Eighteen airports (18) for the price of one.
If you have an older computer that just cannot perform well with the new high definition candy out there, maybe this one is just for you. 18 airports of acceptable, yet not demanding, quality that will not bring your P4 to its knees so fast. This product, although distributed by Aerosoft, is made by an outside party, namely FlyMex. A well known developer primarily serving the Spanish speaking FSX community whose website, although being Spanish, is also supported by English translations.
It is not made of the higher quality bit maps of more expensive single airports, but you do get 18 airports of lesser but useable quality in an area usually neglected by the native FSX layout: Mexico.
You also get some landclass, mesh, and some charts. It is sold as one package that includes both FSX and FS2004 versions.
Installation and Documentation:
Although made by FlyMex, the installation routine is identical to other Aerosoft products, where you are prompted for your email address and the serial key provided at purchase. Nothing could be easier, and you are allowed to change the path of installation if you so desire, as it is also activated for you.
Documents are found under the title menu named FlyMex and include a manual and charts. Two entries are made in the scenery library of FSX; one for the airports and one for the landclass.
The 18 Airports:
Listed below are the 18 airports of Mexico. One is large, a few are medium but most are small with only one runway.
Most airports are laid over photo-real ground textures probably made for earlier versions of Flight Simulator (pre-FSX lack of mipmapping) which consequently can suffer from excessive shimmering when viewed from a distance.
A couple of airports have so many third-party trees and/or buildings that performance can be severely degraded, most notably at MMAA and to a lesser degree at MMGL. Otherwise, frame rates were usually mediocre (12-) to highly fluid (24+).
Some tarmacs featured dynamic luggage carriers and personnel. Textures for both tarmacs and runways/taxiways are of a lesser than expected quality.
Here are some snapshots of the terminals. Most are quite nice, a few are a bit bland. Some of the ground and tarmac textures are not up to par with the high quality textures that Aerosoft usually puts out. For instance, take a look below at MMQT.
Some charts are included, but are not in the format I am familiar with, which actually makes them more interesting to me. Although in Spanish only, they are quite informative just the same. It seems most approaches are of the VOR(and VOR/DME) type only.
I present here a few examples:
Landclass, and night textures:
This Mexican scenery installs landclass in its own folder which can be activated and deactivated using the FSX scenery World/Library method, if you prefer to use another third party's landclass. Airport sceneries are in an altogether separate folder, so you can enjoy the best of your sceneries.
As for mesh, I use FSGenesis payware mesh. There is no need to be preoccupied with the mesh activation because FSX uses whichever mesh is most accurate, regardless of where it is as long as it is in an active folder.
The west coast is much more interesting than the Gulf coast, probably due to the extensive topological twist and turns that supports a great visual treat from any angle. On the other side, on the Gulf coast, it is barren and flat.
Here are a few snapshots showing the landclass enhancements and city development as provided by FlyMex Mexican airports:
It seems that the landclass folder, when deactivated within the scenery library, had little to do with some landclasses which were then deactivated when the airport folder was deactivated. Confusing. Regardless, there are some obvious improvements with it active, some only subtle, as seen below. Also shown are some top views.
Night textures were limited to the buildings and very little was applied to tarmacs. The custom approach lighting was poor in most cases.
Summary / Closing Remarks
Yes, there are 18 airports which obviously took a lot of labour to draw and position correctly. Yet the quality is still at the FS9 level due to some limitation on the mipmapping levels (I cannot be specific). At altitude, some of these limitations are not very good. Two airports, MMAA and MMGL, were such low performers that I could not land there with any degree of fluidity. Now this could be my setup.
All I can safely conclude is that if you like to have a lot of airports to fly to and from, this is a good inexpensive product for you IF you are not too fussy about having the highest quality for ground textures.
These airports do not blend as well with adjacent tiles as do high end products (albeit much more expensive) of singular airport packages from Aerosoft. At that price per airport, this package would have cost 500 dollars; yet it is only around $30.
Building textures and drawing quality were, on the other hand, quite nice at most airports. You get what you pay for...
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