Review: Aerosoft Antalya

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intro

Scenery-wise, Europeans have a very easy life. For just about every country at least the biggest, international airport is covered with high quality scenery, and if you live in Western Europe, you are blessed with dozens of sceneries for airports, big and small. FranceVFR has done a good job modeling many French airports. UK2000 has covered many UK airports. The Netherlands is blessed with the great NL2000 freeware scenery that covers the entire country with high quality satellite imagery. Germans also have a reason to be pleased due to the efforts of Aerosoft.

We all know Aerosoft. They have done many great sceneries and are one such company that will never be forgotten. However, recently, they have started extending their reach to faraway destinations, such as Cuzco in Peru, Dutch Harbor in Alaska and the Maldives. Recently, Aerosoft has also started on a trip to Turkey, with Antalya for FSX and FS2004. This is the focus of this review. Please note that I review the FS2004 only

Overview of the scenery

After you purchase the scenery, you can download the installer. Whether you want the FSX, FS2004 or both versions, that’s no problem: you get both for the same price. After the download has finished, you simply run the included installer. Installation is quick and without problems. You must enter the email address you used when you bought the scenery and the product’s serial number, but when that’s done and installation has finished, you are ready to go.

The documentation is rather standard. Aerosoft usually releases products with manuals that hold roughly the same info across all products. That is some general info on the real thing and the FS scenery and some tips for performance improvement. It is all written well, and the info contained is useful but it’s not something out of the ordinary.

So what does the scenery contain? Basically it contains only the airport of Antalya (LTAI) with its immediate surroundings, so expect the military base too, for instance. Of course you get all the buildings on the airport ground, but you’ll also see some residential buildings along the main road leading to Antalya airport (see the screenshot below) together with a booth that I’ll be showing you later on. In general, the package is rather attractive and offers a rather nice change of scenery (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).

overview1

overview2

Overview of Aerosoft’s Antalta scenery.

residential

Residential houses on the approach path of one of the runways.


The scenery itself

I like to write these sort of things “in motion”. What does that mean? Well, instead of pointing out facts, I’ll take you on a tour of sorts. We’ll start at the airport’s entrance, follow the main road and look at whatever we come across first. That said, let’s do it. Here’s the airport’s entrance:

entrance

This booth is the entrance and exit of the airport.


The booth looks good, with nice modeling and nice texturing, but I should point out that the texturing is a bit blurry. Considering that you’ll never come this close to this booth (and if you do I wouldn’t want to be a passenger on your aircraft), I find that in this case it’s a non-issue. Let’s move on along this road.

parkinglot

terminal1-passenger-side

Parkinglot and Antalya’s terminal 1.


Following the road, we encounter a large parking lot. The detail is nice, with trees and cars placed here and there. It seems the trees stand at the correct places even! That’s attention to detail I like to see. I do think the ground is very blurry. I wish it would have been somewhat sharper.

Adjacent to the parking lot, we find Antalya’s terminal 1. Indeed, there is a second terminal, which we will visit in due course. The terminal’s modeling is okay, but the textures here are very blurry. You won’t ever see this from your plane, of course, but still it’s kind of a pity. Fortunately, the other side looks better:

terminal-1-plane-side

terminal-1-jetway

Terminal 1: plane side and jetway.


It’s interesting to see the huge improvement of the textures. That’s good, because this side of the terminal is what really matters. Modeling is very nicely done, and as I pointed out, the texturing is very sharp and looks extremely good. Also the jetways look very convincing. The modeling is good and the texturing is also very good. One thing I did notice, is that the left jetway on the above screenshot seems to extend from the right jetway, instead of from the isle (the white building extending from the terminal). This is in fact an error. Have a look at Google Maps:

terminal-1-google

Google Maps showing terminal 1’s jetways.


You can clearly see here that the above left jetway should extend from the isle, not from the right jetway. This is an error and should probably be corrected at some point. By the way, did you notice something interesting on this Google Maps snippet? Look closely: that’s a Russian Ilyushin IL-86! I’ll come to this point later, though. First let’s continue examining the buildings along this apron.

apronbuilding1

apronbuilding2

apronbuilding3

Buildings along the apron.


Along this apron, there are several buildings that seem to me to be part of an older Antalya airport and I wouldn’t be surprised if the first building you see in this series of screenshots actually is the very first terminal building ever constructed at this airport. Of course, it could also simply be a cargo terminal, and along with the other buildings they’d form the cargo department of Antalya. The buildings have been modeled well, and I think the texturing (at this side of the buildings) is also very good. It strikes me as rather sharp, although the blue letters you see on the building on the second shot, are blurry.

control-tower-1

Antalya’s one of two control towers.


In the above screenshot you see Antalya’s control tower. That’s not a very precise statement, since it seems Antalya has two control towers. I presume this one is the older of the two, since it’s quite small and its architecture doesn’t seem to be very modern. Modeling and texturing are quite nice once again. I also quite like the addition of the trees, but I’m a bit puzzled that trees can grow on asphalt. Much the same can be said about the garages you see. There doesn’t seem to be a road leading up to them.

industry1

industry2

industry3

industry4

Industry at Antalya airport.


Antalya’s airport clearly isn’t just an international passenger airport: a great area of the airport’s grounds are reserved for small factories and other business. In the above shots you get an impression of the industrial park. All the buildings look very good. The modeling has been done well and the building’s texturing is also nice and sharp. However, it’s the ground imagery that makes it all look a bit disappointing. It’s extremely blurry. I wish it had been sharper, because the blurred fences and walls we get to see here drag this industrial park down while the building themselves look pretty good.

Satellite imagery can be pretty problematic. Getting it usually requires paying a sum of money, but getting good satellite imagery can be rather costly. Also, the airport you might be building might be at a location for which there simply is no good satellite imagery available. This can be due to several reasons: either it was never made, or the government of the airport’s country restricts your access to high quality satellite imagery. We shouldn’t forget that Antalya is in Turkey, plus the fact that Antalya is also partly a military airbase. Due to such reasons the satellite imagery of Antalya might turn out below standards we have gotten accustomed too. In that sense, we should be happy with what we get, but still. We can’t be sure if any of the reasons I mentioned are true. Fact is, the imagery is blurry. I’m not fond of that, but it will have to do.

terminal-2-parking-lot

Terminal 2’s parking lot.


Moving on, we reach terminal 2’s parking lot. The trees have been neatly arranged in rows and cars are parked on various parking spots. Interestingly, there are loads of busses parked here. I’m not really sure why that is, because they neither fit into the parking spots, nor does this seem to be a bus terminal. Anyhow, it has all been nicely modeled. I really like the glass roofs you see here and there.

terminal-2

terminal2-plane-side

terminal2-jetway

Antalya’s terminal 2.


Moving on from the parking lot, we have reached terminal 2. What’s immediately apparent, is that it’s almost the same design as terminal 1. At least the plane side shows great similarity, but the passenger side is quite different. Contrary to terminal 1, however, terminal 2 is overall less blurry, making it look far better from all angles.

At the plane side, you can see lots of similarity with terminal 1, but there are some slight differences. For example, the connections between the jetway isles and the terminal proper are different, with double walkway bridges. Basically, terminal 2 seems better planned and constructed, as if passenger load in the summer has been factored into it when it was built. Whatever the case, the Aerosoft rendition looks very good. The modeling is good — as always — and the texturing is very good here. The jetways are almost the same type, but here too you see differences. Terminal 2 jetways have large cooling fans and no safety grids around their wheels. Overall, modeling strikes me as precise and the texturing is sharp. Yes, terminal 2 is looking very good!

control-tower-2

Antalya’s second control tower.


Not far from terminal 2, we find the second control tower. It’s bigger and I personally think the design is nicer than of the first one we encountered. Overall, it strikes me as a far more modern tower. Modeling is good, and I especially like the attention to detail you see in the tower itself. Small holes (probably some sort of decoration) have been modeled, for instance. The texturing is okay but the letters are again rather blurred.

equipment

equipment-google-maps

building

Some stuff at Antalya.


Now that we have had all the important buildings, here are some other things I saw. Between the terminal 2 apron and a large apron with parking places for smaller aircraft (many GA aircraft are parked there), there is a big parking lot with all kinds of airport equipment. Stairs, trucks and all kinds of containers are standing here, waiting until they can be of use to somebody. I like the sight of this place, but the asphalt on which stand is pretty undefined. No markings of any kind. If you look bat the same spot in Google maps, you’ll quickly spot differences. The road leading to this equipment storage certainly ahs white marking that run from apron to apron. Also, the area is split into two according to Google maps, with two types of concrete/asphalt being used whereas Aerosoft’s Antalya has only one. It would have been nice if Aerosoft would have included more detail here. For the rest I also showed you a building I encountered next to the equipment storage site. It looks good overall, and I found the texturing here to be amazingly sharp, especially when compared to terminal 1. However, it also seems sharper to me than the textures used for the control tower. Next, we move on to the military area.

entrancew-to-mil

Entering the military base by car.


When you enter the military base, you are greeted by a retired F-104, much like at Soesterberg AB in the Netherlands. Two cannons have been placed to demonstrate the might of the Turkish army (or at least, that’s what I presume). Moving on, it is striking how green this area is. It’s like we found ourselves in a small wood. This is understandable, because the drab, dark green hangars and such will be less conspicuous when viewed from the air. I really like the trees here, to be honest. I actually wish I had these tree textures for the rest of my sim world!

military-area-1

military-area-2

military-area-3

military-area-4

Antalya’s military area.


Antalya’s military area consists of several brick buildings and some hangars. It’s a rather small affair. The brick buildings you see in the screenshots really fit nicely in the woody surrounding, but I find the texturing to be too blurry. The modeling is also very simply and hardly any 3D detail can be found here. The hangars fortunately do look a lot better. The texturing is sharper, and this makes a huge difference.

russian-helicopter

amphibian-planes

A bit further, already outside the military area, we find a Russian-type helicopter with several crates around it. Modeling is nice and I like it that it ahs been included in the scenery. It gives a nice, oldish atmosphere. Also some nicely modeled amphibian planes have been placed on the same apron as on which the helicopter is standing. I’m not sure what the amphibian planes belong to. It could be a fire brigade or a rescue team of sorts. What I do know (thanks to a comment of the Aerosoft forum), is that the text you see on hangar has been misspelled.

runway-36

Finally, an image showing you one of the runways. I’m showing you this because of two reasons. First of all, so you have an idea of the quality of the runway and taxiway textures. I personally think they are very good and they resemble the real thing very well. The other reason is because of the aircraft in the rectangle. If you look closely, you’ll see these are a Polkovo IL-86, Atlant-Soyuz IL-86 and a Globus Tu-154. I must say that I find Antalya to be a very nice destination exactly because of these aircraft: it’s one of the few airports outside of Russia where you see lots of Russian airplanes. I am a fan of Russian airplanes because of their “different” shapes. Overall, I prefer Russian planes to European or American ones, because for me they are more aesthetically pleasing (that’s not to say I dislike Boeing aircraft, quite contrary actually: I really quite like Boeing aircraft. Not so much Airbus aircraft, though). The fatness of IL-86, and the magnificence of the TU-154M’s wings. If you want an airport outside of Russia where you can expect Russian aircraft than Antalya is the way to go. Note that this opens up many new options for your flying pleasure, because seeing them taxiing around, also means you can realistically fly here with these aircraft. Fans of the project Tupolev Tu-154M will be pleased to know that here is an airport they can fly their plane to. It’s a pity we don’t have a good IL-86 yet…


Performance

Finally, it’s time to consider one very important aspect of this scenery: its performance. I have found that Antalya is heavy on the frames for no apparent reason. The problem is clear, though, because as soon as the terminal buildings come into view, the FPS drops to half the FPS I have when looking at the sea or the mountains of the mainland of Turkey. Here’s a table with my FPS findings. In order that you can compare the performance with other sceneries, I opted to also report my FPS at other sceneries.

Airplane

Location

FPS

Carenado C182RG

Antalya

30+

iFly 737NG

Antalya

22-24


Aerosoft EHAM

17 — 22


Freeware Tel Aviv LLBG

30+


Aerosoft Munich

20-22

Wilco A340-300

Antalya

19-24

I see no reason why a sparsely populated airport (both in buildings and traffic volume) should have FPS lower than the freeware Ben Gurion 2006 scenery I have, and why Aerosoft Munich should have such similar FPS. Munich is far more densely populated, so there doesn’t seem to be a reason for Antalya’s low FPS. And it’s not only me that reports low FPS: many people have complained about it at the Aerosoft support forum. So okay, let’s take a step back and re-evaluate. In principal, FPS really isn’t that bad. It’s useable with the aircraft that I tried. You might have an occasional stutter, but all in all, the performance isn’t that bad, it’s not as if your sim will grind to a halt. Still, performance is lower than you’d expect from this scenery.


Conclusion

Aerosoft Antalya is a very nice scenery. It is made attractive for simmers due to its location between Europe and Asia, thus forming an ideal stop-over location (much like Tel Aviv, by the way) for those long routes that will take you to Hong Kong, Singapore or Tokyo. It’s also attractive due to the airlines that frequent Antalya. Those that like flying Russian aircraft will be pleased to hear that Russian Airlines do fly to Antalya with actual Russian airplane models such as the Tu-154M and IL-86.

However, it’s not all good. While the modeling generally is very good, the texturing often leaves a bit to be desired. What you’ll see from the airplane will almost always look very good, but it’s when you look at the ground imagery or the passenger side of some of the buildings that you might be disappointed. The texture quality of the buildings is also not uniform. Terminal 2 looks overall much better than terminal 1, the texturing of the new control tower is only slightly better than terminal 1’s texturing. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, texturing wise. Still, if you only intend to sit in your plane and land and depart without flying low and slow over the airport, the chance of seeing anything of the blurry textures will be almost nil. Of course, you will notice the blurry ground imagery — this is unavoidable. Finally, the texturing of the aprons, taxiways and runways is very good

There’s also the performance issue. While I found the scenery to be very useable and FPS were generally no concern, I am a bit puzzled why FPS is — compared to Aerosoft’s Munich, Ben Gurion 2006 and other sceneries — relatively low.

My final advice: if you are desperate for Turkish airports, this scenery will suit you very well. If you are looking for a stop-over location for flights to Asia, you’d probably be better off simply downloading the great freeware Ben Gurion 2006. Overall, even though the texturing and performance can be a bit lacking, I really do like Antalya and I think I’ll fly  Tu-154M over there once in a while.


My system:

Apple iMac 27” conainting:

-          Intel i5 Quad Core

-          4GB DDR3 RAM

-          1TB hard disk @ 7200RPM

-          ATI 5750HD Radeon

-          Screen resolution of 2560×1440

-          Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

-          FS2004 version 9.1

-          Addons used: REX, GEPro, UT:Europe, FSGenesis mesh, World-of-AI packages + self-compiled AI packages.


By Benjamin van Soldt


About the product

Publisher: Aerosoft

FS versions: FS2004 and FSX (FS2004 version reviewed)

Price as rated: 17,95 Euro

Where to buy: http://secure.simmarket.com/aerosoft-online-antalya-x.phtml

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