Today we will be taking a look at FSimStudios Cancun International Airport for Prepar3d version 4. This airport is available on Simmarket for €19.99 or $23.26. With the purchase you get a changelog file and the installer. The installation process is as simple as selecting the Prepar3d install location, entering your key into the Simmarket registration site that pops up, and hitting “next” a few times. Once installed, a 5-page PDF user manual is available that includes a brief excerpt from Wikipedia about the airport as well as some technical data from Skyvector, credits, support information, and recommended settings.
Looking around the airport grounds, the user is greeted with nicely detailed and appropriately weathered runways, taxiways, and parking locations. As far as I could tell from google earth, the ground markings are accurate and do a good job representing the airport. It is worth noting that very few people – myself and one other according to the developer, do have an issue where the camera definitions of Chaseplane caused a major flickering to occur for large portions of taxiway and ramp area. Thanks to the support from the developer, I was guided to a forum post from a different developer’s scenery that stated to change the clipmode for Chaseplane’s Static and Gimbal camera definitions in the cameras.cfg file to Normal. Doing so completely resolved my flickering issues. Something to lookout for if you use this program.
There are a number of static aircraft scattered around the scenery ranging from a number of general aviation planes, a pair of Magnicharters 737-200s, a pair of AeroMexico 737-800s, an American 737-800, and an Air Canada 767-300. As of now Magnicharters no longer operates the 737-200. I also noticed the Air Canada and American birds looked like they had a really low polygon count. I’m not sure if it has to do with the shading or modelling, but it was very noticeable compared to the smooth lines of the Aeromexico and Magnicharters planes.
My only issue with the Aeromexico planes was a weird white stripe on the rear of both planes. Ground equipment and servicing vehicles are also found at just about every gate location and animated birds fly above the airport. Ultimate Traffic Live appeared to play nicely with the airport, apart from the elevated bridge connecting the main terminal area to runway 30R/12L which they just taxied through. This, however, has been an issue with the flight simulators engine for years and is not a fault of the developer. I didn’t notice any player-controlled aircraft having issues with the bridge.
The area surrounding the airport and out to the hotels is covered with custom ground textures and all of the hotels have custom models, making approaches and low-level flight along the coast very scenic. There is also a nice abundance of trees within and immediately surrounding the airport itself. Blending with Orbx Global is for the most part well done.
The airport buildings appear to be a very faithful representation of the airport based on what I can tell from images and descriptions from friends who have visited. The taxiway lights also had a higher level of detail than I was expecting. All terminals have a modelled interior and SODE jetways where applicable. I did have a slight issue with the jetways at 2 of the gates at terminal 4. Gates 58 and 59 require the plane to be slightly off of a perfect parking job in order to properly rotate into position without intersecting the aircraft. I tested all of the other jetways and noticed no issues. A friend of mine who was there in March 2018 also noted that the iconic Corona banners on the control tower, that are present in the scenery, were replaced with another company’s and I was able to find a single image of these new banners dated June 2018.
The various service buildings scattered around the airport grounds are also very faithful to the real thing. I even compared some street views to Google Maps street view and was surprised how close the scenery objects were to reality. The parking lots are also filled with vehicles to really show how popular of a location this is, including appropriately coloured taxi cabs in their designated lots. I do however feel as though the airport would have greatly benefited from some animated vehicles airside as well. At the time of review, they were static and detract from what should be a busy or lively location.
As far as the texturing goes, most are very high quality and pleasant to look at. I did notice that on terminal 3 the brick columns had a lower resolution texture compared to the brickwork at the top. Not anything game-breaking or incredibly jarring, but noticeable nonetheless.
Night lighting around the airport is well done and atmospheric, giving the airport an inviting glow. I do think the hotel area could use a bit more lighting up since that’s where most of the party crowd is catered to, but still looks good anyway.
For the price, FSimStudios Cancun is an excellent value. While it doesn’t do anything particularly game-changing or innovative, the airport and surrounding area are well crafted and give a good impression as to what the real-world airport looks like without being taxing on your computer or breaking the bank. At the time of review there was no options menu included with the airport, though the developer says it is in the works.
- Excellent performance
- Beautifully recreated coastline, including hotels and other buildings
- Static ground objects in and around the airport are a plus
- Accurate ground textures with plenty of life-like features
- Some of the gates are too close together to connect even when on the proper line
- Texture quality varies depending on the surface and part of the airport
- Low-poly count for some objects including the Air Canada 767
- Busy parts of the airport are lifeless and need some animation to make it feel alive