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Review: FlyTampa’s Vienna LOWW V2

Fly Tampa have been producing add-on airports for Flight simulator over a number of years.  They now have over a dozen titles covering FS2002, FS2004 and FSX, with about 6 titles for FSX.  This is version 2 of LOWW and it has been extensively upgraded.  The improvements include added terminals, car parks, hangars, aprons, taxiways, gates, etc.  .  There are other visual enhancements and the FSX version has been compiled with SP2-SDK, with DX9 mode only being supported.  The whole upgrade adds to the realistic experience in FSX.  I didn’t do any shopping in the Supermarket!!

Figure 1 Fly Tampa LOWW V2 Vienna International Airport

By comparison, below is a picture of the default FSX airport which is adequate but simplistic and basic compared to the Fly Tampa version:

Figure 2 Default FSX LOWW V2 Vienna International Airport

Figure 3 WIEN from the air courtesy Austrian Business Agency Lammerhuber

Figure 4 Fly Tampa LOWW V2 Vienna International Airport comparison to RL

The Third Man Freudian Review

Background:  (Courtesy Wikipedia and VACC Austria)

Vienna is situated on the Danube River and is the largest city and the capital of Austria, 20 – 25% of the Austrian population live in Vienna (pop. 1.6m).  Vienna is located in eastern Austria, close to the borders with Slovakia and Hungary.  Austria is about the same size as S Carolina, is totally landlocked and has numerous borders with other countries:

  • North:  Germany and the Czech Republic,
  • East:  Slovakia and Hungary,
  • South:  Slovenia and Italy, and
  • West:  Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Austria is mountainous country with 70% being higher than 500 meters (1,640 ft).  The Alps run through Austria and the highest mountain is the Grossglockner (Glockner Mountain) at 3,797 meters (12,457 ft).  Austria has 55 airports and two heliports, with the major (busiest and biggest) airport being LOWW, Schwechat International Airport.  This is also called Vienna (Wien) International Airport (and is located in the town of Schwechat approx 18 km (11 mi) SE of Vienna.

Figure 5 Location of Austria in Europe 1000px-EU-Austria_courtesy Wikipedia

Figure 6 Schwechat LOWW location wrt Vienna (WIEN) Courtesy Google Maps

The 6 major International Airports are:

LOWG

Graz Thalerhof

LOWI

Innsbruck Kranebitten

LOWK

Alpe Adria Airport

LOWL

Linz Hörsching

LOWS

Salzburg Maxglan

LOWW

Wien Schwechat

LOWW has three terminals, the main terminals are 1 and 2 and there is a provisional terminal 1A.  In 2009, the airport handled around 18 million passengers, with most International carriers landing there.  The Fly Tampa version models all terminals, parking areas, aprons, runways, etc accurately and fits in well with the default FSX scenery.

Installation:

Quick and easy, run the exe files which expands (after inserting a serial number) into a \Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Add-on Scenery\Fly Tampa-Vienna folder in FSX.

The Manual

In a word, “miniscule”, at just 8 pages, this review will be longer.  A brief description at best without any navigation charts but there is a reference as to where they can be found.  There is an annotated diagram but it has no explanation as to what the notations might be.  Basically the ‘manual’ covers:

  • What’s new in V2;
  • Airport diagram;
  • Airport Communications plus runways and approach;
  • Q&A;
  • Recommended Display Settings;
  • Un-installation; and)
  • Resources.

OK! OK! After a visit to VACC-Austria and downloading the complete package I can see that this gives ALL of the detail about the airport, and a manual duplicating this information becomes largely superfluous.  Everything that you want to know about LOWW is on this website and is easy to find and download.

The Visual Experience

Fly Tampa’s VIENNA LOWW V.2 Wein Schwechat International Airport is quite a complex airport with several air bridges/jetways, together with the, terminals, roads, parking areas, cargo areas, etc of a busy international airport.  Fly Tampa with Version 2 of LOWW have created a very realistic version of the real life airport see figures 3 & 4 above.  It has great visual beauty and definitely leaves the default FSX airport for dead!  I have outlined the enhanced features in this latest version (2) above and the changes are quite an improvement.

I couldn’t see very much AI traffic together or very many animated vehicles, but that is due to my settings.  I seem to have an issue with AI traffic, so I may have to reinstall FSX to fix it.  The scarcity of AI traffic had nothing to do with the Fly Tampa LOWW v2 add-on.

Unfortunately, when I attempted to use Aerosoft AES to taxi, park, load and disembark the planes I found that this version was not supported.  [STOP PRESS: I discovered a beta version of AES which provides support for FT LOWW v2, so I will see how that tests in the Sim.]  In a word — “brilliant”.

I did not experience any significant loss of frame rates with LOWW, (using the recommended settings) and it still remained quite smooth throughout the review, but I do only use the default aircraft.  I again used “BOB” from OrbX to have a look at the airport, so that I could again go places where no simmer had gone before.

I do not have any experience of group flying on-line but this would be a great airport to use in such systems as “VATSIM” or “IVAO” and/or use with add-on ATC programs such as Radar Contact.

The taxiways are accurately placed and aligned, with excellent realistic textures, that is to say that they look like a typical asphalt blacktop, plus great lighting and very clear signs guiding you to the departure or parking point.  There are 2 x 2 runways, Rwy 11/29 being 3,500 m long and Rwy 16/34 3, being 600m long, both constructed of asphalt and at an elevation of 183m.

NAV/IFR/ILS

The airport has full IFR capabilities, there are various SIDs (Standard Instrument Departure) and STARs (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) and I was unable to test all of these in the review but the ones that I did using the default big iron were accurate enough for me and ATC handled them as well as it does for default airports.  The NAV and COM frequencies worked in the default planes used and were accurate.  I carried out an IFR check with the instruments and they were all working correctly.  In a couple of IFR flights and ILS approaches that I undertook, all of the intersections and frequencies, etc seemed to be correct, so it was quite a relief that descending out of the clouds the airport was dead ahead, and I was at the correct altitude.  ILS approaches in the default planes were precise, with the localiser, glide slope indicator and marker beacons, all working as expected.  Using the downloaded charts from VACC, I found that the various bearings, tracks and critical heights (eg Minimum Holding Altitude) given matched those in the Fly Tampa LOWW, so that I was able to achieve a safe landing in poor visibility.   Following the radials and undertaking procedural turns all passed without incident.  Night-time ILS approaches and missed approach routines were also undertaken without issue.

I now publish a series of screenshots from around the airport in different seasons to show the complexity and beauty of this well put together add on.  One small criticism is that many of the AI cars/vehicles were without wheels or in some cases actually airborne, but this is only a small detraction from the overall effect.  Some of the buildings and vehicles appear to be a little “blocky” so there may be room for improvement here, but again this is a small matter. Overall the effect was stunning.

Figure 7 LOWW Airport Layout courtesy Google Earth

Figure 8 Fly Tampa LOWW Layout compared to real life above

Figure 9 Fly Tampa LOWW view of Asphalt Runway

Figure 10 Fly Tampa LOWW Clear taxiway signs and lights

Figure 11 Fly Tampa LOWW Clear taxiway signs and lights DUSK

Figure 12 Fly Tampa view of the back lot

Figure 13 Fly Tampa LOWW view of the backlot2

Figure 14 Fly Tampa LOWW view of the back lot 3.jpg

Figure 15 Fly Tampa LOWW ancillary buildings and offices

Figure 16 Fly Tampa LOWW ancillary buildings and Tower

Figure 17 Fly Tampa LOWW Airborne AI vehicle

Figure 18 Fly Tampa LOWW Old Tower on concourse

Figure 19 Fly Tampa LOWW Vintage AI planes hidden from view

Figure 20 Fly Tampa LOWW back view of the terminal

Figure 21 Fly Tampa general view of jetways and air bridges

Figure 22 Fly Tampa Panoramic view of the Airport

Figure 23 Fly Tampa under the jetways 2 wheels on my wagon

Figure 24 Fly Tampa Rural aspect and an old tower

Figure 25 Fly Tampa One of the main car parks

Figure 26 Fly Tampa LOWW One of the main terminals

Figure 27 Fly Tampa LOWW The other main terminal

Figure 28 Fly Tampa LOWW Parking building with Coffee and flytampa ad!

Figure 29 Fly Tampa LOWW The new tower

Figure 30 The Real Life tower courtesy Vienna International Airport

Figure 31 Fly Tampa LOWW Cargo Buildings Interior

Figure 32 Fly Tampa LOWW Some AI GA Planes

Figure 33 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport nice detail

Figure 34 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport Winter Textures

Figure 35 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport Winter Textures 2

Figure 36 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport Winter Textures 3

Figure 37 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 1

Figure 38 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 2

Figure 39 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 3

Figure 40 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 4 taxiways

Figure 41 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 5 Main Terminal

Figure 42 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 6

Figure 43 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 7 Main Terminal

Figure 44 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 8 Approach

Figure 45 Fly Tampa LOWW Vienna International Airport NIGHT Textures 9 TOWER

The roads in and around the airport are well laid out and I had a ball with BOB travelling around this complex airport, unfortunately I couldn’t get BOB to travel on some the “raised” roads and ramps, he just fell through to the base of the scenery.

The surrounding area of buildings and fields is very well done almost matching the real life scenery.  One thing that I noticed, that even with ProMesh installed I could not see the distant mountains as shown in the next shot.

Figure 46 LOWW Vienna International Airport Old Tower and distant mountains Courtesy Delta Kilo, Airport-Data.com

Aircraft Taxiing and Parking

I have used these statements before, but they are worth repeating for Fly Tampa’s LOWW: “Again, I used the (beta) Aerosoft AES to taxi the default B737 from the runway and taxi to the “gates” and vice versa, ie taxi from the gates to the runway.  As I have reported before, this is quite a useful device in that it has a “truck” that you follow to get to where you want to go, it stops when you stop and indicates which way to turn, etc.  AES worked perfectly at LOWW and I only used 3 credits to obtain full functionality of the program.

There are 55 gates at LOWW and Fly Tampa has rendered air-bridges or jet ways faithfully and quite beautifully.  They are shown in vivid detail and all the ones that I “parked” at or used worked seamlessly and realistically.

As I have reported before, using AES you are met as you land by a follow me car (a Mitsi at this airport), which you follow to your allotted gate, where you are guided into the final parking position either by an animated figure with two ping pong bats or an electronic device to guide you into the correct parking spot, so that the passengers don’t fall onto the run with the jetway in position.  Splatt!!!  A couple of screenshots illustrate Fly Tampa LOWW and AES and the default B737/747.

Figure 47 Fly Tampa a LOWW AES guiding Taxi – Mitsubishi

Figure 48 Fly Tampa a LOWW Electronic lights to parking

Figure 49 Tampa a LOWW AES full service underway

Night Textures

Very nice night-time lighting (see pics above), with all the relevant buildings, (including the Tower with warning red lights) having great lighting effects even down to the concourse floodlights realistically lighting the parking and taxiways.

Schwechat Surrounding scenery

I used the very accurate FS Dreamscapes ProMesh for Austria as the backdrop to this airport.  Both the ProMesh and the Fly Tampa LOWW fitted together seamlessly with no real hard joins that I could discern.  There are lots of buildings, factories, trees, rivers, etc surrounding LOWW and these compare with images seen on Google Earth.  Flying to Vienna (approx 18 Km away) gives a feel for the surrounding scenery and how it interacts with the Airport.

Figure 50 Fly Tampa a LOWW AES Surrounding Area using the revamped IRIS DA40

Note: DBS STUDIO – AIRPORT GPS FSX also works with this airport, so there are quite a few methods of getting around.

Summing Up

This is a great International airport add-on from Fly Tampa.  It is a complex large airport, the modelling is superb and the accuracy is spot on.  Being strategically sited in the eastern part of Europe, near Vienna, LOWW is a very busy International airport and with the right AI package would be a great place to fly into or out of with the Heavy Iron.  IFR flights (ILS Approaches) work OK, with no issues with any of the NAV/COM parameters, and ATC handles flights in and out as well as expected.  There is good access to the charts via the web so you accurately plot a SIDs or a STARs to and from LOWW.  I also used GA aircraft to complete several circuits and again navigation was accurate and easy.  Night and winter textures are excellent and it had no significant impact on my system, but bear in mind I was only flying the default “jumbos” and I displayed very little AI traffic due to a problem with my system (although the AI aircraft setting was at 100%).  Finally, I believe that this is yet another useful add-on for FSX and I wish that all the default FSX airports were like this one.  You’ll never fly the default LOWW after installing this one.

WOW Factor: 9 out of 10.

Peter Hayes, Australia, May 2010

Table of the Important Bits:

Publisher:

FLYTAMPA

Supplier:

http://secure.simmarket.com/flytampa-vienna-loww-v.2.phtml

Download
File Size:

FSX: 104MB

Installed File Size:

265MB

Simulator Requirement:

FSX SP1, SP2 (Acceleration/Gold)) DX9 only; DX10 preview is not supported.

OS Requirements:

Win XP, Vista and/or Win 7;

Testing System:

Intel E8600, 4GB DDR 800 RAM, Vista 64 SP2, nVidia 9800 GT, 197.45 Driver;
FSX Gold; 750GB SATA II Seagate 7200 HDD. 
No Tweaks all standard and no over-clocking.

Scenery:

FSX Default; FS Genesis, ProMesh Austria “BOB”, Aerosoft “AES”.

Installation:

Installation easy, run the self extracting exe file.  Should be installed with Admin rights — VISTA/WIN7 right click “Run as administrator”.

Manuals / Documentation

One manual 8pp

Uninstallation

Details for removal are published in the manual.

Support:

http://www.flytampa.com/forum.html

Homepage:

http://www.flytampa.com

Updates

Version 2

About Miguel Blaufuks

2 comments to Review: FlyTampa’s Vienna LOWW V2

  • If you want the full experience with online flights to LOWW then visit us on our Weekly Wednesday, ever week from 20-23 local time (UTC +1 or + 2, depending on summer time).

    If you also want a good collection of many charts from Europe including those of LOWW and all the other airports and airfields in Austria, then we suggest to use Chartviewer (www.chartviewer.at) as a free alternative to navigraph for many European countries at the moment. This tool has been developed in cooperation with VACC Austria, so you definitively get the most current charts for virtual flying to Austria!

  • Sorry, forgot to mention, that this Weekly Wednesday is on VATSIM ;)