As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favourtism. Don’t forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you have a read.
We are aware there have been some updates to the scenery and are currently testing them.
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the largest international airport in France, the worlds eighth-busiest airport handling 65,766,986 passengers in 2015. It is also Europe’s second-busiest airport after London Heathrow in terms of passenger numbers. Charles de Gaulle is located 25 km to the northeast of Paris among several communes. It was named after Charles de Gaulle the leader of the Free French Forces during World War II and serves as the principal hub for Air France as well as a European hub for Delta Air Lines. The airport its self is huge covering 32.38 square kilometres (12.50 sq mi), which includes 6 communities in France. Daily departures and arrivals include France, Sweden, Germany, Asia, Brazil and the US. Charles de Gaulle airport offers four runways from 2,700m to 4,200m to accommodate aircraft ranging from GA to Boeing 777.
The scenery is distributed by simMarket and produced by Taxi2Gate who are well known around the flight sim community for their outstanding scenery. Installation was a snap with their downloaded installer. All you need to do is download the installer, use your email address and password from the simMarket site. You will be asked for an activation code which simMarket will provide at time of purchase. After entering the activation code you will be redirected to a page where simMarket will give you a serial number. You will then enter the serial number in the proper box on the installer and that will finish the registration and install. Your new scenery is ready for you to enjoy. All of these instructions are included with the download in the folder labeled “doc”. Also included within the “doc” folder is a diagram of the airport terminal layout which is a bit sparse and hard to read. Unfortunately not included are any charts of the airport runways, SIDS and STARS or any other documentation you may find useful when flying to or from this airport.
There is a lack of documentation with the scenery and the level of detail just isn’t what I would expact. I would like to see more information about the surrounding area, a bit more about the history and more in depth information on their list of special features. Their attention to detail is above average but the addition of documentation would help to back up their claims of hand placed autogen, detailed 3D objects and terminals. It does however included two season files, one for spring, summer, and fall. The other is for winter. I’m not sure why Taxi2Gate chose to do two files for four seasons and would have liked it if they had included one for each and changing the seasons requires a reinstall of the scenery as it is part of the install and setup process. Having a configerator would make this process much easier to swap between seasons.
As with most newer airport scenery the jetways are SODE jetways. SODE jetways will automatically move the jetway to line up with your aircraft doors. No need to use the ctrl + J key to move the jetways. They also work on AI aircraft. With that said, they don’t always line up perfectly but are a major enhancement for realism. Included in the download is a SODE .msi for easy install if you need to install this option manually.I am using ORBX Global Base, FTX Open Land Class Europe and FTX Vector and found that the P3D scenery meshed perfectly with that generated by Taxi2Gate’s. It’s a near perfect transition when flying into this airport no matter which runway you are landing on.
The amount of detail is second to none with the entire airport and surrounding areas modeled, even the interior of the airport is modeled. The taxi ways and run way labeling is outstanding and easy to taxi around. The night lighting is exceptional, with the textures being seamless your immersion level is heightened. The lighting on and around the airport was places in such a way that it was like being on a real night flight over Paris. It enhanced the dimensions of the buildings helping to bring them to life. The layout of the airport taxi and runway lights helped make travel along taxiways seamless and spotting the runway on a visual approach was easy. It appeared to me that they used the perfect hue and brightness for the airport and surrounding areas. Their blend of colors, highlights, terrain and 3D object make the approach and departure as much like the real thing as possible. The custom photo scenery of the air field and surrounding areas is outstanding both in the daytime sunlight and at night, with outstanding night lighting. The vibrancy of the runway lights and placement make it hard not to notice that you are in a outstanding airport environment. On approach at night the lighting helps with the visual approach and makes taxing a breeze. I am a huge fan of immersion and Taxi2Gate made me feel like I was a real life pilot flying my 737 on a tourists dream vacation. Not only did Taxi2Gate shine bright with their lighting but their list of features is outstanding. The following list is just the start of the features this addon has to offer.
Custom ground textures start out the list, with detail in every area. From the taxi lines and signs, to the cracks and bumps in the tarmac, it brings the immersion level up a notch. The custom photo scenery is amazing, the amount of detail that is placed on the buildings is outstanding. You can walk right up and “touch” them. The airport feels lived in, the buildings make me want to explore them all. If you are using SODE, the jetways will move on their own, the automatic movement of the ground trucks and airport traffic make it easy to forget you are in a flight simulator. The volumetric grass is detailed but sparse. I would like to see movement of the grass to help enhance the immersion. The interior detail of the airport itself is basic and there is no loss of frames and like most simmers this isn’t a huge issue with me as I spend my time on the outside, however it is a nice addition to the scenery.
I typically use a laundry list of addons when I fly. While testing I noticed very limited drop in frames when approaching the airport and no drop while departing. I had no out of memory errors or scenery generating issues. Of course this will vary system to system depending on your specs.