RFscenerybuilding Geneva 2015
RFscenerybuilding is a young developer team from Russia, founded less than a year ago. They specialized in small French airports so far, with their latest release Geneva being their first large international airport. With Geneva the young team already takes on one of the well settled studios – FS Dreamteam.
Geneva airport (ICAO LSGG), formerly known as Geneva-Cointrin, is the second largest airport in Switzerland after Zürich. In 2014 Geneva reached a milestone 15 million passengers per year, of which almost 10% originate from the flights to the London area. Most connections from Geneva are European routes, the only overseas destinations being the United States and Canada, which are served by Swiss Airbus A330-300.
With its 3,900m runway Geneva is capable of handling virtually every airliner, even the famous Concorde operated into LSGG occasionally. The largest plane to serve Geneva is the Emirates Airbus A380.
But Geneva is also an important cargo hub in the region, served by DHL, UPS and TNT. The cargo center is truly international, as the Swiss-French border runs right along the northern boundary of the airport and the freight center is accessible from France and from Switzerland.
There is something else that makes Geneva a frequent destination of plane spotters. Geneva is home to an UN headquarter and therefore regularly visited by government jets from all over the world. If you ever wanted to see a 727 or 707 in Europe nowadays, Geneva is the place to be.
The history of Geneva Airport dates back to 1919 when Cointrin was no more than a small field. While in the 1920s only Swiss Airlines and Lufthansa operated from Geneva, the number of airlines rose to six in 1930. In 1960 Geneva was adapted to the requirements of the early jet age and the runway (05/23) was extended to its current length of 3,900 meters. North of the runway is a second 800 meter grass strip (05L/23R) for General Air Traffic.
Today Geneva is a main hub for Swiss, easyJet Switzerland and Etihad Regional (former Darwin Airlines).
The add on
RFscenerybuilding Geneva Cointrin X 2015 is available for download at Simmarket for the moderate price of €23.80. The download is 991 MB in size.
Officially Geneva 2015 is only for FSX, but it works fine in P3D v2.5 and P3D v3.0 as well. Along with the scenery comes a small readme file containing some installation tips and seasonal trees, which need to be handled manually. Charts or further information about the airport are not included.
I tried the demo of FS Dreamteam’s Geneva a short while ago and was quite disappointed, especially about the runway 23 approach. Geneva lies on a small plateau and the FSDT recreation of this looked very cheapish. So I was very curious about the quality of this young Russian product.
The first impression after loading the scenery was very positive. I stepped into my helicopter to get an overview of the airport and I really liked what I saw. RFscenerybuilding did not just recreate the airport in very fine detail, they also paid attention to the surrounding of the airport. The large flats to the east of the airport are just as well included as the industrial area in the south west – Media Markt, Ikea or your local BMW dealer – you will find them all!
The hi-res ground textures with their 3D grass are crisp and the colors blend in well with my surrounding FTX Global Base textures. Same is valid for the apron textures, one has to look hard to see the difference between the satellite image and the handcrafted textures, a very nice job.
RFscenerybuilding recreated all the airport buildings in good detail. No matter if you are looking at the passenger terminal, control tower, maintenance hangars or the buildings adjacent to the airport, like the administrative buildings, parking house or railway station – everything is there and looks fine. A specialty of Geneva is the three gate roundels on the apron, a quite new parking experience for me. The jet ways however are only static and not moving. As I do not have AES, I could not test, if the Jet ways can be triggered through it.
The northern part of the airport is home to the General Air Traffic, with again various buildings, parking spots and helipads.
All building textures are crisp and the colors look real.
But let’s not just look at the buildings. While buildings of course are important – and RFscenerybuilding does not need to hide in this respect – there is something else that makes the difference between an average airport and an add on, you want to revisit again and again and again – the small additional details.
Geneva has plenty of them – vehicles in the parking lots, parked air stars, baggage carts, airport vehicles, cargo containers, fuel trucks to name just a few. These were not just “poured” onto the scenery, everything is well placed and you get the impression they will start their daily work at the airport right away. Roaming around the airport using FTX Bob was great fun in this respect. The love for detail goes so far that even the local hunter’s high seats are included – we don’t want animals on our runways, do we?
It took me a long time to decide whether or not to buy this scenery. What finally got me was the night lighting screenshots on Simmarket. The airport and especially the apron are nicely illuminated at night. The runway lighting in P3D v3 is a little dim, but the scenery is not to blame for this.
Remember what I wrote in my introduction, why I did not like FSDT’s Geneva? Correct, the approach to runway 23. So, how did RFscenerybuilding solve this? Let me put it this way – impressive! This approach is easily one of my new favorites in the sim – arriving over Lake Geneva and then approaching LSGG runway 23 on its plateau, a sight you certainly enjoy just like me.
Performance and compatibility
RFscenerybuilding’s 3D models might not have the fine detail like those of the big studios – though fine enough when seen from the cockpit – but this modelling ensures excellent framerates. Both in my Prepar3D v2.5 and Prepar3D v3 the framerates never dropped below my locked 30 fps at very high settings.
VAS is no issue on this airport, with full autogen and scenery complexity I never exceeded 65% VAS usage.
I used LSGG in combination with FTX Global Base, Vector, Open LC EU and SceneryTech Land class and RFscenerybuilding’s Geneva worked together with them well.
Ultimate Traffic 2 populated the airport nicely, though it had a tendency to put small GA aircraft at the gates. A look at the ADE file shows that RFscenerybuilding configured the gates correctly, so I would suggest lowering the GA traffic slider in UT2.
In this review I would like to mention something we never talked about in any of our reviews before – the support. In my Prepar3D v2.5 I use FTX Global Vector and both Lake Geneva and the river were full of autogen. I have the same problem in the New York and London area, so it is not induced by the scenery itself. RFscenerybuilding have a custom CVX file for this problem on their (Russian) forum, but it did not work for me, so I just sent a picture of the problem to RFscenerybuilding. Due to my experiences with the support at the major studios I did not expect much, but merely an hour later I already had a response. Support created a special new land class file for me, as well as a new Exclude file, but still the autogen persisted in my Lake Geneva. As this is a problem of my setup, I already gave up. Not so RFscenerybuilding who kept looking for the cause of my problems. Long story short, it was the setting “Frozen surfaces” in my FTX Vector configurator and everything works absolutely fine now. Should you guys read this: спасибо за отличный сервис!
As this support was more valuable to me than any manual, I will add 5 points to the score of the manual in our scoring table.
You like flying in Switzerland, France, the Alps region or you are just looking for a nice airport in Europe? Then RFscenerybuilding’s Geneva should be on the top of your shopping list! The airport is nicely recreated as are the surroundings and you will be rewarded with beautiful scenic approaches into LSGG. Thanks to it’s long runway, but also it’s grass strip Geneva is a potential home for all virtual aviators, ranging from the occasional Cessna pilot all the way to the long haul fan who wants to fly the 10 hour flight from Geneva to New York, Newark, Washington, Toronto or Montreal. Everything is possible at this airport.
If you are still undecided – Geneva is on a 20% sale at Simmarket right now, go grab your copy now!