Review: Sao Paulo Guarulhos from TropicalSim

A few weeks ago I reviewed Congonhas (SBSP) from TropicalSim. During my writing they released Guaruhlos (SBGR). So, I will take you on a similar view of SBGR and then you’ll have a regional and international airport for Sao Paulo, Brazil. Is it as good as Congonhas? Even better says this reviewer. Read on…

Sao Paulo is the largest city in South America with a population of over 17,000,000. Given the population it serves, the airport is smaller than I expected. However, allot of the domestic flights are done out of Congonhas which reduces the workload of this airport. Currently, it handles over 20 million passengers a year. There are two runways. 09R/27L is 3,000m or 9,842 ft long. 09L/27R is 3,700m or 12,139 ft long. The altitude is 750m or 2,460 ft. Keep the elevation mind when you are planning your long haul flights as it will increase the runway length required to take-off.


Installation and what’s included

The installation is done through an executable downloaded file but you will have to register the scenery in your Flightsim database yourself. The installation includes both FS9 and FSX versions which are installed using separate files. The file structure is easy to understand as they use easy to understand file names. If there’s something you want to remove, you can easily find which bgl to delete. I like developers who use this method. They also include AF2/AFX files.

A nice option they’ve included is the construction work being done at Gate I 09. It’s fenced off and they have instructions on how to remove it and use the gate if you like. It’s a nifty little option they threw in to add to the realism during development. There’s a link included to the charts for SBGR and the manual is in English and Portugese.


The Tour

The overview picture from FS9 shows the terminals are at the north-west end of the airport which makes the taxi to 9L and 9R pretty quick when winds favour it, but the taxi to the terminal is long after landing. Vise versa when the winds are from the west. The maintenance hangers are on the south side of the airport. The cargo terminal is at the far north-west side, bottom left in the picture. As you can see the airport buildings are accurately placed and fairly detailed. This does have an impact on the framerates. Keep this in mind if you have a low end system. I really recommend a moderately fast computer set up as a minimum.

As you can see in the following two FS9 pictures the gate and parking areas a detailed showing the girders and gaps between the sections.

The next two pictures, from FSX, show the gate I mentioned above fenced off and various lights, air conditioning rooftop units, carts, apron markings, and more.

The next FSX view is of the cargo area. Again you’ll see a fair amount of detail including airline names on the buildings and the angled awnings.

Here’s a FS9 picture of the lights. Note the notches and holes in the steel framework plus the texture of the lamps. Although you won’t be looking at these when you are taxiing around the airport it still shows attention to detail.

… and finally for the terminal area, one more FSX view of the apron from the ground workers point of view.

Next we’ll look at the hanger area with a shot from FSX. See the fighter in the hanger? Don’t park in front of this hanger. The radar on the beacon rotates by the way.

How does it look at night? The first shot from FSX is my favourite. It shows the tower and notice the reflection in the window of the apron below. The buildings are all lit up as you would expect and the gate lights are functional as well. You don’t see the pattern of the lights reflected on the ground however but at night it is bright enough to find your way around the terminal area easily enough.

Runway 09L approach.

Terminal area at night

From the passenger side

I don’t bother views from the passenger side when determining an airports value because I don’t see that side. During landing I’m too busy to note the detail and on the ground it can’t be seen anyhow. Some people do appreciate the passenger side view of the terminal so here’s a shot to see what’s the entrance and parking areas look like. Notice the sign in the foreground indicating the airlines, the covered walkways, and even the steel piping design over the walkway on the left. Nicely done I have to say.

Putting it all together

For me, the quality of an airport is determined by how I feel when landing and taxiing around. I have to say that I have done 10 flights in or out of SBGR at various times of the day and I do get immersed into it as I taxi up to the terminal and gates. What’s missing is ground photoscenery and lights that light up the apron area realistically. However, I do find myself wanting to do flights to and from SBGR now. I do get a feeling that if I were there in real life, I’d know my way around from the pilot’s point of view. That’s why I give this package a thumbs up. When you look at what you get for the price of 21 Euros it’s worth it. Take a look at some of the screenshots on Simmarket to see more of the detail that went into this creation and you’ll see why I think this is TropicalSim’s best work to date.


Filesize: 49mb for each version

Compatibility: FS9 and FSX sceneries included

Developer: TropicalSim

Purchase at Simmarket

Reviewers system:

Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0 ghz overclocked to 3.26 ghz, 4 gb ram (800mhz), nVidia 9800GT and 512mb running at 1280 x 1024 resolution, Windows 7 64bit.

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