• Review: Aerosoft - Manchester Airport for X-Plane

    Airport Manchester

    Publisher: Aerosoft/Icarus

    Review Author:
    Paul Mort

    Suggested Price:
    $30.99

    Buy Here

    This is my home airport, from which I have flown and visited on numerous occasions so I was delighted when asked to write this review. Having such first-hand knowledge of the airport, however, really put the spotlight on Aerosoft to deliver the goods.

    The Airport

    Manchester Airport (EGCC) is situated 7.5 miles southwest of the English city of Manchester. With three passenger terminals and one goods, it is the third busiest airport in the UK. Opened on June 25th 1938, it was originally named Ringway Airport (RAF Ringway during WWII). It was also famous for handling the now retired supersonic aircraft, Concorde 'G-BOAC,' which today is housed in the visitor centre and gift shop for the continued pleasure of Manchester airport's visitors. This is reproduced in the scenery below.

    Aerosoft Airport Manchester

    The Company

    There are very few involved in this hobby of flight simulation that have not heard of the Aerosoft name. Based in Germany, this company has rolled out quality software for 20 years. It has supplied not only flight simulation software but a range of other products including trains, buses and even a police autobahn simulator. I myself have bought many of their products and on the whole, have been very pleased with the purchases. I have also noticed the expanse of forums and backup available for Aerosoft products - let's be honest here, we all need a little help sometimes, somewhere along the way.

    My Equipment

    It's all very well reviewing a product but without benchmark information about the machine used to run it, all the nice words mean nothing if it brings your machine to its knees. For this review, I used:

    • Windows 10 - 64 bit
    • Intel i5 3350P CPU @ 3.1 GHz
    • 8.0 GB Ram
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX650 Graphics Card

    The Package

    The package comes as a download which initiates the install by asking you which operating system you require for the download. It then goes on to place an executable (.exe) file to install the package on your computer. A serial number is provided to access the installation so it may be advisable to copy this into a text file and save it along with the package folder. As far as the installation is concerned, it is simply a case of pointing it to your X-Plane folder and entering the serial number supplied. The rest is automatic.

    After it has installed, you will find two folders in your X-Plane custom scenery folder labelled 'EGCC Manchester Airport' and 'EGCC Manchester Mesh'. If you check your scenery_packs.ini folder in any text editor, you will notice that both of these folders appear at the top of the text. Within the text editor, you need to move the 'SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/EGCC Manchester Mesh/' entry to a position below all of your airports otherwise it will have priority over any other scenery and draw over it. At first, I didn't do this so Liverpool (EGGP) and Hawarden (EGNR) were wiped off the face of the earth but I'm glad to say that after following this procedure, the X-Plane aliens that had abducted these airports, most generously returned them. For anyone with a lack of hard drive space, the two folders don't come light, weighing in at 1.84Gb for the airport and a less frightening 28Mb for the mesh. This is something to consider for users who are limited with hard drive space.

    Initial View

    As mentioned in my last review, the best way for me to evaluate a new scenery is by using a small helicopter, hovering at a couple of hundred feet above the ground rather than whizzing past in a fixed wing at 100 knots. Knowing the layout as I do, my first impressions were very favorable to say the least. Aerosoft have got this one spot-on, from the visitor center, the accurately modelled tower and all three passenger terminals, right down to the rotating radar dish. I also liked the way the established trees were blended in, giving credibility to what is now a 78-year-old airport. This is no spring chicken!

    Aerosoft Airport Manchester

    The approach to runway 05L is modelled superbly, where you set your NAV1 to 109.5 and pray that you clear those trees on the threshold!

    Aerosoft Airport Manchester


    1 Comment
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Nice review Paul. Thanks for sharing!

      Cheers

      Dom
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