Earlier last month, we introduced our first User Award competition as a celebration to all of the wonderful products released in 2016. It was met with a wonderful response from the public and the first time many people have been empowered to vote for their favourite add-on from the past year.
2016 was certainly packed with some impressive add-ons. Some good, some great and some mind-blowing. It was an exceptional year for flight simulation, and also an expensive one. As a result, we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing products and giving insight into what we think is worth your time and money. Of course, it shouldn’t just be our opinion, which is why we gave you, the community, the chance to vote.
Without further delay, here are the WINNERS and RUNNER-UPS from the FSElite 2016 User Awards.
AIRCRAFT OF THE YEAR
FSLabs’ A320-X | Our First Impressions
We chose FSLab’s A320-X due to how impressed we were at how well they’ve modelled an Airbus within Flight Simulation. We have some great alternatives, but this is by far the most complete experience you can have within a Sim.
TFDi Design’s 717 | Our Review
We chose TFDi Design’s 717 due to the fact it was their first attempt at an aircraft and one that everyone dearly desired. It wasn’t without it’s share of problems, but TFDi have worked tirelessly to improve and listen to the feedback of the community.
SCENERY OF THE YEAR
FlyTampa Amsterdam | Our Review
We chose FlyTampa’s Amsterdam due to the sheer scope of the airport and simply how well it ran on a PC. With so much variety in the approaches, the routes, the airlines and more, it simply opened up a massive hub for so many people.
Taxi2Gate Munich (Editor’s note: This was actually released at the very tail end of 2015, but this wasn’t discovered until half way through the vote. I felt it was only fair to continue including it. Next year we’ll have more scrutiny over this)
We chose Taxi2Gate’s Munich due to the fact whichever airport the team touches, they seem to create an instant masterpiece. Munich did this again with great performance and lots of detail, which meant this huge airport was faithfully recreated within the Sim.
UTILITY OF THE YEAR
HiFi Simulations’ Active Sky 16 / Cloud Art | Our Review
HiFi Simulations’ Active Sky 16 / Cloud Art were chosen due to the evolution it brought to weather engines for Flight Simulation. The combination of the weather engine and texture set make for an incredible add-on experience that further immerses you into the world.
TOGA Project’s ENVTEX | Our Review
We chose TOGA Project’s ENVTEX due to the new level of immersion it brings from a new developer. TOGA Projects ENVTEXs really improves your texture pack and also includes the Northern Lights to excite simmers.
AIRCRAFT DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR
We chose FSLabs due to their on-going support of their A320-X, speedy updates and their ability to listen to feedback based on the community.
We chose TFDi Design’s due to the massive efforts at improving their 717. It did release with some issues, but they have really taken the community from the feedback to improve the aircraft massively. Heck, they’ve even released a beta program for people willing to try out experimental features before being released to the masses.
SCENERY DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR
We chose FlyTampa as they constantly deliver high-end scenery. Their latest, Amsterdam proves that they continue to show this trend. With a steady flow of development shots and listening to customer feedback, we nominated them for scenery developer of the year.
Orbx had an extremely busy year in 2016 not only releasing some of the best scenery available, but also a brand new shop and download program which made installing their products easier than ever before.
UTILITY DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR
Their fast and continuous updates for their products earned them a place on the list for Utility Developer of the year. Each product they release improves on the last one and the support they offer is second-to-none.
From immersion packages to camera add-ons, FSFX Packages have developed for the Flight Simmer who just wants everything to look better and be easier to present. Their excellent support structure, easy to use installer system and more gave them chance to serve the nomination list for Utility Developer of the Year.
PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
SimMarket’s installers are easy to use, they host a huge range of products and more. With an easy to navigate website and excellent sales system, it made the list for being really user-friendly.
Aerosoft have fantastic support, user-friendly installers and fast download servers. With so many products available, Aerosoft have been a solid publisher for many years and we’re sure many years to come. Their attention to detail in quality assurance ensures that products are only accepted before reaching their high standards.
MOST ANTICIPATED FOR 2017
PMDG 747 Queen of the Skies II (Editor’s note: PMDG hadn’t released at this point, so still applicable)
PMDG have always released high-end, high quality add-ons that surpass their last. The 747 Queen of the Skies II is without doubt their most advance and anticipated aircraft yet. With so much to offer in terms of routes, operators and more, we added it to the list to ensure the Queen stays close to our hearts.
Aerosoft have been very clear with their Airbus development for some time. They have always said that the aircraft will be from the pilots view, and this is an aircraft that people can’t wait to be behind. The previews have always shown great progress with great detail. We can’t wait to try out some long haul in an Airbus.
Congratulations Sam, we’ll be sending you a free copy of TFDi’s 717!
A huge congratulations to all of our winners.
We’ll be sure to do this again for next year!