AVSIM Commercial FS9/FSX Scenery Review

Sucre Juana Azurduy De Padilla Airport

Product Information

Publishers:  Latin VFR

Description: commercial scenery package that represents Sucre’s airport and its surroundings.

Download Size:
FS9: 41 MB - FSX: 104 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FS9 & FSX
Reviewed by: Benjamin van Soldt AVSIM Staff Reviewer - June 9, 2010

Introduction

Everybody knows Aerosoft. Everybody also knows FlyTampa. Both of these have set a standard in scenery design that many people want to reach, but can’t. That’s not surprising: both of these scenery developers deliver stuff that is always looking great. FlyTampa’s Hong Kong is an unforgettable experience with top-notch frame rates. Aerosoft has also delivered many top quality European sceneries, and both these developers are still out there, delivering great goods for our enjoyment.

But sometimes, a name comes along that you do not know and at first you hardly pay any attention to it. I am now talking about LatinVFR: this rather small developer doesn’t have much scenery released as of yet, but they are always hard at work. As their name suggests, they focus on sceneries in Latin America, but they extend to the Caribbean and South America. For that I’m grateful: we don’t have that many sceneries for Latin America and South America, save for Brazil, which is filled with nice-looking airports thanks to the work of Tropicalsim.

In this review I’m going to look at one of the latest offerings of LatinVFR: Juana Azurduy De Padilla airport, Sucre, Bolivia. Sucre is the capital of Bolivia, yet its administrative seat is in La Paz, and I dare say that LatinVFR’s scenery is probably the only payware scenery for Bolivia. I like this. No, let me put it more strongly: I praise each developer that goes out there and captures real world airport in FS sceneries that would otherwise have been forgotten. So, for just working on this scenery, I already want to congratulate LatinVFR. It is important we get to see more of the world than just Europe and the USA.

Note: in this review I focus on the FS9 version. What I have seen from screenshots is that the FS9 version and FSX version are hardly different, and the difference seems to be mainly in the quality of the textures, and the addition of a static DC3 model in the FSX version. I did devote a special chapter to the FSX version where I have placed screenshots from the FSX version. That way you can get some idea of how the FSX version looks.

Oh, and by the way, I will not write down “Juana Azurduy De Padilla” every time. For readability sake, I will just say SLSU.

Why this airport?

So it’s great that LatinVFR took the trouble to model SLSU in FS, but what’s so special about this airport anyway? I mean, there’s a reason that so many European airport sceneries are being released: there is a demand for them, and that demand is rather big. Most of them serve well-known, big countries that thousands, if not millions, of people visit every year. But who on earth wants to fly to and from Bolivia?

I want you to think about the approaches and departures which were the most fun that you have done in FS or as a pilot in the real world. If I’d have to think about the approaches, I’d probably say Hong Kong Kai Tak (in FS of course, I’m no real world pilot). The difficult checkerboard approach, coupled with the sheer adrenaline rush I get from flying low and slow over those houses with a Boeing 747 is just great.

Beware of what is a “fun” approach and what is simply “a nice” approach. Forgive my nitpicking on this issue, but I want to be very clear on what I mean, because many approaches are just that: nice. They are not especially thrilling, not particularly difficult. They are simple nice.

There are some notable exceptions: Hong Kong Kai Tak and Innsbruck have some pretty interesting departures. These are certainly thrilling, each in their own right. But Sucre is very different. It simply is great fun. It’s fun in a way I have never really experienced, and so in comparison with Sucre, I tend to think of Innsbruck as “especially nice”.

Why is SLSU fun and Innsbruck “especially nice”? It’s because of the circumstances you are flying under. SLSU is unique because of various parameters. Here they are:

  • The elevation of the airport is over 9000 feet. You know what that means: your engines produce much less thrust. There are more airports that are very high in South America, like Cuzco’s airport at Peru, which is at roughly 10000 feet AMSL.
  • The runway is sloped. Indeed, a FS9 airport with a sloped runway is not by any means new, but still a rarity. That said, the runway of SLSU is crazy sloped. It looks like they poured concrete over a hill and called it a runway!
  • The approach is occluded by hills right before the runway, and at the other end there is a valley. So, either you crash onto the hill, or you fall into the abyss. Nice!
  • And no, there is no ILS: you’re completely visual my friend.
  • The runway is 9000 feet long, meaning you can land somewhat bigger planes here than, for example, at Lula, another airport with a sloped runway.
  • There is one other thing: you feel as if you are landing in the middle of nowhere. The airport is tiny, much smaller even than Innsbruck’s airport. For me this gives the approach a rather weird feel that I find hard to express. You’d be hard pressed to find the same sort of thing in Europe, combined with all the other unique features of this airport.

To me, that sounds like a recipe for disaster, and with that a recipe for hours of fun. The problems are clear:

  • Because of the hills, you can’t afford to make any mistakes on final. Not just because you have to avoid these hills, but also because failure to do so will inevitably crash your plane into somebody’s house (yeah, people built their houses directly under your approach path…)
  • Because there is no ILS, you’ll have to take extra care to keep on track.
  • Also because of the hill, you are forced to land about a third of the way down the strip.
  • Because you land a third of the way down the strip, you don’t have much room left for error.
  • Because of the high altitude, reverse thrust isn’t as potent as it would otherwise be, further worsening your situation caused by you having to land a third of the way down the strip.
  • And to top it off, the sloped runway ensures that gravity also acts on your plane, and it’s for the worse. Not only do you land a third of the way down the strip; not only does your engine thrust provide half of its normal thrust; but to make it even worse, your plane is pulled down the runway by gravity.

It’s a challenge to get this right. And for those that think that this approach is difficult, consider departure: in that case, you can choose between a hill at one end or an abyss followed by a hill at the other end of the runway. So whatever happens, your plane will crash. The hill again poses a threat, because although you have a 9000 feet long runway, the high altitude lowers your engine’s thrust. Because of that, it takes significantly longer before you reach your rotating speed. Even if you get to it in time, my experience tells me that it doesn’t mean you will get to V2 on time. The only thing you can possibly do is fiddle with your flaps, otherwise you’re in for a short flight.

So, despite the challenge of operating to and from this airport, it is a bonus that the runway is so long. Most sloped runways we seem to have in FS9 are at airports where you can’t really land your airliner aircraft. Lukla, while very nice, can’t accommodate your Boeing 727-200. SLSU, however, can. (heck, just for fun I landed a 747-300 there. It took me multiple tries, but I got the plane down safe and sound, eventually).

This gives you the rare opportunity to operate airliners to and from an airport with some very unique aspects that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. To be clear, however: one by one, these aspects aren’t very unique. What makes this airport unique is the combination of all the aspects.

That is why SLSU was a good choice for a FS scenery add-on.

Installation and Documentation

Test System

Macbook Pro with:
Intel Cure Duo2 @ 2,4 gHz
Geforce 8600GT
4GB DDR2 RAM
Windows XP Professional SP3 32bit

Flying Time:
15 hours

Installation is simple. You get two zip files: one holding the actual scenery, the other holding a patch (apparently, some users reported objects mysteriously placed on the runway. I have seen no such problem, and so I didn’t install the patch. LatinVFR instructs you to only use the patch when you have this problem, and otherwise to refrain from using the patch).

Unzipping the scenery, I found an installer. Installation is quick and easy, although you should not forget to tell the installer your actual FS9 or FSX location. It defaults to the default installation patch, located in the Program Files folder. When that’s all done, though, installation is a matter of a click of a button, and then you wait to while the installer’s progress bar fills up. Note that the patch is not necessary for the FSX version. All is fine there.

After installation, you have to manually add the scenery to the FS9 or FSX scenery database, which is an operation most people should be familiar with. Otherwise, LatinVFR adds somewhat clear instructions on how to do this. Two PDF files are also installed with the scenery and these can be found in the installation’s location (defaults to Add-on Scenery/LatinVFR).

One PDF is a simple manual providing details of the airport and is a very nice introduction with some pretty pictures of the real thing. The other PDF provides you charts, for which I’m incredibly thankful. I wouldn’t have known where to otherwise get them, as Navigraph doesn’t offer charts of SLSU. The included charts are by Jepessen, and they look very good. They include all you need to successfully (try and) operate from this airport.

So far, I’m pleased with what I’m getting. Let’s go look at the scenery itself now. By the way, the procedures for SLSU are actually available in the AIRAC cycles Navigraph publishes. They just don’t seem to offer the actual charts.

There is one thing that puzzles me however: SLSU has various SIDs, but no STARs. Considering the place the airport has been built (on hilly land with lots of mountains), you’d think a STAR could really help making flying into this airport a lot safer. Still, there is no STAR. Why not? (Tip: I asked Ricardo Morillo, from LatinVFR, about this, and he gave me an explanation. Read it in the penultimate chapter).

The airport scenery

What exactly can we expect in this package? The manual says we get the airport, photo scenery for an area of 300 square kilometers and mesh scenery to complement both. Therefore, this is a complete scenery package that gives you all to enjoy this airport. First we’ll will look at the airport itself.

Overview of the built portion of the airport. The airport terminal.

The airport is tiny. Truly tiny, as a matter of fact. There is one runway, a rather small terminal building, some small warehouses and a BP petrol station. There are no hangars, no big, glass, modern structures. There are even hardly any taxiways. It’s mainly a runway and an apron with some buildings, nothing more. The screenshots above show the entire terminal area of the airport to the left, and the right screenshot shows just the terminal building. Let’s dive in and look around.

The BP petrol station Was the car involved in an accident?

First thing we encounter is the BP petrol station. It’s not very big, as can be seen. I quite like the detailing of it though. The texturing is rather sharp and looks pretty life like, although you might have already noticed that all sides of these two buildings are practically the same. This is because the same texture is used for all sides of these houses, which looks a bit weird.

The same fan on all sides of the house? That can’t be right. Then again, it’s not disturbing and I think one can easily live with it. One other thing I want to point out is the satellite underground used for the airport. You can see how it has been “cut” roughly where the car stands are. It’s not very neat and I’m not a fan of how this was done. That said, I have seen worse.

I have seen nicer cars than the one in this screenshot. This car looks like it has been involved in a traffic accident. The wheels particularly look strange. I should confess however, that from a distance it really didn’t look that bad. This is a sentiment I have with all the cars in this package: the closer you come, the worse they look. They simply look “muffled”, if you understand what I mean. I wouldn’t want to drive them.

I like the detail here. Right side of the terminal. Objects on the ramp.
Spotter’s place. People walking over the ramp. The control tower.

The terminal itself isn’t very big, and it seems to me there are just three gates. I only see three doors through which the passengers could get onto the ramp. Considering the size of the terminal, three isn’t that small a number. I’d find it pretty surprising if at any moment there are actually three aircraft parked here! There are indeed three parking spots, but with only two daily flights and no flights at night, it seems to me that at every point in time either none or just one parking spot will be occupied.

The virtual version of the terminal looks good to me. I like the details, the texturing and the modeling of the building. It looks well done. Admittedly, it doesn’t seem that there are that many details on the building itself. There is a wealth of objects positioned on the ramp in the manner of air stairs, plants, people, luggage carts and various other things. All help to make the airport seem busier and livelier and all look well. I should mention the weird wheels of the trolleys and stairs and such. They have an elliptical form; I doubt rolling them over the ramp is easy!

I really like the looks of that control tower. There is quite a bit of 3D detail in there. So okay, it’s not an Aerosoft thing, but I do end up with very good frame rates because of that. From a greater distance (namely, standing on the ramp with a plane) you really don’t notice the imperfections and all you see is a nicely textured control tower with some hanging wires. These wires don’t seem to be connected to anything however. They just hang in the air, as you can see fairly well on the screenshot of the control tower.

Warehouses. A fire truck. The same fire truck, but look at the wheels…

The final building on the ramp side of the airport is a warehouse. I acknowledge there isn’t much to say about it. The texturing is nice, the modeling is nice. It looks good to me. I only want to point out the fire trucks. It’s their wheels that are weird: they are elliptical and it seems they’ve miss a bit of the wheel.
Presently, it really looks like the front wheel is simply turned, which is realistic and looks good, but you quickly realize this can’t be the case because the hind wheels look exactly the same. Thus, the wheels just look weird and I actually wish a bit more care was taken in doing these wheels.

Back of the terminal. High contrast car park.

The final bit of the terminal-related part of the airport is the back. Here we find a rather large car park, given the minute size of the airport, there’s a nice park with trees and the like and some objects of which I guess are statues or monuments. All in all it looks nice, but I’d like to point out the ground texture. It has an awfully high contrast, hence the very white roads and the blackness around the cars.

I wish the contrast would have been less, it would have made it look nicer. That said how often are you going to onto this car park? Indeed, hardly ever. You’ll see it from the air when flying around the airport and on approach. Even then, it won’t be as noticeable.

The ground detail is fabulous!

You can say many things about the textures found in this package. Some probably find it too blurry in some areas, while for others it’s just fine. What you can’t say is that the detail of the textures used for the apron, taxiways and runway is bad. They are very sharp and they look very good. Tiny cracks and holes are spread over the apron and give a wonderful sense of a used, South American airport. I truly like these textures.

Standing at the end of runway 5. Standing at the end of runway 23.
So that’s how they did the sloping effect… These fences seem to be placed a bit strangely. The alignment of the runway markings with the rest of the runway is not optimal

I already told you about the sloping of the runways. Now you can see it for yourself. The first screenshot shows the end of runway 5: you can’t even see the other end of the runway. Now look at the other screenshot, showing the end of runway 23: if that’s not sloped and bumpy, then I’m an Opossum.

I actually tested it out: go stand on the sloped parts, release the brake, and your plane will move down the runway. Why is that great? Because it means FS simulates the effects of gravity: standing on a sloped runway actually makes your aircraft roll down the runway.

So how did they do it? See the third screenshot: the runway is actually built up of pieces stuck together above the mesh. So, the runway isn’t placed directly on the mesh, like would normally happen, but it hangs in the air. This is also the reason AI won’t be able to operate from this airport in FS9. They are not compatible with this sort of thing.

In FSX they are sort of compatible in that they can land and takeoff, but they’ll do all that in the air. So when they takeoff, you’ll notice that on some parts of the runway they will be hanging in midair.

It’s a pity that this workaround to sloping runways is visible. When taxiing on the runway, you can see these lines along and over the runway. These lines are there because a new “piece of runway” starts there. It’s a pity that these are so clearly visible, but then again, it’s something I’d have much rather have than having no sloped runway at all, since the sloped runway add so much to the airport.

Also look at the last screenshot of the series: the runway markings don’t align properly with the rest of the runway textures. The tiles the rest of the runway seems to be made up as they don’t match the tiles as presented under the runway markings.

The last thing I want to point out is the fence around the airport. It is positioned weirdly, certainly where the mesh is a bit bumpy. On these places, you’ll see piece of fence not aligned properly. That said I wouldn’t know exactly how to resolve it…

Let me tell you about one more thing concerning the airport: after installing this airport, you’ll find both SLSU and SLSV in your airport database, yet they signify the same airport. Why is that? It’s because of the sloped runway. SLSV is there for gate assignment.

If you want to start at an actual gate, you choose SLSV and you can then choose a gate to start at. If you choose SLSU, you’ll always start at the holding point for runway 5. If you want to make a flight plan to Sucre, however, you have to choose SLSU since this is the official code of the airport.
I have noticed however, that the ATC dialog uses SLSV, not SLSU, to refer to this airport. These are things you ought to be aware of! Note that the manual says this is only in FS2004. In FSX you have only SLSU, no SLSV.

Surroundings

So far so good. Now let’s take a look at the surroundings. We’ll use the default Bell Jet Ranger to that end. I’m not going to do this in the way I did it previously: I’ll only show screenshots and the descriptions will hold everything I want to say about that screenshot. There won’t be separate paragraphs like in the previous chapter.

Houses around the airport. They look nice, and they are fit for the job which is nothing more than simply standing there to fill up the terrain. These houses don’t have to be very detailed, and they are not; they are there to give us a nice approach into SLSU. On approach to runway 5, there are some moving cars. Not many, but enough to entertain you.
Welcome to Sucre! It’s a rather big town, as you can see. The photo scenery does a good job of giving an impression of the town, although the frequent whiteness worries me. I have the feeling the contrast is too high here, too. A soccer stadium. It doesn’t seem placed correctly. It should be turned 90 degrees to fit exactly with the photo scenery under it. Here is something I noticed: here you see lots of buildings…
… but here I see hardly any. I don’t know why this is. If these houses have been all hand-placed, I can understand it, but if this is autogen, it probably should be corrected. The mountains in the distance are not covered by photo scenery. Nonetheless, this looks good, because it seems as if this is the effects of gaze, not the exclusion of photo scenery. I personally find this a beautiful view. Let’s fly low and slow into the valley now.
I truly like the looks of this. The lush green and the sandy parts give it a very true-to-life feel. And we continue through the valley, until… ..we are suddenly kicked back to reality because we run out of photo scenery. That’s a pity.

The FSX Version, what to expect

As I said, this review is not about the FSX version. I don’t have FSX presently installed and so I do not dare to do an actual review about it. All in all, the scenery isn’t that different from the FS9 version, but I still wanted to show some screenshots of the photo scenery which is definitely a lot better in FSX (screenshots taken from the LatinVFR website).

Far better ground texture quality over Sucre. Stunning detail over the mountains. Again, the ground textures are a lot better in FSX than in FS9.
No big difference here with the FS9 version. No big difference here either. Here, too, there is no big difference with the FS9 version.

You can look at many more screenshots at the LatinVFR website.

Flying in and out of SLSU

I have already talked at great length about why operating to and from SLSU is a challenge. Now I am going to show what to expect. I have tried this takeoff and landing in the default C172, the Aerosim 737-200ADV and the Qualitywings 757-200. By means of screenshots and their descriptions I will show you a takeoff and landing utilizing the Aerosim 737-200.

It has taken me some time to understand what flap settings and thrust setting are advisable, but once you have figured it out, you’ll know what to do on most planes that you want to fly in or out of SLSU.

Please note that I will try at great length not to spoil anything for you, so you can try various flap and thrust combinations for yourself. Screenshots can be a source of spoilers however, so beware.

I elected to start this flight at the holding point of runway 5. The taxi isn’t very long, and soon I arrive at the edge of runway 5. Turning the plane isn’t easy and requires some coordination. This plane is rather small thankfully, and with the help of engine 1, I am able to turn the plane around and take off.
Don’t underestimate the takeoff from runway 5! You have to have your flaps set correctly, because this isn’t your ordinary takeoff. It took me several tries, but eventually I managed to evade the hills and get clear of the ground. Time to turn onto the downwind leg. In the meantime I look around at the scenery. The photo scenery adds a lot to the overall representation of the airport, making it a not only an exciting place to visit, but also a beautiful one. I only find it a pity that there isn’t more photo scenery around. Believe it or not, but the area covered is already over 300 square kilometers. Still, it would have been nice if it would have been even more.
On downwind leg, looking at what I’ll soon have to face. Who on earth builds an airport with an approach that send you over those high mountains? With the airport in the distance, I admire the photo scenery. It’s not really blurry, but it’s also not very sharp. Needless to say, even though it might not be perfect, I still think it adds tremendous value to the package. Currently, I’m flying over GEPro’s textures, and you see the difference. Such a pity not more photo scenery was included…
Time to turn onto base leg, with Sucre and SLSU behind us. Like I said: who on earth came up with the idea to build the airport there? You have to watch out for these high peaks… You can imagine that GPWS was screaming at me to pull up at this point.
Aligning with the runway. I am not that easily pleased with photo scenery, to tell you the truth. I always find something wrong. Sure, also in this case, but I am truly awed by this view. I’m not sure why, but the rugged ridges are stunningly beautiful in my opinion. On final approach, trying very hard to keep my descent rate good. As I said previously, landing here is done roughly at one third to halfway the runway, as the skid marks show. The mountains and hills are beautiful as ever.
I really feel as if I’m flying far too high, yet I can’t go a lot lower or I’ll crash into the ground. After touchdown, slam on the breaks and get those engines into reverse thrust, or you won’t make it. Okay, so I managed to stop way before the end of the runway, but the 737-200 is relatively light. I wonder how the 727-200 would fare doing this. Once you turned around (and at this end of the runway there is no such handy turning point as at the edge of runway 5), you may taxi all the way back.
So the sloping runway is a bit irritating here. Because of it, you have to apply excessive thrust in order to keep the plane going. Back at the apron, to unload our passengers and get some new ones. Plane is parked. I have tried taking off and landing at least five times total before I was able to successfully takeoff and land.

I hope to have given some impression of what it’s like to fly around this place. Let me point out some things especially:

• The way the sloped runway was made works well overall. I noticed however, that at the turning point there is a tiny piece that doesn’t fit onto the runway precisely as should be the case. As it is now when your turn the plane drops a foot or so despite the fact that it should all be at the same height at that point. That should probably be corrected.
• It’s terribly funny to takeoff and land from this runway, mostly because while racing over it your plane responds to these angle changes and you “feel” them when they occur. This is in stark contrast to your average flat runway where the angle of the cockpit relative to the ground is always the same. Believe me, first time you land here and race over the runway at a downward angle with an abyss seemingly coming into view, you might feel genuinely afraid that you won’t make it. I love that.
• The photo scenery is great and adds a lot. I won’t say that the quality of the photo scenery, at least in FS2004, is that great but it adds a lot of value. I only wish that it would have covered a bigger terrain, but I guess acquiring the rights to distribute this photo scenery in such a scenery package is expensive.

I also tried all of this with the Qualitywings 757, of which I have some screenshots for you at takeoff. Note that Aerosur doesn’t actually fly into SLSU using a 757.

The plane hardly fits its parking spot. Taxiing into the active, for as far as you can call SLSU “active”. Turning the 737-200 was easy compared to the 757-200…
Time for takeoff! Engine maxed and flaps down, here we go. We’re up and over the hills. To my surprise, after failing multiple times to take off with the C172 and 737-200, I learned enough to successfully take off with the 737-200 to do it well at the first try. Again, I love the photo scenery here…

This concludes the 757 bit. If you want to try this with the C172, please remember one thing: crank up the throttle or your engine will cut out. For the sake of experience however, it might be nice just to try it once: just load your plane and wait. After a second or so, the engine will simply stop and it’ll be very silent suddenly. When that happened to me, I felt completely useless. Simply try it out, it’s funny.

I said in one of the opening paragraphs that I did this approach with a Boeing 747, remember? Well, I decided to make a video of that. In all honesty, this is such a case where a picture says a thousand words, but a video “shows a thousand pictures”. I hope you like it!

Performance and AES

I can be very quick about this: the scenery will not be made compatible with AES. The manual explains why:

“ We won’t seek AES implementation because the airport is extremely small, no need for pushback truck, no jetways no need for a follow me truck and also the runway is sloped which hinders any chance of having it compatible.”

I personally find this a pity. I believe every word of what they say, but I still wonder if the moving air stairs and such couldn’t have been included. That would have made the airport even nicer. Pushback and such would indeed be unnecessary, which begs the question if we can get AES without these functions implemented. I won’t pretend to know what can and cannot be done, though. We’ll just have to live without AES, which is very well possible and isn’t needed so much to enjoy this airport.

I can be very quick about performance too: With all planes I tried, performance was great. The scenery clearly is very FPS friendly! You can check the FPS rate I had at most screenshots because I included the FPS almost everywhere. In short: with my FPS locked at 20, I never came under the 20FPS. Probably it was a lot higher than that, but rest assured that those with a better computer can have great FPS here without any problem.

An interview with Ricardo of LatinVFR

Whenever an add-on sparks my special interest, I tend to have a small interview with the developer. This scenery is such an add-on. What makes it special to me are the characteristics and location of the scenery that together makes it something that until now was, I dare to say, unseen in our FS world. I think the interview brought some interesting answers to light and I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

Question: Why did you decide to do this scenery?
Answer: Because of being such a complex airport and almost unknown in the world, it was also time to have a scenery for Bolivia that would let the FS community become aware and enticed into flying in this country. Also because we had already completed 2 of the most difficult and challenging airports in Latin America (MHTG and SPZO), Sucre is the last of the series of which Latin American airports of difficulty and challenging characteristics is involved, so we are also doing it for completion.

Question: How hard was it exactly do to this scenery? It has some features (most notably the sloped runway) that don't seem like they were easy to do...
Answer: It was difficult, we spent a few months studying the concept of a sloped runway, and thus after careful study we went ahead with the development. A lot of things had to be sacrificed such as AI traffic, we decided to sacrifice it since there are only 2 scheduled flights in and out of Sucre, also the texturing of the runway would not have been as great as any other payware runways since the “layering” system employed was not to be applied on the runway because the runway was in some form as a “3D object” rather than a 2D plane (which is what all runways are). Things that were the most difficult was also the adjustment of the runway with the mesh terrain of the area, this took too much time. But after beta testing and many landings and takeoffs everything was set.

Question: One thing I would have wished, is that the area covered by the photorealistic terrain would have been bigger. What is the reason you stayed with the size of covered area and didn't make it even bigger?
Answer: We would have wished it so also, but the quality of the images away from the city of Sucre were not worthy of making it photo realistic, and perhaps the scenery itself would have been looking worse. We decided to put land class coupled with the mesh terrain for the entire region.

Question: So actually, the photorealistic part is but a very small part of the covered terrain, right? The Mesh and landclass extends much further, right? is that what the 300 square kilometers refers too?
Answer: There is actually 300 square kilometers of photo scenery, the thing is that there are more photo scenery south and south west of the airport. Mesh and landclass covers the area around the photo scenery, to be around 500 sq kilometers including the photo scenery.

Question: Do you plan on making more Bolivian airports? For exmaple, Viru viru intl. (SLVR) would be great.
Answer: Yes we plan. I am afraid not SLVR in the immediate future, but yes La Paz SLLP.

Question: SLSU has various SIDs, but no STARs. Considering the fact that SLSU is in the mountains, you'd think having a STAR would be beneficial for heightened safety when operating into this airport. Could you think of a reason why there are no STARs for this airport?
Answer: Having spoken with many Bolivian pilots, the reason for this is that you can’t conduct an IFR approach by just relying on the charts because of the terrain and the lack of instrument nav aids that would precisely guide you. When weather gets bad in Sucre they just close the airport because flying almost blind coupled with the terrain is something that for this particular airport is not recommended. Often planes drift from STAR fixes and there is little room for error here. Basically this is for landing at a VFR airport only, which is why it’s also closed from sunset to dawn. I was thinking: had I been a Bolivian government official for the Aviation Authority, I would at least put a RNAV approach. Though perhaps they wouldn’t care too much since the type of aircraft that frequent SLSU is of the B727 and other older ones that haven’t a GPS system for navigation.

And this concludes this chapter. I would like to sincerely thank Ricardo Morillo for providing me with these interesting answers. It is good news that at least La Paz is worked on (in the near future, if I may conclude that from his answer).

Summary / Closing Remarks

It’s that moment again, when the review is almost finished and I have to tell you whether this scenery deserves a place in your library or not. Sometimes I dread this chapter of the review, but this time I do not.

The scenery gives you a nicely detailed airport with some unique characters that you’ll hardly find in our FS World, like the geographic (and cultural) location, the sloped runway and the lack of ILS. Together with that we get some nice mesh and photo scenery to complement the airport scenery and provide a very nice visual experience on approach to this airport.

In every one of these departments there is some room for improvement, but honestly, that’s something that is true for lots of scenery packages on the market. Ultimately, what you get here is a visually pleasing package with low FPS impact that can provide you with a lot of fun. And you know what’s best? This scenery is, given the stuff you get, very inexpensive. It’s around 16 Euros. And for that you get both FS9 and FSX versions.

So, in short, I truly recommend this airport. It looks good, it’s extremely entertaining and fun to operate in and out of and it’s easy on the wallet.

 

What I Like About The Sucre

  • Challenging operations in and out of this airport;
  • Sloped runway modeled correctly;
  • Overall, the airport is nicely detailed;
  • Mesh included;
  • Nice photo scenery included;
  • Charts included;
  • A very low price: roughly 16 Euros.

 

What I Don't Like About The Sucre

  • Some errors with the sloped runway here and there, but nothing big;
  • Contrast of the photo scenery is too high here and there for my taste.

 

Printing

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