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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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FlyTampa Amsterdam Schiphol: The FSElite Review

DEVELOPERFlyTampaPRICE€28,00
PUBLISHERFlyTampaBUY FROMFlyTampa

It’s the worlds fifth busiest airport, has 6 runways to serve traffic from literally every wind direction, serves one of the worlds biggest air fleets and recently celebrated its 100th birthday. Obviously I’m talking about Schiphol airport. It’s been almost two years since FlyTampa announced a new project on their forums which was quickly recognised as the famous airport. After some much anticipated previews, many questions about the progress and sometimes even doubts whether the airport would still release, it’s finally here.

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Milviz UH-1 Redux: The FSElite Review

You can get 10% off from Real Flight Shop by using the following product code: fselite5k6ru8410

As part of our Community Charter, we provide full disclosure at FSElite.

Milviz UH-1 Redux was provided free of charge to FSElite for the purpose of reviewing for the community.

DEVELOPER MilvizPRICE€33.99
PUBLISHERReal Flight ShopBUY FROMReal Flight Shop

 

The year was 1962, we were doing The Twist, and the world was watching as President Kennedy lead the United States in the worsening Vietnam war. The Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, KY took delivery of what was then designated as the HU-1A. This Bell turbine-single engine helicopter was meant for evaluation only. Despite this, the Army quickly re-designated it the UH-1A and deployed nearly 7,000 to Vietnam.

Of course, we now know them as the ‘Huey’ (a nickname from the original HU designation) family of helicopters. The Huey defined helicopter for most people, known for the distinctive thumping noise made by the rotor disk. Unfortunately, the Huey has gained infamy as a symbol of US involvement in southeast Asia. Young men with very little training flew the platform into battles supporting ground troops and giving ‘magic carpet rides’. This often lead to disastrous results. The combined armed forces, and Air America, lost over 5,000 of the aircraft.

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Orbx Calatina Airport (KAVX): The FSElite Review

As part of our Community Charter, we provide full disclosure at FSElite.

Orbx Catalina was provided free of charge to FSElite for the purpose of reviewing for the community.

DEVELOPEROrbxPRICE$32.95AUD
PUBLISHEROrbx DirectBUY FROMOrbx Direct

When Orbx announced that they would be bringing Catalina Airport and the entirety of Catalina Island, I think I heard the entire aviation community in California jumping in excitement. Why? This is one of the most popular general aviation airports in the state. Maybe it’s thanks to its lush green forestation or its challenging airport due to the high altitude. Whatever the reason may be, Orbx have given Simmers the chance to try out their skills and fly to this beautiful island.

As a standalone product to the Orbx library, it’s a welcome change to not have to rely on other products to get the most from the product. As a result all 22 miles of Santa Catalina are beautifully rendered and full of life, all without any hit on performance. Unsurprising really as it’s a small island in the distance.

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Orbx Hammerfest (ENHF): The FSElite Review

As part of our Community Charter, we provide full disclosure at FSElite.

Orbx Hammerfest was provided free of charge to FSElite for the purpose of reviewing for the community.

DEVELOPEROrbxPRICE$32.95AUD
PUBLISHEROrbx DirectBUY FROMOrbx Direct

Hammerfest. You can’t go more north before you start going south again. Okay, that isn’t completely true but Hammerfest is often considered to be one of the most northern cities. The small town got a water airport in 1933 and thus Hammerfest airport was ‘born’, even though consisting of nothing more than buoy where passengers were carried to by boat. Nowadays the airport is a lot bigger and not on the water anymore, too. And who’d have guessed: the small airport of Hammerfest is actually the third  busiest airport in Norway.

Now it hasn’t been too long ago since Orbx (and developer Finni Hansen in particular) decided to treat us with this small, yet beautiful airport. So lets get into the details with this FSElite review!

Hammerfest has a very short runway with a curve in it, making for a challenging but very fun approach. Due to technical issues most developers stay away from making curved runways, but I’ll get back on that in a bit. Other than that, ENHF comes with a lot of details and features. The airport features full interior modeling, the entire cityscape of Hammerfest, automatic seasonal textures, HD textures of the surrounding area, custom effects, custom AI vehicles and the Orbx Flow technologies. These features all sound very cool and I assure you that they are and look great, but they are what we have come to expect from Orbx by now. No bonus points there, but definitely worth mentioning!

 

Installation

The installation of Hammerfest couldn’t be any more straight forward. Simply purchase the product from Orbx Direct and start downloading it. Did that go too fast for you? Buy it, download it. That’s all there is to it. Hammerfest comes with a Control Panel but there aren’t too many options. You can opt to disable or enable the people flow and choose to disable or enable the custom effects coming from chimneys. Nothing too fancy, but it’s nice to have at least these two options. Oh and when you love Orbx’ Norway region as much as I do and you might just so happen to run the Airports of Norway package (not by Orbx), make sure to disable Hammerfest. I was a dummy and forgot about this the first time, running into all kinds of elevation issues.

 

Performance

Amazing. What can I say more? Orbx Hammerfest just simply performs amazing. Now that may be partially due to its size and the simple lack of anything in the region other than the town itself. But even so, Finni Hansen has spend a lot of work creating the entire town and region with a lot of detail, buildings and objects and my FPS is through the roof while VAS usage remains low.

Features

I already mentioned them above, but I’m gonna dive into some of them a little deeper. The features that make Hammerfest so special. Starting off with the full interior modelling. Wanna wait in the departure hall while enjoying a coffee? Check. Wanna join the ATC controller in guiding in other airplanes? Check. And while you’re at it, join a fireman maintaining his equipment or have a chat with the guys over in the Bristow hangar maintaining the helicopters there. Or get on a computer in an empty office. All possible. Although I personally don’t spend too much time looking at interiors, it is definitely a nice to have and even better when you can keep the performance this friendly.

The curved runway works like a charm, too! I’ve not had any issues with landing on it or departing from it. I did notice some small bumps when leaving or entering the runway, but nothing really bad and it didn’t cause me major issues. Now the issue with curved runways has often been that AI can’t land any planes on it. This issue still persists and the runway will swallow these planes without mercy. But depending on your AI package you won’t even get any AI aircraft here, so I wouldn’t say it’s too much of an issue.

One more feature I’d like to touch upon is the night lighting. Hammerfest is so far up north that the sun never rises during winter times, so good lighting is of the essence. Hammerfest looks amazing by night. The runway and terminal building lighting is on point, you can see street lights in the city and there are beautiful effects on the oil refinery where a big flame and smoke come from the flare stack.

Value

So far all seems fine with this airport and definitely worth your money, right? Well, nothing is perfect and neither is Hammerfest. Although two very minor issues, I’ll still mention them. First of all, the runway markings are white. According to all data I could find these should be yellow. And I am not sure who chose the font for the runway signage, but I’m willing to take a bet and say that these shouldn’t be with the Comic Sans font (Finni, if I’m wrong about this then please let me know). Is the airport now worth your money? Well… yes and no. Orbx puts this airport under their ‘Gold Tier’, making the price $32.95AUD. And although everything works and looks absolutely great, Hammerfest is rather small. Now the developers have spared no expense at putting in as much details as possible and making it seem as big as they can, but there is no denying it. Within 5 minutes of flying you already can’t see Hammerfest anymore. And flying around the entire area to take a look at all the details can be done in about the same time. There just isn’t very much here. It doesn’t matter that it’s small, but I am not sure if the price is completely justifiable for this product. The fact that FTX Norway is a requirement for this product doesn’t make this a better deal either.

Update: Finni contacted us about the two small issues with the scenery. Turns out that all airports in Norway are using white runway markings as of recent. As for the taxiway signage: using Comic Sans was the closest he could get to replicating the actual font.