AVSIM Commercial FS9/FSX Scenery Review

Vilnius X

Product Information

Publishers: Aerosoft

Description: Lithuanian Airport.

Download Size:
450 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FS9/FSX
Reviewed by: Rick Desjardins AVSIM Staff Reviewer - September 3, 2011

Introduction

Aerosoft has recently released a detailed recreation of Vilnius International Airport, ICAO: EYVI. The airport is located approximately 6 km south of the city of Vilnius and is the largest airport in Lithuania. The airport began operations in 1944 with the main terminal opening ten years later in 1954. The building is noteworthy because of its 50s Soviet era design characteristics.

In 2007 a new terminal building opened increasing the airport capacity and enhancing the quality of service. The airport currently handles approximately 1 million passengers and just over 2600 flights per year on its single 8,250 ft runway 02/26.

Test System

Computer Specs

Intel i7 960 OC @ 4.2 GHz
6 GB RAM
ASUS 480GTX w/1.5 GB video
Win 7 Ultimate 64
FSX w/acceleration
Ultimate traffic 2
REX Overdrive, GENX, UTX
AES 2.13

Flight Test Time:

20 hours

Installation

Installation is straightforward but is now a two step process; installation and activation. The installation requires you to put in your registration information given at the time of purchase, point the installer to FSX and then let it install the files.

The second step is the activation of the scenery through the Aerosoft Launcher program; for this you must have an active internet connection.  The launcher starts automatically, again you will be prompted for your registration information. When the connection has been established it will verify the information and then fully activate the scenery.

Documentation

The scenery comes with a product manual and a full set of charts. The product manual is a concise eight pages. Like I do with every product, I recommend all users take the time to read the accompanying manual. It isn’t a long read and there are some items here that you may find useful such as checking the display settings.

It never hurts to compare these to your own if for no other reason than to be aware of any possible issues. Besides this type of technical information they also include airport specifics such as frequencies and runway statistics.

Vilnius International Airport

Through this add-on Vilnius airport has been completely rebuilt from the ground up giving the sim pilot an opportunity to experience a realistic recreation of the airport.

FSX Vilnius
Aerosoft Vilnius X

The airport has a simple design; a single runway with the buildings concentrated along the southwest side.

The largest and most prominent structure is the passenger terminal. It has several interesting characteristics; the main entrance with its balcony and ornamental railing, the vehicle tunnels with their scalloped rooftops and last but not least the building’s U shaped design. All of these combined give the building its rather unique design. Each of these are modeled making it a very nice reproduction. The only real down side I saw was the colouring but I will discuss that later in my review.

Overlooking the main terminal building
Another view of the terminal building

The fire hall is another good example of their fine work. This building is not large but it is worth having a closer look. The red and white checkerboard colour scheme draws your eye and then once you get in close you get to appreciate the fine work they’ve done. I really liked it, especially the subtleties like the recessed windows and doorways.

Fire hall

The cluster of buildings north of the AIS Met building includes the GA hangars, freight and storage facilities and are some of the most realistic looking of the scenery. They have the desired combination of lots of details and realistic colouring.

GA area
Storage huts

The fuel farm at Vilnius, with its two large fuel tanks, is another set of structures that gets your attention. Found in the centre of the airport I thought it had some of the best examples of those added details that is so important. Clearly visible in the screenshot are the access ladder and safety railing that goes around the top of these two large fuel tanks. The fuel farm also has a railway siding with offloading facilities.

Fuel tanks
Fuel farm railway siding

There is no shortage of airport objects giving you lots to look at. On the aprons and airfield are the usual array of items; tow bars, pylons, mobile stairways, etc. Throughout the airport grounds are signage, navaids, radar, fencing and more.

The difference here with many other airports would be all of the extra stuff in and around the freight hangar and maintenance areas. Often neglected but not so here. Items also include stacks of wood, piping, spools of wire and storage containers. Important additions to making this look like a busy place.

Localizer
VOR DME
Apron clutter
Met shack
Noteworthy details

Like any scenery there are going to be issues and this one is no exception. Two were fairly obvious. In several instances I found objects that were imbedded in others where they should not have been. These were isolated but still visible and distracting.

Misplaced object
Another example of the object placement problem

The other issue I noticed had to do with the colouring of some of the buildings; there were several that looked way too clean. Compared to most of the buildings in and around the GA hangars, the differences were very obvious. It was not only the walls of the buildings but the roof tops as well.  Buildings are exposed to the elements so you expect to see something in the way of discolouration and this was definitely lacking here.

The look is too clean
Unblemished rooftops

Animations

Being an Aerosoft product the airport and surrounding areas are populated with moving vehicle traffic which is a very nice feature. But there is more here, if you look closely you will see in several areas people walking around. I noticed this in two places; near the end of runway 20 there is an area under construction and there are a few men working and then in front of a GA hangar there is a man walking towards some parked aircraft.  I have seen this before in earlier sceneries but not too often.  It’s another little touch that adds something to catch your attention.

Walking to the aircraft
Ongoing construction

Jetways were not animated here which seems to be a bit of a trend with developers. I personally don’t have a real big problem with this as I typically add my airports to AES as they become compatible.

Vilnius has active docking which is available at most stands; they worked very well with my aircraft.

Ground Textures

The ground textures within the airport were really well done especially those used for the hard surfaces; I thought they were exceptionally good. I was able to see the effects of traffic on the runways, taxiways and the apron areas. Dirt and rubber stains were easily seen on the apron and in the parking areas as well. In addition, the markings and asphalt appeared to have suffered the effects of aging.

Weathered and stained parking spots

Grassy areas are also rendered with hi-resolution textures with some volumetric grass to help give that extra bit of depth. Through the use of the Aerosoft Season tool it is possible to match these textures to the season of your choice.

Ground textures
Winter ground textures

Night

The night time experience was very good. Overall I found that it looked very realistic with good lighting levels from the ground lighting and from the overhead pole lamps.

Overhead lighting in the apron area
Rwy 20 approach lighting

City of Vilnius

All too often an airport gets released and although it may be incredibly detailed and realistic by itself, it doesn't always integrate very well with the adjacent area and may end up looking out of place because of that. To minimize this effect Aerosoft surrounded the airport with a photo scenery base and populated it with autogen and several local landmarks.

What this does essentially is add the city of Vilnius. However, it is by no means a detailed or accurate representation of the city. If that is your expectation you will be disappointed. As I flew over the area at low altitude I saw numerous instances where autogen did not line up with the underlying textures or photo scenery.

Regardless, what they’ve done makes a huge positive difference in blending the airport with its surroundings. It also makes the approaches and departures much more realistic. So I have to say that overall I was happy with the end result.

Default autogen placed on top of photo scenery
Summertime in Vilnius
More of the cityscape

Even though this can’t be considered an accurate recreation of the city, they did add some local landmarks. The most prominent being the Vilnius TV tower. At 1071ft high it towers over everything else in the area and is quite visible. The tower makes a great point of reference when flying VFR and definitely something you will want to watch for when in the vicinity of Vilnius airport.

Vilnius TV tower

Summary

Overall I have to say that this is a very good scenery. Aerosoft has taken an airport that was neglected in FSX and turned it into one that is interesting and worthy of being in any simmer’s repertoire of airports.

 

What I Like About Vilnius X

  • Exceptional level of detailing throughout the airport.
  • Very realistic looking hard surface textures.

 

What I Don't Like About Vilnius X

  • Photo ground textures used for the city of Vilnius are blurry.
  • Autogen for the city of Vilnius does not always match the underlying textures.

 

Printing

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Vilnius X

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