AVSIM Commercial FS9/FSX Scenery Review

German Airports 1 - Stuttgart

Product Information

Publishers: Aerosoft

Description: Scenery Add-on for Stuttgart.

Download Size:
110 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FS9/FSX
Reviewed by: Arjun Murthy AVSIM Staff Reviewer - November 1, 2011

Introduction

Driving home on a Friday afternoon, you prepare to relax for the weekend. You decide to get home and aviate the skies on Flight Simulator. You want to do a flight that isn’t too difficult, but still enjoyable at the same time. Then you realize, Aerosoft’s Stuttgart scenery is installed on your computer and think, is it worth it?

Stuttgart Airport was first developed in 1924 with the first passenger terminal uprising in 1939. Through the years, Stuttgart airport faced many developments including runway extension and the Cargo Terminal. Now, Stuttgart being Germany’s 6th largest city, it has an airport to cater.

Aerosoft has grasped this opportunity in their German Airports series to develop Stuttgart Airport for virtual aviators. This scenery is available on both FS9 and FSX for a unique enjoyment through our Virtual Flight.

Installation and Documentation

The installation is relatively simple, like any other installation. The executable file also adds the scenery to the Scenery Library so you eliminate hassles and get flying soon. The registration process involves entering the Email Address and Registration Key through the installation. There is also an option for Static Aircraft and this can be utilized based on computer performance.

The documentation provided with this product is very simple. It includes the Minimum System Requirements, Installation Process, History of the Airport, Details of the Airport, Traffic and Graphics information and the use of the Aircraft Parking and Information System.

Aerosoft have also included charts specific for Stuttgart from February of 2010. Adding charts to scenery always increases enjoyment and realism while operating out of this particular Airport.

There is also a program included to add/delete traffic in Certain parts of the aerodrome. This can help in Increasing computer performance.

First Impressions

Gob smacked! Probably the first description that enters anybody’s thoughts after viewing the scenery for the first time. Through the first flight, you look around and immediately your thoughts are, “is this a simulator”. The details and intricacies incorporated into the Scenery by Aerosoft are just utterly amazing.

The detail is just immense and you can clearly see that this scenery will keep you happy for a long time to come. The amount of work the developers have put into this scenery is probably beyond our imagination and is definitely noticeable when the scenery is first used. The even more astonishing fact was the negligible loss in performance. It always feels good when you can bank an aircraft and physically see the horizon move progressively.

Buildings

The buildings in Aerosoft’s Stuttgart airport are, in simplest of words, amazing. Aerosoft have created almost an exact replica of Stuttgart airport in the scenery and the detail is immense. All the buildings have been worked precisely and with enough flying around Stuttgart, any real life picture of Stuttgart can be immediately identified with the appropriate part of the airport through the scenery alone.

The geographical locations of the buildings are also very accurate. The aerial images seen through programs such as Google Maps accurately align with the building positions on the Scenery. The developers claim to have the scenery designed around the data of August 2010 which conflicts with newly built areas between then and now. This can be seen through a few buildings such as those around the Fuel Tanks. This doesn’t ruin the enjoyment of the scenery as there is still plenty of realism to go around countering for the slight change in infrastructure.

The terminals are very accurately laid out with jetways reaching over to the parking spots. Numerous selected parking locations around the airport have a Visual Guidance System to guide aircraft while parking.

There are numerous miscellaneous buildings that have been included in the scenery behind the terminals including the Car Parks, Hotel, Bosch building and various airport services.

Furthermore, other buildings such as the Fuel Tanks, General Aviation Hangars and Cargo Buildings have been included in the airport scenery for maximum enjoyment.

One of the many car parks

Hotel

Overview of the passenger terminal side of the airport

Overview of the cargo terminal side of the airport

Factory on approach to the airport

There are also few buildings and towers a significant distance away from the airport that are included. There is a factory on the approach path to RWY 25 with detail similar to the rest of the scenery. This gets your heart pumping even before you set foot in Stuttgart Airport.

Cargo terminals

Tower on the cargo side of the airport

Ground Scenery

According to the User Manual, the Ground Scenery on Aerosoft’s Stuttgart scenery has been provided by a Satellite Image provider. The scenery has been built up from these images. Therefore, the Ground Scenery is also immensely detailed and realistic. The detailed satellite ground scenery has been inserted for the whole perimeter of the Scenery (typically a few meters beyond the Airport Perimeter).

Aerosoft have designed custom Runway, Taxiways and Aprons to be placed on top of the Satellite imagery for the purpose of the user’s aesthetic enjoyment. The texture on the runways look very realistic and although they’ve “re-created” the runway, they’ve still kept the same look as the original runway. The aircraft skid marks are also clearly visible at the touchdown point of either end of the runways. Normally, this gets overdone but Aerosoft have developed a specific balance so the runway feels “just right” while using it...

Test System

Computer Specs

Intel Core2 Duo E8400 @ 3.0 GHz
2.00 GB Ram
Nvidia Geforce 9800GTX/9800 GTX+
Windows XP Professional SP 3
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

Flight Test Time:

12 hours

The taxiways, similar to the runway, have been custom made on top of the Satellite Imagery. Aerosoft have included taxiway designators and gate numbers painted on the taxiways similar to real life. This makes it easier for the pilot to navigate the Airport and make it the same design as in real life. The taxiways also have the blue 3D taxi lights to create that one extra realistic feel while taxiing out to the runway.

The buildings have been built on the Satellite Image of them so the geographical locations of all of the scenery items are very realistic and are very close to their position in real life, if not in the exact same place.

The disappointing thing about the Satellite Image is that the shadows on the various objects, such as the Glide Slope Antenna, Trees and Various Buildings are at a fixed point. So regardless of time of day, the Shadows are always in the same direction. They can even be seen at night if you just happen to travel past one of them.

The cars and numerous trees that haven’t been built as a scenery object appear flat and hinder the effectiveness of the scenery. It can be disappointing while flying low level and notice how the car park can often be flat. The roof of the car parks also have this issue where some parking spots are filled with Aerosoft’s’ 3D car designs while other parking spots have a flat car. This is not a problem when you look at it from a distance as the 3D effect from the satellite image is maintained and isn’t noticeable.

The above two errors are mainly negligible and can only be noticed if one is very “nitpicky”. If you are generally flying into/out of Stuttgart Airport with Aerosofts scenery, it is often not noticeable and in some cases even enjoyable.

“Flat image” error for parked cars

Taxiway lights

The Road

The road systems in and around the airport have been very well designed by Aerosoft. The main road around the airport (the E52) can be seen in Aerosoft’s Scenery. Aerosoft have enhanced the road to include moving vehicles from just south of the Runway 25 approach path to just beyond the main airport parking in the northwest.

This means moving cars are noticeable on approach on one of the runways. The smaller road just north of the E52 has also been included and vehicles from this road also cross a bridge across to the airport.

The Vehicles

The vehicles around the airport depend on where they are. The highway has mainly cars and buses. The smaller roads inside the airport perimeter include cars (which one can imagine to have YOUR passengers in them). There are numerous airport vehicles including Baggage Carriers, Passenger Buses, Fuel Trucks and Sky Chef Trucks along the Apron and Hangars. Along the cargo side, there are mostly trucks driving around the main roads.

The scenery also includes numerous static vehicles around the airport. These include parked cars and snow ploughs. There are also numerous static aircraft including a few general aviation aircraft at their parking and some airliners just past the Cargo Terminals.

The next part of the Stuttgart Scenery is what surprised me the most. All the moving vehicles in and around the airport have working lights. These include indicators (flashing orange lights) and brake lights. This was just amazing and I wouldn’t have even assumed realism to this degree was even possible in Flight Simulator. All of these vehicles create some entertaining diversity while flying and taxiing around the airport and create that one extra bit of realism that really makes all the difference.

Moving cars on highway

Moving cars on highway and side road

Truck moving over bridge

Mix of static and moving airport vehicles

Moving police vehicle

Moving vehicle around the airport terminals. Note the indicators actually work when a vehicle turns

Trucks in the cargo side of the airport

Airport static vehicles

Night Scenery

The night time scenery looks just as amazing as the day scenery. The collage of lights around the airport has the right balance to increase realism. All the vehicles have head/tail lights. Other lights such as the runway guidance lights and terminal lights are also activated.

The scenery keeps its eternal beauty even at night

Weather Conditions

Because of the way the Scenery has been designed, the Airport doesn’t get snowed in. The runway and grass is the same as a hot sunny day while all of the area surrounding the airport is white with snow. This can be a little disappointing especially when considering the German temperatures through winter. There is a similar occurrence with rain and the scenery. The wet visual effects aren’t noticeable while landing and taxiing.

Surroundings covered with snow, airport still green

Performance

Performance is one of the biggest factors in any scenery. In Aerosoft’s’ Stuttgart scenery, the performance is surprisingly amazing. It was one of the ‘wow’ factors from the first impressions and Aerosoft have put in a lot of effort to eliminate the unnecessary bits to create optimized scenery.

When flying with this scenery in day time in almost any aircraft, there is very negligible lag. There is a slight drop in performance but this is hardly noticeable in an attempt to maneuver an airplane for landing. There was lots of testing for this scenery done on helicopters in the 3D cockpit and all the controls were smooth and flying a helicopter was very easy due to the lack of lag. The performance is very good even in dense locations such as the terminal and at high altitudes overlooking the whole airport.

During night time, there is a significant performance hit. The aircraft is still flyable but some programs may have to be closed to have a clean computer while flying. The lag is somewhat noticeable at night time.

In general, it is very surprising to see the amazing performance results from this scenery. There are numerous other sceneries out there with performance twice as bad and a scenery only half as good.

Do keep in mind that all of the performance is biased based on the test system listed with the displayed scenery settings.

Summary / Closing Remarks

All through this review, you might’ve been thinking that almost everything I’ve said has been followed by “is very realistic” and it certainly does look amazing. There aren’t many problems in the scenery.

You might go as far as to think that this is one of my most favorite sceneries. You would in fact be correct. This has been one of my favorite review products. The level of detail in Aerosoft’s scenery is just purely amazing. On top of this, the performance is just even more amazing. I would’ve never even had a whimsical of an imagination of having such good scenery for such performance.

All in all, I know this will definitely be in my list of airports to go to often as this scenery, really does support Microsoft Flight Simulators’ “As real as it gets” motto.

 

What I Like About Stuttgart

  • Stunning Scenery
  • Very good performance
  • Detail in every corner
  • Contains the “wow” factor
  • Airport and other vehicles

 

What I Don't Like About Stuttgart

  • Lack of performance at night
  • “flat” ground images (i.e. cars from the satellite image)

 

Printing

If you wish to print this review or read it offline at your leisure,  right click on the link below, and select "save as"

German Airports 1 - Stuttgart

(adobe acrobat required)

Comments?

Standard Disclaimer
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.

Tell A Friend About this Review!

2011 - AVSIM Online
All Rights Reserved