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Review of AEROSOFT – MYKONOS X

Mykonos Island National Airport, ICAO: LGMK, is located about four kilometers from the town of Mykonos on the island of Mykonos, Greece. For anyone not familiar with the island, it is about 150 kms east of Athens in the Aegean Sea. During the summer season when tourists come and go air traffic volume is high, with mostly international carriers using the airport, however during the winter months air traffic is reduced and flights in and out of Mykonos tend to be primarily domestic. In a typical year 350,000 passengers go through Mykonos Island National Airport. The airport has a single runway; 16/34 @ 6,244ft.

This addon was developed by 29Palms Scenery Design and is a detailed recreation of Mykonos airport and the islands of Mykonos, Delos and Rinia.

Installation

Installation of the product is very simple requiring minimal intervention. You add your email address and registration code and then allow the installer to carry on. The final step has the installer adding the scenery to FSX so the next time you open up your simulator it will be available to use. Installation size is approximately 1.3Gbs.

Configuration

Mykonos X comes with a very easy to use configuration tool which they label as the “Mykonos X Manager”. From this utility, which is accessible from the program menu group, you can set up a number of scenery display options as well as accessing such other resources as the manual, charts and the developer’s facebook page.

I highly recommend that after completing the installation you check your scenery settings and compare them with those in the manual, especially the mesh resolution. If not, you may find that there are areas where things don’t look quite right; an example of this is the Santa Marina Resort Heliport, the land the heliport sits on may appear to float in mid-air.

Documentation

There is no shortage of documents. They include an English manual, a German manual and 13 airport charts. The manual is well written and informative. In addition to some generalized information on the island and airport they provide a breakdown of the settings you should use, an explanation of the Mykonos X Manager and also how to obtain support for the product. They make good use of screenshots to help with their explanations. Overall very good.

A full set of up to date charts is included to make your flying more realistic. No need to go searching on the internet.

The Scenery

Here are the scenery features as listed by the developers:

Highly detailed rendition of Mykonos International Airport (LGMK)

Complete coverage of over 140km² with high resolution satellite imagery (0.5m/px)

Realistic shadow rendition on all 3D objects and ground by “texture baking“

High resolution day and night textures

Realistic rendition of light sources on all 3D objects and ground by “baked lighting“

Complex terrain mesh

Custom autogen and all important landmarks

Complete coverage of the neighbouring islands Delos and Rinia

Animated car traffic around the airport

Complete reconstruction of airport’s lighting equipment

Realistic 3D grass and vegetation

Complex reconstruction of the town with over 2.000 hand placed objects

Four highly detailed helipads

Animated ship traffic around the island including a custom, land able yacht

Animated windsocks

Configuration manager for optimal performance

Highly detailed manual including charts (PDF)

Compatible with AI traffic Add-Ons

Compatible with Ground Environment X and Ultimate Terrain X

Excellent performance with high framerates

Includes FSX and Prepar3D version

As I was writing my review the developers released a patch to update the scenery to version 1.01. Here is what they had to say about the changes.

In the current version of Mykonos X for FSX and Prepar3D some bug fixes have been made and there are some new features. The AFCAD has been updated and the yacht “Aurora” is now landable. The Yacht is a static object west of town, slightly shaking in the waves.

Ground textures

Photo textures are used as the base textures throughout the entire scenery coverage area so what you see is a realistic and accurate representation of the airport and the islands of Mykonos, Delos and Rinia. The quality is such that the textures remain clear and details crisp even at very low altitudes.

The hard surfaces at Mykonos airport are very good. The textures show signs of wear and tear, also there is evidence of surface material breakdown such as cracking.

Buildings

It is a small airport and has only a few buildings; the terminal/tower, fire station and fuel depot.

The largest building is the passenger terminal/tower. This is the one that first catches your attention at Mykonos airport. The building as a whole has been recreated with an impressive amount of detail and an eye towards realism. The roof is especially interesting as it is extensively detailed. This being such a small airport paying attention to the rooftop was a good move.

All other areas of the terminal are also modelled to include a variety of details that bring out the character of the structure. You get the feel that this is a much more intimate setting than other larger airports. There are no jet ways and people are much closer to the aircraft and apron. No matter how you choose to approach the terminal the quality of their work is clearly evident. There is much more that makes this building special and some of those features can be seen in the following screenshots.

The fire station and fuel depot are the other structures found at Mykonos airport. Both are much smaller than the passenger terminal but once again the developer has paid significant attention to them and added details to make them look realistic. For the fire station they chose to make the garage 3 dimensional with trucks parked in the bays which looks so much better than using flat bitmap images.

The fuel depot which is the smallest of all structures at Mykonos consists of two small buildings and fuel pumping stations. Like the other buildings it also looks quite realistic.

All structures were extensively detailed and benefitted from excellent modelling and colouring techniques.

Objects

Looking around, you can see that they’ve found a good balance with regards to variety and quantity. They haven’t gone overboard by trying to fill all the empty spaces with frivolous objects or vehicles. They’ve included all the usual objects and vehicle types associated with an airport plus many others that add to the ambiance. Some objects that you don’t always see in a scenery addon but were included here are ladders near the fuel depot plus baggage and boxes near the terminal’s apron side baggage conveyers. These are small details that I think make a big difference. The quality of everything I saw was very good and helped to make the airport look alive.

Near the fuel station at the north end of the main apron these are different types of service vehicles typically found at any airport; tugs, baggage carts, mobile stairs and fuel bowsers. Some of them sport the names of Aegean and Olympic Airways; two prominent Greek airlines. In amongst everything are smaller objects such as boxes, ladders, rubbish bins and pylons. Again the inclusion of these types of objects are important in a small airport and they’ve done a great job in this regard.

On the arrivals side of the terminal we see a variety of vehicles such as cars, light trucks and buses all positioned as if people were coming and going. I thought that this was also very well done and again was one more factor that made the airport seem alive.

Animations

The scenery includes several different animations to enhance the otherwise tranquil airport and islands. The more obvious ones are the standard FSX road and boat traffic plus some custom vehicle animations at the airport. Then there are a few other ones that aren’t quite so obvious such as a rotating beacon on the tower and some Hertz banners swaying in the island breezes near the terminal.

Helipads

In addition to Mykonos Airport there are two land based helipads on Mykonos Island that have been modelled. They are the Santa Marina Resort and Agrari Heliports. Both of these have been enhanced with the addition of grassy textures, vegetation, buildings and various ancillary objects. Airport designations and locations for these can be found in the manual and they can be accessed via the airport listings in FSX.

Island Scenery

This scenery includes much more than just the airport; through their outstanding work we get to experience the natural rugged beauty of these three Greek islands. In addition to the photo textures they include custom mesh which makes a positive difference especially at lower altitudes where the variations in elevation appear much more pronounced. If you are a fan of flying low and slow the coastal areas are really worth checking out.

The islands have been populated with lots of custom autogen buildings and various other objects. Probably the most recognizable are the iconic Mykonos windmills which were built between the 16th and 20th century. They are located near the village of Mykonos on the west coast of the island.

In addition to the windmills they also include several other landmarks such as the Armenistis light house and the Ano Mera Dam.

The largest city on the island is Mykonos. The city and harbour have both been modelled in some detail and the harbour includes some colourful boats moored in along the docks.

Anchored just off shore is the yacht Aurora which has a landable helipad. This is a great place to put your helicopter piloting skills to the test.

The waters surrounding the islands are filled with a variety of boats of different sizes and styles, from large cruise ships to small pleasure craft and fishing boats.

Night

Experiencing this scenery addon during the cover of darkness was very enjoyable. Some scenery addons fall flat at night with not much to make you want to come back, this is not one of them. Sprinkled throughout the scenery, and especially at the airport, are visual gems that in my opinion make it special.

On the apron side of the terminal there are ceiling mounted light fixtures and the way they illuminate this area is very realistic.

Ground lighting is definitely a highlight. The light that they cast softly illuminates the ground around each fixture’s base. This is a great effect and they use it for all of the different types of ground lights at Mykonos airport.

The light cast from overhead roadside pole lights and apron lights appears to have a halo effect. This reminds me of the light you see when the air is thick with moisture. It is one of my favorite nighttime lighting effects.

Once you get away from the airport and fly around the islands at night the experience is no less enjoyable. Buildings are lit up and there are street lamps in some of the built up areas.

I found the night time scenery to be very well done and quite realistic in all respects.

Performance

I never had any issues with scenery performance, it ran smoothly at all times with no noticeable drop in frame rates.

Final Thoughts

This is a scenery package for everyone. It has great visuals and is customizable to match your system’s capabilities. The developers have clearly put a great deal of effort into making Mykonos X a realistic and interesting addon that you will want to come back to again and again.

My Ratings

Installer: Very good, simple to use.

Documentation: Very good, well written with lots of screenshots. Charts are included.

Modelling: Excellent quality with lots of details that make it interesting to explore.

Extras: Animated vehicle and boat traffic.

Download Size: FSX  1Gb

Price: EUR 16.76 without VAT

Developer Homepage: http://www.aerosoft.de/

Link: http://secure.simmarket.com/aerosoft-online-mykonos-x.phtml

Test System:

Intel i7 960 OC @ 4.2 Ghz, 12 Gb RAM, EVGA GTX560 Ti w/1.2 Gb video, Win 7 Ultimate 64, FSX w/acceleration, Ultimate traffic 2, REX Overdrive, GEXn, UTX, AES, GSX.

Richard Desjardins

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