• Review: Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics For MSFS

    Enhanced Airport Graphics

    Publisher: Zinertek

    Review Author:
    Michael Hayward

    Suggested Price:
    $16.99

    Buy Here

    Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020     Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020

    Zinertek is a well-respected scenery enhancer development team for FSX and P3D. Recently they have released their first enhancement pack for Microsoft Flight Simulator, "Enhanced Airport Graphics", which provides a complete texture replacement for all default ground textures within Flight Simulator's airports. In this review, we take a look at the all-new add-on from Zinertek and see how much it enhances the default airport environments for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

    Installation

    Installation of Zinertek Enhanced Airport Graphics was simple and only takes a few moments. When purchasing from the FlightSim.Com Store you are given a zip file and an activation key. Run the installer within the zip file, input your key and point the installer to your simulator's "Community" folder.

    Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020     Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020

    This will create two folders, Enhanced Airport Graphics 1 and 2. When running the simulator these replace the default textures and is where the enhancement files are stored. This makes it easy to manage your simulator without the need to overwrite default files, instead side-loading them on top of what MSFS already uses.

    Airport Environments

    Enhanced Airport Graphics replaces all default airport ground textures with all-new high-resolution ground tiles and markings, and are much closer to what you would expect to see at real-world airports. This includes a variety of different textures for different materials used.

    Runways and taxiway surfaces are greatly improved on with all-new markings and base textures for all styles - tarmac, grooved concrete and tiled concrete. Runway touchdown zones have more pronounced tire marks from where aircraft touch down and weathering has been applied throughout. This has the effect of taking away that clean and new feeling that Microsoft Flight Simulator has by default. Airports are generally not pristine environments with fresh new ground paving, but are weathered from the constant movement of heavy jetliners and prop craft and other fast-moving traffic that cross through their facilities.

    Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020     Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020

    Colors are also no longer flat. Instead of a single shade of grey used to define what kind of ground you are on, these now have small blemishes and imperfections which you will see over a large surface area. This adds life and variety to the scene and ensures that no two airports will look the same. Each has their own layouts, tweaks and differences which help with differentiating airports, and eventually adds a sense of familiarity to them.

    Gates and stands are also enhanced with staining and cracks added where spills and damage have taken place in years gone by. As before with taxiways and runways, adding age and weathering to the scenery brings more life into the simulator where planes have been managed, worked and turned around at high-capacity over several decades.

    Ground markings, numbers and details have also been improved on. For example, taxiway centerlines have two distinct styles to them, a plain yellow line and backed black border. This also applies to runway markings and boundaries which are marked and stand out (much more than the default textures). When combined, markings are more pronounced and help greatly in guiding your taxiing aircraft from stand to runway and vice versa. The shade of each color too has been carefully picked so that it not only looks good, but also fits in with the scenery.

    Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020     Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020

    It is worth saying too that Enhanced Airport Graphics only changes the textures of airports and not the layout directly. Taxiways, runways and stands are all in their same positions, however, the textures that define each, as mentioned above, have been greatly improved on so as to add character and variety. Add-on airports that come with their own textures sets are also not affected by this add-on, only touching those that are within default airport environments.

    Lighting on taxiways and runways still follow the same default patterns and don't appear too different at night, but when looking up close at the light fittings and how they interact with the ground terrain, this too looks far better than the default layout with bulbs much more visible thanks to the difference in color when compared to default. This makes for a fantastic night scene with improved ground textures still featuring in the glow of your aircraft lights and ground lighting fixtures.

    Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020     Zinertek - Enhanced Airport Graphics for MSFS 2020

    If there is one thing I feel could have been included, it would be replacement textures for terminal buildings. The updated ground textures look fantastic within Microsoft Flight Simulator, but it is almost a shame to see the terminals and facilities left in their original state. Perhaps we will see an update or a new pack release in the future that will cater for these, but for now, this is not the case.


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