• Airport Enhancer HDX By Cielosim

    Review: Airport Enhancer HDX By Cielosim

    By Bill Stack (15 September 2010)


    Screen shots by Cielosim



    Default ground surfaces at airports in Microsoft Flight Simulator® look the same regardless of age and usage. Concrete, asphalt, grass, and pavement markings are the same everywhere. Cielosim addresses this shortcoming with its Airport Enhancer HDX program, which is abbreviates "AEHDX."

    Cielosim touts these features among many other features of its program:

    • The most detailed runways ever seen in FSX
    • A wide variety of detailed concrete and asphalt textures
    • Extremely detailed airport parking spaces
    • State of the art, photoreal, perfectly tiled grass texture
    • Remade airport signs that match those found in airports around the world

    Cielosim is a company founded by Alex Ranc in 2006. Originally he had created a freeware texture package that became fairly popular. "Due to its wide success, I decided to create a more complete addon and Flight Enhancer was born," he explained. "Since then, I've been creating new products whenever I get new ideas or whenever I get the time. In the meantime, I'm a full time university student."

    Airport Enhancer HDX was created because the developer was tired with the quality of both the default FSX textures and the ones already available through addons. "I'm real picky with how my simulator looks, and thus I decided to give a shot at creating some HD textures for my own use," he said. "I started experimenting with new texturing techniques and some newly acquired DSLR photos. I was impressed with the results and decided I could create an addon out of this."


    PURCHASE FEATURES

    Instant download from the Pilot Shop

    YES

    Installation program

    YES

    License key required

    YES

    Copyright acknowledgment required

    YES

    Manual included

    YES

    Uninstall program included

    YES




    Major Features

    Three overall features stand out above all the rest:

    • The variety of textures that can be applied to runways, taxiways, and parking areas:
      • Five textures for concrete runways and taxiways such as "classic," "roughness," and "tiled look"
      • Five textures for asphalt runways and taxiways such as "radiant," "shaded," and "compressed"
      • Three textures for parking areas, such as "medium," "filthy," and "Mr. Clean"
      • Two textures for surface markings
      • Two appearances for jetways


    • The easy-to-use menu-driven program:
      • All textures are selected with simple button clicks
      • Texture options are shown in a window within the menu,
      • The program installs the changes with a single button click
      • The whole menu is self-explanatory
      • The included manual is very helpful


    • The ability to backup and restore the current FSX textures configuration file.

    TEXTURE COMPARISONS

    These comparative screen shots show
    only a few examples of all the available textures.


    Airport Enhancer

    FSX Default

    Airport Enhancer

    FSX Default

    Airport Enhancer

    FSX Default

    Screen shots by Bill Stack



    The Manual

    A five-page manual in Adobe format (*.PDF) explains how to use the program. An annotated image of the menu shows what the program does, but the program is easy to figure out because all the buttons are labeled and results are shown on a window in the lower right. A little experimentation is all that's needed. The manual also provides important information about files needed by Windows and changes that are made to FSX configuration file.



    PAGES FROM THE MANUAL


    Table of Contents

    Main Menu

    Backup Option
    Screen shots by Bill Stack