AVSIM Commercial Scenery Review

German Airports 2
Leipzig/Halle

Product Information

Publisher: Aerosoft

Description: Scenery add-on.

Download Size:
132 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FS9
Reviewed by: Marlon Carter AVSIM Staff Reviewer - September 20, 2008

Introduction

Aerosoft has released another addition to the German Airports. Many simmers who are familiar with Leipzig airport and are tired of the bland default scenery will definitely welcome this addition. According to Aerosoft, Leipzig/Halle is featured with its latest and up to date layouts, buildings, objects, runways, taxiways, lights, and navigation aids. Just like the real life airport. Leipzig/Halle Airport, sometimes called Schkeuditz Airport (EDDP), serves Leipzig, Saxony and Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. This airport may not be a regular stop on your virtual flights but let’s find out if it should be!

Installation and Documentation

The manual is pretty much straightforward. It consists of 27 pages both in German and English. Installation instructions are provided and are very easy to follow. The program itself has a self installer and is also very simple and everything is done automatically. In the event that you may have to uninstall this product, instructions are provided showing how to safely do so.

This package comes with technical information on Leipzig airport and also has all the charts needed of the aerodrome which after being printed will be of good use to you online flyers. Most limitations of this package are also highlighted, including various ways to improve the performance of this product on your PC. These tipsare very useful and it was a kind gesture in my opinion of Aerosoft to include these helpful hints, since to the average simmer the smallest of issues can be very frustrating.

How does it look?

So, how are the terminals? Textures? Well the terminals, after being compared to real photos found online, are indeed very accurate and up to date. While they are very detailed they do not rob us of precious frame rates. Cars and trains, which are in constant motion, are also modeled quite well and flow very smoothly making the atmosphere at EDDP very much alive. Textures used also add to the realism.

The ground textures were apparently created from high definition aerial photographs and adds even more to the realism of this scenery package. At night time the scenery comes to life with subtle but adequate lighting along with the lights of moving ground vehicles. My one observation is that for users with slower PC’s may experience lengthy loading times and the textures may look a bit grainy depending on your hardware settings.

Airport overview showing new ground textures Flying over the terminal
View of the terminal with static traffic Ramp and parking area View of the bridge over the highway

Eye Candy

The German Airports 2 - Leipzig/Halle scenery comes with many features, here are some that are listed by the developers:

• Detailed representation of the airport and immediate surrounding
• All navigation aids included (ILS,VOR/DME,NDB,ATIS)
• Photorealistic day and night textures
• Taxiway bridge over highway
• Animated trains and train signals and announcement on the train station
• Over 2000 cars on the surrounding roads (actual number depends on time of day and frame rates
• AES Light to provide vehicle traffic in the platforms (new…. Cars now detect aircraft and give way)
• AES TrafficTool
• Based on aerial image (April 2008)
• New DHL included
• Porsche plant near Runway 26R
• New engine test hangar
• Surrounding includes small roads and small villages
• AGNIS docking system
• Ground textures with Mipmaps
• Extensive manual
• Original DFS-charts
• Compatible with AES (Airport Enhancement Services)
• Compatible with Ultimate Terrain Europe
• And much more

Did Aerosoft deliver? Well they did. Some of the features that stand out are the AES light, Taxiway Bridge over the highway and the animated trains. How many times have you completed your before engine start checklist, completed pushback and then AI ground traffic drives right through your aircraft?

The cars really do give way to aircraft but only if your parking brake is on. If it’s off, the cars will hit you and as mentioned by the developers in the manual, ground traffic can collide with AI traffic and even with each other depending on the density you have specified.

Taxiing to the runway and passing over the highway is a big treat and by far one of the features many can enjoy as part of enhancing the virtual flight experience and if I am not mistaken, this is the first time I have seen this recreated on any scenery package. It was at this point I noticed the speeding trains as they rushed to and from the station.

I just couldn’t resist, so after positioning my viewpoint from the bridge to inside of the train station, I was amazed at the high level of detail shown even in places no one may even look. I was also surprised at the announcements (in German of course) that can be heard before the trains leave, this is yet another first for me and certainly something you should checkout. The fun doesn’t stop at the terminal, even in the nearby villages, cars can be seen in constant motion creating an environment that is unique and alive.

View of trains and traffic on the highway Train headed into the station View from inside the train station

Over at the DHL cargo area, the atmosphere is no different. With static aircraft enabled, DHL aircraft can be spotted with more cargo ramp equipment making their way around the aircraft. The only thing missing is seeing the aircraft actually being loaded, but I guess that’s why its called static aircraft.

With all the fancy eye candy, there are, however, some limitations which Aerosoft has highlighted. For example, AI traffic cannot taxi over the bridge and will use the southern runways. The shadow of the aircraft you are flying will not be displayed correctly while taxiing over the bridge depending on your view angle and position of the sun. The AGNIS docking system works well but, depending on your aircraft, it may be difficult to see. Under the limitations section of the manual, helpful tips are provided as to how you can solve this problem.

View of the DHL terminal View of the DHL terminal DHL cargo ramp with static aircraft

Performance

Test System

Pentium 4 2.6Mhz
1 Gig Ram
128 ATI 9200 Graphics

Flying Time:
3.5 hours

Performance is always one of the most important aspects of any add-on scenery. My system is a Pentium 4 2.X processor with 128MB of video memory. It isn’t much but this product surely does perform well, giving excellent frame rates even with all the eye candy activated.

In the event that anyone is worried the about loss of frame rates, there are tools provided that will enable you to tweak the performance and display features. Tools such as the CarConfig Tool can adjust the areas where you may want vehicle and train traffic displayed. Also, by adjusting the density of the dynamic ground scenery in your version of MSFS, performance issues can be adjusted with regard to ground traffic.

More tips are also provided in the manual on how to adjust the scenery settings for max performance. The one problem I encountered was that initial loading of this scenery took longer than usual, but the second time loading this scenery was a lot faster and it continued to load at a reasonably normal rate. For users with a smaller hard disk, be prepared to spare over 450MB for this product which, in my opinion, is a lot to spare for just one airport.

Summary / Closing Remarks

This is a marvelous product. The documentation and charts available make the use of this product more or less a walk in the park. Features provided are refreshing to the virtual flying experience and sets a high standard for other developers to follow. This leave one question, why should I buy this product when I don’t even fly to Leipzig?

Well, even though you may not be a frequent flyer to German airports, unlike others, German Airports 2 offers very unique features that make virtual flying very realistic. Owners of AES will also enjoy this addition since the Leipzig scenery is compatible.

I have never been to Germany but because of this product, I can now have a replica of a German airport at my virtual finger tips and I am always find myself willing to fly the German skies.

View of the terminal at dusk/night Terminal and ramp view at dusk/night

 

What I Like About German Airports 2

  • Fun and intriguing features
  • Very accurate representation of the real airport
  • Barely any effect on frame rates
  • Easy to install and uninstall

 

What I Don't Like About German Airports 2

  • Takes up a lot of hard disk memory
  • Loading time can be longer on slower systems

 

Printing

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German Airports 2 - Liepzig/Halle

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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 to provide you with background information on the reviewer and any connections that may exist between him/her and the contributing party.

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