Ultimate Terrain X - Europe
from Flight1 / Scenery Solutions


A Review by Joe (Mutley) Lawford
March 2008

Since the release of FSX we have enjoyed a far superior scenery environment than offered by its predecessors.

Even with the extras that come with FSX, after a while the scenery starts to get boring and repetitive,  you just can’t help thinking something is missing. A town, a road, a river perhaps, or just civilisation in general!

Presently we can overcome this with high resolution photographic scenery, but these disc space hungry programs generally only cover limited regions of land.  They can be inconsistent in colour or even have an unnatural hue that some times just does not blend in.

A worthy alternative to photographic scenery is replacement default textures, so long as it is done right.  Flight1 in partnership with Scenery Solutions have released Ultimate Terrain X Europe so here is my appraisal.

What does it do?

Well something very clever! Using data sourced from the Tele Atlas MultiNet Map Database Ultimate Terrain X has re-introduced those roads, rivers, streams and lost towns back into flight sim.  Those boring lumps of scenery are transformed into something far more interesting and believable.  If like me you are a VFR fan then this is a delight to use.

Installation & space requirements

UTX-Europe is available in boxed and download form.

Unless you have a decent broadband connection don't even contemplate the download version, having said that my review copy came from a download with no problems whatsoever.  You have 2 download options, either download the flight1 proprietary downloader, which can help if you have drop outs in your connection, or download directly from a link.  Either way the servers deliver the files efficiently. 

Make sure you download the two files offered as they both are required. At 1.56 Gb the main file is a hefty download so it will take a while.

The product comes in the familiar Flight1 Ecommerce wrapper so you don't actually pay for it until you have downloaded.

Once you have paid and have received your key take a safe back up of the key.  You can now install your product. Unsurprisingly the installation takes a few minutes but executes perfectly.


Setup and use.

After installation the configuration manager is automatically run,  this verifies your installation is good and offers a multitude of texture variations for the advanced user. 

If you cannot be bothered with tweaking then the default settings are good, very good.  There are a range of basic features you can switch on (or off) such as extra roads, railroads, streams land/water class and night lighting.

The more adventurous can delve further and change water hues, road colour and wave style effects. 

There are two manuals supplied, one for general use and one for advanced use that includes details over how to adjust terrain flattens, feature widths and texture mappings etc.  This is sure to keep the most inquisitive of people happy!

Finally, there is another set up feature that can help you will set optimise your display settings in FSX.  There is a handy performance report which also allows you to amend and save your FSX display settings and see the impact from this screen.

So what does it change?

The different areas of change can be summarised as follows-

Landclass (or land classification)
UTX-E replaces and extends FSX’s 93 different possible landclass textures, these are the 1km x 1km blocks that make up our virtual world.

UTX-E has also introduced more variation to the land class.

•zero-lot line housing (residences with little or no space between units))
•university grounds
•multi family housing
•commercial activity zones
•industrial sites
•shipping grounds (Docks areas etc)

In the picture below you can see how much of an affect UTX has, on the "after" picture you will notice a beach appear in the bottom left corner. At top centre, there is a car ferry which is depicted in both shots, however in the UTX version there is a road leading to it.

We can also see the addition of a golf course and more organised regions.


Notice the default disorganised textures and polygons are replaced by something more believable

Water featuress



The blocks have gone and there is more detail to the coast

Water body accuracy is much improved with FSX but it does leave out a lot of detail outside major metropolitan areas.

This includes things like reservoirs and streams; even the coastline detail has been improved with higher resolution rocky coastline textures, sandy beaches, concrete piers, freshwater dams, and manmade breakers.

One very nice feature is river flattening. In UTX the severe mesh hugging characteristics of the rivers have been tamed so they appear much more natural

Waterclass (Water classification, the wet version of landclass!)
FSX has 60 different waterclass textures. UTX improves the FSX water by providing 4 different overall waterclass choices:

•Blue water tint
•Plankton/Algae bloom tint
•Muddy water tint
•Muddy water with Plankton bloom tint.

In addition to this you can change the assigned water textures that are associated with each water type. So that in the dry season, for example, an area that floods in the wet season can be seen as grassland in the dry season. There is also an option for hard winter water textures that turn those small and medium lake to ice!

The possibilities here could entertain you for hours.

UTX has taken all the available road types from it’s source data from Tele Altas and used them in their software.

Previously we could only expect motorways and major roads. What UTX have done is add in minor and residential roads. They may not be real-world accurate but we can see civilisation returning to our world at last.
UTX has greatly enhanced the default textures with custom polygons. This means that the road interchanges look so real, they are surrounded by grass so it fits in so well with the environment.

Bridges have been given treatment too with an extra 250,000 in Europe alone, these bridges are aligned with the roads rather than just sat on the landscape like the default textures.

UTX has also introduced dark tunnel entrances, where the road dives underground, a nice touch but I wasn’t convinced with the dead black entrances, the effect looked better at night with the entrances having highlights.


Downtown Athens, now with more roads


Innsbruck, the difference is astonishing


With not so may railways as there are roads they are often overlooked but in UTX they have been considerably increased in resolution, number and accuracy along with bridges and huge rail yards. Like the roads, a tunnel will be produced if the rails disappear into the scenery.

Night lighting..
This one will have your jaw dropping. We’ve got street lights, headlights, tail lights and plenty of light pollution from the cities! It can be a little over-bearing with light bloom turned on at close range but stunning on that approach to your favourite metropolitan airport!.

On our way in to LFPG

Special textures
In addition to the FSX parks and golf courses, UTX is listed as having many other ground polygon features that are unique.

•Highway Interchanges
•Tunnel Entrances
•Railroad Yards
•Small Islands
•Parking Lots
•Grassy, Forest or Concrete areas for landmark features.

I haven't seen all of these features yet so I have plenty to look forward to.  It was great to see the beaches hugging the coasts and more islands especially off the cost of Norway leading to the fjords!

Although I am not a golf fan, UTX has given the golf courses a makeover too so they really do blend in and look real.

Extra commercial areas, docks etc

Product Coverage Area
UTX – Europe covers the following European countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.

How does it perform?

On my machine (See specs below) I couldn't notice any drop in performance.  This is easy to say but not so easy to prove.  One thing UTX-E does do is replace a lot of autogen (but not all) with its own textures,  you will notice that a lot of those ubiquitous pentagon/polygon shaped buildings are replaced by roads or other suitable landclass.  The only exceptions to this performance rule is if you opt for loads of road traffic, bridges and 3d lighting at night (Light bloom).


So in proportion to the improvements in the environment, any frame rate loss is minimal and acceptable.



It's been a long hard struggle for FSX to gain credibility in many simmers eyes.  I can see this product converting a lot of people when the see what is achievable.  In many flight-simmers books there is a holy trinity of environmental add-ons,  Active Sky, Flight Environment, and now, for me, Ultimate Terrain X Europe!

You are going to get more than your *$34.95, €24.10 or £18.20 out of this one.

/ Mut

* download version

   My review machine specs:   UTX Europe links:
   Self build:

   MSI Intel 975X PCI Express Motherboard
   Intel E6600 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
   4x 512Mb DDR2 667Mhz PC5400
   Nvidia 7900GTX 512Mb DDR3 PCI-E
   Windows XP Pro SP2
   FSX SP1

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  UTX Europe product page
  Scenery Solutions
  Mutley says.. . . .

I hope you enjoyed this review, if you have any comments then you can contact me here


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