex nature of this aircraft and the level of detail, there is a lot to take in. Also, we need to consider you: the reader. As a result we’ve decided to give you a few more tools to help you make the most informed decision possible before purchasing the FSLabs A320X. These are:

We have also embedded a few videos from other content creators to provide more in-depth explanations on certain aspects of the systems. None of us on the FSElite team have flown the A320 in real life so can’t comment on those aspects per se, so hopefully you find them useful combined with our views and opinions.

The wait has certainly been an agonising one for simulation fans, Airbus enthusiasts and jet engine lovers. After all, 6 years ago FSLabs promised the world they would deliver the most realistic and detailed simulation of the A320 available for a home desktop. But why is the A320 so important and widely anticipated? Well for years we’ve been accustomed to realistic GA aircraft and heavy Boeing aircraft. There are many reasons why this has been the case, but one of the primary reasons is simply because of the complexity of modelling essentially a computer within a computer. The A320 is a highly automated and smart aeroplane with its own set of ‘laws’ and logic – one that has taken FSLabs multiple code re-writes to get correct and working with the limitations of desktop flight simulation.

Keep Reading

Aerosoft Bali X: The FSElite Review

Developer
A-Flight
Publisher
Aerosoft
Price
Version
1.02
Provided by
Aerosoft
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.

This review took me somewhere completely out of my comfort zone to a destination I’d only glimpsed at in luxury travel magazines. You may know from my previous reviews that my preferred flying style is inter-Europe -mostly short hops not exceeding 4 to 5 hour sectors. Aerosoft’s Bali X really pushed the boundaries of my concentration and stamina for that long haul flying.

Without further ado may I introduce Bali or more specifically Ngurah Rai International Airport. The airport serves the city of Denpasar and is one of the busiest airports in Indonesia. Just last year the airport was credited as being ‘The world’s third best airport (15-25 Million Passengers each year). Bali International is also the hub for several notable Asian carriers including Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia Air Asia and Wings Air. Other operators include Lion Air, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, Qatar, KLM, Air France, Delta and JetStar to name but a few. The tourism industry in Asia at the present time is booming so as you can imagine the airport is finding itself under increasing pressure to expand.

Due to heavily populated areas adjacent the airport itself expansion unfortunately is not possible and while extending the runway may seem like a viable option this does not help improve capacity. With about 12-15% passenger growth each year, a forecasted 20 million passengers are expected to visit the region in 2017 alone. Thus a new site has been identified in northern Bali to help take the strain away.

Keep Reading

Flight 1 GNS530: The FSElite Review

Developer
Flight 1
Publisher
Flight 1
Price
Version
1.01
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.

The Flight 1 GNS530 had to by far be one of the hardest products to review I have ever seen. It’s not perfect no. But any problem I could find with it could be excused by simply saying “That’s how the real thing works.” Normally that’s a terrible excuse! But this time, given the way this particular addon works; Well it’s a perfectly viable counter argument. I could not decide how to approach this addon. Is it awesome, and all its problems excused by it being realistic. Or is it bad and all its problems are just that, Problems. That is until it occurred to me that my writers block was caused by a perfectly viable argument to make. It’s good and realistic, But has problems that consumers should be aware of before purchase. So that’s how this review is going to be written. There will be a score but I want to state right now that this is a good product. It has issues but the issues are excusable.

Keep Reading

Orbx San Diego International Airport (KSAN): The FSElite Review

Developer
Orbx - Matteo Veneziani
Publisher
Orbx
Price
$39.95 AUD
Version
1.05
Provided by
Orbx
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.

Orbx San Diego Intl. was released a few weeks ago and FSElite had the chance to get a hold of it. Here is our review for this iconic airport brought to you by non-other than Orbx.

Known for their rigorous and meticulous work, Orbx have once again produced a wonderful rendition of an airport and its vast surroundings. It should be mentioned that Orbx was not doing something brand new with KSAN as LatinVFR already had a scenery for the airport. This competition, of course, is healthy for the flight simmer as he can rest assured that Orbx was going to go above and beyond to propose something more interesting than their counterpart. As this is not a comparison review, I will not delve too much into what I think one scenery does better than the other, but I think it’s fair to say that Orbx has the upper hand (without, nonetheless, excluding LatinVFR too quickly).

In traditional Orbx fashion, the KSAN scenery is obviously not just the airport. When you buy the scenery, you get the whole San Diego Metropolitan area covered with photorealistic scenery. When combined with OpenLC NA and/or FTX Southern California, KSAN offers an impressive immersive experience that really makes you feel there. I was impressed by the amount of details downtown San Diego had to offer as well as how busy the harbour feels with the hundreds of sailing boats floating around. KSAN does what Orbx have always done best: it offers ground-breaking visuals that cover a massive area so you really get the most out of your scenery purchase.

To conclude this overview, I feel as though it is important to mention that this is Matteo Veneziani’s first scenery as part of the Orbx group. The task he undertook by taking on the project of KSAN was no mere one and I think he did an amazing job, especially (but not strictly because) since it was his very first one. If it’s for something, we can only expect wonderful things from Matteo in a future that is very bright for the new developer.

Just like it is Mister Veneziani’s first scenery, this is my first review. I will, without a doubt, get better in the future and organize my ideas better, but I’ve decided to separate this article in three distinct categories: 1) visual quality & immersion 2) performances 3) personal conclusion. Through these three arguably vague, but distinct categories, I will hope to offer the reader a better understanding of what Orbx KSAN is all about, what it does finely, and what could be improved in future updates. Keep Reading

Aerosoft Mega Airport Rome: The FSElite Review

Developer
MK-Studio
Publisher
Aerosoft
Price
EUR21.81 (+VAT)
Version
1.03
Provided by
Aerosoft
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.

Rome’s Leonardo da Cinci International Airport or Fiumicino Airport is Italy’s first airport and Europe’s sixth largest based on traffic volume. It was built 18 miles southwest of Rome city center and accessible via both car and train. The airport was originally planned from 1939 but the project was abandoned due to World War II. Construction began again in 1947 and stretched 13 years. The airport officially launched on January 15, 1961 with two runways. Construction continued over a few decades and saw several new boarding bridges and piers being added until completion of the semicircular terminal building that you see today was finished. The airport now covers an area of 29 square kilometers with the two original runways being extended and a third added. Alitalia, the largest Italian airline, has it’s hub stationed there as well as Vueling, a low cost carrier.

I have seen a variety of conflicting opinions on Aerosoft scenery in the past and I myself have a waning relationship with them. I own a few scenery packs from Aerosoft and they range from amazing fully streamlined and non robbing of fps and VAS to heavy VAS usage and frame rate drops that are off the charts. In this day and age of 32 bit flight sims, with the exception of X-Plane 11, it seems to be hit or miss when you purchase scenery. Reviews like this often help sway my decision on what to purchase and what not to purchase.

Keep Reading

Immersive Audio – MJC8 Q400 Cockpit Sound Immersion: The FSElite Review

Developer
Immersive Audio
Publisher
SimMarket
Price
10.70euro (+VAT)
Version
1.00
Provided by
Immersive Audio
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.

Immersive Audio has done it again. They have taken an incredible aircraft with already accurate sounds and brought them to the next level of realism. This time it’s been done with the Dash8 Q400. With the new sounds Immersive Audio has received some extensive feedback from real pilots of the Q400 to ensure the best experience in the cockpit of this great aircraft.

The new sounds include:

  •         Authentic engine sounds
  •         New N1 (turbine) sound with correct pitch
  •         New switches
  •         Authentic levers
  •         High quality GPWS callouts
  •         New TCAS
  •         Authentic warning sounds
  •         New ground roll noise with authentic controls rattle
  •         New authentic cockpit/nose gear wind noise
  •         Authentic avionics, packs, external APU, Chime, GPU unit, wipers, stick shaker

The initial setup is very easy. Make sure you backup the original sounds and then paste the new ones into the root folder. While this is easy to do, it would be nice if the setup application could do it for you allowing an option to revert back to the original sounds if needed. After you have completed that you are ready to fly!

Keep Reading

Orbx Innsbruck (LOWI): The FSElite Review

Developer
Orbx
Publisher
Orbx
Price
$39.95 AUD
Version
1.00
Provided by
Orbx
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.

Welcome to Innsbruck. Capital of the state Tyrol (Tirol) and hidden in the Alps. Historic home to the Olympic Winter Games not once, but twice. A busy hub for many tourists particularly during winter. With challenging terrain, tight turns and forever changing weather, it is arguably the most dangerous airport approach in Europe.

If that sounds familiar: that was the exact opening for my review for Innsbruck by JustSim. But that doesn’t make it less true. Innsbruck is a beautiful place with many famous landmarks. And of course the very famous approach through the mountains. With the review mentioned above I wasn’t too impressed for missing out on the details that make this area so amazing (though the airport itself was very nice), beautiful and unique. But did Orbx manage to capture this feeling?

Short answer: yes. Orbx have done an incredible job with Innsbruck. The area looks amazing. The details and landmarks are all there. The airport itself feels very busy and alive, and so do the towns in the area. If you’re here to get convinced to buy this add-on: you will not regret it. For those that want to dive a little bit deeper into it: let’s read on.

Keep Reading

Aerosoft Madeira X Evolution: The FSElite Review

Developer
MK Studios
Publisher
Aerosoft
Price
20.13euros
Version
1.0.1
Provided by
Aerosoft
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.

In early 2015 MK Studios posted a cryptic terrain mesh of an airport that needs no introduction and asked the community if they knew the airport. This would lead to months of excruciating anticipation for the community. However almost two years later the saga was brought to an end and we welcomed Madeira Evolution X with open arms.

I think you’ll be hard pushed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of this infamous airport or its toe-curling approach so much like the majority of the community I was itching to get my hands on a copy. Madeira Evolution X is available on simMarket for £22.79 Inc VAT or if you were the owner of the previous versions an upgrade fee is payable. Like most products on simMarket the file is a direct download with an approximate size of 1.2GB and once purchase is complete you will receive an activation key for a straight forward installation. There is no customization tool available which isn’t a major issue given that this is a small airport. It may seem common sense but I personally recommend reading the user manual. I was so eager to fly that I skipped the manual and ran into a few issues that due to my negligence took a few days on the forums to identify. I’d also like to say that the support team are very good and attentive so if you have any issues go straight there after the manual of course.

Keep Reading

Presenting: FSElite User Reviews

Over the last year we have published a lot of reviews. We try to review every (or almost every) airport, aircraft, tool, etc. that is out there. We do this to the best of our extent to make a review that is as inclusive and comprehensive as possible to give you the best impression of an add-on before you decide to buy it.

However, add-ons were being created long before FSElite existed, and some of those are still out there and being used to this day. There are a whole lot of products that we will probably never get to cover since so much new add-ons are coming out all the time.

FSElite User Reviews

That’s why we decided to leave these reviews up to you! We want to ask you to review your favorite scenery, aircraft or tool. Together with you, we will then turn it into a real and official FSElite Review, in which you’ll work together with one of us to do this. That way, we also want to give you a little bit of “a look into our kitchen” and show you how we do things.

Reviews can be submitted to us using the following Google Docs Form: https://goo.gl/forms/YrDSKRTtia5wkq3l2

Rules

Before you start typing away about your favorite add-on, there are a few rules for this:

  1. User Reviews need to be filled in using the Google Docs link
  2. We must not have already covered the product in a review, or are planning on doing so
  3. Try to use no more than 500 words why your add-on should be picked out. Try to cover what you like about it, what its nicest features are, etc. Yet be comprehensive.
  4. You need to be open and willing to work together with one of us to turn your review into a FSElite Review.

Winner(s) will be picked on April 30th. We’re also throwing in some prizes for a lucky few, so make sure to enter your review!

Tips

Need some help writing a review? No problem! Just send us a message on Facebook. Or take a look at our reviews! We recently covered PacSims KSLC (Salt Lake City), JustFlights PA-28R Arrow, Aerosofts Menorca X Evolution, Vidan Designs Billund X and many more!