Welcome to Innsbruck. Capital of the state Tyrol (Tirol) and hidden in the Alps. Historic home to the Olympic Winter Games not once, but twice. A busy hub for many tourists particularly during winter. With challenging terrain, tight turns and forever changing weather, it is arguably the most dangerous airport approach in Europe.
If that sounds familiar: that was the exact opening for my review for Innsbruck by JustSim. But that doesn’t make it less true. Innsbruck is a beautiful place with many famous landmarks. And of course the very famous approach through the mountains. With the review mentioned above I wasn’t too impressed for missing out on the details that make this area so amazing (though the airport itself was very nice), beautiful and unique. But did Orbx manage to capture this feeling?
Short answer: yes. Orbx have done an incredible job with Innsbruck. The area looks amazing. The details and landmarks are all there. The airport itself feels very busy and alive, and so do the towns in the area. If you’re here to get convinced to buy this add-on: you will not regret it. For those that want to dive a little bit deeper into it: let’s read on.
Installation of Orbx products is as easy as can be with Orbx Direct. After purchasing the scenery all you need to do is press a download button and that’s it. After installation, you can easily find the User Manual and Configurator. And the configurator is big. It’s maybe the most extended configurator I’ve seen yet (in an Orbx product). There is a really big amount of options to tweak the airport (and its surroundings, albeit to a lesser extent). There are plenty of options for several types of runway and approach lighting, as well as plenty of options for all kinds of static airliner customisation. Then there are options for the airport itself. Think of animated vehicles, Orbx PeopleFlow, taxiway stains and very special and unique feature: the fire truck water salute. As I said, non-airport options are available as well although they are less. There are options for PeopleFlow (on landmarks and heliports), animated trains (which are very cool), heliports, landmarks and an option for the 3D rockface that is adjacent to the airport. Season textures are automatic and there is no option to change this.
After seeing the configurator list and the amount of detail Orbx has put into this area, I have to admit that I was a little bit worried about the performance of this scenery. After flying around a bit with a small aircraft my worries got a lot less. I had surprisingly high frames (between 50-60 consistently) and my VAS wasn’t really impacted out of the ordinary either. After doing some flights to the airport with some bigger aircraft (PMDG) my worries were completely taken away. As a matter of fact I was very happily surprised by the amazing performance of this area. If you consider the size, the amount of detail and the extension of modelling that has gone into this I can’t really say anything bad about the performance. Maybe there’s one issue: some land textures look a little bit blurry and washed out if you’re flying a bit further away from them. It isn’t noticeable enough to become a real annoyance unless you really start paying attention to it.
Honestly: I don’t even know where to begin with this. There are so many features in this area. Some of those were already listed above: features that you can enable/disable and/or customise through the configurator. Let me start with some the landmarks that make Innsbruck the beautiful place it is. Every major building and landmark is there. I could start by listing some churches and other famous buildings there but I won’t. The list would just go on and pretty much every church, point of interest or other important building is there. Most notably though, of course, are the Olympic Stadium, Hospital (with working helipad and crew standing by to escort your wounded), the Bergisel Ski Jump and St. Johns Church in Axams (that serves as a visual identifier for pilots to start their turn to runway 08). Another very nice, though small feature are the animating trains. Really, you may not even notice them from your 737 or A320 cockpit (I hope you won’t, because you’ll probably need all your attention to not overshooting the turn), but they are really that much of a nice touch when you do. Furthermore, Orbx have not only modelled Innsbruck airport and the city but you will also find additional heliports in the surrounding region. One of those is the fireman training facility in Telfs, a nearby city.
Enough about surroundings features, let’s turn our attention to the airport itself. No detail has been spared when modelling this airport. The textures are incredibly nice and crisp. The modelling is really detailed. The aprons are filled with busses, baggage charts, service vehicles, pushback vehicles, fuel trucks and more. A very nice touch is how busy the car park looks. And wouldn’t you know it: the glass front of the parking garage looks better than ever. You’ll also find plenty of animating people on the ramps. Unfortunately there is no airport interior, but there are people on the terraces. However, although of course the animating people look very nice, they are not very dynamic. No matter the date or the time, there will always be the same people on the airport and aprons. That’s not what I’m used to from Orbx PeopleFlow and is a bit of a downside. The animations they have are also not very interesting. Most of them will just walk a bit in a circle or make some hand gestures; that’s about it. I also haven’t gotten the water cannon working, even though I was meeting the constraints that are specified in the configurator. After speaking to Orbx about this, it may have been a DLL issue, but after a re installation (including a complete P3D re-install), I still haven’t seen this feature work.
The airport lighting itself is also really amazing. Not only because you can customise it a little using the configurator, but because it simply looks amazing. Especially the Rabbit Extended Approach Lighting is a very nice feature. But also the runway lighting looks really amazing, with a little halo around the lights. The apron lighting is also really on point, although I feel it may be a little bit too overlit.
Another feature that can’t be forgotten are the static aircraft on the airport. And there are plenty. Airliners, private & business jets, helicopters, small GA aircraft and gliders can all be found on or around the airport. They all look very nice and this, together with every other detail make the airport feel really alive. However, I do have a minor issue with the static aircraft. They are just that: static. No animating aircraft and no StaticFlow aircraft either (StaticFlow aircraft will change position every now and then, but don’t actually animate). This is a bit of a downside, especially considering the huge amount of aircraft that you can find on LOWI.
Orbx are listing this scenery under their gold tier, which makes it fall into the highest price category ($39,95 AUD). To me, that price seems completely justified. As a matter of fact, more than justified. The airport has been modelled to amazing detail. The surrounding scenery looks amazing and almost as extensively detailed as the airport itself.
And those minor issues I was talking about earlier? Well, they don’t really take away from the overall value for me. This is because the issues that I have managed to find are really only when it comes to some details. Nothing breaking or too bothering. You probably won’t even notice them unless you’re really looking for them.
One thing I’d like to detail upon is the auto-gen. As soon as you leave the airport and the city pretty much everything turns into autogen. Now by no means does this autogen look bad, not at all. But it does lack some of the amazing detail I mentioned above, which is particularly a shame for the Hall of Innsbruck, a small town just East of Innsbruck that serves as a visual indicator for pilots. Particularly the train station is missing here, and the tracks are really empty (in contrary to the railway station in the city itself). Though this is a bit of a con, I can’t really blame Orbx though. Otherwise: where would you stop modelling things. Another small gripe I have is that the autogen seems to have some elevation issues: some buildings and trees are floating. This is particularly noticeable when flying low to the ground.