The Lubeck Airport’s (EDHL) history goes back to the early 20th Century, when its first significant activity was to train military pilots during the First World War. However, in 1930 the airport was leased for agricultural purposes and the activity only resumed in 1933 when the military operations returned. After the end of the Second World War, the airport saw its most action during the Berlin Airlift when the venerable Dakotas flew some 100 sorties per day from the field.
The modern renaissance of the airport began in the early to mid 1990’s with the installation of the ILS, and in 2000, the first scheduled flight connected Lubeck with London-Stansted, courtesy of low cost Ryanair.
Lubeck airport is only 34 miles northeast of Hamburg Airport and serves its metropolitan area. In addition to Ryanair, Wizz Air also offers scheduled service from Lubeck, and an expansion plan is underway to extend and expand the runway and apron.
Aerosoft’s version of the Lubeck airport is available for both FS9 and FSX, and according to Aerosoft, “the goal was to provide the community the best possible model of the airport.”
Installation and Documentation
The Airport Lubeck-Blankensee comes as a 60 MB download for FS9 and 83 MB for FSX, and installs by double clicking on the executable file. Enter the provided registration info and the installation is straightforward. Once installed, the scenery activates automatically within FS9 and FSX.
Documentation includes two PDF files. The first one provides charts that include SIDs, and STARs, and the second PDF is a product manual with technical information and a history of EDHL. The manual is short and to the point, and in typical German fashion, well organized.
German and English versions are in the same file so you have to scroll through the file before the text appears in English. According to the manual, the airport is part of the Aerosoft’s German Airports 3 and is compatible with the VFR Germany North.
The scenery includes only the airport, which is rather small, but covered in detail. The scenery of the airport itself is very detailed and includes photorealistic ground textures and numerous custom buildings at the airport.
In addition, the scenery comes with the small program called EDHL Traffic, which configures AES. However, this feature is not documented in the manual. Unfortunately, I do not have AES so I did not see any aircraft movement at the airport. In FSX, there is a warning that if you use AI traffic add-ons other than MyTraffic X, you may not see any AI airplanes until you disable the option “Aircraft Casts Shadows on Ground”.
There are however, plenty of cars, vans, buses and ground equipment moving around the airport. This dynamic scenery really livens things up. It is really a treat when flying a short approach in FS9 to see the moving vehicles on the highway. I suspect that the fans of AES will have an even better experience.
Since this is a very small airport, there are no air bridges/jetways. Again if you have the AES product then the servicing of the aircraft becomes much more involved, but that is another product altogether.
The dynamic scenery included is enjoyable, but again due to the airfield’s size it really means there is not much going on.
The textures that come with the airport - just like in another of Aerosoft’s product that I had the pleasure to review - are excellent. There is a mixture of several textures of grass and dirt, and the runway surroundings appear very realistic. The buildings are done very well, but the inside of the terminal is non-existent. Well, not quite, since there are some odd things inside the terminal, but they look more like anomalies than the finished product.
On the other hand, the numerous 3D car models in nearby parking lots do not seem to affect frame rates. Those cars add a lot to the overall feel of the scenery. Night textures and lighting are improved and the night scenery is enjoyable as it provides subdued lighting and realistic glow of the airport’s interior lights.
The buildings all have custom textures - just like the ground- and they are presented extremely well. I switched between seasons to see if the airport comes with winter and summer textures, and I am happy to report that there are winter textures present.
The runway at EDLH is fairly short at 2102m, but long enough to accommodate your typical A319 or 737. Runway textures are also custom-made and really well done, and so are the approach lights and satellite buildings surrounding the field, including the sailplane base. In FSX, the sailplane base is more detailed. One detail that I was happy to see was the airport perimeter fence.
In the performance department, this scenery is exceptional in both sims and on my not-so-new system. Even with all the dynamic add-on scenery turned up and autogen at very dense, I had little or no frame rate impact while flying or driving around – maybe due to the fact that there were no AI airplanes on the ground. The frames were stuck at 20 in FSX (my limit) and steady at 26 (also my limit) in FS9 at 3072x768 resolution.
Even though this is a small airport, the authors have done a masterful job in optimizing how it works. All of the custom textures load quickly and there is no blurring or performance degradation in the sim. The transition between the custom scenery area and default textures appears very well done. Again, Aerosoft’s balance between the eye candy and performance was well executed.
This Lubeck (EDHL) airport is done very well. It has many details, moving traffic in and around airport, and great textures. It also boosts excellent performance on an older system, and provides a flyer with another detailed airport to visit and explore.
If you are interested in exploring Germany or have any sort of ties to the area, you ought to go get it. You should also get it if you plan to fly there often because approaching the airport at high FPS while passing the moving cars is truly immersive.
One thing to keep in mind is that the airport is small, and even in real life there are not that many things happening. After the novelty wears off there is a chance you might find yourself bored. On the other hand, you may just need to change the seasons in FS9 or create an adventure in FSX and then you’ll fall in love with the place all over again.
What I Like About Lubeck-Blankensee
What I Don't Like About Lubeck-Blankensee
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