FSX

Review: AO Monastir X

Aerosoft are well known for their quality add-on software for FSX including major airports throughout the world.  In FSX Monastir (DTMB) is a very sterile place with very few features, but install Aerosoft Monastir X and watch the transformation into something that is full of accurate detail.

DTMB has oodles of detail, including, taxi-ways, aprons, buildings, shorelines and roads.  It should be noted that it is not a “complex” airport in that it does not have jetways or airbridges to load/disembark passengers.  It fits in very well with the default FSX scenery.  The night visuals are excellent and the Aerosoft version is a quantum leap in improvement over the default FSX – Monastir.  I experienced some mild impact on frame rates but even so my simming experience was still extremely smooth.  It would be impossible to go back to the default airport having flown in this one.

AEROSOFT ONLINE – MONASTIR X (Habib Bourguiba) — The ‘a priory’ Review

Background:  (Courtesy Wikipedia and Tourism Tunisia)

Monastir (pop ≈41,000) is a great holiday destination in that it is a coastal city in the eastern part of Tunisia, 160 km south of Tunis and 20km south of Sousse (pop ≈550,000). The Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport was built in 1968 and covers an area of 200 ha, serving both Monastir and Sousse, with around 34,000 traffic movements per annum.

Figure 2 Default FSX Monastir Airport (Habib Bourguiba)

Figure 3 Aerosoft Version of Monastir (Habib Bourguiba)

Sousse is the major tourism area, with sandy beaches, orchards and olive groves. It has an equitable Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and warm, mild wet winters.  Tourism has become a major activity, being host to some 1,200,000 visitors every year.  Sousse has 120 hotels with a capacity of 40,000 beds extend over a 20 km strip from the north of town down south.

Trivia: Monastir features a well preserved Ribat (hospice, fortification) that was used in ancient times to scan the high seas for hostile warships.  The Ribat was also one of the filming locations for “Monty Python’s Life of Brian”.  Sousse’s old city has made it ideal as a film location; it was the location for the first Indiana Jones movie (1981), where Sousse appeared incognito as Cairo.

Figure 4 Location of Monastir and Sousse in Tunisia (Courtesy Google Earth)

Figure 5 Location of Tunisia wrt Europe and Africa (courtesy Google Earth)

Installation:

Quick and easy the exe files which expands (after inserting a serial number) into a \Aerosoft\Monastir X folder in FSX.

The Manual

The German/English manual (aka Handbuch) is compact having 21 pages, (7 +3 pages in English).  It covers system requirements, copyright data, installation un-installation, credits, airport information, technical information, plus an appendix with other useful information.  It does not mention any support for Windows 7 but I can confirm that I had no issues running this software in Win 7 HP 64-bit.  During installation the software installs a link to Monastir X in the start menu which has a direct internet link for the DTMB charts.  I recommend reading the manual, (which will not take very long) as it contains some useful information.  This airport works with AES, so it will be interesting to test that feature.

The Visual Experience

This is a relatively simple airport with no air bridges/jetways, ie all embarking and disembarking of the passengers is via wheeled stairways.  Aerosoft have created a very credible version of the real life airport with the surrounding scenery just as important as the airport itself.  It is visually appealing and definitely leaves the default FSX airport way behind.  The terminal is faithfully reproduced and is very similar to the real-life environment.  I couldn’t see any AI traffic together or animated vehicles, but that may have been my settings.  However, when I used AES to taxi, park, load and disembark the default B737 there were lots of vehicle movements.  I did not experience any loss of frame rates with Monastir, and it still remained smooth throughout the test.  To get around and have a look at the airport I again used “BOB” from OrbX, so I could go places where no simmer had gone before.

The taxiways are accurate with excellent textures, great lighting and very clear signs guiding you to the departure or parking point.  There is only one runway, 07/25 being 2,903 x 45 metres long (9,678’) constructed with asphalt, which is quite well reproduced in Aerosoft Monastir (see Figure 3)

Figure 6 Real Life Airport in relation to Al Monastir town (courtesy Google earth)

Figure 7 Aerosoft Monastir Airport relation to Monastir Town

Figure 8 Real life Monastir Fire Station and Control Tower (courtesy Tunisia Tourism)

Figure 9 Aerosoft Monastir Fire Station and Control Tower

Figure 10  Aerial View of runway plus local luxury homes

Figure 11 Aerosoft Monastir aerial view terminal and car park

Figure 12 Aerial View terminal Building and Boarding area

Figure 13 Aerosoft Monastir aerial view of runway

Figure 14 Aerosoft Monastir Car Park courtesy BOB

Figure 15 Aerosoft Monastir surrounded by magnificent homes

Figure 16 Aerosoft Monastir the new tower, vehicles and perimeter fence

Figure 17 Aerosoft Monastir view up the coast toward Sousse

Figure 18 Aerosoft Monastir a large hangar detail

Figure 19 Aerosoft Monastir Floodlight towers, vehicles and terminal buildings

Figure 20 Aerosoft Monastir mysterious sheds

Figure 21 Aerosoft Monastir various static AI vehicles

Figure 22 Aerosoft Monastir clear runway signs and lights

Figure 23 Aerosoft Monastir general view

Figure 24 Aerosoft Monastir Building detail by BOB

Aerosoft provide some static AI ground vehicles which did not move for me.  The roads are well laid out and I had a ball with BOB travelling around this relatively small compact aerodrome.

The surrounding homes are a nice touch and they add something to the experience.

There are links in the manual on where and how to find the relevant airport charts, with a “live” link via the windows start menu, Monastir X\Charts.  I found the link to be not as intuitive as it could have been and it took me quite a time to find the relevant charts.  Well! What do you expect? I am a little slow!

Figure 25 Real Life Monastir Chart courtesy Tunisian Government

Aircraft Taxiing and Parking

Again, I used the Aerosoft AES to taxi the default B737 from the runway and taxi to the “gates” and vice versa, ie taxi from the gates to the runway.  As I have reported before, this is quite a useful device in that it has a “truck” that you follow to get to where you want to go, it stops when you stop and indicates which way to turn, etc.  There are no air-bridges or jet ways at Monastir but you are guided into the final parking position by an animated figure who has a ping pong bat in either hand to let you know if he wants you to do a “a left hand down a bit” (with apologies to the Navy lark).  Once you are in position the disembarking stairways and the baggage unloaders appear as if by magic and you can start to disembark your passengers and then when it’s empty, clean, refuel and re-stock it with booze and grub.

Night Textures
Excellent, the buildings, the lights, and the runways are beautifully lit much, much better than the default.  The pictures I publish can’t do the software justice:  See figures below

Various night views with AES controlling aircraft movement

Figure 26 Aerosoft Monastir being parked by AES

Figure 27 Aerosoft Monastir AES disembarking stairs coming into place

Figure 28 Aerosoft Monastir AES luggage ramps coming into place

Figure 29 Aerosoft Monastir AES AI buses for passengers

Figure 30 Aerosoft Monastir AES General Night view – showing floodlights

Figure 31 Aerosoft Monastir AES Night ready for take off

Figure 32 Aerosoft Monastir AES Night Taxi

Figure 33 Aerosoft Monastir AES Night Taxi with Terminal building

AI Traffic

There was little AI traffic that I could see even though I had my AI settings full right and I had NO aircraft shadows selected. Perhaps I was flying at the wrong time of day.

Monastir Surrounding scenery

Aerosoft have done a good job in filling in the surrounding scenery, and they have populated it with all sorts of exotic buildings.  However, to my eternal regret, I could not find the famed Ribat (remember ‘The Life of Brian’) in that city.  The Aerosoft scenery blends in well with the default FSX scenery.

Figure 34 Aerosoft Monastir City area

Figure 35 Aerosoft Monastir X general layout of airport and coastal strip

Figure 36 Aerosoft Monastir X Aerial view of terminal and surrounds

Figure 37 Aerosoft Monastir X Aerial view toward Sousse

Summing Up

This is a nice airport add-on from Aerosoft.  It is not a complex large airport but it is extremely well modelled and the accuracy is pretty good.  There’s a lot to see and the weather is always fine!  It is extremely easy to fly in and out of with great visibility for miles around.  The lack of moving AI vehicles and the absence of AI aircraft is a disadvantage, but the software itself makes up for that.  I did notice some slight “shimmer” on some of the buildings and this has been also reported in the Aerosoft forms, and it is only a minor aberration.   All in all it is a very nice professional package, and like I said about Imagine Sim’s KSJC, once you fly into or out of MonastirX you will find it very difficult to fly from/to the default FSX airport.

WOW Factor: 7â…” out of 10.

Peter Hayes, Australia, March 2010

Table of the Important Bits:

Publisher:

AEROSOFT ONLINE

Supplier:

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

Download
File Size:

Exe File 32 MB Zip file (Unzips to 32MB exe file)

Installed File Size:

60 MB

Simulator Requirement:

FSX SP1, SP2 (Acceleration/Gold)) DX9 only; DX10 preview is not recommended.

OS Requirements:

Win XP, Vista and/or Win 7;

Testing System:

Intel E8600, 4GB DDR 800 RAM, Vista 64 SP2, nVidia 9800 GT, 182.50 Driver;
FSX Gold; 750GB SATA II Seagate 7200 HDD. 
No Tweaks all standard and no over-clocking.

Scenery:

FSX Default; FS Genesis, UTX USA/Canada/Alaska; GEXn; X-Graphics plus OrbX “BOB”, Aerosoft “AES”.

Installation:

Installation easy, just unzip the download and run the self extracting exe file.  Should be installed with Admin rights — VISTA/WIN7 right click “Run as administrator”.

Manuals / Documentation

One manual 21pp

Uninstallation

Details for removal are published in the manual.

Support:

http://www.forum.aerosoft.com/

Homepage:

http://www.aerosoft.com/

Updates

N/A


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TS-IOR
Friday, July 2, 2010 22:22

Impressive realism. Thump Up !

Any works on the new Enfidha NBE/DTNZ ?

Peter Hayes
Friday, May 7, 2010 01:20

Gerard
Thanks for the screenshots – very nice.
PeterH

Peter Hayes
Friday, April 30, 2010 02:37

Hi Gerald
Just saw your post do contact me with the screenshots
Regards
PeterH

Gerard Salden
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 09:28

Hi Peter,
Very good review.

Like you I found that some known sightseeing objects where not there.
Therefore I modified the whole coastline form Monastir to Hergla with many objects added.
Also you Ribat.

If you want you can contact me and I will sent you some screenshots.

Regards,
Gerard