The Canaries, for most people in Europe, invoke memories of childhood holidays, year round sunshine or the repetitive advertising campaigns from tour operators. Around 12 million people every year visit the Canaries for a variety of different reasons – with the most popular reason being tourism. So it is little wonder that I, like many others, was eagerly awaiting MK-Studios latest release: Tenerife Vol.1. Over the past few years we’ve seen tremendous scenery growth in areas of Italy, Germany and mainland Spain. Yet the Canaries, despite their cult like following, have only very recently started to make waves in the community.
In my review we will be honing in on the island of Tenerife, the largest of the islands that make up the archipelago. Originally Tenerife only had one airport, Los Rodeos – known commonly as Tenerife North – situated on the north side of the island. Due to its often inclement weather, it was decided in the late 1960s that a more suitable location be sought to open a new airport to better serve the island. Then on the 27th of March 1977, disaster struck when two Boeing 747s collided causing the death of 583 people making this the worst accident in aviation history. On the 6th of November 1978 Tenerife South was opened and inaugurated as Tenerife Sur Reina Sofia Airport by Queen Sofia of Spain, and has been open to this day.
Tenerife Vol.1 is the latest release from MK-Studios whose previous titles include Fuerteventura, Funchal, Rome and Bologna. It’s refreshing to see a developer focus their talents on somewhere quite under developed in the sim world. More often than not we the consumer are left with multiple options when it comes to airports, take Barcelona for example – off the top of my head, there are 3-5 versions at various stages of release or development! Hats off to MK-Studios for straying from the mainstream. It should be noted that whilst MK-Studios announced their Tenerife scenery development a few months ago, it has since been confirmed by two other developers that they are also working on the same airport.
You can pick this scenery up for just under 21.50 Euros and it comes as a 3GB file split into three files. A registration key is made available after purchase and installation is as easy as they come, point and click. Within a few minutes installation is complete. To make matters as simple as possible, there is a configurator which enables you to customise a few option including 3D grass, car park density, multiple airport options and static AFCADs. Furthermore, there is also a link to the documentation in the form of an 8-page PDF with basic support and recommended settings. You can also access product support from this configurator as well.
Tenerife Vol.1 is compatible with ORBX, however, referring to the documentation provided it does recommend disabling GCTS in the Vector config tool should you experience any elevation issues. In addition, those who may be running Rikoo Canary Islands Scenery are encouraged to disable a BGL file that may conflict with the Rikoo mesh.
When I test a scenery, my traditional approach is to load right into the scenery and explore from there. With Tenerife, I wanted to experience it as if I was flying there for the first time so I began my test flight on a cold winter morning in London Gatwick, fully configured for departure, we lined up on the active and began our takeoff roll. V1 and shortly after we started our ascent through the crisp layer of fog.
Several hours later Mt Teide came into view, first just the peak surrounded by what looked like a halo of ethereal cloud. As I wanted to loop around the west coast of the island to then line-up with runway 07, I chose the KONB1X star. As we began our descent and edged closer to Tenerife, the sheer magnitude of Mt Teide began to fill my stomach with butterflies. It has always fascinated me how this hobby can make you feel so many things whilst you never really leave the comfort of your desk. During the roll out I kept saying to myself, this is too smooth, something’s got to give! During the entire approach I experienced very few frames lost. I attributed this more to Prepar3D inserting the scenery than anything else. As a whole performance is very good and strikes the balance between a high level of detail and optimised performance.
Texturing and modelling for me personally is when you can really see the craftsmanship that’s gone into development from the teams. I was exceptionally happy with the textures of the tarmac and apron areas. Tenerife oversees annually 69,846 airline operations so with this in mind I anticipated a fair bit of wear and tear to be present. From the graze of rubber as the aircraft touch down, to their migration to scuffs and spills on the parking stands, no detail was too small. Even the texture of the concrete paving on the apron is present with sun baked markings also visible.
My first review of an MK-Studios product was Funchal, and I remember being blown away by how much detail the scenery contained, specifically the signs on doors that had absolutely no purpose but added to that feeling we all crave – immersion! As you can imagine, I was delighted to see that MK-Studios had carried that attention to detail across to Tenerife. The terminal is modelled in considerable detail and features air bridges that operate via SODE. It’s also fantastic to see a 3D modelled terminal interior which helps to immerse the user. Ramp clutter is at a realistic level giving the airport another dimension and helping it to feel alive.
From my flights in the helicopter getting up close and personal with the scenery, even the tourist information centre that’s located landside also received the same care and attention. Of course, carrying out these helicopter flights also gives you a different perspective and many of you are probably aware of my grievance with photoscenery. There are some areas of the scenery that are absolutely outstanding because MK-Studios have bulked out the photoscenery with hand placed buildings and trees amongst other objects. However, if you follow the cable cars up the mountain, which by the way are accurately modelled and a nice touch, you see an area which feels synthetic. I know that’s a strange way to describe a virtual mountain but it just looks so unusual and forgotten. I will say however, from a commercial operations point of view, had I not have been reviewing this product I probably wouldn’t have even given it a thought let alone noticed it as it has no impact on my flying style.
According to MK-Studios the night lighting is very realistic from a real-world pilots point of view. I am not a real-world pilot so am unable to offer my opinion on realism, but with that said, I feel sceneries are their best in dawn and dusk. For me, that’s when they show their true beauty. The lighting here is soft and local, in that I mean when approaching during the hours of darkness the lighting really conveys the feeling of little outcrops and villages as well as the hustle and bustle of Santa Cruz – it all feels very natural. Runway and taxiway lights are 3D so you won’t see any random pillars of light beaming from the ground. The scenery utilises dynamic lighting which I don’t normally use, but in favour of a fair review, I switched it back on for a short period. Other than the known lighting effects of dynamic lighting I found it offered no sufficient benefit or contribution to the scenery and therefore turned it off.