Aerosoft Vienna X Review
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Mega Airport Vienna X
For FSX (Also available for FS2004) Published by Aerosoft
Reviewed by Jessica Bannister-Pearce
June 2012

"From Rennweg, begins the orient" Prince Metternich once said of the road outside his home. He wasn't wrong. Vienna sits at a crossroads geographically between the western European capitals and the exotic Eastern European counties that straddle the Russian border. Vienna itself has been the home of the one of the great empires, of royals and rebels and some damn fine coffee. Today though Vienna is a more sedate city, the kind of place you go to relax after you've grown tired of Barcelona's nightlife. If the city though is a place to relax, sip coffee and enjoy the cultural niceties that are on offer, It's airport lives up to its historic billing, being a crossroad where east meets west.

Vienna international is located just 11 miles south of the city centre and is less than an hour from Bratislava in Hungary. Though it's called Vienna airport (Or Flughafen Wien) It's still generally known as Schwechat airport by the locals, due to its location in Schwechat. Originally serving as a military field dating back to the first world war, It became Vienna's international airport in 1960. Today the airport is as busy as most major European hubs and is Austria's busiest airport with passenger numbers reaching in excess of 16 million in 2010. All of which makes this airport a worthy addition to the discerning FS pilot. So enter Aerosoft and Fly Tampa with their Vienna X scenery.

What do I get?
For just slightly over €26 you get a manageable 141mb download containing the most up to date version of Vienna X. This is version 2 and is a different version than the boxed version also on sale. It's the download version I'll deal with. By the way, if you do own the DVD version, you can download the updated version from Aerosoft.

Installation is predictably easy. For users of Aerosoft's Austria x scenery or Ultimate Terrain Europe, there are specific options to select to help the airport to blend into the scenery. Choose the appropriate option and you're away to go.

I recommend a quick glance at the PDF manuals provided before you get started to help you get an idea of the airport itself.
 
The View from above of the custom mesh for Vienna X.

Welcome to Vienna international
This is no ordinary airport - the mega airport series very often aren't. Just sitting at the gate I became aware that Vienna X is a little bit special.

To the northwest of the airport, towards Vienna itself is a large industrial complex. I passed it myself on the train from the airport when I had the opportunity to visit Vienna last year. Here in the sim though, I found this land mark to be fully modelled despite being outside of the airport itself. Smoke even escapes from the large chimney's found there. So this airport is something special. With this in mind I thought I'd deal with the scenery provided by splitting it up between airside and landside.
 

There’s plenty of custom made objects to enjoy here

This is not just a oil refinery, this is a Fly Tampa oil refinery

The view over the cargo apron and out to the Danube beyond

The oil refinery just up the road provides an interesting diversion

Landside
A trip up the refinery and industrial complex revealed the detail that fly Tampa have gone into. This is no simple set of generic buildings placed on top of the custom mesh. It's a fairly detailed rendition of the refinery, missing only the train line that runs alongside the road. Still it's impressive and a great landmark for the approach to runway 11 take-off from 29. The smoke from the various chimney's just add to the ambiance.
 

If you need to pick up a few things, the supermarket is waiting for you

A little advertising to tempt you

Even the coaches are modelled

Detail is everything

Heading back to the airport reveals more eye candy. Within the airport perimeter sits the brightly coloured 'Billa' supermarket; modelled in all its bright yellow loveliness, styled with 'Billa' written in large red letters on the roof, it certainly easy to spot. It's a nice touch. There's lots of them in fact.

From the main terminals signage to the NH hotel held opposite the arrivals hall, there's plenty to see. There are even custom Vienna airport lines buses to sit in the bus station. Sneakily along with the advertising for Starbucks on the terminal 1 building, there are several adverts for fly Tampa products and Aerosoft as well. If airside is a nice as this, then I may need sedation.

Airside


A view across the tarmac

As nice as the landside parts of Vienna International are, the reason you buy a new airport is to get the airside version.

Sitting at a gate, and with reference to my previous quote, I had to call the nurse. The view before me was crisp. The air bridges all feature custom signage. And there are many air-bridges.
 

The gates of the east pier

I’ve never seen such detail in an airport

The View over the main passenger terminals. Note the little aircraft on the roof in the far left hand corner

The airport looks even better at night

The main terminal is made up of two piers, east and west. Both curl around to form a lovely looking bowl shape that reminds me a little of Berlin's old Templehof airport. There are some lovely little touches. Around the old east and west piers, the 'Welcome to Vienna' titles are faithfully recreated whist just up on the arrivals hall roof sit two small aircraft, again faithfully recreated for us here.

But it's not just the old piers that are beautifully rendered. Indeed, fly Tampa have pre-empted real life and provided us with the brand new 'Skylink' terminal for us to use prior to its opening just this month, June the 5th. In fairness the terminal was due to be opened in time for the European Championship football tournament in 2008. Due to some accounting irregularities and a few inflated (vastly inflated) invoices billed to the airport authority, the local government halted the project until it could be investigated. The result was a 4 year delay and many aircraft parking at the gate only to have passengers bussed to the open terminals.
 

Austrian Airlines have their own hangars here at Vienna

some of the remote stands for the Smaller aircraft that call Vienna Home

the new ‘Skylink’ terminal Now open

the refinery at night

Here, the new terminal 3 is available for all aircraft to use. It looks a little imposing but it's a welcome addition. Behind it sits a few remote cargo gates and to the west there are many remote gates for the various Fokker F70's and ATR's that call the airport home.

But it's not just the terminals that look great. There are various engineering companies with hangers to the north of the terminal and they, like the rest of the airport, are all recreated in stunning detail. A visit to the Austrian Technik hangars reveal open hangers and engine exhaust diverters all placed with precision. If your flying in with a private jet though expect a lengthy but scenic taxi from the from runway 34 as the business terminal sits way up to the north West of the airport. At least the scenery is pleasant.


Night time wonder

It's even better at night, with the custom lighting lifting the airport to near photo realism. If around the airport is nice, approaching it is even better if your arriving from any direction you'll get to see the custom land class that reproduces the surrounding fields in photorealistic glory. If you're approaching from Vienna itself to either runway 16 or 11, then it's a VFR delight as both the refinery and the eponymous Danube river makes an appearance, whilst approaches to 34 and 29 also offer the refinery as a great landmark. Keep an eye out for the long queues of taxiing aircraft as Vienna is a very busy airport.


Watch out on approach as queues are likely



Verdict


What can I say about this amazing airport. Nothing bad that's for sure. During taxiing trials, my frame rates never dropped below 30. And that was with 100% traffic from UT2. Indeed, even poor weather failed to bring the frame rates down to below 20. Admittedly that was on a relatively high end system, but still it's impressive. Compare that to Aerosoft's Heathrow and I'm barely pulling the high teens.

It's not just performance that elevates Mega Airport Vienna X above others. It's the little touches. From the refinery to the advertising, right through to the small aircraft on the arrivals hall, it's these touches that make this a must have. There are even seasonal textures included to add to the realism.

All in all, this is a must have airport. It's busy, bustling and just about perfect.

Mutley's Hangar score of 10/10


Jessica Bannister-Pearce
Review machine Spec:
Intel i5 2500K @ 4.5ghz | 8Gb Ram |590GTX Graphics |Windows 7 / 64bit


      
       System Requirements (FSX Version)
  • Flight Simulator X (Acceleration or FSX SP2 required)
  • Windows XP / Vista / Windows7 with the latest Service Packs
  • 3.0 Ghz processor (Duo2Core Intel recommended)
  • 2 Gb RAM
  • 512 Mb graphics card
  • 141 Mb Download size
  • 350 Mb hard drive space