AVSIM Commercial FS9/FSX Scenery Review

Hawaiian Airports
Volume 2

Product Information

Publishers: FSDreamTeam

Description: Commercial airport scenery add-on.

Download Size:
82 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FS9/FSX
Reviewed by: Aidan Sandri AVSIM Staff Reviewer - October 28, 2011

Introduction:

Hawaii Airports 2, by FSDreamTeam is for both FS9 and FSX. The product includes two airports, in the state of Hawaii;

Kahului (PHOG):
PHOG has an elevation of just over 50 feet, and has two runways, 2/20 (7000 feet) and 5/23 (5000 feet). Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and WestJet are some of the main airlines that fly out of PHOG on a regular basis.

Kona (PHKO):
PHKO has an elevation also of 50 feet, and has a single runway 17/35 (11000 feet). Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Kona Shuttle and US Airways are a few of the airlines that fly into PHKO seasonally/regularly.

Within close proximity to Honolulu (PHNL), Hawaii Airports 2 is excellent for those who love to do short hops over tropical islands. The FSDreamTeam copy of PHOG and PHKO features:
- Fully customized ground and runways in high resolution, both in FSX and FS9,
- Animated custom ground vehicles (FSX only),
- Intensive use of LOD techniques in order to offer the best possible performances,
- High resolution building textures, and
- YouControl feature: custom airport actions with easy on-screen menu to trigger animations, events. (FSX only).

Installation and Documentation:

Test System

Computer Specs

i5 750 @ 3.5Ghz
Nvidia 9800GT 1Gb
8Gb DDR3 Ram
Windows 7 64

Flight Test Time:

16 hours

With all FSDT products, you get a five minute trial before you can no longer use the scenery, and decide if you would like to either purchase the product, or not. Download the version you want to use, for FS9 or FSX. Install the product, and once it has finished installation (which is simple!), run MSFS.

Start your flight at any location, and press "TAB" then "ADD-ON MANAGER" from there a menu should be shown for various developers. We will select FSDreamTeam, and then Hawaii Airports 2. From there, you can purchase the product and install it. Once you have entered the serial code, the product should be ready for your use.

The manual gives the simmer a detailed 40 pages to read, included are:
- Installation
- YouControl
- ParkMe
- Terminal Map (if you have read my FlyTampa KBUF & FlightBeam KSFO review, you will know I give allot of praise for this!)
- Airport Charts

Everything in the manual is easy to understand, and has been carefully put together, so even a simmer who is new to the FSAddon market will be able to understand what it is saying.

PHOG Kahului:

When your flight first loads up at PHOG, you will immediately notice the nice, detailed runway, RWY02. You will see what appears to be a "kite" flying at the end of the runway, and what I thought was a bug, was not. These "kites", are actual kites (yes, I was right!) flying around the Kahului area.

When rolling down the runway, you can see a lot of care has been taken into the runway markings. You will notice the PAPI lights glowing as well as the lights and 3D grass on the edge of the concrete.

When flying over the taxiways and aprons, you can see all the markings you would expect to see in their correct position. I did notice that where the Photoreal scenery is, it was blurry and not much attention has been paid to it. The overall quality of the taxiways/runways etc, I found to be very well done, the quality that should be done at all payware airports.

When looking at the terminals and other 3D objects at PHOG (cars, traffic lights, GSE [static], etc.) you can really appreciate how much detail has gone into creating them. The terminals and jet way textures are nice and crisp; I was unable to see many (if any) missing/non matching textures. The 3D objects that are scattered around the airport really show how detailed this airport is. The shrubs, light poles, traffic lights, 3D cars and many more are all around the airport, and even the car park - all of what you would expect to see if you went to Kahului airport in real life (don't be mistaken, the airport may look real, but we are still in the simulator)

There is also some Ground Service Equipment at PHOG, unfortunately it is static (but get excited, remember FSDT have their GSX coming later this year), while it is a small feature it definitely adds that little bit of realism to the airport.

When I first saw the night lighting, I was rather disappointed; especially around the terminal area, as it looked like the lighting you would see around the default FSX airports. The runway has the correct lighting that you would see at the real Kahului airport.

There were also no noticeable changes in the seasons at PHOG.

PHKO Kona:

As with Kahului, when you load up your flight you will notice the beautifully crafted ground polys. To the left (if you’re lined up on RWY35) is the fence, and to the right we have the terminals and hangars. For those who plan on doing some commercial flying, by default there is a mountain, so beware of that.

The attention to the runway as your roll down it really does show that FSDT have put the same amount of effort (in a good way) into both airports. The light poles to illuminate the runway at night are displayed on the runway, as well as all the appropriate markings. When you turn off the runway, as with PHOG, the taxiway markings, signs and lights are also there - to the same amount of detail.

When at the parking spots, I did notice that there were labels on which aircraft park where (see screenshot below)

The terminals at Kona are unique. When I say, unique, what I mean is that I have not seen anything like this at an airport before. They seemed to be in a "chimney" shape made of brick type, and the airport seems to be open, instead of inside terminals as at PHNL Honolulu (also developed by FSDT!). Items such as the hangars, the ATC tower, lights poles, trees, shrubs and fences are all in place like PHOG, and as you would expect.

There is also GSE in the airport, and again like PHGO, it is static, but gives a nice realistic feeling to the airport.

One thing that did upset me about the airport was that some of the photoreal scenery was blurry and appeared to have no attention paid to it. Outside the terminal I did notice that the road did not blend into where the ground polys were - I was rather disappointed to see something that I believe is so simple to implement into a scenery add-on.

The night lighting at PHKO is pretty much exactly the same as PHGO – it looks very default-like and ugly. Nothing I haven’t seen before and I wish a little more effort was put into this.

There were also no noticeable changes in the seasons at PHKO and its surroundings.

ParkMe/YouControl

ParkMe and YouControl are pretty cool features. YouControl allows you to open hangars at both airports and park your aircraft in them, and ParkMe is a navigation system that you open and select which gate you want to park at. When you are lining up, it will correctly tell you when to stop - this is only available at PHKO, but I believe that it is because you have jetways there near a terminal building, in PHOG, it is more open.

Performance

There is a trial version available for the product, this is useful mainly to see if it is FPS friendly on your system. But I had no FPS loss at either airport.

Summary / Closing Remarks

Hawaii Airports 2 by FSDT is one that will not disappoint a simmer who loves to fly their 737NGX around 5 different airports in a single day. For somebody who doesn't think they will notice the finer details that I have described, then this airport will be perfect for them.

If you’re somebody who flies a C152 or a similar smaller aircraft over airports, taking in the amazing detail, then this airport may not be for you, as you will notice the missing features.

Priced at US$34, this package is well worth the money (when you think about it, its $17 an airport!), and is on par with what developers should be releasing these days. Well done to FSDT on a quality release, but I do hope that they can learn from this review and fix up the cons I have mentioned, in present and future releases.

 

What I Like About Hawaiian Airports Vol 2

  • Terminal Map in the Documentation!
  • PHOG/PHKO - Taxiways/Runways/Aprons are well done.
  • PHOG/PHKO - Terminals & 3D Objects are nice to see.
  • PHKO - Aircraft type labels at Parking Spot.
  • ParkMe and YouControl
  • Perfect for my NGX!

 

What I Don't Like About Hawaiian Airports Vol 2

  • PHOG/PHKO - An issue I'm very familiar with, when it comes to FSDT, where the grass should be in real life, is a blurry PR image.
  • PHOG/PHKO - Again, another issue I've seen in previous FSDT product - the lack of realistic night lighting.
  • PHKO - Scenery doesn't even blend into itself!
  • PHOG/PHKO - No Seasons.

 

Printing

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Hawaiian Airports Volume 2

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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.

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