close

Atlanta

Imaginesim Atlanta for Microsoft Flight Simulator: The FSElite Review

INTRODUCTION

Atlanta is home to the world’s busiest airport. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport saw over 110,000,000 passengers in 2019, 10 million more than the next airport. With Atlanta not being one of the handcrafted airports included with Microsoft Flight Simulator (it later was added in the USA world update after the Imaginesim scenery was released), this scenery is a welcome addition to anyone’s sim. 

INSTALLATION

Imaginesim Atlanta is sold through the in sim marketplace and on Imaginesim’s website. 

For this review, Imaginesim provided a dedicated installer for the scenery, away from the Microsoft Flight Simulator marketplace or their website. So I can not comment on if there were any hiccups or hardships in the ordering or installation process, but from my experience with other downloads of Imaginesim products, there shouldn’t be any issues with installation.

TERMINALS

Modeling for the terminals is good. Each of the terminals has features that can distinguish them from the others at the airport. However, a lot of the middle ground details are missing. You get the impression that this is Atlanta, but when you look up close for some substantial sized details, you may find it lacking in some areas. Items such as the missing lounge at concourse B, the missing stairs from the terminal to the ramp at most gates, and jetways either being positioned where gates shouldn’t be or the walkway into the jetway being wrong or missing entirely. 

Parking spaces are a bit of a problem with this scenery. Concourse C has odd-numbered gates C31-C55 labeled on the ground with gate C33 skipped. At the real Atlanta, C33 does exist, and C39, C45, C51, and C53 skipped for spacing. Because these gates are not skipped in the scenery, it makes parking at these gates with any sizeable aircraft impossible without spilling into another gate. This is not just an issue at concourse C, but also other concourses like concourse D.

Atlanta has some very distinct color changes on the ramps. Unfortunately, these are not represented in the scenery. The rest of the texturing is very good for the terminal area with only a few areas being questionable, such as the dark roof color for part of concourse C. The lack of ground equipment around the airport also makes the scenery feel empty and have no life to it.

CARGO/GENERAL AVIATION

Atlanta offers not only plenty of commercial aircraft parking but plenty of space for cargo and general aviation aircraft as well. Both the modeling and texturing for these areas is quite good and has a lot of accuracy to them. 

The cargo areas have more static objects like containers scattered around than the terminal area, which helps bring that part of the airport to life. 

One issue with this area is the lack of a perimeter fence in areas. In some places it exists, only for it to stop for no reason. This also isn’t just an issue in the cargo and general aviation areas, the fence is missing from many places at the airport. This is such a small detail but helps bring realism to the airport.

Atlanta airport also has a lot more elevation changes than most people realize. The runways slope up and down a lot as well as different ramps being at different heights. Unfortunately, this causes issues with the airport having fairly steep slopes going in and out of ramps. I have been told this is one of the limitations with the current SDK and will hopefully be improved in the future.

NIGHTLIFE

The night time experience with this scenery is stunning. The ramps are all lit up very evenly without being too bright in areas. Some areas feel a tad dark, but not by much. The runway and taxiway lighting are nice and bright for easy navigation around the airport. Runways and taxiways are easy to tell apart so taxiway landings should not be an issue. My only issue is that the runway lights and green taxiway centerlines disappear when looking at them from the side until you get up close. Nighttime building textures are lacking, unfortunately. Some building windows have lights on, others do not have night textures for the windows, making the building feel dark.

SURROUNDING AREA

Imaginesim also includes some details for the surrounding area. The Delta Museum is modeled with all three aircraft outside modeled with great detail. Also modeled, are the surrounding hotels that help bring the surrounding area to life.

PERFORMANCE

Parked at the gate with the A320 running in the cockpit, FPS is stable around 30-35 FPS with a custom medium/high set for the graphics. Nighttime sees no drop in performance. Comparing the performance with the default Atlanta (not the world update Atlanta), FPS is only about 5 FPS higher than the Imaginesim scenery, so good job to Imaginesim for making this scenery very optimized, without impacting performance too much.

COMPARED TO THE NEW MICROSOFT ATLANTA

With the latest world update to Flight Simulator, Atlanta received an upgrade, bringing the quality between the two sceneries to be very similar. Terminal details are more up to date and complete in the Microsoft rendition, with some newer buildings, like the east parking garage, being modeled in the Microsoft scenery and not in the Imaginesim scenery. The Microsoft scenery also has more accurate gate configurations, not having the crowded gate issue that I experience with the Imaginesim scenery. Imaginesim has more consistent and accurate taxiway/runway textures and markings across the whole scenery, but the Microsoft scenery has a more accurate color in areas. Imaginesim also has vastly better night lighting compared to Microsoft’s scenery. The terrain sloping on the north side of the field is also much improved in the Microsoft scenery, making the ramp no longer slope when compared to the Imaginesim scenery. Performance is about even between the two.

Both are great with the detail they provide. While the Microsoft scenery is more accurate overall, some details like ramp textures and night lighting need some updating. Imaginesim feels more polished in areas, but the accuracy lacks in others, such as the terminal parking space issues.

CONCLUSION

Imaginesim Atlanta is currently sold through the Marketplace built into the sim for $19.99 USD and on the Imaginesim website for £14.99. Being compared to other sceneries on the marketplace, it is one of the more expensive sceneries. At this price, some of the issues are unacceptable, like the terminal parking spaces issue. With the release of the free world update, it makes recommending Imaginesim Atlanta difficult although, plenty of things are still done better in the Imaginesim scenery, like the night lighting. If Imaginesim can fix these issues, the scenery would be much more worth the price. Depending on what you care about in a scenery, you might enjoy Imaginesim or the Microsoft scenery more.

Overall Summary
The scenery overall is very good. The scenery feels polished and optimized really well for the new sim. Areas of the scenery can be improved like the sloping in areas as well as bringing other parts of the scenery up to date. With the Microsoft scenery update, it's worth taking a look at the two airports side by side to see if one has features or details you personally would like before purchasing.
Likes
Dislikes
  • Gate positions are not accurately positioned making them way too small
  • Some parts are out of date
  • Hard to recommend with the updated new free Microsoft scenery

Where are scores?

After listening to your feedback, we have decided that from February 5th 2020, we will no longer implement review scores. We will continue to provide high-quality reviews via our written, video and imagery to help you make an informed decision about a product. You can read more about it on our Review Guidelines Page.

How do we review products? | Feedback?

Read More

Imaginesim Close to Releasing Atlanta for MSFS

Imageinsim Atlanta Airport Msfs (3)
Scenery developer Imaginesim has said that they will soon be releasing Atlanta Airport (KATL) for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The busy international airport serves as a hub for Delta Airlines, with Southwest and Frontier using it as a focus airport. With 5 main runways and over 110 million passengers per year visiting the airport, it has continuously been the world's busiest
Read More

Imaginesim Further Previews Atlanta in MSFS

121218965 3321148064634010 6594897144405914255 O
Imaginesim has shared on their Facebook page a single screenshot of their Atlanta Airport (KATL) scenery in Microsoft Flight Simulator along with further information regarding the development process. The screenshot shows the airport at dusk/dawn with the night lighting partially working and many buildings already in place. The team stated that they were currently finalizing the airport layout and placement
Read More

Imaginesim Previews Atlanta for MSFS

123
In a recent post on their Facebook page, scenery developer Imaginesim previews a single image of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int Airport (KATL), for the new Microsoft Flight Simulator. The developer has already released Atlanta for X-Plane 11 with spectacular detail. Their first image for MSFS has been unveiled and shows a work in progress preview of the control tower. More images will
Read More

Nimbus Simulation Studios previews KATL v2.1 Update for X-Plane 11

B39A8C28 2F7D 4118 8884 D300B6983AE4
Scenery developer Nimbus Simulation Studios has released previews on their Facebook page of the first update soon coming to their current Atlanta v2 release. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport (KATL), located in the state of Georgia, is the busiest airport in the World with over 100 million passenger movements. Although mainly a domestic connections airport, Atlanta is known as the gateway to
Read More

Imaginesim Releases KATL Atlanta For X-Plane 11

74281704 2498099130272245 1108341088399130624 O

Announced back in February 2019, Imaginesim has finally released their Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL) rendition for X-Plane 11. The scenery displays the airport in its current state and uses the latest techniques available for X-Plane 11 such as PBR, HDR lighting, advanced caching etc. Interactivity includes SAM jetways, numerous animations and vehicles at the airport. The scenery also covers the immediate surroundings for better immersion during approach.

Atlanta airport is the busiest airport in the world since 1998 passenger-wise, with over more than 107 million passengers in 2018. Atlanta is the main hub of Delta Airlines, handling itself over 68 million passengers per year, not including regional feeders. With over 200 destinations, pilots have a very wide choice of destinations to or from Atlanta. The airport has 5 parallel runways, with a plan to build a 6th runway within the next 20 years. Passengers go through a huge central terminal with 7 concourses connected by an automated SkyTrain.

Imaginesim Atlanta is available exclusively on their website for £24.99.

Read More

Imaginesim Reveals Atlanta Trailer for X-Plane 11

Imaginesim KATL Atlanta XP11 Trailer
Popular developer Imaginesim has taken to YouTube to showcase their upcoming release of Atlanta (KATL) for X-Plane 11. Just under a month ago we revealed the final screenshots before release and we now know that Imaginesim is working hard for a release this weekend. In this trailer, we see the airport in many scenarios including night time and wet weather
Read More

Final Imaginesim KATL Atlanta X-Plane 11 Previews Before Release

KATL Atlanta X Plane 11 2
The team at Imaginesim has shared the final previews for their upcoming KATL Atlanta on X-Plane 11 before release. The airport, one of the busiest in the world, has been faithfully recreated in X-Plane 11 with custom meshwork, high-quality scenery details and detailed ground markings. The new previews above showcase the aforementioned qualities such as the high-resolution buildings, as well
Read More

Imaginesim Shares Yet Another Atlanta (KATL) X-Plane Teaser

Imaginesim Xplane Atlanta Katl
Imaginesim continues to push towards releasing Atlanta (KATL) for X-Plane 11. They have shared a brand new preview of the product on Facebook, saying that "Felipe has now completed the compilation of the extra-fine resolution mesh extending out and beyond the runways." This is the second preview in the past few days of the product in development. We'll continue to monitor
Read More

Imaginesim Atlanta (KATL) X-Plane 11 Teaser

70352295 2374825092599650 8114365284359340032 O
Imaginesim announced that they would be bringing Atlanta to X-Plane 11 back in February. Work has continued on since then and the team wanted to share a small teaser image of some of the progress made. That image is above. The teaser focuses on the "dramatic terrain" at Atlanta, which is evident in the screenshot. The elevation difference between the taxiway
Read More