Since the release of Prepar3D version 4, we’ve seen a prolific string of releases from developers. In particular, significant updates to existing scenery. One I was particularly keen on getting my hands on was UK2000 London Gatwick V3, the latest update to their essential UK range. The much-coveted update includes the newly built Pier 1, an extension to the vast south terminal development, a reworked Pier 5 and the addition of the Airbus A380 stand on Pier 6. Some other notable changes include transparent glass around the airport and the famous Pier 3, or the satellite, as it’s more commonly known. Gatwick’s largest airline, easyJet, in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, also had two hangars built some years ago that also are featured in this latest update.
London Gatwick is London’s second largest airport by total passenger traffic and predominantly caters to charter and leisure routes. The airport was first developed in the 1920’s with first commercial flights approved in 1933. Since then the airport has continued to steadily grow into the behemoth that it is now. Many notable carriers include easyJet, British Airways, TUI, Thomas Cook and the now-defunct Monarch who had been one of the longest-standing operators at the world’s busiest single runway airport.
To date UK2000 Gatwick is THE most accurate virtual rendition of this world-famous airport. As with all UK2000 scenery you can try before you buy and download a free demo of Gatwick. If you already own the previous versions log in to your UK2000 account and purchase the latest edition for a modest £5.00. Which nicely brings me on to the subject of paying for V4 compatible products. My personal opinion of this kind of activity varies depending on the product as value is subjective to the individual. However, knowing that the UK2000 development team are a rather small unit, I can safely say that I’d pay this small price to upgrade my entire UK2000 library if necessary. The reason for this is consistency and overall product cost vs. standard. With UK2000 you know what you’re getting. It may not be FlyTampa nor might it be Taxi2Gate standard but with that in mind what you do get is reasonably priced, highly accurate and is consistent with their other releases.
Performance is on par with their previous versions, offering fantastic FPS regardless of your choice of aircraft and countless AI models taxiing around. Of course, this is system dependent however even as a vanilla install Gatwick has very little effect on frames.
I find the texturing somewhat hit and miss. Particularly when parked on the stand at certain gates some terminal glass can appear slightly blocky. This also goes for the decals of HSBC on the many airbridges. Modelling of the latest extensions to the terminal is great and highly accurate. UK2000 Scenery have done a sterling job of ensuring that no detail was missed. An example of this is the tremendous job they’ve done with stand equipment, notably the ground power system that Gatwick operates and is linked to each stand; although not functional, it has been modeled to the Nth degree. The bollards and the decals surrounding the stand guidance system – such as emergency stop and fuel cut off – have also been given the same level of care and attention.
All this detail really helps to immerse you while completing cockpit preparation or doing the walkaround for instance. I particularly like newly built Pier 1 which is a far cry from the original domestic terminal which stood previously in its place. As I said before I’ve always been more than happy with what UK2000 Scenery offers but as we head into the dawn of a new era in flight simulation it won’t be long before these methods of textures and modeling are left behind. At the moment I, along with many others in the community, fully appreciate the efforts of UK2000 Scenery and they have a very strong foothold in the community and it would be such a shame to find them in a position where they are unable to keep up. That being said the ground textures and surrounding terrain are done to a very high standard like many of their other developments. As a standard UK2000 Scenery is compatible with FTX and blends seamlessly.