LatinVFR is well known throughout the FS community for superb add-ons for Latin America. In this review I’ll show you their airport and surrounding scenery for Lima, Peru (SPIM).
Peru is situated on the north western side of South America with Brazil and Bolivia to the east, Ecuador and Columbia to the north, and Chile to the south. Lima and it’s airport are on the coast which offers some really nice approaches from the south and challenging one’s from the east over the Andes mountains. Lima has a population of almost 8.5 million.
Installation and Manuals
You get two versions which have to be installed separately. Once you download the 120mb file for FSX or 80 mb file for FS 2004 you click on the setup.exe file and you are prompted for your name, email address, and key. The scenery is added to the library for you. All you have to do is jump in and fly.
You are given two manuals. The first one is about the airport and you are given allot of statistics about SPIM. They even list the current airlines that fly into the airport and their destinations. That’s nice if you like to imitate a real world airline on your flights. They give you tips and which files you can remove to speed things up if you are using a slower PC. The second manual is a good collection of charts for SPIM. They are a couple of years old but will be really welcomed by flight simmers I’m sure. The only thing missing is approaches for runway 33. You’re on your own but a VOR approach should be easy to manage.
I elected to start on the active runway for my first flight. Rather than place you on the runway, LatinVFR placed me at the holding point for runway 33. I like that. I have time to set up the aircraft config without disrupting the AI traffic. You will notice that the FS2004 version has road traffic while the FSX version uses the native traffic system. Nice, too.
LatinVFR has certainly brought life to the dreary default airport. Words cannot describe the difference both to the airport and the surrounding areas. The ground textures around the airport are nice. They’ve modified the land class to reflect a more accurate depiction of Lima. Boats and ships in the harbor and some misc. buildings really invite you to fly here often.
The FSX framerate impact is rather significant so if you have a slower PC, consider the tips in the manual to remove the animations and turn shadows off. I lost 8 fps in FSX with the scenery installed. The FS2004 version doesn’t have as much of an impact mainly because today’s computers are overkill for FS 2004.
The Terminals are really nice and the gates have docking guidance systems. The AFCAD file is perfect. I didn’t see anything unusual around the parking areas nor the taxiways.
How does it look at night? Take a look at the pictures below. Very nicely lit terminal areas and city. Well done LatinVFR.
They’ve added some of the key buildings and revamped the dock areas. Here are some pictures that will also show you the landclass. The difference in colour of autogen and the land are noticeable beyond a certain range which looks odd but we cannot fault LatinVFR for an FSX issue. The scenery has a distinctive yellowish colour to it. I checked this on Google Earth and found that the area does have a tan-ish shade but certainly not as yellow as the LatinVFR version is.
Here are some more shots showing the various details of this scenery.
Is this worth your hard earned money? There are freeware versions out there that are pretty good but they don’t touch the LatinVFR version. The price is 22.61 Euros or around $32 Canada/USA. There is payware competition from Blueprint who also offers another airport with it but the FSX and FS2004 versions are sold separately costing you a few bucks more than LatinVFR. Blueprint does not offer scenery of the surrounding area though and the airport area is not as detailed.
If you are looking for an add-on that gives you a feel of the area and not just the airport then you will love this add-on. There’s allot of detail in this airport scenery that is carried out the city level. You won’t be disappointed if you spend your money on LatinVFR SPIM.
Download filesize: 120 mb FSX, 80 mb FS2004
Price: 22.61 Euros or Approx $32 Canada/USA
Where to buy: SimMarket of course
Test System: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 ghz overclocked to 3.4 ghz, 4 gb RAM, 1920 x 1080 screen resolution.