AVSIM Commercial Scenery Review

Aerosoft

Hawaii Dillingham X

Product Information
Publisher: Aerosoft

Description: Add-on Scenery.

Download Size:
33.4 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FSX
Reviewed by: Angelique van Campen AVSIM Staff Reviewer - November 24, 2007

Introduction

Dillingham is located on the north shore of the island of Oahu near the unincorporated town of Waialua. Most flights to Dillingham Airfield (IATA: HDH / ICAO: PHDH) are general aviation, originating at Dillingham Airfield for skydiving or glider operations. It is primarily used as a recreation facility, a base for glider soaring, hang-gliding, parachuting and sky jumping. Military operations consist largely of night operations for night vision training.

Courtesy of Bill Womack.
Actual Dillingham Airfield pictures.

As a general aviation joint-use facility, the airfield has one runway, a UNICOM tower, powered aircraft and glider hangars, and a tie down area for recreation aircraft. Jet-A and Avgas are available in a self-serve facility utilizing credit cards for payment.

There is a plan to extend the taxiway to the end of the 26 runway in 2007. Air traffic, unless approved prior by the US Army, is limited to daytime operations by general aviation and sport parachuting operations. Although the largest users on the airfield are the sport parachuting operations, the State of Hawaii refuses safety improvements.

That is a nice introduction, but did you have any idea of the existence of this airfield?

I didn't have any idea and probably not many other flight simmers either. Nonetheless, the Aerosoft scenery is awesome. When you’re able to add it to MegaSceneryX of Hawaii, I can tell you (and you will see it in this review), the result is so realistic that before you know it, you'll be buying a ticket to Hawaii to see it with your own eyes.

Let us have a closer look into Hawaii. The State of Hawaii is an archipelegic U.S. state located in the Central Pacific, south of Alaska, north of Tahiti, and 2,300 miles (3,700 km) from the continental United States. The state encompasses nearly the entirety of the volcanic Hawaiian Island chain, which is made up of hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). Of these, the eight largest islands are considered the "main islands" and are located at the southeastern end of the archipelago. In order from the northwest to southeast, they are Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui, and Hawaii. The last is by far the largest, and is very often called the "Big Island" or "Big Isle" to avoid confusion with the state.

The state was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959, making it the 50th state. Its capital is located in its largest city, Honolulu. The most recent census puts its population at 1,211,537

Installation and Documentation

Test System

Dell Precision 650
Dual Intel Xeon 3.06Ghz
4Gb RAM DDR 533Mhz
nVidia 7800GS+ 512Mb AGP
RAID-0 HDD’s - SCSI 340Gb
Windows XP Pro SP2
FSX with SP1
CH USB Pedals
CH USB Flightsim Yoke

Flying Time:
9 hours

Known from Aerosoft, the installation process is straightforward and doesn’t need any additional information. Guided via several windows, you easily install the DillinghamX scenery and at the end, it is added to the scenery library. In other words, you don’t need to do anything!

Since it is only available as a download, we do not have any additional booklets but we do have an Acrobat file. It contains 9 pages, but all the relevant information needed for this airfield is there. It seems that Aerosoft has a new small scenery/airport developer – Bill Womack- who is responsible for the making of this product. Apart from the fact that it is a very small unknown airfield, the quality it incredible!

Ok, back to the manual. It contains the usual things like the history of this airfield, actual airfield information but probably more important, on page 7 is “Settings & Frame rates”.

Aerosoft give us the following advices to get the best result.

Texture Resolution:
The photo scenery underlying Dillingham is sampled at 60cm/pixel. To get the most out of it, set your Texture Resolution in the sim to 60 cm. Set it to a lower setting, like 1m, will work but gives you fuzzier ground textures.
Road Traffic:
If you have a rig capable of turning on traffic, setting your road traffic to 15% or so mimics the amount of traffic the road to Dillingham gets on an average day. This is not an urban area, but a bit of a drive out into the country. The road that goes past the field dead-ends to the west of it. The scenery includes custom traffic paths designed to get the traffic flowing about right.
Scenery Complexity:
The 3D objects in the scenery are activated in two stages of complexity. At "normal", you see the buildings, some cars, and a few humans. “Dense" shows the rest.

More in the manual is not really needed, since the airfield is simple and uncomplicated. There is no large traffic operation, no huge passenger terminal or other stuff. So, let's check out how it really looks and how it was before ….

DillinghamX scenery

Before going into depth, let us first have a look to several screenshots of what you can expect in this scenery.

Although it is a local glider airfield which, under certain conditions is also used by the US Air Force, it is full of details ranging from static airplanes, gliders, buildings, trees, bushes, lost history parts and so on. Probably more important is what effect does this have on the FPS. Of course, there is an impact since it contains so much more then the default FSX version but with an average FSX setting, those FPS's are not bad. I reached between 15-18 FPS on the ground but that depends of course on your actual FSX settings and your PC.

I - Welcome to Airfield Dillingham at Oahu Hawaii II - Southern airfield overview III - There’s a spotters place available in case you can’t pay!
IV - Piper Cub meets Piper Cub V - Gliders waiting to for customers to go into the air VI - Just back from school and looking around for something
VII - Old history or experimental airplane for the fire brigade VIII - Credit card fuel station for motorized airplanes only! IX - Parking lot for long term places
X - Oops …. Fire department? XI - Dillingham’s Control Tower XII - Airplanes hangar with on one side the male/female toilets

This gives us an impression of what Aerosoft’s airport scenery is offering. Of course, on their detailed Dillingham website, other pictures are available as well as pictures in combination with MegaSceneryX Hawaii.

By closely looking at all of the above pictures, I am impressed about certain details. The cars in picture II and IX look very realistic. Ok, not from one-meter distance but that is not fair. We do not do that even with airplanes.

Although looking at public toilets is not my favorite activity, picture XII shows very clearly what you are looking at, a highly digital picture of a toilet building. What do you think about the real FSX Piper Cub in front of the hangar (picture IV), which meets a virtual Piper Cub sitting in the hangar? This time even the virtual, non AI Piper Cub looks very realistic and the differences are minor. One last specific detail is the fuel station. It is so sharp and accurate that it could be a real picture.

Default airfield Dillingham?

So how does DillinghamX look compared to the default FSX scenery? Oops, that is shocking when looking at the default FSX pictures.

Without the Aerosoft DillinghamX scenery, the airfield looks like this.

Far from the reality and, by the way, on the ground there is a part missing from runway 08. In flight, it is there so what Microsoft has done here … I have no idea! The control tower is missing and the hangar on the coast side of the airfield is reduced to a taxi strip.

Top view.

We have seen that Microsoft’s default scenery is far from reality. That is not new because it was already like that in FS2004 and even before. In addition, FSX is far from that. It depends a little where you are on this globe, but generally it has nothing to do with the real world. Mountains are missing, landscapes sometimes looks odd and airports are very far from the reality. That is the same as we have seen from the ground with the default airfield Dillingham.

As every flight simmer has done; when you bought the software, you directly install it. In other words, you did not have any idea how Dillingham was before as default FSX scenery and believe me, that is shocking! That is what we have seen before but how is it during flight conditions and what about when we add MegaSceneryX Hawaii to it?

Ok, MegaSceneryX Hawaii has nothing to do with this review, but I would like to give you an idea what will be different when you have this package as well. I can tell you already, if you intend to purchase Aerosoft DillinghamX airfield scenery, think seriously about adding it to MegaSceneryX Hawaii (if you have it). It makes it all complete!

Be aware that the following pictures are taken with a double screen setup. That means the original pictures are 3200x1200 pixels.

Default Hawaii FSX Scenery.

Typically as every airport (airfield) in FS2004 and as well as FSX; a sharp marked area, which doesn’t reflect the reality at all, no signs of realistic buildings, taxiways standard without looking to what it could be. A shame that even a territory of the US is not covered in a decent way but that’s life.

Default Hawaii scenery with Aerosoft’s DillinghamX airfield.

That is already a huge difference.

Ok, it is only the airfield which is added to, but the surrounding area on Oahu is still the same. When you look at this picture, which is taken at an altitude of 1000 feet, it has nothing to do anymore with what it was and shows reality. Later we will have a look and compare it with a Google Earth picture to see how close it is to reality.

MegaSceneryX Hawaii with Aerosoft’s Dillingham airfield.

Since airfield Dillingham doesn’t change anymore, we need to look at the mountains and other surrounding areas as far as possible. The mountains close to the airport are different, but we already know that from each MegaSceneryX product. What it looked like before is history!

Google Earth versus Aerosoft’s DillinghamX

Let us see or compare, if you wish, this Aerosoft scenery with actual Google Earth pictures.

I can tell you and you can see it for yourself, that a lot of work and effort has been put into this scenery to get it as close to real as possible.
As expected, there is no difference to some of the shots. That means what Aerosoft’s DillinghamX scenery offers you from the air is the most realistic view possible.

Better than Google Earth is not possible unless you want to make your own picture but still, it is not an easy job. Using Google Earth is something we see more and more when it covers a complete scenery area. That is what Aerosoft is writing as well; DillinghamX not only covers the airport/airfield itself, but also the particular area around it.

Courtesy of Google Earth.

Screenshots from Aerosoft’s DillinghamX Scenery.

The only remark I have, and that is not even Aerosoft’s problem, is the watercolor. Although they changed something about the blue level, it is still a problem, in my opinion, with Microsoft's FSX. In this Hawaiian area, the watercolor is indeed that strange light blue but on many other worldwide places it is not that color, but Microsoft thinks it is!

Summary / Closing Remarks

When comparing the default FSX Dillingham airfield with Aerosoft’s DillinghamX scenery, we can only conclude that it is a worthy product. However, comparing sceneries or objects like these are generally a struggle. When we are honest, we need to ask ourselves if we really need an add-on scenery in relation to a specific quality.

When you are a favorite of the Hawaiian area or are living there, then I can tell you it is absolutely worth your money and especially in combination with MegaSceneryX Hawaii. When you just want to have it for fun, it’s up to you to decide.

What Aerosoft has created is awesome, and let's be honest with that. Although it is a very small, simple airfield without any jetways, passenger busses and carts driving around etc, it looks very realistic, with lots of details, nice looking trees and bushes and perfect looking cars. With all of that in mind, it makes it a good product.

I hope that there will soon be an offered package/bundle, which includes Aerosoft’s DillinghamX and MegaSceneryX Hawaii. That would be great!

 

What I Like About Dillingham X

  • Highly realistic and very detailed airfield.
  • Near the strip, the additional work done on the landscape and beach looks much more realistic.
  • It is absolutely worth your the investment, especially when combining it with MegaSceneryX Hawaii.

 

What I Don't Like About Dillingham X

  • Not a thing

 

Printing

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Dillingham X

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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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