AVSIM Commercial Scenery Review

Fly Vienna (LOWW)

by Fly Tampa

Rating Guide
Publisher: Fly Tampa
Description:  Airport Scenery
Download Size:
39 MB
Format:
Executable File (Download)
Simulation Type:
FS 2004 only
Reviewed by: Lydell Stelmack AVSIM Staff Reviewer

Introduction

Vienna Schwechat International Airport (LOWW), located 18 kilometers southeast of Vienna, is the busiest airport in Austria. It is often referred to as Schwechat, the name of the nearby town. Originally built as a military airport in 1938, Vienna’s (LOWW) constant developing airport currently hosts two runways, a new tower, terminals, a World Trade Center and Hotel Convention Center.

Over 70 airlines, with a variety of aircraft type, utilize the airports capabilities. General aviation areas, commercial aircraft ground handling and aircraft maintenance facilities are just a few of the services found at the Vienna Schwechat International airport.

Currently the ninth airport scenery add-on by Fly Tampa, and only the second outside of North America, lets take a closer look at the Vienna Schwechat International Airport.

 

A view from the tower
General overview of the airfield
You can't miss the smoke
Overhead LOWW

Installation and Documentation

Test System

CPU: Pentium P4 204Ghz
RAM: 1535 GB
VIDEO: ATI Radeon X7 Pro
Windows XP Media
FS 9.1

Flying Time:
16 hours

The largest file size of the Fly Tampa airports at 39MB, LOWW can be downloaded directly from the Fly Tampa website. After purchasing Vienna you will receive a Registration key that will be required for the Setup self installer. This is a common straightforward process with payware products and as usual, to prevent any complications with the download or registration, it is common practice to disable your firewall protection during these first steps.

The Vienna self installer was simple and straight forward and Vienna was ready to use in MSFS. Documentation included in the download consists of 7 pages in Adobe format. Although I’ve been accustomed to payware products that provide anywhere from no documentation at all to over 400 pages of sometimes overtechnical reading, I felt the Vienna documentation to be somewhat disappointing. Documentation for airports and sceneries are indeed much simpler, unlike aircraft that require an understanding of systems and performance limits. However, a better understanding of the product's included features or details, perhaps a map of the surrounding area, could be improved on. Though the documentation is brief, included are the questions and answers to the known issues that may occur and the Fly Tampa support forum is still there to help, should the need arise.

An All New Vienna

Commonly, we reviewers include comparison screenshots of the sceneries before and after, but with such expertise of designers like that of Fly Tampa, it's only a question of how much detail is included. With the evolving flight sim community and the quest for realism, comparisons to the default MSFS its like the old apples to oranges, it's hardly a comparison anymore. We’re really down to comparing products to the real thing now, especially with the technology that is currently available.

Throughout many forums, enthusiasts will argue details of products. Some will say, "why pay so much attention to detail at airports behind the scenes and not more on the flight line when they are really just flying in with the heavies and looking for a realistic airport gate to park at?" Others enjoy all the detailing they can get for their simulator experience. Well, does Vienna find that balance?

Fly Tampa has consistently improved on even more detailing in their airport sceneries. Vienna is featured in skillfully realistic detailing around every nook and corner. Buildings are highly detailed and realistic. The placement of objects, like parking cones and barriers, parked ground equipment and vehicles, add to the cluttered realism that can be found at any international airport. Advertisements, realistic signs and pavement markings can also be found throughout Vienna LOWW.

 

Detailed view of the gate
The gate signaller
No animated gates here
Gate 52 - PMDG's Air France 747

Attention to airport lighting, from buildings, terminals, taxi and runway lighting, to light poles and the animated vehicle traffic are highly detailed. Realistic pavement markings and pavement erosion are eye grabbing and quite a favorite feature of this reviewer.

Available hangar space, detailed inside and out, for your heavy can be found as well as ample parking areas for both commercial and general aircraft. However, Fly Tampa has once again left out the animated jet bridges but the gates are superbly detailed.

 

On final
Herc touching down
Runway approach lights
The terminal in winter

Bringing Vienna To Life

Taking a drive in my marshalling “follow me” van, following the service roads you’ll find animated catering trucks and service vehicles hurriedly on their way. Also, buses traveling to and from parking gates keeping up to the busy schedules.

Traveling off airside was the same experience. Cars and trucks traveling to parkades and buses coming in and out on schedules, bring life to this busy International Airport. Vehicle lighting is also featured in the early dawn and evenings.

Although animated jet bridges are not featured, docking signs and animated marshallers are featured to put you on the spot for your parking. While there is a nice feature of airport service traffic and traffic off airside, you won’t find catering trucks or baggage vehicles actually coming to your aircraft at the gate. No snow plows or de-ice stations either.

Just off Vienna (LOWW) is a refinery with three smoke stacks with smoke effects. At first, I would have stated this to be a nice touch to include this scenery off the airport, however after many flights in and out of Vienna (LOWW) in several different times and seasons, I found the smoke effects quite unrealistic and distracting. They can easily be deleted following the instructions in the documentation.

Static aircraft are available as a separate download as described in the documentation, however during my review, I had Traffic 2005 running in the background with traffic settings varying from 20 to 80%.

 

Taxiing to the gate
A DHL 727 at spot 99

Performance

As described in previous reviews of Fly Tampa sceneries, performance is once again outstanding. Running Flight Environment, Traffic 2005, along with several payware aircraft including PMDG Queen of the Skies, Captain Sim’s 727 and C-130 and others, you may be able to spot in my screenshots that performance was not an issue for my system. If my framerates had any issues at all, I would have to attribute it to the performances of the various payware addons running simultaneously.

 
The tower at dusk
Looking across to the tower
Spot 22 in the snow
Dawn lighting

Keeping the traffic percentage lower may have been the only setting I adjusted during my review. The recommended system (using full realistic AI traffic) is: 3+ Ghz Processor 768 MB RAM and a 256 MB Graphics card.

Summing It Up

Well, finding that delicate balance of performance and detailing as well as developing a product for an ever evolving flight sim community, Fly Tampa’s Fly Vienna has once again come through. Though it may be lacking some details I may have personally preferred, and included details I wasn’t expecting, overall the quality of detailing and equal performance makes this a fantastic addition to the MSFS library.

Fly Tampa has one again raised the bar for scenery designs with Vienna’s stricking attention to detail as well as flawless performance, all combined in an affordable package to enhance your Flight Simulator experience.


 

What I Like About Fly Vienna
  • Superb realistic pavement rendering
  • Excellent performance with other payware products
  • Realistic look and feel of what a busy International Airport should be
  • Animated vehicles throughout give great life to Vienna(LOWW)

 
What I Don't Like About Fly Vienna
  • No animated jet bridges
  • No animated vehicles servicing your aircraft
  • Documentation was less than expected

Printing

If you wish to print this review or read it offline at your leisure,  right click on the link below, and select "save as"

Fly Vienna

(adobe acrobat required)


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The review above is a subjective assessment of the product by the author. There is no connection between the producer and the reviewer, and we feel this review is unbiased and truly reflects the performance of the product in the simming environment. This disclaimer is posted here in order provide you with background information on the reviewer and connections that may exist between him/her and the contributing party.

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