Having the chance to review another product from the guys at Imaginesim is always a pleasure. One thing I’ve learned during my years as a simmer ( add-on compulsory buyer ) is that there are two kind of companies, those that release a good piece of add-on now and then, and those who put into the market excellent quality time after time. ImagineSim is one of these latter companies. So are we in front of another quality add-on or does TJSJ San Juan Puerto Rico just fall short? Well, we are about to find out.
I’d like to start this review ( this is actually my 3rd review, but I like to believe that I’ve been here forever ) by doing a small review about the real airport history. I seriously believe that in order to really appreciate a scenery add-on, you need to know what exactly is being simulated.
The San Juan, Puerto Rico Airport's real name is actually Luis Muñoz Marin, and is located 5 km south-west from San Juan, and it's the biggest and busiest airport in Puerto Rico. The airport is know to be one of the most important airports in America ( and is actually one of the 50 busiest airports in the USA ) and is considered as the most important air terminal in the Caribbean. Just to give you and idea, the airport handles near 500 movements per day, it's visited daily by more than 30 airlines ( including 16 cargo companies ) and it connects the Caribbean area with Europe, North America, South America, Central American and the whole Caribbean region.
Apart from having about 42 gates, 3 cargo terminals and a world cargo terminal, the airport is “equipped” with a 125 room hotel, a wedding chapel, a bank, a couple of spa’s, shops and everything you would expect from an International Airport.
Since it was built in an area known as “Green Island”, the airport was known for some years as “Green Island International Airport”, until in 1985 governor Hernandez Colon changed the airport’s name to Luis Muñoz Marin, which was the first Puerto Rican governor elected by the Puerto Rican people.
The airport has been a Caribbean hub for airlines such as Pan Am, Trans Caribbean Airlines, Eastern Airlines and for a short period of time it was a hub for TWA. In 1985, American Airlines made TJSJ one of its main hubs. The airport currently has two terminals: Main Terminal and American Airlines Terminal.
Inside the Main Terminal we can find: Concourse A ( which is currently being built ), Concourse B ( from where United, Ted and US Airways operate their flights to U.S.A.) , and Concourse C ( used by Continental, Copa and Jetblue ). American Airlines Terminal is located in what once were Concourses D and E.
Installation and Documentation
ImagineSim San Juan is available via download after making your purchase at Simmarket. After downloading the file ( 35MB ), installing the scenery is really simple, just a few a clicks and that's it. A good thing about ImagineSim’s Sceneries is the fact that after installing the scenery you’ll be prompted whether you want the setup to automatically add the scenery to FS9. Although we all know how to do that manually, it is still a good detail.
Flaps 40 Checked, Gear down Checked, Sunblock and Sunglasses....Checked
Sometimes being a scenery developer, its also about trying to understand what the Flightsim Community is actually looking for, and Ii have to admit that when I first heard about this new scenery, I said“ How many simmers are doing approaches at FS2004's TJSJ default airport? After doing some quick research, I was amazed by the amount of simmer's flying in the beautiful Caribbean airspace; and more importantly, by the number of simmers waiting for a TJSJ add-on. So when you have a huge amount of people waiting for your scenery to be released and tons of add-on sceneries around your airport, you better put a good product on the shelf.
The manual is quite complete even if it still lacks airport charts ( although you may find them quite easily on the net ), the only chart you get is the Airport Diagram. The manual also contains information about how to optimize your PC, how to park your aircraft ( with an explanation of the different marshalling instructions, as well as how to use the Animated Jetways ) and also included is an FAQ which should be pretty useful in case you encounter any problems using the scenery.
After comparing both the airport diagram and the scenery, I couldn't notice many differences. It seems that every taxiway has been reproduced. Taxiway textures look good, even if there's still some room for improvement, in my opinion. If you can tell which taxiways are more often used, the textures still look a little “unreal”. Anyway they’ll do the work ok.
On the other hand runway textures look just great. I don't know if the guys at Imaginesim actually read my KLGA’s review, but I have to tell you there's a big improvement in the quality of the runways here. Lots of skid marks have been added and that's exactly what you would expect to see at an airport that is operated mainly by heavies. I would still love to see some asphalt cracks or something like that.
Terminals have been modeled to the latest detail. They look really good and near every gate you will see some trucks ( cargo and catering ), GPU’s and luggage carts which really gives you the idea of a real airport. Also I’ve noticed that near the terminal buildings dozens of ground personnel were added to the scenery. As usual auxiliary buildings have been re-created as well as hangers and cargo buildings.
Another great thing about flying around this scenery, is the fact that the surrounding auto-gen looks really good with it. Approaches and take-offs are really enjoyable and if you combine that with some AI aircraft, I'm sure you’ll be spending some time doing some “spotting” instead of flying.
At certain gates you’ll have the option of using the operating jetways. Basically all you have to do is select 111.00 on your NAV2 and immediately you’ll notice the jetway moving to let your passengers board or de-board the airplane. I’ve tested this feature with lots of airplanes, as well as some products, and I couldn't find any problems. Also, if you are a user of Aerosoft’s AES you’ll be happy to know that TJSJ is fully compatible, adding moving jetways to every gate as well as some other features.
At those gates that are not equipped with the operating jetways, you’ll find a marshaller ready to help you. Also, while approaching the gate you’ll notice that on the ground the airplane signs are inverted so the marshaller can use that as a guide. ( I mistakenly confused that with a bug in the KLGA scenery )
One of the best things about this scenery ( and maybe about every ImagineSim product ) are the night textures. The guys at ImaginSim have achieved a level of realism that, in my opinion, is just amazing. The airport is fully illuminated with some smooth lights in order to help ground personnel during nighttime. 3D taxiway and runway lights are also included in the scenery.
So is TJSJ another great add-on from ImagineSim ? Sure it is. I didn't have any problems with performance, and as you can see, I don't have a high-end computer. I noticed a drop of 5-6 FPS in comparison to the default airport, but take into consideration that I'm using FS2004 with tons of AI and other add-ons. Anyway, in order to see how it would run on your PC just download the demo version, it works exactly the same as the complete scenery.
TJSJ has been modeled to the latest detail, it has nice textures and awesome night lightning. Plus, it's the perfect scenery if you are the kind of simmer that enjoys the sunny destinations of the Caribbean area.
So if you don't
have a problem with being exposed to a huge amount of sun, grab your
sunglasses and buy this one.
What I Like About San Juan (TJSJ)
What I Don't Like About San Juan (TJSJ)
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