FSX

Review: UK2000 VFR Airfields Volume 3

In the final volume of this series from UK2000, I’ll take you on a tour of the Volume 3 set. This scenery add-on for FSX covers the central region of the UK to the border of Scotland and includes the Isle of Man.

Installation and Manual

As with the other volumes in this set, you have to register with UK2000 after your purchase to download the scenery. Note when you are on there that they have some free sceneries, too. The installation is done via an installation panel where you select the airports to install and optional static aircraft, AI GA flightplans, road traffic, base images, and road traffic. Don’t install the base images if you are using ground photo scenery from another vendor.

UK2000 has some of the best manuals I’ve seen and they continue this in Volume 3 with a bonus. In this volume they include the runway length that’s very useful for planning your flights. Each airport is given a top down view picture and some details on the airfield with links to the real airfields web site if they have one. It also includes some hints and tips on configuring FSX to show this scenery at it’s best.

The airports

Overall the airports are a drastic improvement over the default scenery of FSX. The frame rate hit is ok if you have a powerful computer. With slower computers such as a 3ghz dual core Pentium you will have to turn off some of the features. I recommend turning off the static aircraft and/or road traffic first. They are the ones that seem to hit the frame rates hardest. I lost around 15 fps with everything installed at Manchester which is an airport with a heavy load of objects. At EGXC, an average airport in terms of objects, there was barely a drop with the hit being only 2 fps. EGCC had allot more AI traffic with UK2000 enabled than FSX default so dropping the AI Traffic load will have an effect, too.

The ground textures on some of the airports have a purple-ish tint as seen below. I’ve visited these in Google Earth and I don’t see this anomaly but perhaps their source is to blame. Either way you can turn off the base images for those airports as you come across them. Also, note that most airports do not have night textures. It’s not a bug, it’s just that allot of these are GA airfields that don’t have night landing capabililties.

Here’s a rundown on some of the airports that caught my attention while touring this volume with FSX default (if available) and UK2000 shots. Click on the pictures to get a larger version.

EG33 (Bucknall) is a place for those who like to fly light aircraft or ultralights. It’s a nice grass airfield with some objects spread throughout.

EGXC (Coningsby RAF) is an exciting place to visit with it’s many fighter jets on the tarmac and multitude of hangers.

EG3D (Fishburn) is my favourite GA airfield in this set. It just has that real down home kind of airfield where the local pilots gather on the weekend to chat and do some flying.

EGNU (Full Sutton) is an interesting airport in that the asphalt runway is not in use. You have to use the grass field which is easier to spot than normal due to the runway side markings.

EGNR (Hawarden) is a definite place to visit in this set. Airbus wings are manufactured here. The A380 on display is a permanent fixture because I doubt the runway is long enough for an A380 to depart.

EGNS (Isle of Man) is another of my favourites. I love over water approaches and UK2000 has done a wonderful job on this airport.

Now we come to EGXV (Leconfield). This is a former base that has been converted to helicopters only. This is a rare type of airport for FSX.

EGCC (Manchester) is main airport in this package.

EGGP (Liverpool) is another airport that you must visit just for music history purposes and it has a nice approach over the river.

EGCF (Sandtoft) is another of my favourites of this package. There’s lots of eye candy here including flocks of birds.

Check out EGNI (Skegness) with it’s trailer park off to the left. I bet it took allot of time to place all those trailers. Good job.

Finally, EGNO (Warton) with it’s Bae operations.

When I install a scenery, for personal reasons or reviews, I always ask myself, “Will this add-on encourage me to fly more and visit new destinations?” With UK2000’s VFR Airfields Volume 3 I can definitely say yes to that question with my head nodding like a bobblehead toy. I fly with FS Economy and my own VA, AmEuro, and this set will really work well with both. If you fly with a VA that mimics a real world airline such as Easyjet, BA, or Ryanair you will really want to pick up this title and even consider getting the entire series. If you’re a member of FS Economy you will really like this series, too, as some of the airports in the UK are busy.

Keep in mind that some of these airports are available from the Extreme series from UK2000. Liverpool and Manchester, for example. The sceneries in the Volume 3 package are not the Extreme versions. Volume 3 versions are scaled down sceneries.

I have taken you through the entire UK2000 VFR Airfield set. The consistent features I see with each one are airfields that come alive with nice colouring and “easter eggs” to look for, well written manuals that show you how much they are into this hobby of ours, and a configurator app that allows you to adjust the add-on options to fit your computer’s speed.

Conclusion

As you can tell I really recommend Volume 3 and the entire series. There are only a few ground textures that annoy me but I cannot complain about anything else. I will be flying in the UK allot now thanks to this series. It has rekindled an interest in the UK that I had long forgotten about.

The price for this add-on seems really steep at first but when you break it down by airport you’ll see that it only costs $0.65 Canadian/USA or 0.48 Euro’s per airport (prices without VAT). That’s a good deal when you see the detail you get and the time that was put into making this set.

 

Developer: UK2000

Price: $48.65 Canadian/USA or 36.01 Euros

File/Folder size: 227mb download, 571 mb on disk after installation

SimMarket download link: Here

 

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