AVSIM Commercial FS9/FSX Scenery Review

Dallas Fort-Worth

Product Information

Publisher: FSDreamTeam

Description: Scenery add-on .

Download Size:
73.9 MB FS9 - 98.3 MB FSX

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FS9 / FSX
Reviewed by: Aidan Sandri AVSIM Staff Reviewer - September 5, 2010

Introduction

Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport (KDFW), is between Dallas and Fort-Worth and generally serves the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.  It is the busiest airport in the US state of Texas.

In 1927, Dallas proposed a joint airport with Fort-Worth, but they declined and each city opened its own airport (Love Field and Meacham Field). In 1960, Fort Worth purchased Amon Carter Field and renamed it Greater Southwest International (GSW), in an attempt to compete with Dallas' more successful airport. GSW's traffic continued to decline to Dallas' Love Field Airport. In the 1960's, he Fort-Worth share of Texas air traffic was 1%, while Dallas was receiving 49%, which led to the virtual abandonment of GSW.

The joint airport proposal was revisited in 1961 after the FAA refused to invest any more money in separate Dallas and Fort Worth airports. Although the Fort-Worth airport was eventually abandoned, Dallas Love Field became congested and had no more room to expand. Following an order from the Federal Government in 1964 that they would choose a site if both cities could not come to an agreement, officials from the two cities finally agreed on a location for a new regional airport that was north of the abandoned GSW and almost perfectly equidistant from both city centers. The land for the airport was purchased by both cities in 1966, and construction began in 1969.

It has seven runways, four of which are heading North-South, all four are over 13,000 feet. In 2009 over 56 million passengers went into Dallas-Fort Worth making it the eighth busiest airport in the world.

Installation

The installation of Dallas-Fort Worth is simple but an internet connection is required. When you commence installation, it connects to the host website and downloads some additional files. Once that's completed it goes on to finish the installation process.

You need to restart your version of Flight Sim for the installation to be completed. Once you re-open FSX, two security warnings will be presented, the Coutal Scripting Engine and the Add-On Manager, which you must accept as trusted. Once you have done this, the scenery will finish loading and you will be ready to go.

If you press the "Alt" button at the airport, select Add-Ons on the toolbar, two new sub headings will appear in that Add-Ons menu - The Couatl Powered Products which lets you choose key settings, and the Add-On Manager which lets you control ParkMe and the YouControl features.

The Add-On Manager lets you buy your product on the web, register the serial code, reinstall and some additional options. There are also a number of tweaks to customize your settings. The tweaks are there to improve your FPS performance, but I did not find impact on my system. You must restart FSX for these effects to take place.

ParkMe and YouControl feature:

ParkMe is only available in Flight Simulator X. By pressing Ctrl+Shift+P a menu pops up showing what gates are available to park in. Another fantastic feature is the docking system, as you line up to park, the docking system will tell you whether you need to move, left, or right. If you see no signals with a row of orange lights you are lined up. Another great feature is the display that shows you how many feet are left until you will be required to stop. It will then rate your parking skills.

YouControl, by pressing Ctrl+F12 a menu bar pops up allowing you to open up any of the six hangars with this feature and park your plane.

Version 1.0.5 Patch

Test System

Computer Specs

Intel i5 750 @ 2.66ghz
Nvidia 9800GT 1gb >
8gb ddr3 1333mhz ram
Windows 7 64 bit, Home Premium.
Logitech 3D Extreme Pro
TrackIR 4

Flying Time:
44 hours

On the 10th of August 2010, FSDreamTeam released Version 1.0.5 for KDFW. The Version 1.0.5 update addresses any bugs that have been reported by users to the developers. Version 1.0.5 is the third update since the initial release.

1.0.3 Addition
This version increases the LOD loading range for taxi lines.

1.0.4 Addition
Fixes a misplaced Glide slope on RWY18R

1.0.5 Addition
Fixes a problem with landing lights on some areas.

If your installer reads 1.0.5, FSDreamTeam suggest that you do not need to apply this patch as it is already included.

Scenery:

This airport, designed by the FSDreamTeam, sits on high resolution photoreal textures. The runways and taxiways are all at a very high resolution, making it crisp and clear to read the markings from your Virtual Cockpit. This enables you  to navigate to the active runway without the assistance of the progressive taxiway lines provided by the default Air Traffic Control.

On the main area of the airport, all the terminal and jetways are placed on the textures. The taxiway lines are realistic, even down to where it marks where each aircraft type is required to stop and line up with the jetway. The jetways also connect up with the aircraft you are using. 

With the high resolution textures, I had noticed whilst flying over this airport several times that at the edges of the scenery some of the textures are blurry and do not have custom 3D objects placed on top of them, but were instead a blurry unrealistic airport. Users who fly commercial airliners will fail to notice this, but people who flies over it in a piper cub or a helicopter will. FSDreamTeam have appeared to have not included 3D objects on the edge of the scenery and it seems to be aimed at people who fly commercial airliners as they will fail to see this.

The simulated vehicles do not look correct. . Firstly, there are not enough cars around the airport, they are scattered and should be closer together. Secondly, they seem to appear as a "cardboard cutout" and do not actually represent what real vehicles look like. Lastly, this is not FSDreamTeam's fault, but the cars do not go under the modeled aero-bridges, this is a FSX limitation as you cannot have cars going under the bridge and AI Traffic going over the bridge. The developers decided to choose traffic over the bridge as this is more important than cars going under.

There is no custom AI Traffic included into this airport, with that said, it is compatible with 3D party AI Traffic such as the Skai Traffic program, WOAI, default FSX traffic and various other companies. The AI Traffic does work over the 3D aero-bridge and does work with all the simulated jetways in this airport. Unfortunately, I use the Orbx AU Traffic, which does not work in North American Airports, but hopefully when they do release it will work at DFW.

The Skylink Train at Dallas-Fort Worth has been modeled onto the train line as a smooth 3D 'animation' which moves around each terminal and stops for a few moments like it would in real life (to let passengers on and off). The one thing I did notice is that there are two train ways, each going in separate ways. From watching a video on YouTube, the train ways were next to each other with a small gap in-between each line, but it looks like FSDT made the gap to far apart.

The things I enjoyed most about this scenery are the limited number of bugs I found. I searched high and low for these, but only found one problem which I think was deliberate. In Instant Replay, you will be unable to see the 3D modeled terminals, taxiways and runways. You can see this in the two pictures below. will only, if you do not use the Replay Function, this does not affect the product, but if you are somebody who makes flight simulator videos and use this function, obviously this will impact you.

When I say this is deliberate, it is an FSX design limitation that when you draw scenery in simconnect, they will not appear in instant replay mode. This is in all of the FSDT scenery releases.

The night lighting at Dallas-Fort Worth looks unrealistic and looks to be the default airport night lighting placed around the entire airport, with that said though, around the taxiways and runways the lighting appears to bring the airport to life and you will never be lost when taxing to the runway or the gate.

The night lighting around the  airport did not feel realistic and this is an area for improvement in future releases.

Performance

I did not see an FPS loss whilst flying around Dallas-Fort Worth. I kept my normal settings which were locked at 32FPS and to my surprise, they stayed between 31 and 32 frames around the scenery. A lot of care seems to have been taken in making sure users, who fly heavies, can still use this airport with minimum frame impact.

Closing Remarks

FSDreamTeam have done a fantastic job with this scenery, and I have enjoyed flying around it. There is plenty to explore in this airport and it has a lot of great features to keep a simmer occupied for many hours. This airport is priced at $33 US Dollars and for the features included, I feel this is a fair price.

 

What I Like About Dallas Fort-Worth

  • Runways and Taxiways are very crisp and clear.
  • ParkMe and YouControl Features.
  • Skylink Train is realistically modeled
  • Jetways move to dock with aircraft.
  • DirectX10 Support.
  • Pricing is fair.

 

What I Don't Like About Dallas Fort-Worth

  • No 3D objects on some photoreal textures, which are blurry.
  • Static Cars do not look realistic.
  • No Custom AI Traffic.
  • Some of the Night Lighting is not realistic. 
  • Instant Replay does not show scenery.

 

Printing

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Dallas Fort-Worth

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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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