Aerosoft Oslo X Review
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Mega Airport Oslo-Gardermoen X
For FSX Published by Aerosoft
Reviewed by Rob Scott
January 2011

Information
Oslo is the capital and largest city in Norway and is also holds the unenviable title as the world's most expensive capital city. It's current population is around 1.5 million people, and with a growth rate of 2% is the fastest growing capital city in Europe.

Due to it's very northern location Norway's climate varies greatly from Summer to Winter. The summer regularly sees daylight hours of 18 hours and temperatures of 20 degrees, whereas the winter temperatures barely get above freezing point and hours of daylight drop to no more than 6.

It's not surprising that the country's largest airport is located near it's capital city. It is situated about 25 miles north-east of Oslo in Gardermoen and is the main hub for SAS Scandinavian Airways. In 2009 the airport handled over 18 million passengers, more than 200,000 aircraft movements and over 77,000 tonnes of cargo. The busiest domestic passenger route is to Trondheim-Vaernes (also available from Aerosoft) and the busiest international route is to Copenhagen.

About Oslo-Gardermoen X
This is an airport that I regularly fly to; it's only 2 hours from the UK and the climate and weather always offers a challenge and some spectacular colours. For a scenery add-on titled 'Mega' it is a relatively small file at only 100mb to download and 180mb to install. With Aerosoft's super fast servers my copy was downloaded before I'd made my cuppa. Installation was a breeze: run the installer, enter your email address and key-code and it's done. The price is also reasonable at €24.95 for the download version, which is around £20 or $32 USD

If you are expecting the airport to be similar in size and scale to somewhere like Mega Airport Heathrow you will be disappointed because it is a much smaller airport in terms of aircraft traffic volume and size. To get an idea of Oslo's size, Terminal 5 at Heathrow has 60 stands, the whole of the airport at Oslo only has 71 stands . Don't let this put you off because what is modelled here is very good.
 

Features
 
  • High detail representation of Oslo Airport Gardermoen
  • All airport buildings and installations
  • High resolution textures based on photos taken at the airport
  • Seasonal ground textures
  • Taxiways and runways created with high resolution textures
  • AI-Traffic compatible
  • Corrected landclass files
  • Hundreds of taxiway signs
  • Realistic night time lighting
  • Photo realistic ground textures
  • Compatible with AES (Airport Enhancement Services)
  • In my experience Aerosoft scenery add-ons are as frame rate friendly as possible given the detail which they include. They have included a short manual which tells you how to set up your system to get the best from the scenery, using their settings as a baseline I found that my FPS in FSX were in the high 20's using a detailed GA aircraft such as the Carenado C208, and when using a complex airliner the frame rates dropped to around 15, which is still very acceptable. Interestingly though, I found that I had lower frame rates at Oslo X compared to Heathrow X. I put this down to having more cloud layers and different weather than at Heathrow. The English part of the manual was only 5 pages long and could have included a bit of information about what to see around the airport.

    If FPS are a problem Aerosoft have included a tool to remove static objects, 3d lights and alter the vegetation density to help improve FPS. It usually takes a fair amount of tweaking in FSX to find the sweet spot for sceneries and this add-on is no different, but the included tools do make it a lot easier do tweak.

    You are also given a document that includes all the airport charts for approach, arrival, departure and taxing around the airport. There isn't a chart included showing stand numbers, but as long as you follow the correct taxi route the stand numbers are clearly marked on the ground. You could always cheat and use the progressive taxi...

    These charts are all available from the VATSIM Norway website, but take a bit of finding and are of a lower quality than the ones included here.

    Exploring
    I used a combination of FTX BOB and taxing around the airport to explore it, either way is a lot of fun. Taxing out to the runway or to the terminal after arriving with the default scenery isn't really that interesting but it is a lot different after installing this scenery. The runway lighting and textures are excellent and make it very easy to follow the taxi routes to and from the terminal. (although ATC usually directed me to the same spot each time!)
     

    I liked all the buildings scattered around the airport as it gives you something to look at other than a barren landscape and the default generic buildings. My personal preference was to fly into and out of Oslo at dusk or dawn as the airport lighting combined with the REX weather textures were fantastic. It was nice to see AI ground traffic going about it's business on the airport roads and bridges into the terminal, although you are not able to follow them as you cannot climb up the bridge. I have noticed this with other Aerosoft scenery add-ons, but it's not something I think is a major problem, more a minor niggle.

    The airport has 2 runways which are large enough to handle an A380 and both have de-icing spots at each end, which is critical in a climate such as this. Although de-icing isn't modelled in FSX, you can purchase AES Credits for Oslo X and have a really authentic experience.

    Conclusion
    I really like this add-on and will frequently return here in the future. It is located in a challenging environment with other airports nearby which make it easy to make shorter flights in the region. But there is great satisfaction in landing a heavy here in terrible weather conditions in the middle of winter. It will appeal more to pilots who fly commercial airliners and gives the airport a long overdue facelift from the poor default offering.

    Verdict
       PROS
  • High Quality
  • Fun to explore
  • Challenging environment
  • Tools and instructions included to improve FPS
  • Value for money

  • CONS
  • The manual could be a little more detailed
  • Can be a little FPS heavy when all the included AI, 3D lights, static objects and vegetation are running at 100%

  • Mutley's Hangar Score 8.5/10

    Rob Scott
    Review machine Spec:
    Intel Core2 Quad 2.40ghz | 4gb DDR2 RAM |Nvidia GForce 880GTX |Windows 7 64bit Home Premium


          
          System Requirements
    • Flight Simulator X (Acceleration or FSX SP2 required)
    • Windows XP / Vista / Windows7 with the latest Service Packs
    • Pentium 3 GHz (Duo2Core Intel or equivalent advised)
    • 2 Gb RAM (4 Gb recommended)
    • 256Mb graphic card (512 MB recommended)
    • 100Mb Download size
    • 180Mb hard drive space