AVSIM Commercial FSX Scenery Review

Santorini X

Product Information

Publishers: Aerosoft

Description: Scenery add-on package.

Download Size:
231 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FSX
Reviewed by: Aidan Sandri AVSIM Staff Reviewer - October 10, 2010

Introduction

Santorini is a volcanic island in the Southern Aegean Sea (120mi/200km South-East of mainland Greece). It's the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and it forms the southernmost members of the Cyclades islands. Santorini is what remains of an enormous volcanic eruption which destroyed the early settlements of what was once a single island.

A giant lagoon on Santorini is surrounded by 300m/980ft high steep cliffs on three sides, the island slops downward from the cliffs to the surrounding Aegean Sea, on the fourth side the lagoon is separated from the sea by another island called Therasia. The lagoon merges with the sea in the northwest and the southwest. The water in the center if the lagoon is 400m/1300ft deep making it a safe harbor for shipping.

Santorini National Airport (LSGR) is north of the village of Kamair and serves as a civil and military airport. It has a small apron and the airport is able to hold six civilian aircraft at the same time. Santorini is one of the only major airports on the Cyclades islands. The main asphalt runway is 16L/34R which is 6792ft/2125m in length and large enough to accommodate a Boeing 757.

Installation

Santorini X uses the default Aerosoft installer. For those who haven't used it before it is a very simple and straight forward process. Download the installer from the link given in your Aerosoft account, unzip the file and open the .exe file. Follow the steps presented and enter your registration details as shown in your account (email and license code).

Once completed the scenery will be installed, and a folder called "Aerosoft" will be added. Inside the Aerosoft folder you will find a Santorini X folder which will have the manual in it.

Documentation

Test System

i5 750 @ 2.66ghz
nVidia 9800GT 1GB
8GB DDR3 RAM
Windows 7 64 Bit
Logitech 3D Extreme
TrackIR 4

Flying Time:
22 hours

Santorini X comes with an 11 page manual which covers various topics such as product information, compatibility with other products and recommended settings and other information regarding the actual airport.

Aerosoft recommend the following computer specs:
-FSX SP2/Acceleration
-2.0 GHz dual core CPU
-2 GB ram
-512 MB graphics card
-Windows XP/Vista/7.

My system is higher than Aerosoft recommended to run the scenery so I will be running with their recommended FSX settings. The manual isn't too long, it could be longer for simmers that are more in-depth on flying approach and ground operations as it doesn't include any charts, but Aerosoft advises that a simple Google search will allow you to find the charts for Santorini.

Inside the Airport

Santorini is one of those places in the world I have never heard of, it has been sitting at the top of the AVSIM Review list for a while now, so I thought why not explore a new place outside of Australia?

The inside of the airport is very detailed, it isn't a major international airport nor is it too complex to make your way to and from the active runway. From what I can tell on referring to imagery from Google Earth, the runways designed by Aerosoft are very similar to what you would find at the actual airport, the aprons also are accurate with the correct markings to different locations.

The one thing I disliked was the fact you didn't know where to park your aircraft. The only way for me to work this out was by referring to the stairs that connect from the aircraft door to assist passengers on getting down to the ground.

The terminal building has been nicely modeled by Aerosoft showing the buses out the front of the entrance and cars scattered around the parking area with the tower nicely situated in the terminal building. An Air BP refueling vehicle is placed slightly to the right of the terminal building and pole lights are also placed around the terminal building.

The Night Lighting around Santorini Airport is well done by Aerosoft. Usually the night lighting can tend to be an unrealistic colour as seen with other sceneries by other developers. I mentioned earlier in the review that you cannot tell where the parking spots are for the aircraft, but at night on the apron, the lights clearly show where the planes park, making it easier to locate the apron.

The terminal building, light stanchions and various locations around the car park are lit up just as in real life, reflecting what a simmer would actually see at the airport at night. If you look closely on the apron you will see a rather nice animation of a pilot inspecting his Cessna 172, not many sceneries tend to include small features like this, but it was great to see it placed into this product.

Outside the Airport

The entire island of Santorini has been modeled into FSX, all having custom photo real textures placed on them, including the island in the center. Unfortunately, when I was flying over Santorini I did notice that there was a rather large amount of textures that did not have any autogen placed on top of them around the island.

I did a test to see if there was any difference between having my Scenery Complexity and Autogen Density sliders from Extremely Dense to Dense and I could notice no visible difference in what they looked like, still leaving the textures blurred. The one thing I liked about the outside of the airport were the mountains just south of RWY 34 of the airport on Santorini. They are crisp and great to fly over in a Piper Cub or Cessna 152. I should note though that there is no autogen placed on the mountain.

Performance I commented earlier that I had more than what was required to be able to run the scenery, so I tested it outside my normal settings to what Aerosoft advised to set them with my frames locked at 30. I noticed no major effect in the frames, they stayed between 27 and 30 around the airport and the entire island.

There was some stuttering with the autogen and scenery complexity sliders were fully to the right, but I noticed no major difference in appearance when setting these both to dense and my frames became very smooth.

Here are the results of a FPS test I did at the airport lined up on Runway 34R in a range of different aircraft:

Carenado Cessna 185 - 28 FPS
Captain Sim 767-300 - 28 FPS
Lotus Sim L-39 Albatross - 27 FPS
A2A Sim Piper Cub - 29 FPS
Default Cessna 172 - 30FPS

Summary / Closing Remarks

Santorini X is an excellent airport created by Aerosoft and this simulation represents it very well, however it was disappointing to have almost the entire island with no autogen. A simmer who flies over it in a GA aircraft exploring the island may enjoy the scenery, but will be disappointed by the fact there is very little autogen. Somebody who flies a Boeing 757 or other types of commercial aircraft may enjoy it more as they will be focused on the airport and not the surrounding scenery.

Priced at just under $16 US Dollars, I think it is value for money. It is less expensive than what other developers charge for their scenery, but simmers will notice a difference compared to a more expensive add-on.

 

What I Like About Santorini X

  • Installer is Easy to use.
  • Night Lighting.
  • Pilot inspecting his Cessna 172.
  • Entire Island has custom textures.
  • Frames are good, but may be different for each aircraft you use.
  • Pricing.

 

What I Don't Like About Santorini X

  • Documentation isn't very long.
  • Lack of Autogen around the island.

Printing

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Santorini X

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