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Imaginesim Atlanta for Microsoft Flight Simulator: The FSElite Review

INTRODUCTION

Atlanta is home to the world’s busiest airport. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport saw over 110,000,000 passengers in 2019, 10 million more than the next airport. With Atlanta not being one of the handcrafted airports included with Microsoft Flight Simulator, this scenery is a welcome addition to anyone’s sim. 

INSTALLATION

Imaginesim Atlanta is sold through the in sim marketplace and on Imaginesim’s website. 

For this review, Imaginesim provided a dedicated installer for the scenery, away from the Microsoft Flight Simulator marketplace or their website. So I can not comment on if there were any hiccups or hardships in the ordering or installation process, but from my experience with other downloads of Imaginesim products, there shouldn’t be any issues with installation.

TERMINALS

Modeling for the terminals is good. Each of the terminals has features that can distinguish them from the others at the airport. However, a lot of the middle ground details are missing. You get the impression that this is Atlanta, but when you look up close for some substantial sized details, you may find it lacking in some areas. Items such as the missing lounge at concourse B, the missing stairs from the terminal to the ramp at most gates, and jetways either being positioned where gates shouldn’t be or the walkway into the jetway being wrong or missing entirely. 

Parking spaces are a bit of a problem with this scenery. Concourse C has odd-numbered gates C31-C55 labeled on the ground with gate C33 skipped. At the real Atlanta, C33 does exist, and C39, C45, C51, and C53 skipped for spacing. Because these gates are not skipped in the scenery, it makes parking at these gates with any sizeable aircraft impossible without spilling into another gate. This is not just an issue at concourse C, but also other concourses like concourse D.

Atlanta has some very distinct color changes on the ramps. Unfortunately, these are not represented in the scenery. The rest of the texturing is very good for the terminal area with only a few areas being questionable, such as the dark roof color for part of concourse C. The lack of ground equipment around the airport also makes the scenery feel empty and have no life to it.

CARGO/GENERAL AVIATION

Atlanta offers not only plenty of commercial aircraft parking but plenty of space for cargo and general aviation aircraft as well. Both the modeling and texturing for these areas is quite good and has a lot of accuracy to them. 

The cargo areas have more static objects like containers scattered around than the terminal area, which helps bring that part of the airport to life. 

One issue with this area is the lack of a perimeter fence in areas. In some places it exists, only for it to stop for no reason. This also isn’t just an issue in the cargo and general aviation areas, the fence is missing from many places at the airport. This is such a small detail but helps bring realism to the airport.

Atlanta airport also has a lot more elevation changes than most people realize. The runways slope up and down a lot as well as different ramps being at different heights. Unfortunately, this causes issues with the airport having fairly steep slopes going in and out of ramps. I have been told this is one of the limitations with the current SDK and will hopefully be improved in the future.

NIGHTLIFE

The night time experience with this scenery is stunning. The ramps are all lit up very evenly without being too bright in areas. Some areas feel a tad dark, but not by much. The runway and taxiway lighting are nice and bright for easy navigation around the airport. Runways and taxiways are easy to tell apart so taxiway landings should not be an issue. My only issue is that the runway lights and green taxiway centerlines disappear when looking at them from the side until you get up close. Nighttime building textures are lacking, unfortunately. Some building windows have lights on, others do not have night textures for the windows, making the building feel dark.

SURROUNDING AREA

Imaginesim also includes some details for the surrounding area. The Delta Museum is modeled with all three aircraft outside modeled with great detail. Also modeled, are the surrounding hotels that help bring the surrounding area to life.

PERFORMANCE

Parked at the gate with the A320 running in the cockpit, FPS is stable around 30-35 FPS with a custom medium/high set for the graphics. Nighttime sees no drop in performance. Comparing the performance with the default Atlanta (not the world update Atlanta), FPS is only about 5 FPS higher than the Imaginesim scenery, so good job to Imaginesim for making this scenery very optimized, without impacting performance too much.

COMPARED TO THE NEW ATLANTA

With the latest world update to Flight Simulator, Atlanta received an upgrade, bringing the quality between the two sceneries to be very similar. Terminal details are more up to date and complete in the Microsoft rendition, with some newer buildings, like the east parking garage, being modeled in the Microsoft scenery and not in the Imaginesim scenery. The Microsoft scenery also has more accurate gate configurations, not having the crowded gate issue that I experience with the Imaginesim scenery. Imaginesim has more consistent and accurate taxiway/runway textures and markings across the whole scenery, but the Microsoft scenery has a more accurate color in areas. Imaginesim also has vastly better night lighting compared to Microsoft’s scenery. The terrain sloping on the north side of the field is also much improved in the Microsoft scenery, making the ramp no longer slope when compared to the Imaginesim scenery. Performance is about even between the two.

Both are great with the detail they provide. While the Microsoft scenery is more accurate overall, some details like ramp textures and night lighting need some updating. Imaginesim feels more polished in areas, but the accuracy lacks in others, such as the terminal parking space issues.

CONCLUSION

Imaginesim Atlanta is currently sold through the Marketplace built into the sim for $19.99 USD and on the Imaginesim website for £14.99. Being compared to other sceneries on the marketplace, it is one of the more expensive sceneries. At this price, some of the issues are unacceptable, like the terminal parking spaces issue. With the release of the free world update, it makes recommending Imaginesim Atlanta difficult although, plenty of things are still done better in the Imaginesim scenery, like the night lighting. If Imaginesim can fix these issues, the scenery would be much more worth the price. Depending on what you care about in a scenery, you might enjoy Imaginesim or the Microsoft scenery more.

Overall Summary
The scenery overall is very good. The scenery feels polished and optimized really well for the new sim. Areas of the scenery can be improved like the sloping in areas as well as bringing other parts of the scenery up to date. With the Microsoft scenery update, its worth taking a look at the two airports side by side to see if one has feature or details you personally would like before purchasing.
Likes
Dislikes
  • Gate positions are not accurately positioned making them way too small
  • Some parts are out of date
  • Hard to recommend with the updated new free Microsoft scenery

Where are scores?

After listening to your feedback, we have decided that from February 5th 2020, we will no longer implement review scores. We will continue to provide high-quality reviews via our written, video and imagery to help you make an informed decision about a product. You can read more about it on our Review Guidelines Page.

How do we review products? | Feedback?

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Drzewiecki Design Seattle Landmarks: The FSElite Review

Product Information
Developer
Drzewiecki Design
Purchase From
SimMarket
Price
EUR 14.99
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
Press Copy Provided By
SimMarket
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

Drzewiecki Design recently released their latest edition to their city landmark series for the new Microsoft Flight Simulator, this time taking on the city of Seattle. I, myself, a resident of Seattle, wanted to pick this scenery up immediately, and explore.

Bottom line, the developer set a target of improving the modeling of the Seattle area, and they largely succeeded in accomplishing that goal. The modeling of the buildings and infrastructure is a significant upgrade over what default brings you. It commands a price of 15 Euros, or about 18 US Dollars, which is a lot compared to what other sceneries are usually priced in the market, but the scenery comes with a lot, so if you’re a Seattle flyer, definitely pick this up. Let’s talk about why.

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Even More Previews of Aerosoft CRJ for MSFS

Aerosoft Crj For Msfs (6)

The Aerosoft CRJ for Microsoft Flight Simulator continues to be previewed on the Aerosoft forums. Once again, Mathijs Kok has shared a few new previews of the plane in action focusing on “the amazing work Stefan is doing on the modeling.”

The forum post contained various images of the aircraft, along with some commentary on what this means for the development of the plane. It was mentioned that the door animation is working and can be done via the built-in EFB. The handrails can also be down or up (as shown) depending on your parking situation.

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The other detail Mathijs wanted to share was that of the texturing on the fuselage when viewing the plane up close. The left image shows how the details look from afar, whilst the right image is a zoomed in part of the same location. The 10cm x 3cm fastener is legiable thanks to the decals technology.

Alongside those screenshots from Mathijs, a range from Hans Hartmann were also shared depicting the FMS and various other external shots during different weather conditions.

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Now that we know the base model will cost €42.00 (plus any local VAT), and that the aircraft will soon be in beta testing, we expect things to continue moving at a rapid pace to release. It was indicated on the forums that a release in 2020 is still possible, the team at Aerosoft are still awiting on some progress from Asobo / Microsoft on a few bits before they can roll the aircraft out of the hangar and into your simultors.

As always, stay tuned to FSElite to keep an eye on progress.

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Vancouver International Airport V2: The FSElite Review

Product Information
Developer
FSDreamTeam
Purchase From
FSDreamTeam
Price
9.99 USD
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
Press Copy Provided By
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

Vancouver International Airport is located in British Columbia, Canada. FSDreamTeam has converted their FSX scenery over to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Let’s find out if this airport is worth picking up.

Produced By: Spencer, SJT375

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Terrainy Studios Shares New Previews of Samos for MSFS

Terrainy Studios Samos Msfs (2)

Having announced a partnership with Gaya Simulations, Terrainy Studios are gearing up for a release of their latest scenery development for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Samos Airport (LGSM), part of the Greek Islands, is open to various seasonal operations aimed at providing European travellers a sun-drenched destination to explore. Airliners such as TUI, Condor and SAS offer frequent flights during the warmer months transporting nearly half a million passengers to the island each year.

The new previews provided by the development team continue to show off the work that has gone on with the product since the announcement. Included within their Samos product will be recreations of the towns of Ireon, Potokaki and Pythagoreion. This is in addition to the range of points of interest that will be scattered around the island and airport areas.

Whilst the above previews are still a work in progress, the level of detail on show is already looking fantastic. Perhaps there will be scope in the future for a Prepar3D and X-Plane release, also.

You can follow Terrainy Studios on Facebook to stay updated with the latest information.

You can view a selection of other previews for Samos from Terrainy Studios here.

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Aerosoft Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport For MSFS: The FSElite Review

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Product Information
Developer
Aerosoft
Purchase From
Aerosoft
Price
Freeware
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
1.0.1.0
Press Copy Provided By
Aerosoft
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

The name of the Paderborn-Lippstadt airport is a bit of a peculiar one: you’ll find the small international airport not in Paderborn, nor Lippstadt, but near Büren, about 18 kilometres from Paderborn, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The airport sees mainly Corendon Airlines, Holiday Europe, Sundair and TUI Fly Germany serve flights to European leisure destinations like Antalya, Heraklion, Hurghada and the Canary and Greek islands among others during the summer season.

Paderborn-Lippstadt airport opened in 1971 and has seen a slow decline in numbers over the last few years from just over a million to around 600,000 passengers a year. The huge short- and long-term parking facilities make it a very agreeable airport.

The airfield has 1 main runway (06/24), which measures just over 2 kilometres, thereby limiting the type of aircraft to anything up to an Airbus A320 or equal mid-sized aircraft. Boarding goes through 1 of the 5 stands at the single terminal building, of which 3 have a jet bridge. It’s also popular as a general aviation airport, with at least 10 GA stands.

Aerosoft, a well-established developer in the flight sim world, have their main offices in a building at the airport in which they hosted the Aerosoft Conference. The fact they chose this airport as their first MSFS add-on and even making this free of charge didn’t come as a surprise. Even though this is freeware, we expect Aerosoft to live up to their reputation, so let’s take a closer look.

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Orbx 1S2 Darrington Airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator: The FSElite Review

Product Information
Developer
Orbx
Purchase From
Orbx
Price
16.99 AUD
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
Press Copy Provided By
Orbx
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

Watch our full video review above.

1S2 Darrington Airport is a small municipal airport located in Washington, nestled in a valley in the Cascade Mountain Range. Orbx has modeled this airport for the new Microsoft Flight Simulator, so let’s find out if this airport meets the mark, and is worth picking up.

Background on Darrington

Before we get started, let’s orient ourselves with where Darrington is in the world. Darrington is about 55 miles North-East of downtown Seattle. Darrington is about 30 miles inland into the Cascade Mountain Range. There is a wide valley directly to its west that will lead out to the water, or you can fly through a narrow valley to the north, which will lead you to North Cascades National Park, or Concrete airport. As you can see, there aren’t a lot of airports nearby here, so this airport is great if you are looking for an excuse to explore this region of the PNW.

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SamScene 3D Nighttime Hong Kong MSFS Previews

SAMscene3d Hong Kong Msfs (9)

Developer SamScene3D has shared some brand new nighttime previews for their upcoming Hong Kong city pack for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The new previews take us on a small tour of the city at night and it highlights parts of the main downtown area, along with some more rural parts of the city.

According to an older Facebook post, the team said that the Microsoft Flight Simulator release will happen on October 30th, with the Prepar3D releasing following it in November. You can also see a range of previews from the daytime from within the simulator here.

You can follow SamScene 3D to stay up-to-date with the latest developments.

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Orbx Introduces Notodden Airport for MSFS

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Orbx has announced on their forums that their next release for Microsoft Flight Simulator would be Notodden Airport (ENNO). Notodden Airport is the next project of Finn Hansen, who was responsible for the previous Ålesund Vigra. The scenery was previously released on ESP engine simulators. As usual with Orbx, the scenery comprises the airport and the surroundings with the main POIs being included. The airport will feature plenty of details, redrawn textures, PBR materials and takes advantage of all the possibilities offered by the new simulator in terms of terrain, lighting and ambiance. The screenshots mostly speak for themselves and the scenery should be released very shortly.

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Aerosoft Previews Cologne-Bonn for Microsoft Flight Simulator

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We already know that Aerosoft is developing a range of add-on product for Microsoft Flight Simulator, including aircraft and scenery. The latest round of previews from the team highlight Cologne-Bonn that is soon coming to the simulator.

In a short forum post by Mathijs Kok on the Aerosoft forums, four new previews of the product in action were shared. The new previews show off areas of the terminal building, ground clutter and other elements of the product.

The airport product is “not far from release” according to the post, so as always, we’ll keep you updated with any release information. Be sure to check out details on Aerosoft’s last airport release for Microsoft Flight Simulator; Trondheim Airport.

 

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