You may have read a small piece I did a while ago on Airports of Norway, and one of my most memorable sim experiences I ever had coming in to land over the sea to Trondheim. Back then I was talking about a great piece of freeware, but this time we’re gonna focus on Aerosofts recently released Tronheim Vaernes X V2. Trondheim is a medium sized, international airport serving the city of Trondheim. Even though the airport itself is actually located outside of the city and municipality (Vaernes). It’s the 4th biggest airport in Norway and its main operators are SAS, Norwegian and Wideroe. The Royal Norwegian Air Force also has some facilities on the airport.
As a customer, I want my installation process to be as easy as possible. With Aerosoft’s, there’s something I just don’t like. The installers are in general all very similar and straightforward. You click ‘Next’ a few times, enter your purchase credentials and point to your P3D directory. Wait, they still make you do that? Yes. Even though P3DV4 comes with a new way of installing addons (with the addon and scenery XML in your documents folder), Aerosoft insists on doing it the “old way”. I’m sure they have a reason for this, but I’m not a big fan of it and can not commend AS for doing so.
Then there is another issue you may run into, which is conflicting scenery. If you have FTX Norway installed or Airports of Norway, Aerosoft’s installer will detect files with ‘ENVA’ in them and disable them to make sure they don’t conflict. This is arguably nice, but the prompt you get for this looks a bit scary and makes you think that something major has gone wrong. I’m sure some people will be happy with this feature, but I’d rather have them not mess with any other addon files. Whilst this may be “as easy as possible”, I feel there could be a more customer-orientated, third-party friendly way to do this.
Finally there is a configurator for this scenery, and it has a few very nice options. Level of detail, statics, lighting and texture options, seasonal textures and SODE options are all configurable. This is very nice. However, also these configurators is something Aerosoft can’t stay consistent with. For some reason they all need to look differently and so AS came up with a new design for their configurators. I won’t blame you if you find it a little confusing at first, because it is. To wrap it all up there is a manual giving you some historical airport information and scenery configuration explanations.
Let’s move on. How is the performance of this airport? Keep in mind I’m testing this under Prepar3D V4, so if you’re running an older sim this piece may be less applicable to you. Due to the current lack of any light jets for me in V4 I got to test this scenery with PMDGs excellent 777. Though the airport isn’t really built for such large planes, the performance is really good. Generally I manage to keep it above 40FPS.
Performance takes a little bit of a bigger hit during night time with the dynamic lights, but I still manage to maintain smooth frame rates. There are no stutters that I’ve noticed and the airport actually behaves really good on approach too. No glitches or stutters. The only thing that I noticed is that the light posts on the airport may flicker a little on approach, though it may also have had to do with the weather. If you look at the attention to detail that has gone into this airport and all the available features the performance is really good.
Trondheims biggest feature is actually an external addon, SODE.
I’m sure you’re aware with the freeware platform that can enable a lot of developers to easily integrate features. I’m sure you’ve also seen at least one scenery before that uses SODE jetways which are pretty well known for multi-jetway support. Trondheim makes use of SODE integration in a lot of ways. There are the animated SODE jetways, opening hangar doors and an animated windsock. Again, if you’ve used scenery with SODE integration before, big chance you’ve seen these two features before. New features through SODE that we’ve never seen before are animated passengers in jetways, embedded runway guard lights, automatic SODE seasonal texture changes and de-icing service. These are all very nice features that really make for a much more immersive scenery. I also really like how the de-icing is done in a designated de-icing spot where you’ll have to taxi to first. From what I can tell none of these features have a real impact on your performance either, and it doesn’t look too bad (unless you go too close to the passengers with your camera).
The developer has made a very accurate rendition of the airport. The modelling of buildings and structures is very well done. There are a bunch of static and animated vehicles on and around the airport such as apron vehicles and a train. They’re done extremely well and of a really high quality. Furthermore there are a couple of custom buildings just North of the airport. And let’s not forget the option to toggle static aircraft. Also included is the terminal interior, photorealistic scenery and a custom terrain model with elevation. This makes for a really cool elevation effect when taxiing over bridges with roads going underneath them. The textures look great and especially the photorealistic ground textures are of an amazing quality. This makes particularly the river flowing just South of the airport look quite amazing.
We are used to high-quality stuff from Aerosoft, and Trondheim reaches those high levels. It really seems like with this airport they have tried to up their own stakes, which certainly shows in the polish of the product. All together Trondheim Vaernes is a really complete airport and with such a high amount of detail it feels really immersive.
Aerosoft is charging 15,03 for this scenery, a price that it is definitely worth. The amount of and attention to detail is amazing. The performance is incredibly friendly, too, which is absolutely great. And what about any bugs? I personally haven’t encountered any after I managed to get my Prepar3D V4 set up properly. But I am aware that there are quite some people having elevation issues with the scenery which I am certain Aerosoft will address in a fix sometime soon. Other than that I cannot say I’m really missing anything at this airport, or that there are any issues. For the price Aerosoft is asking, this airport is definitely worth your money and you won’t regret it for a moment.