A new Zürich ? Wow I was super excited, this is one of my favorite airports in flightsim and in real life. The approach can be quite challenging cause of the low visibility that may occur during winter. And who doesn’t love climbing out of Zürich with the nice view of the Swiss Alps it’s just something very magical about it.
Aerosoft well known for it’s Mega airport series, released dozens of airports in the last several years. Aersoft and Fsdreamteam both already developed a scenery for Zurich, but both are getting outdated, and a new version was more than welcome to me. Aerosoft Zürich 2012 version was quite good and didn’t need much improvement just some updating in my opinion but PadLabs thought differently and redesigned everything.
Switzerland has it all
From delicious chocolate to overpriced wrist watches and army knifes, Switzerland is world known for many different thinks. If you ever going to visit Switzerland by plane you’ll most like land in Geneva or Zürich airport. Zurich airport is home base for Swiss, Belair , Edelweiss Air that often fly with codeshare with swiss and Helvetic airways.
Zürich airport formely know as Kloten is the biggest airport in Switzerland it has the ICAO: LSZH and IATA: ZRH. The airport has 3 runways; 16/34 is 3700 m or 12,139 Feet and 14/32 which is 3300m or 10,827 feet and the shortest runway 10/28 which is 2500m or 8,202 feet.
The Airport has 3 terminals or docks, Dock A,B and E . Dock E is positioned between runways 16/34 and 14/32 and is remotely connected by underground subway. The Cargo area is located next to Dock A.
The airport can be bought from the official Aerosoft shop or other flight sim shops like simmarket ,flightsim store It sales for EUR25,99 for download or EUR 26,39 for a boxed edtions. If you are owner of the former Mega Airport Zurich 2012, you are entitled to get a discount of 50%. You’ll get an extra 10% off. Fortunately Aersoft was so nice to grant us a review copy. As usual with latest Aerosoft products there is only 1 installer, which is compatible with FSX, FSX: SE and Prepar3D. The download is 487 MB in size and takes about 1,08 GB of your flightsim installation.
Activation is like usual with Aerosoft products with a key and your e-mailadress. The Installation is very straight forward and doesn’t take any extra user action.
After installation you will find 3 tools in your Aerosoft folder, one is a Afcad tool, a traffic config tool and something very useful a resolution changer to change the texture resolutons from 2048 to 1024. This helps reducing the VAS so the chance for a possible OOM (Out Of Memory) is less likely. After installation you are asked if you want static A380, this will show the Emirates A380 at E dock.
The airport comes with 2 PDF’s a manual that’s very complete and a PDF with all the charts and diagrams and everything you wish for. As usual this is top notch quality and this is something what many add on developers forget.
In the sim, eventually ….
Time to boot the sim and already I stumbled on a problem I got a popup message saying “airport controller crashed with code:2 “ and some extra bla bla , I also noticed that I didn’t had runway nor taxi lights. So it seems that the airport controller isn’t 100% compatible with windows 10 so I had to got to the Aerosoft folder in the root of my flightsim folder and open the Airport controller folder and right click on that exe, open as admin and run in Windows 7 compatibility mode. I’ve read that many people on the Aerosft forum are experiencing similar issues. So a fair warning for you if you got windows 10 like I do.
Anyway with everything finally running as it should it’s time to check this airport. At first Impression everything looks a lot sharper than the former version. You can clearly see that the textures have a higher resolution.
The Airport now has moving airport vehicles which can vary from firetrucks to busses, and many more which makes the airport feel more alive. The busses have a very nice paint on them by the way.
Although all boarding bridges have see through windows only the E dock terminal features see through windows and has 2D models inside, I don’t quite understand why not all terminals share this same feature. Even Fsdreamteam’s version featured static passengers models, but okay. Another let down is the airport supports only AES for gate operation this means no gates dock to your aircraft for Prepar3D users.
The taxiways and runway textures have a great quality and look nicely sharp, one thing I don’t like is they just used a green ground texture without 3D grass. This makes the grass only look good when looked from a distance up close it’s a whole different story and not really up for today’s standards.
Outside the airport
Nothing much to see really , except for some billboards and animated cars on the highway. There isn’t much modeled outside the airport.
And when the sun goes down
Well Halleluja never thought night lighting could look this good in FSX/P3D it’s by far the best i’ve seen this is truly the highlight of the scenery and that’s a bit sad too .
List of features
- Newly created buildings and objects with lots of 3D details, partly high resolution 2K textures with rendered shadows and lighting.
- New transparent boarding bridges with glass sides at every gate.
- Updated taxiways and parking positions, as creating parking positions for the Airbus A380 changed other positions and moved lots of taxiway markings.
- Parking position E67 at Dock E now includes a separate, elevated boarding bridge
- Static Airbus A380 of Emirates Airline, parking at Gate E67 (optional)
- Terminal 2 is currently being rebuilt and set to be finished by the end of 2015 – we already completely finished the terminal for this scenery
- Enhanced Apron P with additional parking positions
- Jet engine test site with new, large noise absorption hall
- The entrances to terminals 1 and 2 are currently being rebuilt – we already completely finished the reconstruction for this scenery, including a new roofing
- Completely created scenery of Airport Zurich for FSX ACC-SP2-SE and Prepar3D, state of late 2015
- Detailed representation of the airport
- Photo realistic ground textures based on aerial images (0,5m/pixel)
- Seasonal colouring of ground and vegetation
- All buildings and airport facilities
- Photo real textures for buildings, vehicles etc.
- True to original navigation systems (ILS, VOR/DME, NDB, ATIS)
- Complete taxiway and runway signage
- “High speed taxiways”, allowing for exiting the runway at high speeds
- Great night effects (baked textures)
- Animated radar systems and wind hoses
- Animated vehicle traffic at and around the airport (AESLite), for FSX ACC-SP2 with “Intelliscene”
- ADGS – Aircraft Docking Guidance Systems
- True to original runway and taxiway lighting
- Traffic routes with ground traffic signage
- Optimised for good performance (frame rate)
- Optimised AFDs for different landing directions on the crossing runways
- Compatible with Airport Enhancement Services (AES)
- Compatible with default AI traffic as well as AI traffic add-ons (e.g. MyTraffic X)
- Compatible with Switzerland Pro X and Ultimate Terrain Europe
- Manual in English/German and up to date charts
No incompatibilities were found with any 3rd party add ons. As mentioned earlier the gates only function with AES everything else is compatible with GSX. Works perfectly with Switzerland Pro X for the die hard Swiss fanboys like me 🙂 .
The following add ons were used in combination with this airport:
FTX OpenLC Europe
Switzerland Pro X
Okay this is a very strange one, I heard from many users that the airport is very heavy on FPS and eats a lot of VAS. Fortunately I didn’t encounter any of these issues, when departing and landing after a circuit flight with the PMDG 777 I still had 800 MB free on VAS. Even my heaviest aircraft , the Ifly 747v2 managed to safely land and take off with no out of memory. I was surprised to hear from other users and read on the Aerosoft forum that so many people struggle with this airport.
My P3D settings can be found “here”
My system specs:
Intel I7 6700K overclocked to 5ghz
16 GB DDR4 memory
2x GTX 980 in SLI
Windows 10 x64 pro
P3D very minimal tweaked with a custom Nvidia Inspector profile
my inspector profile can be found “here”
Well to be honest I got excited all for nothing. Yes the airport has been updated and has the A380 compatible gates but the V2 feels more like an updated version that still needs some fixes cause clearly many users are experiencing issues. Never the less if you regular fly in and out of Zürich like me, this could be the add on for you, if not stick with your current 2012 version or Fsdreamteam version.