VFR-Short Fields X is a newcomer to scenery development in FSX. They make smaller airports of Canada that are located in areas not well known to the general FS community. In this review I’ll check out their latest add-on, VFR-Short Fields PEI.
Most people outside of Canada have not heard of P.E.I. (Prince Edward Island) but it is an important province in the history of Canada. PEI is an island in south-eastern Canada in the Gulf of St. Lawrence separated from the mainland by the Northumberland Strait. It’s connected to the mainland by the 12.9 km (8 mile) Confederation Bridge which is the world’s longest over ice-covered water. In 1864 several officials gathered in Charlottetown, the capital of PEI, for a meeting in what would eventually become the founders of Canada in 1867 hence the bridges name.
VFR-Short Fields X has covered three airports in PEI. The capitol city airport in Charlottetown (CYYG), a former air base in Summerside (CYSU) which is now a municipal airport, and a grass strip in Cable Head Park (CCA3).
Installation, Documentation, and Support
The scenery is installed via an executable file and is installed into your Addon Scenery folder by default. If you choose to install it somewhere else, like I did, then you will have to create the main folder plus the scenery and texture subfolders and move the bgl’s to the scenery folder and then add the scenery to your FSX database manually. Note that there are no texture files but you still need to create a texture subfolder.
The manual is really more of a write-up on each airport than a how to and contains some nice info on each airport. There are no installation instructions so you’re on your own if you choose anything but the default installation folder. Included are charts for CYYG and CYSU. There are no charts for CCA3 as it’s just a grass strip and a quick search at Nav Canada found no charts either. The charts are two years old, but the airports haven’t changed so you’re good to go.
Support is done through email only. They do not have a web site so I suspect you won’t see updates unless they are loaded onto Simmarket and you have the update notifications on. I haven’t seen any bad user comments at Simmarket on any of their products.
As mentioned above, there is no texture’s included so you know that the developer has only used objects available in FSX. Also note that it requires FSX Acceleration or Gold in order for all of the objects to appear. A few fighter jets and some animations are all that I think you’ll miss. I can’t confirm because I refuse to uninstall my FSX Gold edition and install the Standard Edition (grin). Contact the author if you want this package but don’t have Acceleration/Gold to see what you will miss. The animations are some birds flying and people moving in place (not moving but having walking motions) on the ground at various locations.
As you can see by the comparison shots below they have improved on the default scenery in FSX. Not as much as I expected after reading the statement “Numerous static objects, airfield vehicules (VFR’s misspelling not mine), maintenance object, etc.”. Still, it’s an improvement and given that there’s no freeware scenery competition available for FSX for either of these airports, it’s the only option you have over default scenery at the moment. I assure you that CYYG has a terminal that does not look like a cargo storage building as seen below. A better terminal representation could have been picked here from the stock terminals. I do like that the developer has taken out the buildings blocking some of the taxiways and replaced them with drive through hangers.
Other than adding static objects there’s little difference at CYYG and CYSU and your AI traffic files won’t have to be updated. Nice general aviation areas of each airport are included.
MS’s default scenery is not that bad in these areas (runways, taxiways, aprons). The biggest improvement is CCA3 and I have to say, it looks really nice! A vast improvement over the default scenery and the grass strip is now in its proper location instead of overlapping a dirt road (or whatever that is in the default pic).
The approaches into all three airports are very nice as they are over water. CYYG is equipped with a VOR and ILS while CYSU has RNAV and an NDB. CCA3 is not equipped so is strictly a visual approach. Note that it’s closed in winter months.
Some other random shots follow.
Pretty tight in the terminal area for a medium jet at CYYG!
If you are looking for a scenery add-on that will spark interest in new destinations to travel to I don’t think VFR-Short Fields X PEI will be enough to keep you coming back to PEI. However, if you already fly to PEI then I say this package is worth the 9.46 Euros which is just over 3 Euros per airport or around $4 Canadian/USA each.
Check out other VFR-Short Fields X airports which are done much better as per Peter Hayes’ review, too.
Requirements: FSX Acceleration or Gold. Framerate hits are next to nothing so your current hardware is enough.
Developer: VFR-Short Fields X (no web site available)
Purchase price: 9.46 Euros at Simmarket