Newport has tempted us with some photo scenery for Pittsburgh. Let’s take a look at their offering so you can determine if it’s worthy of your collection.
The installation is pretty straight forward. You download the huge 876mb scenery file and run the installer. Afterwards you have to add it to your scenery library via the FSX interface. During the installation you can decide whether to install the scenery into the recommended place or into a folder of your own designation.
There is no manual and, really, do you need one? Remember, photo scenery packages are not detailed airports or cities. They are ground cover that replaces your landclass scenery. Due to that, you will generally get a little more framerates out of FSX because it doesn’t have to draw the autogen scenery. You can crank up the ground texture details when in this area now.
Newport’s photo quality is pretty good. When you get close it is blurry, but that’s the same with all photo scenery that I’ve seen. They suggest flying at 2000ft and I agree that below this it is noticeably blurry although the shot below in the Cessna 337 is below 2000ft and while it doesn’t look clear, it is certainly not undesirable.
The coverage of this scenery is approximately 25m x 13m estimated by using the VOR at KPIT. The size is not very large if you fly commuters or airliners. You’ll cover this area pretty quick on approach in a jet. Using a general aviation aircraft is recommended and is quite enjoyable with a helicopter or an ultralight. There are some goodies to see such as parks and golf courses and the river that flows through Pittsburgh.
There are 4 airports covered in this scenery. KAGC, Allegheny County is a small regional airport. 31D, 4G0, and 7PS7 are GA airports only. KPIT is the biggest airport covered in this package and I’m really disappointed at the area selected for this photo scenery. If you are approaching KPIT to land from the east you’ll have a very nice view. If you are approaching from the west or north you’ll have almost no coverage (see pic above). That’s disappointing. It would be nice to have photo scenery from all sides of KPIT as that is the main airport in this area.
To review this kind of add-on pictures are truly worth more than words so here’s a handful of pics to help in determining if this package is for you.
Normally I give a positive or negative recommendation. In this case it’s very hard. On the one hand I find the coverage area is small and disappointing when approaching KPIT from the north or west. On the other hand, it’s coverage area is detailed and there’s allot of work done on the seams to make a really clean transition from the photo scenery to non-photo. My suggestion is that if you want to fly helicopters or GA aircraft and like flying in the Pittsburgh area then buy this scenery. For the rest of you, you’ll have to decide if it’s really worth buying it when you’re only going to see it for 5-10 mins on approach or departure. The price is in line with other city photo scenery packages.
I’d like to see Newport add areas to the west and north as another add-on so you can complete the area around KPIT from all directions. Check out their web site for more pictures including night shots. You don’t buy photo scenery to fly at night (what’s the point… you won’t see it) so I didn’t take any pictures.
Note: I have my FSX Texture Resolution set at 7cm (full right, maximum detail). The pictures were taken at 1920 x 1080 and resized to 1024 x 576 for this review. No other adjustments were made other than resizing.
Compatibility: FSX only. 876mb.
Purchase from Simmarket for 17.84 Euros or approx. $25 Can/USA.
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