Almeria is the latest in a string of scheduled releases by the developer Latinwings. Currently Almeria is only available from the PILOT’S store for 24.99 Euros. Almeria is located in the southeast of Spain on the coast of the Mediterranean situated between Malaga and Murcia. Much of Almeria’s wealth comes from agriculture and thus makes it a very busy shipping hub. The airport is relatively young as far as airports are considered and has many scheduled operators including easyJet, Vueling, Iberia and Air Europa. Other notable airlines who operate a seasonal schedule include TUI, Ryanair, British Airways, Thomas Cook and Transavia. Aeropuerto de Almería has one 3200m runway numbered 07/25 and is more than capable of accommodating the larger aircraft variants.
I’ve been following this project closely and have been enjoying the previews and screenshots, so I was looking forward to testing it out in the sim. When I had first loaded the simulator at Almeria and was parked adjacent to the Ryanair in the final stages of boarding, I was amazed to see passengers queuing to board under the small canopy. Granted they weren’t actually boarding and were static but for that brief moment it all felt very real. I was pleased to see the self maneuvering stands working as they should, and the level of detail on the aircraft ground labels is staggering . Using avatar mode and adjusting my viewpoint I was able to recreate a view I’d seen many times before when flying into Almeria with work and I can assure you the only thing missing was the breeze and the smell!
Performance at Almeria is very good. I experienced very stable FPS during various stages of the approach, landing and go around – even whilst performing low approaches typically performed in air shows along the port with a visual final turn.
I had seen so many areas I wanted to explore in the scenery from the screenshots I had seen online, and so I used a combination of the trusty R22 and avatar mode to get a true feel for the environment. From splashes of dirt on the taxiway and runway markers, to puddles on the runway, and decals on the harbor with hand placed autogen. The painstaking detail that’s gone into this scenery is fantastic down to the airport operations vehicles displaying the actual airport operator logo.
The terminal is modeled in great true to life detail including the viewing terrace which is kitted out with dining tables and chairs. The landside area, despite not really being visible from the apron, is modeled according to latest satellite imagery. Ramp clutter is accurate and helps bring the airport to life.
I was pleased to see the runway lights modeled in 3D. Texturing has been done particularly well, grooves in the runway and by the runway edges are present with a decent amount of wear and tear. I initially thought the puddles on the runway were a glitch however I’ve come to discover they aren’t and feel this adds somewhat to the feeling of immersion. Ramp textures are sunbaked as you would expect with temperatures reaching 30c daily during the summer months; I was expecting to see a more diluted look to the markings which I’m pleased to say is evident. I wasn’t overly keen on the usage of 3D grass, I had hoped that the screenshot I’d seen of the dynamic grass on the runway medians was just a graphical issue however I’m disappointed to say it’s not. Personally I found it distracting and would rather it was removed or at least able to be disabled due to its rather unrealistic patterns. Sadly there isn’t any options to disable it, nor adjust any other settings via a configuration tool.
As I mentioned before Almeria’s main source of income is agriculture and on the approach you always see these vast expanses of greenhouses to the north of the runway and its fantastic to see them recreated in the sim because without the greenhouses there’s no Almeria.
The city of Almeria itself is modeled to an extent with some hand placed autogen and recognizable port structures. The photoreal scenery blended in nicely with the airport and surrounding area. From above the surrounding area looks amazing and I think this is due to the usage of high resolution photoscenery, but what I would like to point out is as you get lower it can start to look somewhat bland – in particular the port area. That said, LatinWings’ usage of hand placed autogen and excellent textures help to draw your eye.
It’s also worth noting that the airport is compatible with FTX Global and FS Global Ultimate Mesh. There’s clearly been a lot of effort into creating a wonderful looking city and harbour area which only adds to the realism when approaching the Spanish airport.
The lighting in Almeria is masterful and really displays LatinWings artistry. The lights are soft and enticing, and add charming character to what is already a very beautiful scenery. As the scenery utilizes photoscenery its very easy particularly at night time to follow notable roads and motorways to find visual points of interest. Furthermore, I found that the use of dynamic lighting had little impact on my enjoyment of the scenery.