I think calling this add-on “Croatian Airports” is a little bit of a misnomer by the author. Why? Because although the centrepiece of the scenery is undoubtedly the airports of Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb, they actually only make up a small part of what you get here.
In addition to the three airports mentioned above, which are very well modelled apart from some issues I’ll talk about shortly, you get a complete renovation and upgrade to the entire coastline of the country. There are hundreds of islands, inlets, bays, estuaries, docks, marinas, bridges… all of these over and above what Microsoft provided and the area itself is pretty impressive to tour anyway. I’ve spent far too much time doing so, now, in everything from airliners to the default Ultralight – I can see why Croatia is such a draw to tourists in the real world.
Sounds idyllic, right? Pay for three airports, get an entire country included? Well, yes. For the most part it really is that good. The “SP2” patch that is available from the download page should really be described as a general FSX patch, as without it you get vanishing runways, x-ray trees and all sorts of other FS9 scenery oddities, but install the patch and you see much more of what you expected. The custom textures on some aprons are rather blurred and could be better, but for the most part the texturing is good, the modelling is good and the airports are very usable. The coastline is done using SDK techniques so blends in perfectly with the textures inland, but the level of detail over the straight lines and occasional bend that the default scenery provides is massively increased. Where the default has one or two islands off the coast, you now have them everwhere you look and with realistic lumps, bumps, inlets and causeways. The ancient walled town of Dubrovnik is particularly worth a visit, but a low-and-slow coastline tour is certainly worthwhile if you want to get the most from this package.
There is one issue with the coastline unfortunately, which is that one airport not included in the scenery, Ploce (LDDP), vanishes totally underneath the scenery (the runway is 0m long!) although the GPS and FSX maps still show it. Finally, there is a small but noticable frame rate hit at high detail settings, the cause of which can be attributed to either the FS9 scenery objects mingled with FSX library ones or the sheer number of objects all round. This is not a simple scenery!
I’ve never been to Croatia, so unfortunately cannot comment on the scenery’s accuracy beyond what I’ve seen in photographs, on the news and on Google Earth. From what I have seen, however, it looks pretty much spot on. If you’re looking for somewhere new to tour and can live with pretty minor issues, this one is seriously worth looking at.
Post Review Note:
The author of the scenery has been in touch and has informed me that Ploce airfield, LDDP (the one mentioned above as having disappeared under the scenery) is no longer in use. Indeed the location of it is now used as container storage for the freight terminal next door. Unfortunately he was not able to remove the airfield altogether from the sim – hence the 0m runway to at least visibly remove it.
At a Glance:
- Installer: EXE – Average
- Documentation: DOC – Above average
- Modelling: FS9/FSX Format – Above average
- Texturing: BMP – Average
- Extras: Coastal scenery for the entire area.
- Download Size: 35Mb
- Price: â‚¬41.59/US$30.39 (â‚¬19.95 if you own any of the author’s FS2004 products)
- Link: http://secure.simmarket.com/davor-puljevic-croatian-airports.phtml
Test System: Intel Core2Duo E8600, 6Gb RAM, ATI HD3870X2 1Gb, Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 (DX9)
NOTE: AI Traffic in screenshots is from JustFlight’s “TrafficX” package and does not come with Croatian Airports.
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