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Review Aerosoft Zurich v2

Background

Zürich airport, ICAO code LSZH, IATA ZRH,(also known as Kloten airport) is the largest airport in Switzerland and one of the busiest mainhubs in Europe when it comes to medium-to long distance flihts. The airport is located some 10km outside of central Zürich.

The airport is founded roughly in 1945-1948 with one runway mainly usage to the west. The runways needed updating due to heavy traffic and so there was expansion made both to runways and terminals in 1961. Due to noise from grown traffic there was need to expand even more and renew the runways and approach routes, therefore runway 14/32 was made and opened for traffic in 1976 and also renovation of runway 16/34 began.
As the traffic grew and noise became more and more an issue, strict approach rules were installed between 1980-2000, finally ending up with the solution of approaches and departures to be to and from the airport over German airspace.

 

Zürich airport now has three runways; (wikipedia)
10/28 8,202 2,500 Concrete

14/32 10,827 3,300 Concrete

16/34 12,139 3,700 Concrete

And three terminals, Terminal A, opened in 1972, exclusively for traffic inside Schengen area. Terminal B opened in 1971 and reopened after extensive renovation in 2011, handling both inside and outside Schengen area flights. Terminal E opened in 2003 is a stand-alone satellite terminal located at the opposite of runway 10-28 and is entirely used for long-distance flights outside Schengen and EU-area, international flights that is. To get from Terminals A and B to Terminal E there is an underground automated people-mover called Skymetro.

Zürich Airport serves roughly 25 million passengers a year, and main destinations are London, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam and New York.

zuerichthIn the sim

As per Aerosoft, this airport has some extraordinary details which catches your attention straight from the beginning. Airport-signs, huge housewall-sized commercials with awesome quality in detail, nicely modeled AI doing their busines as they should and very nicely modeled terminal E with transparent windows, people inside and great detail also inside terminal with commercials and signs to gates etc.

However, as you begin to move on the tarmac and taxiways there seems to be that Aerosoft forgot what the most important thing is, basics have to be in order before adding hugely defined details. Meaning, stuttering, drops in fps and most important, the things we simmers watch mostly, taxiways and runways are far from great, mediocre at the best. Sadly this spoils the immersion you get from the airport and it's scenery. Also the totally missing surrounding makes the ”immersion effect” totally lacking, since the only thing existing is the roads around the airport. We simmers understand that airport scenery is airport scenery, but since the load on the sim is huge, one would expect even some landmarks etc. to be found outside the airport aswell, this is not the case unfortionatly.
The runways especially seem to be medium quality at it's best, same goes for taxiways, the parking and docking areas are quite ok in quality though.

Nighttime

Wow! Just WOW! This is the time when this aiport looks superb, the lights from domelights, terminals and all other lightsources are amazingly lifelike! It really brings the aiport and it's surroundings to life, now it starts to look like a decent and vividly colourful airport. The only negative side is that in Prepar3D 3.0 the runway- and taxiway-lights don't seem to work, however the ambient light from the airport make them look quite nice anyway so they are nicely lit up, but not too much.

Performance ”issues”

In Prepar3d 2.5 this aiport hits VAS with even relatively low settings. With Prepar3D 3.0 this is not the case, but still there are huge problems. Even with moderate settings the fps drops easily, which shows the airport surely is not tested well enough for usage with many addons that many simmers use, like EzDok, PMDG, ASN, Rex, ORBX global, lc and vector etc.

Also the daytime looks nothing more than dull, which is strange, it's just like colours would be missing or atleast something missing. Even though the runway lights are missing in Prepar3D 3.0 the runway lits up due to ambient light quite ok, the runways look a little strange, even compared to real-life pics.

Installation

As per usual, Aerosoft installation is pretty straight forward, downloadable version gives you a link and in your e-mail is also your registration key in case you don't find it on the site where you bought it. Downloadable version is roughly 500Mb in size and installed to the sim it uses up about 800Mb. Upon install there is possibility to select static Airbus A380 from Emirates at Terminal E, which looks pretty nice and doesn't seem to affect performance too much.

There is also a separate Traffic Configurator which works great, aswell as AFCAD and performance configurator where night effect lamps are selectable or de-selectable. Also a very nice add is a separate resolution configurator where there is option to choose either high (2048) or low res textures (1024), these configurators can be run at any time when needed to change settings.

Summary

Aerosoft could have paid attention to the big picture before doing the small and picky things, making the area look as awesome as the small detailed things would make this an awesome airport to fly in and out of.
For me and many other Airliner loving enthusiasts this airport can not be properly used, even though GSX works nicely here also, but due to badly optimized scenery in general, we await some serious update to get it working nicely. This size of surrounding should absolutely not be this demanding to the sim.


Included in the package is a very usable Manual and 66 page Charts document which is superb and comprehensive.

 

Test system:

I7 4770K 3.40Ghz 
16 GB 1600Mhz
Nvidia GTX 670 
Windows 7 ultimate 64

 

Overall Rating

1 to 10

 

Modelling : 8.5
Textures : 8
Aerial View : 9
Objects : 9
Performance : 7
Surrounding : 7.5
Details : 9
Manual : 9
Value for money : 8
Overall result : 8.7



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Review by Maddog

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