Review by Rick Desjardins. The island of Kastellorizo which is also known as the “Pearl of the Aegean” and its airport have been recreated in great detail for FSX by scenery creators FlightSim Development Group.
Not as popular as some of the larger well-known Greek islands of Rhodes, Crete or Kos it is still considered as a desirable destination by many. The island which is only about 6kms in length is the furthest away from the capital city of Athens and is the eastern most corner of the country. It happens to be just 2,000 meters from the coast of Turkey. Also included are the much smaller neighbouring islands of Stroggilli to the east and Ro to the west.
The island’s airport; Kastellorizo, ICAO: LGKJ, like the island has been recreated in great detail. The airport has a single 2,321ft asphalt runway and as far as navaids go it is equipped with an NDB, it does not have ILS capabilities.
In 2010 there were approximately 452 flights in and out of Kostellorizo to move just over 7,800 passengers.
If you are looking for an airport that provides you with a challenge this is one you will want to pay attention to.
Besides the airport the only other designated aircraft landing site is a military helipad located above the village.
Installation is via the familiar Aerosoft installer but requires some basic information before it can do its job. You will be asked to enter your email address, registration code, the version of flight simulator you are running and finally they want to know if you have any terrain add-ons such as Ultimate Terrain Europe installed. After providing this information the installation will move forward.
The final step has the installer adding the scenery to FSX so the next time you open up your simulator it will be available for you to use.
The product comes with an 11 page PDF manual which is also downloadable prior to purchase if you go to the product page on the Aerosoft website. The manual is available in both English and German.
The manual is well laid out, clearly written and very informative. Should you choose to read it, which is something I always recommend, you will be in the know about Kastellorizo X. There are lots of little extras included and by not reading this document I am afraid experiencing many of them will be hit and miss.
There were no configuration options available with this add-on.
The first thing I wanted to do was to have a look at the big picture and see what the obvious differences were between the FSX and Aerosoft/FSDG versions of the Kastellorizo area. As can be clearly seen in the screenshots both the overall shape of the island and the landclass are inaccurate in FSX.
For anyone interested in experiencing one of the many beautiful Greek islands or if you simply love a challenging new airport, this add-on will definitely be one to take a peek at. The developers have put in a great deal of effort to make it detailed and realistic.
Combining custom mesh, high resolution graphic imagery and some pretty impressive detailing they have brought this tiny island in the Aegean sea to the world of FSX in style.
As airports go this one is small and about as simple as it gets; it is little more than four buildings and a runway. But this simplicity doesn’t mean that it isn’t an interesting location to frequent. They’ve made sure of that by giving it extra attention.
Surface textures serve as a base and so they are important in setting the stage for whatever is in that location; in my opinion they are exceptional. There is visible cracking in the asphalt and fading and wear of the painted markings.
The way the airport is situated it appears to have been dug into the side of a mountain. The rock surface that is exposed is rugged and realistic looking. All of these stand up to close scrutiny and retain their crisp and clear details.
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The few buildings that are at Kastellorizo have been recreated in a level of detail not often found at most FSX airports. I was especially impressed with the imagery they used. The hot sun and weather has a definite effect on the building’s painted surfaces and we see that through visible fading and cracking. The accumulation of dirt on some surfaces such as door panels is another testament to the quality of the imagery.
Another area where the quality of their work shines is with the 3 dimensional aspect of the structures. Windows and doors are recessed which is nice to see and they’ve taken that an additional step by including window sills.
They’ve added lots of discrete objects such as surface mounted conduit, air conditioners, electrical wires, etc. Roof tops are also populated with antennae and a variety of other objects. The main building has a wooden pergola in front, this has been included and the shadow it casts from the sun is clearly visible on the wall.
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To complement and enhance this small airport there is no shortage of objects from the ground lights to the fire truck. Nothing appears to have been forgotten and each object appears to have been created with the same eye for detail and realism as the other parts that make up the airport.
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The proximity of the ends of the runway to the edge of the island and the sharp drop offs and high rock wall on one side plus the fact that it is equipped with NDB only and you have the ingredients for a challenging airport for even the most seasoned pilots.
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Flying around the island I was very pleased with how the combination of custom mesh, high resolution ground imagery and discrete objects gave the entire island such a realistic look. The majority of the island is pretty barren with very little in the way of vegetation and the majority of the island’s inhabitants live in and around the town of Kastellorizo.
It is easy to see why people choose to come here and escape to the beauty and relaxed pace of life found on the island.
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The port town of Kostellorizo is a beautiful little town located on the northern coast of the island. They’ve captured the look of this sea side town filling it with many small residential, commercial and historic buildings. Its port is populated with brightly coloured fishing boats and the Meis Express ferry boat. To the south is a mountain that makes for a very picturesque backdrop. This was one of my favourite parts of the scenery package.
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Located just south of the town of Kastellorizo is a small military installation where we see some military style buildings and vehicles as well as the military helipad which also happens to be the only helipad on the island. Other signs of the military presence can be seen near the highest point of the island with some hardened shelter access points.
Flanking the island of Kastellorizo on either side are two smaller islands; Ro to the west and Stroggili to the east. Each is uninhabited and basically barren with the exception of a few small buildings and a helipad.
To make the scenery even more interesting they’ve included some extra animations and sounds that are specific to the island. There is a ferry service known as the Meis Express and it can be seen travelling several times a day between Kas Turkey and Kastellorizo. Additionally, there are small fishing boats and a luxury yacht that travel around in the nearby waters.
In addition to the boat animations, they have added some realistic audio enhancements such as local church bells and the Muezzin calls that originate from Kas Turkey but are clearly heard on the island.
To help you get better acquainted with the islands they include five flights; three on Kostellorizo and one each on the islands of Stroggilli And Ro. These last two are to the helipads.
Being a small isolated island with a small population and a single runway airport you might think that night time would be uninteresting. Night time was a totally immersive experience and one I enjoyed. This was thanks in large part to the great quality of the night lighting techniques they incorporate into their scenery add-ons. From ground lighting at the airport to overhead street lighting throughout the island it is all extremely realistic.
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Stroggilli has a lighthouse that includes a functioning rotating white beacon. This was a nice feature and very well done.
I had no issues with performance. I flew this scenery with all my scenery sliders maxed and never experienced any visible stutters.
| Test System |
• Intel i7 960 OC @ 4.2 Ghz
• 6 Gb RAM
• EVGA GTX560 Ti 1.2 Gb
• Win 7 Ultimate 64
• FSX w/acceleration
Flight Time: 15 hrs
Screenshots enhanced with
Ultimate traffic 2, REX Overdrive, GEXn, UTX, AES, GSX, FSUIPC
The world of FSX has been enriched with this add-on. You can enjoy the beautiful rendering of yet another Greek island paradise and an airport that even a seasoned pilot would find challenging.
To sum up; I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this package and I give it my highest recommendation.
What I like about Kastellorizo X
- Amazing amount of detailing.
- Challenges your piloting skills.
- Location specific sounds and animations are a nice touch that enhance the scenery.
What I don't like about Kastellorizo X
- Can’t come up with anything.