Humberto Delgado Airport (LPPT) is Portugal’s largest airport and serves the capital city Lisbon. Serving 26.6 million passengers in 2017, Lisbon airport is Europe’s 25th busiest airport and caters to a wide variety of destinations throughout Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and Asia, operated by over 60 different airlines which provides great route diversity into and out of Portugal. Humberto Delgado Airport is TAP Air Portugal’s main hub and it serves a majority of the routes into and out of the airport. TAP’s short-haul routes stretch throughout Europe with their medium and long-haul flights extending to Africa, South America and North America.
Since the release of P3D v4, those who use the ESP platform have been without decent Lisbon scenery for well over a year as Aerosoft’s rather dated version of Lisbon was never converted to the ‘professional’ line in order to make it compatible with v4. Although some people were able to get it working (to an extent), it was never quite right. However, MK-Studios stepped up to the plate and began to build Lisbon. Known for their high-quality sceneries, LPPT was a highly anticipated release by many, especially considering the size of the airport which made the release just that little bit more exciting. MK-Studios have set a precedent with their last few products including Lanzarote and Tenerife South. Their latest has proven to be no exception and is an excellent scenery which makes the most of what P3D v4 has to offer whilst keeping high levels of performance and detail throughout this product.
MK-Studios’ Lisbon is available to purchase from SimMarket for a price of $26.76 (excl VAT). There is nothing complicated when it comes to installing this product into your sim. The file is only 282 MB and includes a standard SimMarket installer which does everything for you, making the installation process quick and easy. MK-Studios implements sceneries into the sim via the old style of adding it into the scenery.cfg files rather than using the new addon.xml method. However, I have no issue with this as it means that I don’t have space being taken up on two of my drives. Installed alongside the scenery is a config tool which gives you the power to adjust various features such as the number of people on the apron, whether or not you want 3D night lighting in the city and if you wish to use the GSX docking system. Other options included with the config tool are the ability to enable/disable 3D grass, animated vehicles, billboards around the airport, and city buildings and bridges. Config tools are often important to many users in order to achieve the best possible performance when using a scenery, so it’s great to see that MK-Studios has included one with their product. Sceneries such as Lisbon can be hard-hitting on performance, especially when a cityscape is included around the airfield. This configurator tool helps those who may not receive the best performance while at Lisbon. Overall the presentation of this product was excellent and I had no issues installing and configuring the scenery.
This scenery is feature rich! This airport comes fully integrated with SODE, dynamic lighting and all the features that make an excellent P3Dv4 scenery. MK-Studios has taken advantage of P3Dv4 and used it to create an accurate and detailed rendition of both the airport and the city that surrounds it. As described on the product page, they have used new ‘ground techniques based on real photographs, specular and bump mapping’. This is certainly visible in this scenery including the detail that can be found at intersection U5 off of runway 03/21 where there is accurate ground wear from where tarmac has worn away due to increased use. Including smaller details such as this really helps to bring the scenery together in a very realistic environment. As it should be in real life, wear and tear is seen across the airport, with weathering on the side of buildings and tarmac tearing on the ground. As mentioned previously, this effect has been achieved by MK-Studios’ advanced new ground technics. MK-Studios has also done an excellent job creating wet textures on the ground, which, when using TomatoShade, provide some very nice looking reflections.
This scenery also takes advantage of some other addons which help to create an even better experience when using this scenery. One of these is the use of GSX’s docking system, which allows for accurate parking on-stand with aircraft recognition. All stand guidance systems are accurately placed in order to offer accurate parking precision when a pilot is turning onto stand. It is the integration of small features such as this which really help make this a very complete scenery package. The majority of the scenery is a highly accurate rendition of how it would be in the real world. MK-Studios has used third-party addons such as GSX to make the whole experience feel very sleek. For example, not having to worry about parking too short or off of the centre line because the marshaller has not docked you in accordance with the stand guidance system. From setting up the aircraft and departing and then returning, landing and shutting down you do feel like you’ve flown out of and into an excellently detailed product which has provided a seamless experience.
Sceneries often come with just the airport, along with a few trees dotted around the exterior fence to create some kind of integration with the surrounding area. But this is not the case with Lisbon. MK-Studios has taken the time to create a detailed rendition of the entire city of Lisbon. One of the most outstanding features of the city created by MK-Studios is the detail of the two main bridges which are found in Lisbon: the 25 de Abril Bridge and the Vasco de Gama Bridge. The 25 de Abril Bridge especially stands out when flying an approach into runway 03. Having the city included brings an extra dimension to a scenery and I think MK-Studios have done a solid job of this, which has helped to create a very immersive scenery for Lisbon.
It’s hard to fault the quality of this scenery, however, there are one or two aspects of the scenery that I think could’ve done with some more work in order to push this scenery over the edge into being almost the perfect scenery. I feel the textures on the main terminal building aren’t the best of quality. I understand that attaining high-resolution reference pictures can be a challenge, however, it looks a bit to me that the textures are stock from Google SketchUp; which I’m sure they’re not, but I get that feeling. Overall, the wear and tear in this scenery is excellent except on the stands located along terminal 1. I feel that the textures at these parking spots haven’t been merged particularly well and it gives off quite an artificial feel. MK-Studios advertised that terminal interiors had been included with this scenery package, which they weren’t lying about. However, I don’t believe that much time was spent on this. The interior is very empty and consists of a few vending machines, chairs and a couple of people standing around. A final small gripe I have with this scenery is the SODE jetway implementation. Although they work well, the folding portion at the tip of the jetway does not actually fold down to meet the aircraft, which leaves a considerably sized gap between the fuselage of the aircraft and the entrance to the jetway. When I move the camera in my sim the jetway will often just disappear, which can make it tough for getting that perfect screenshot which I know many people do try to capture.
Considering that MK-Studios has modelled the airport and the entire city of Lisbon, this scenery has excellent performance. Having flown into and out of this scenery a few times now, I can say that I’ve never faced any considerable performance issues. This scenery has been superbly optimised by the team over at MK-Studios and this is a testament to their ability to create high-quality sceneries yet keep them usable for a broad range of people. It’s one thing to create a good quality scenery, but it’s another thing to make sure that this scenery performs well under load. MK-Studios has pulled this off and allows for an extremely pleasant experience when flying into or out of Lisbon. The user is able to enjoy the great quality of this scenery without having to watch a slideshow. The only performance impact you’ll really notice is if you enable the 3D night lighting (which comes with a warning in the configurator that it will likely have an effect upon your performance). Although noticeable, the performance impact is not too significant. Although I do have a high-end rig, I do believe that this scenery would perform perfectly on a broad range of PC specifications.
For a price of $26.76 (excl VAT) there’s nowhere you can really go wrong when purchasing this scenery. For a well-detailed rendition of an airport and the city that surrounds it, this price, I would say, is very reasonable for MK-Studios’ Lisbon. If this package were just the airport, I would say this scenery was not worth the amount you were paying for it, however, it’s more than that and with the city included, I think MK-Studios has hit the nail on the head with the price of this scenery.