As part of our Community Charter, we provide full disclosure at FSElite.
Aerosoft / Latinwing’s Valencia X was provided free of charge to FSElite for the purpose of reviewing for the community.
Living in Europe, Spain has always had a very dear place in my heart. Mostly because of the amount of time I spend there. Whether it is for work, whether it’s for holidays or just visiting friends, it’s always treated me very well. One place in particular that holds dear is Valencia. Having travelled there on road trips in the past, I am very familiar with the area, including the beautiful harbour, the cute tapas bars and market stalls scattered around – it’s got everything I love about Spain in one city.
When Latinwings (Simware at the time) released Valencia X, it was always an airport I was fascinated in getting so I could see how the airport to see how it transitioned into Flight Simulator. After downloading and installing Valencia, it became clear very quickly that Latinwings have done the airport justice and have brought the vibrant city to life.
Let’s start a few miles outside of the airport first. For those that know the area will be familiar with the coastal approach, directly passing over the harbour. I was stunned to see that Latinwings had actually added modelling and detail, showcasing how beautiful this approach is. I was taken aback by the detail carefully crafted into this iconic area. Boats, yachts and jetties were all there, giving you a real sense a busy Spanish harbourside. There are a few blurry textures here and there once you get close, but flying a few thousand feet above, it’s not very noticeable. The same could be said about the 3D modelling in the area – certainly not fantastic, but passable to not affect the overall immersion of the product. Regardless, the addition of the harbour made the airport feel very familiar to me.
As you come down the glide, you’ll be impressed with the level of detail you can see already from the airport. Whilst the airport may not of matched my surrounding Orbx products (EU OpenLC and FTX Global), the detail was already shining through. I could already see that the PAPI lights integrated perfectly within the 3D model itself, whilst still being accurate and detailed. The runway, even at distance, is detailed, and matches the real world counterpart perfectly. Even on just the approach, I was already impressed with what I was seeing.
When the wheels touch down, and coming to a halt, I can see on my left some old-styled Iberia aircraft. For static models, these are some of the most detailed aircraft I have seen – with lots of markings, rust and worn away parts, there has been some careful consideration to ensure that the static models don’t just look added in, but are very much part of the scenery itself. I think this is what really appeals to me about Latinwings’ work: the detail they give to the smaller things.
Runway lights are modelled right down to the screw. The panelling on the cargo hangers has clear corrugated edges and that metallic shine only found from certain metals. I was really blown away. The airport itself also continues this trend of detail and as a prime example of this, you can see the inside of the main airport terminal itself, complete with demonstration aircraft hanging from the ceiling. Latinwings didn’t have to do that, but it shows the dedication they have to the Simmer to create a well-rounded product.
Cars fill the car parks, hand placed autogen buildings fill the airport perimeter and other airport clutter scatter the airport, adding to the immersive experience. Every time I panned the camera around, there would be something new I would notice about Valencia. So whether that would be the tyre tracks on the taxiways or the use of SODE jetways, it was clear that Latinwings really do mean business when creating scenery of Flight Sim.
All of the little details don’t come without a price. Whilst performance on the whole is good, there were some stutters and choppy frame rates when approaching the airport over the harbour itself. This was frustrating, especially considering how stunning the approach is in real life, whether you’re flying for VFR or IFR.
And this is what is so great about Valencia. There’s a huge range of stuff for you to do there in the Sim. Whether you’re flying cargo routes, or whether you’re doing some circuit training, Valencia is a great spot for everything. Being one of the busiest airports in Spain, you’re bound to find some line of flying to keep you entertained the whole day… and night.
Night lighting was where my final score had shifted more towards the higher end of the scale. To be honest, it’s stunning to see a good blend of artistic lighting and realism to create a great looking night airport effect within Flight Sim. It can’t be easy to find the middle ground, but Latinwings have done a great job. The runway lights look great, suitably dimmed, all whilst the taxi way signage glows bright and vibrant, ensuring pilots know where they’re going.