• Review: Aerosoft - Frankfurt Airport For X-Plane

    Frankfurt XP

    Publisher: Aerosoft

    Review Author:
    Paul Mort

    Suggested Price:
    $32.99

    Buy Here

    Frankfurt Am Main Airport by Aerosoft is a recent addition to the ever increasing world of payware sceneries for X-Plane, and one I was especially keen to review.

    Introduction

    Frankfurt Airport is a major international airport located in Frankfurt, the fifth-largest city of Germany. The airport covers an area of 2,300 hectares (5,683 acres) of land and features two passenger terminals with a capacity of approximately 65 million passengers per year, four runways and extensive logistics and maintenance facilities. The southern side of the airport ground was home to the Rhein-Main Air Base, which was a major air base for the United States from 1947 until 2005.

    Aerosoft     Aerosoft

    Frankfurt Airport has two large main passenger terminals (1 and 2) and a much smaller dedicated First Class Terminal which is operated and exclusively used by Lufthansa. As is the case at London's Heathrow Airport, terminal operations are grouped for airlines and airline alliances rather than into domestic and international routes.

    Frankfurt Airport has four runways of which three are arranged parallel in east-west direction and one in north-south direction. During normal operation the two outer parallel runways (07L/25R and 07R/25L) are used for landings and the central parallel runway (07C/25C) and the Runway West (18) for take-offs. The three parallel runways have two markings because they can be operated in two directions while the Runway West can only be used in one direction.

    Aerosoft     Aerosoft     Aerosoft

    Install

    Once purchased and downloaded (461 MB in size) from the FSPilotShop, all that was needed was to place the relevant folders into my X-Plane 11 Custom Scenery folder. This involved four folders in total: Parked Cars, Roads, Scenery and Static Aircraft.

    Walkabout

    The first thing which struck me about the scenery was its sheer size and multitude of buildings. These covered all sides of the airport's multiple runways and helped give the airport a sense of scale. Next to many of these buildings were parked cars, ground clutter, signs and also animated vehicles, and these all helped to give a 'busy' feeling one would expect from an airport such as Frankfurt.

    Aerosoft     Aerosoft     Aerosoft

    Numerous stationary aircraft were also visible on the apron and these really looked the part. To see these aircraft in the scenery however, they must be enabled in the 'Show Parked Aircraft' menu of X-Plane's settings menu. If this option is not selected, then the aircraft will not be present. Moving further afield - both taxiways and runways were accurately placed with texturing on each being of a high quality.

    Frankfurt Airport's main terminal building is nothing short of majestic, with the team at Aerosoft really doing the building proud. The 3D modelling and texturing is up there with the very best, and the reflective green glass on the terminal front is both highly effective and realistic.

    All the above is placed on a photographic overlay so as to hopefully add to the realism. Now as many of you know, I'm not the biggest fan of this design technique; however, in this case, it seems to work well. Don't get too low though, as they start to deteriorate the lower you go (hence my reason for not being their greatest fan).

    Aerosoft     Aerosoft     Aerosoft

    Night lighting, as with most X-Plane sceneries, was a joy to behold and very realistic. The main terminal building was highly impressive, as were some of the other smaller buildings located around the airport. Both runway and taxi lighting was good, and combined with the buildings, made for a highly enjoyable nighttime experience.

    One area which I found lacking (yet again) was the absence of people. Apart from the odd marshaller, the airport was devoid of life. It amazes me how the developers of this scenery can omit such a key element as this. To walk around an airport and see hardly any sign of human life, really kills the immersion factor. Please please please, let's see some people in future patches!


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