AVSIM Commercial Scenery Review

Sydney YSSY Professional

Product Information

Publisher: Commercial Level Simulations

Description: Scenery Add-on.

Download Size:
41 MB

Simulation Type:
FS2004 & FSX SP1 & SP2 or Acceleration Pack
Reviewed by: Laurie Aston AVSIM Staff Reviewer - May 4, 2008


Sydney Airport (Australia) was originally declared an aerodrome in 1920. It was renamed Sydney (Kingsford Smith) International Airport in 1953, in honour of Charles Kingsford Smith, a pioneering Australian aviator.

The airport's first runways were built in 1933. By the 1960s the need for a new international terminal had become apparent, and work commenced in late 1966. The new terminal was officially opened on May 3, 1970, by HRH Queen Elizabeth II. The first Boeing 747 'Jumbo Jet' to serve the airport, Pan American's 'Clipper Flying Cloud' (N734PA), arrived on October 4, 1970.

In the 1960s, the limitations of having only two runways that crossed each other had become apparent. Eventually the highly controversial decision to build a third runway (parallel to the existing main "North-South" runway, but entirely on land reclaimed from Botany Bay) was taken, and the much-anticipated proposed new airport on the outskirts of Sydney was shelved indefinitely.

In the 1970s, the north-south runway was expanded to become one of the longest runways in the southern hemisphere. The international terminal was expanded in 1992 and has undergone several refurbishments since then.

Even once the "third runway" had been built; it remained controversial because of increased aircraft movements, especially over many of Sydney's inner suburbs.

Since the international terminal's original completion, it has undergone two large expansions and the entire airport is currently undergoing a large expansion stretching over twenty years (2005 - 2025).

CLS Piper Arrow II and the Sydney Harbor Bridge (FS9 Default) The Piper Arrow II and the Sydney Opera House (FS9 Default)

Installation and Documentation

The Installation is a standard download function via Commercial Level Simulations and their website, designed for FS2004, FSX SP1 SP2 & Acceleration Pack, as required. A total of 41 MB is required for the download. There is a choice in the download menu for your preference, and it installs cleanly in any event. The price for owning Sydney YSSY is $36 US, or $39 Australian, £22.95 UK Sterling or 22.95 Euros.

The Manual is straightforward and useful, but I wish that Commercial Level Simulations had someone proof-reading it because it has many errors. I noticed that their statements regarding “the Airport and their simulation not necessarily being a true interpretation” also needs proof reading as it has errors too.

Their website also calls this Scenery add-on “SYDNEY PROFESSIONAL”, but the manual, which I always read first, does not reflect that fact. Enough said. CLS please take note! You will thank me in the long run.

Sydney Professional YSSY MSFS2004

The Sydney YSSY scenery that is included in the default program is acceptable, but adding “Sydney Professional” makes a world of a difference.

There is still the need to own a 4x4 Urban Assault Vehicle to climb up the ramp onto the “Coat Hanger” or Sydney Harbor Bridge, (not realistic then) and beyond the bridge leading into the city the road just runs out. But at least the bridge looks terrific, and the cruise ship in the harbor adds to the enhancement, as do the city buildings. The “after dark” is spectacular in that area, and beyond the city, even the stadium looks terrific too.

The visiting aircraft carrier in Darling Bay is a nice touch and of course all this scenery leads to the airport itself, which is also a superb rendition of the real thing.

The terminal buildings are all in the right place, and are well placed in accordance with Google Earth. Yes, I did research it, and my own photos from my visit to Sydney last year also confirm as much. The taxi-ways are well defined and traffic within the airport is evident. Aircraft come and go and they are parked nicely in the right terminals and at the gates as well.

I guess by now you have gotten the impression that I like it. Yes, I do. The runways are detailed, all the runway crossing points are in evidence with marker boards just the way they should be, and the lighting is great.

Qantas 767 at YSSY Flat Bus wheels 747 off Runway 34L
747 over Sydney A Great looking Airport Realistic or what?
Threshold at YSSY B747 & Sydney City The Reviewers own Photo
Sydney Skyline for real CLS Sydney looking good Ready for the turn off

Sydney Microsoft Default Scenery YSSY FSX versus CLS Sydney Professional YSSY for FSX

The Sydney YSSY Scenery that is included in the default FSX program (Microsoft) is nowhere near as good as FS2004 default. Part of the main runway extensions extend into the bay, and are depicted as vast sandy areas, with a strip of tarmac for the main A380 load bearing runway being depicted. I selected the Airbus A380 as an example because it weighs 550 tonnes, and means the runway build is just not right.

Approach to R34L Loads of Sand & Sea Landing R34L

The Qantas Cargo building is right on the spot, airport vehicles dart about easily and the transport vehicles are scattered about. Even the airport hotel is nicely built and has signs at night. I have had some communication with Aaron Clark, who designs scenery for CLS, and it is evident that just like Sydney Airport, the simulation is a work in progress.

A service pack, SP1, is due to be released at the end of April (as of this writing), and this will prevent software crashes and incomplete roadways, lighting issues, etc. There is a lot of mileage to go on Sydney YSSY, and it could prove to be a really great add-on, enhancing this part of the world at least, but it does need some work done for the cost of the package in my opinion.

The Sydney Harbor Bridge has not been enhanced and is therefore the same as the default FSX bridge; wire framed and fragile looking, although the supports look good. The city is improved in appearance but there is still a huge ramp to climb to get on to the bridge and no road to speak of leading into the city.

Whoop Whoop! Too Low! Sydney Tourist sites
CLS Piper Arrow II & Sydney CLS Piper Arrow II

Yes, the cruise ship is moored by the bridge and lights up beautifully at night, and there is even another cruise ship out beyond Bondi beach cruising down the coast and can be seen as you fly the approach to 34 left or right, and let down into the bay area.

Circling the City of Sydney 747 descending for YSSY Virgin 737 at YSSY
A Hornet's View Hornet on the Approach A Terminal View

The Above Shots are all Microsoft FSX Default Sydney

CLS Sydney Professional YSSY for FSX

Piper on R07 YSSY Piper Arrow sightseeing Tall buildings on the left!
An Industrial Area Piper Arrow II ship spotting A Helicopter View
The Coat Hanger Night view of Sydney Evening Cruising

CLS Sydney Professional Preview of Service Pack One (SP1) Courtesy of Aaron Clark Scenery Designer Commercial Level Simulations

The above shots will greatly enhance the CLS Sydney Professional Package when Incorporated

Summary / Closing Remarks

Test System

Asrock K7S41GX Motherboard
AMD Sempron 2600+ CPU
2Gig DDR Memory
Nvidia Gforce6200 256 Graphics
2 x 80 Gig HD + 1 x 400 Gig External USB HD
Windows XP Pro SP3
FSX Sp1 Sp2/Acceleration Pack
Microsoft Force feedback Sidewinder with Rudder control
CH flightSim Yoke

Flying Time:
24 hours

The CLS Sydney YSSY scenery has great potential, and as far as FS2004 goes, it is already superb but how long is FS2004 going to be in favor?

Before you all write into Avsim, I am aware of the great following of FS2004 aviators. I was one, and still am, and to be honest dumped FSX at the beginning of its life because my machine couldn’t cope with it and happily went back to FS2004. Now that I have grown up and have had to spend money on upgrading my machine's hardware, FSX is the superior simulation. I can now enjoy the new era of software add-ons being produced.

CLS Sydney has a lot going for it, and I wish Aaron Clark all the success in continuing to improve Sydney YSSY, as a lot of his work does reflect a real difference from the default scenery. Maybe, just maybe, he will enhance items like the Sydney Bridge, put in more roads and bring Kingsford-Smith to life even more realistically.

CLS Sydney is pretty good, but not nearly as good as it could be, and of course I am aware of memory hungry graphics and technical difficulties. But at the end of the day, I have to pay for the product, as you do, so why shouldn’t I want a professional product?

OK, so CLS Sydney YSSY for FSX is not on my Christmas list yet, but it is getting there, and although it isn’t as good as the FS2004 product produced by the same company, I hope one day it will be. If you cannot wait, go buy it now, as the service pack will make it better, or maybe like me, you will want to wait and see. The package needs cleaning up and so does the additional manual. But, I am just a reviewer. You decide.


What I Like About Sydney Professional

  • There is additional scenery evident
  • There is a manual
  • As far as FS2004 goes it is very nice indeed.
  • As Far as FSX goes it is an improvement on the default scenery.
  • It loads easily
  • The Airport itself looks great in FS2004, only OK in FSX. But a Preview of SP1 makes it look terrific in FSX


What I Don't Like About Sydney Professional

  • It is not truly re-designed scenery in total, it just has added items in some areas (FSX)
  • The manual and website advertising need proof reading and modifying (ALL Versions)
  • The cost is not representative of the quality of the product in total. (worth it for FS2004)
  • Not a finished product by any means. Why spend on an unfinished package? (FSX)



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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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