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Review: Sydney Extreme X for FS2004/FSX

Sydney, Australia, is a place well known for the Opera House. However, it’s airport is well known amongst pilots for scenic approaches and being one of the busiest airports in the world. Auscene has given us their rendition of the airport for FS9 and FSX.

YSSY has three runways. 16L/34R measuring 2,438m (8,000 ft), 16R/24L measuring 3,962m (13,000ft), and 07/25 measuring 2,530m (8,300ft). The runways are large enough to handle any aircraft including the A380 and the Concorde, not in real life but in FS, of course. In the 12 months leading up to June 2012 YSSY handled 35.8 million passengers putting it in the top 25 airports of the world, for sure. It was 27th in 2010.

YSSY is a very nice airport in real life and in the sim for approaches. The airport is close to the sea and approaches from every direction, except to runway 25, are over water with very nice views along the approach path.

Installation and Documentation

Installation is straight forward whereby you choose the version of FS to install and then following the prompts entering your key where requested. You have to enter the scenery into your FS database manually.

The manual is short and covers installation and history on the airport itself. There are no charts but a link to the most recent charts is provided. The link takes you to Australia’s AIP service site. You can spend hours there poking around if you’re really into aviation. The manual includes the developer’s suggestions to maximize the scenery quality. This is a really helpful section to new users and avid users alike.

Also noted on Simmarket is that if you have the CLS version of YSSY this one is the more updated version. Interesting…

There is no web site for support and updates. The only support offered is through email.

Let’s get down and dirty…

 

The Details

I ignored their suggested settings and left the sim at my current settings, which are pretty high, to see the difference in frame rates. There was a significant hit so I recommend you follow the developer’s suggestions. I lost over 20 fps with my settings.

Good…

They have included allot of buildings around the airport and surrounding area. This makes the approach more interesting and scenic. The ground textures are nice and probably closer to reality than we’ll admit. Airports are not known for rich looking vegetation and the grounds are usually pale except in the passenger areas.

Around the airport they have added some boats in the harbor, constructed a port with some cargo ships docked, and included the heliport service area buildings. The custom AI file places the airlines at their proper gates. There are more but these are the most noticeable additions.

Not so good…

The terminal textures were the same with the scenery enabled as without. Added bridge near airport looks nice but doesn’t line up with their ground textures.

See for yourself. Here are some before and after shots.

First up, the highway area has been improved.

The ground textures and the added trees make an improvement in the tower area.

I don’t see any difference here other than the ground textures but it does add some life to the dreary look.

Here you can see the difference ground textures make plus they’ve added the runway extension area.

No difference here other than the ground texture and the wall surrounding the area.

In this shot you can see some added buildings and a more detailed area maintenance/administration area.

Here you can see the bridge mentioned above. Given that the ground textures are custom made by Auscene I thought that the custom bridge should line up better with the textures.

Conclusion

So the big question is whether this is worth spending money on. At a price of 18.99 Euros ($24.83 US/Can.) I think it is if Sydney is one of your popular destinations. Here’s why. The default terminal area scenery for Sydney is done well. The reason why Auscene hasn’t replaced the terminal textures is because it won’t make much of a difference, in my opinion. Instead, they’ve worked on adding more detail to the areas that required it such as the heliport, approach, and admin/maintenance buildings. Ground textures being the biggest difference here.

If you were to take this scenery and combine it with some of the photo scenery for the city of Sydney I think you’d have a pretty good area to fly in with lots of detail.

Also, it has versions for FS2004 and FSX included in the price.

Download size: 268 mb

Price: 18.99 Euros ($24.83 US/Can.)

Simmarket link: Auscene Sydney Professional X

 

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Well, I personally believe this is way too expensive for a scenery that keeps the default objects and just adds a (nice) ground photoscenery and a few medium quality objects. Compare the quality/depth of this scenery with an Aerosoft airport scenery, at nearly the same price range and I think I made my point. I’d buy it if it was much cheaper, around 5-8 dollars perhaps but never at this price. Regards