AVSIM Commercial FSX Scenery Review

Dublin X

Product Information

Publishers:  Fly Wonderful Islands

Description: Scenery add-on .

Download Size:
230 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FSX
Reviewed by: Rick Desjardins AVSIM Staff Reviewer - July 11, 2010

Introduction

Dublin Aiport, EIDW (known as Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath in Irish) is located in Collinstown in County Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. In 1936 a new national airline "Aer Lingus" was established by the government and began it's operations out of the military aerodrome in Baldonnel just south of Dublin. Shortly thereafter it was decided that it should operate out of a civilian airport, so one was established at Collinstown just north of Dublin.

Construction of the new facility began in 1937 and it was officially opened in 1939 with a grass surface airfield, two years later in 1941 the terminal building was completed. In 1947 three new concrete runways were added.

Throughout the ensuing decades the airport experienced tremendous growth in traffic and then with the introduction of wide body aircraft, the runways had to be extended and the teminals expanded again. As this growth and increase in traffic continues there was a project in the works to build a new runway parallel to 10/28 which was opened in 1989. Runway 11/29 is now closed and is used as aircraft parking.

As Ireland's busiest airport more than 20 million passengers passed through it's facilities in 2009. The airport also has the distinction of being one of only two airports outside of North America that has US Border preclearance services for passengers destined to the US.

Test System

Intel i7 920 OC @ 3.8 Ghz
6 Gb RAM
EVGA 285 GTX w/1Gb video
Win 7 Ultimate 64
FSX w/acceleration
Ultimate traffic 2
REX
UTX Europe
AES 2.06

Flying Time:
20 hours

Installation

Straightforward is what comes to mind. Start the installer and enter your registration information, the installer will then locate your installation of FSX and complete the process. It will also make the scenery active in FSX adding it to the scenery library. If you have a look you will see two new entries FWI_ EIDW and FWI_EIDW_LC.

The installer will also create a new program group "Fly Wonderful Island" and it is here that you can get access to the manual.

Documentation

The scenery comes with a seven page PDF document. It gives a brief history of the airport, lists the system requirements which are modest and should be well within the range of most flight simmer's system specs (see below), installation and removal of the scenery and a link to access real world charts for the airport. The final two pages deal with FSX performance; they include screenshots of the Graphics and Scenery tabs in the Settings-Display menu item along with their recommended settings. Of note, it is stated that ground shadows must be turned off.

Approach charts are not included but you are given a link to the Irish Aviation Authority's website where you can access them. This seems to be the growing trend to include only the web link rather than the charts.

Recommended minimum system specs include a graphics card with 256 Mb memory, 3Ghz CPU, 1 Gb RAM, and 283 Mb of hard drive space.

Scenery

This is my first time ever flying out of an airport created by this group and my initial impressions of this scenery was very positive. The difference between the FSX default version of the Dublin airport and this one from Fly Wonderful Islands is like night and day!

FSX default Dublin Airport Fly World Islands Dublin Airport
Departing from rwy 34 FSX default Dublin Airport Departing from rwy 34 Fly Wonderful Islands Dublin Airport

This rendition of Dublin airport has two active runways; 10/28 at 8652ft and 16/34 at 6798ft. Runway 11/29 is no longer active and is used as parking space for aircraft. I suspect that this scenery is representative of the airport in and around 2007 after the start of construction of the new Terminal 2 which is being built adjacent to Pier C.

Firetrucks at the ready

Observing the airport at ground level you quickly see that this is indeed a busy place. There are vehicles of all types parked on the tarmac and around the various structures within the airport grounds; baggage carts, trailers, pushback tractors, fuel trucks, mobile stairs, cargo trucks, cars, etc. There is quite a variety here and the mix includes both static and dynamic traffic. Taxiing to or from your stand you will need to keep an eye out as this is a congested airport even though it is not large.

Lots of vehicle clutter and wear and tear on the hard surfaces

Overall the ground textures for the grassy areas, adjacent roadways and the hard surfaces such as aprons, runways, taxiways and aircraft parking areas look good and are fairly well detailed. The hard surface areas show the signs of wear and tear that you would expect with high volumes of traffic. You have faded areas, visible surface cracking and of course dirt, fuel and oil residue along with rubber marks on the runway touchdown zones.

I did notice however that some of the textures for the parking areas and the roadways adjacent to the airport buildings looked blurry. This was especially noticeable when these less defined areas were right next to the higher resolution surfaces I mentioned above. On the ground you really couldn't tell but in the air it really stood out.

Blurry ground textures

The ground markings have a weathered look and for the most part come across as very well done. There are some instances where these painted markings extended onto the bordering grassy areas. I noticed this on a few of the taxiways and on the north apron area. Just as with the blurry ground textures it was most obvious when flying overhead. I have included several screenshots showing just what I mean.

When it came to the buildings, overall I was happy with what I saw. Spread throughout the airport there is quite an assortment of buildings. You have the main terminal area which is in a horseshoe shape, at one end of it you have the north apron with the large SR Technics building, in the centre is the passenger terminal and Peirs A, B, C and D, and then on the south east end of the horseshoe is the cargo apron.

The airport is depicted with the new Terminal 2 as yet unfinished and under construction so there is a large construction crane just to the north of Pier D.

Misplaced ground markings at north apron Some markings extend beyond the hard surfaces onto the grass

On the other side of runway 16/34 you have the control tower with a few more structures of varying size and shape and then south of runway 10/28 you have a small area that contains three helipads grouped together.

All are realistic in appearance. The colours weren't overstated, they include plenty of details, the lines are crisp and clean and the glassed in areas have a transparent appearance. They have also made sure to add items such as parked vehicles and freight in all the appropriate places.

Passenger terminal building Pier D Piers A and B
Another look at Pier A SR Technics building on north apron Control tower and hangers east of Rwy 16 34

On the roof tops, which some developers seem to forget or just give a token amount of thought or effort, were for the most part detailed. They placed such items as air-conditioning units, roof top windows, ducting and weathering effects that you would expect to see on materials and areas exposed to the elements. There was one instant where they seem to have dropped the ball, the graphic they used for the rooftop of the parking garage I thought looked rather odd. They took a graphic of a parking lot and just cut it to fit the roof top, it didn't line up and looked out of place.

Besides the buildings you will find that there are all of the other items you normally find at an airport such as VOR/DME, PAPI lighting, approach lighting, runway and taxiway signage and lights, antennae, perimeter fencing and more. As with most everything else the objects were detailed and realistic in appearance. The placement of a few of these objects was slightly off when looking at them from overhead.

Blurry ground textures and odd roof top texture Comms and radar complex north of rwy 11 29
PAPI lighting Helipad just north of control tower - note the light standards and weathering on the buildings Objects slightly off their mark

I was a little disappointed with one area of the airport scenery. When you get to the open car park areas to the east of the terminal complex there is very little in the way of 3D objects. It is mostly photo scenery, you can see that there are buildings and lots of vehicles parked but they haven't included any, which is too bad because after all the hard work they put into the rest of the airport they seemed to have neglected this part of it. Again at ground level you won't notice this but any approach or departure on the eastern side of the airport and this lack of 3D objects becomes very evident.

East end car park area

As a whole the airport blends in nicely with the surrounding landscape, I run UTX Europe and although there are obvious differences, they are not distracting and the overall affect is one that I was happy with.

Flying into this airport using ILS approaches went off without a hitch with the exception of runway 28. Sometime ago the frequency for this runway was changed from 108.9 to 111.35. In the original scenery download I received, the frequency was still set to 108.9 so this was wrong and did not match with the official airport charts. After bringing it to the attention of the developers it was immediately changed and is now correct. If you have not done so and fly instrument approaches you will need to download the update that is available via their support forums. The update is a simple file replacement of one of the bgl files.

The night time representation of the airport was really well done. The runway, approach and taxiway lighting looks good and is not overdone. Where there are lights on the sides of buildings, the textures show the light illuminating the surfaces just as you would expect in real life.

For pole mounted lighting, the lights themselves are not too bright and again you can see that the areas beneath and directly surrounding the light stands appear to be brighter than those areas that are farther away. Quite often at night you will see the hard surfaces completely lit up and then the grassy areas right next door are dark. This doesn't look very realistic but what they have done with this airport looks really good.

Night time overhead view of terminal area Approach lighting
Looking towards Pier D at night Pier B at night Building textures at night

Scenery Update

The developers recently released an update that corrects a few problems listed below.

Fixed the problem for AI holding short, runway 28 and 10.
Fixed the position of papi lights.
Runway 28 ILS changed from default frequency of 108.900 to 111.350

Summary

The developers have done a really nice job at bringing the busiest airport in Ireland to life and turning it into a destination that you will want to fly in and out of. Despite a few small problems, you are sure to enjoy Dublin Airport from Fly-Wonderful-Islands. You should seriously consider having this airport as a part of your flight simulator world.

 

What I Like About Dubin X

  • Busy airport
  • Blends in nicely with the surrounding countryside
  • Lots of details, vast improvement over FSX default
  • Night time lighting

 

What I Don't Like About Dublin X

  • Area east of terminal complex could have had more in the way of 3D objects
  • Some ground markings and objects seem to be placed incorrectly
  • Ground textures used for the airport roadways and parking areas were blurry in comparison to the adjacent aprons and taxiways
  • Parking garage rooftop looked sub par in comparison to other structure rooftops

 

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"

Dublin X

(adobe acrobat required)

Comments?

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

Tell A Friend About this Review!

2010 - AVSIM Online
All Rights Reserved