VFR Real Scenery  Volume 4- Northern England
from Just Flight

A review by Nigel C Martin
July 2008


You know, scenery is one area that can be overlooked when we all concentrate and immerse ourselves in the quest for the latest aircraft and helicopters to add to our virtual hanger, but as the title in the review suggests, here is another piece of scenery to add to the already great FSX original programme. The latest VFR Real Scenery release form Just Flight, is offered to truly enhance your VFR fight simulator experience.

You may have read my other VFR Real Scenery review covering the South East, and may feel it a little odd to review yet another scenery package, well, I make no apology, because, the latest edition covers the North of England, an area I know very well, why? I live in the historic City of Durham.

With the latest technology used to generate volume 4 this programme promises to be very interesting!

Many developers are providing dedicated programs for FSX, and taking full advantage of the FSX engine and rightly so. This range of scenery from Just Flight (if you buy volumes 1 to 4) now covers the whole of England & Wales.

As mentioned above, I am delighted with the coverage from the Just Flight Real Scenery series, South East England (Volume 1), Central & Southern England (Volume 2), Wales and South West (Volume 3) and now, Northern England (Volume 4). This ensemble provides you the opportunity in ‘laying’ a blanket of incredible detail across the whole of England and Wales! VFR flights here we come!

Well, these offerings once installed will truly enhance your FSX scenery and of course our ‘flying’ experience, so lets get cracking!

I know the North East very well, so I was eager to fly over well known landmarks or discernable land masses that make the North East one of the most incredible areas of England. (My own personal view, of course!)

Well, these offerings once installed will truly enhance the UK scenery, and of course our ‘flying’ experience.

York VFR Liverpool VFR


This process is effortless, after removing the DVD’s form the sturdy plastic case. (I adore the case dimension standardization enabling your collection will sit neatly) here is the old chestnut.  READ the instructions, they provide you with some invaluable information and ‘typical questions and answers’ which believe me, proved to be invaluable. Please, please read them.

Typically with all Just Flight’s DVD’s they auto-run and all you have to do is follow the clear on-screen instructions and’ hey- presto’ all done.

Take to the Skies

With installation completed, after installing parts 1, 2 and 3 with no discernable frame drop, I was eager to get up in the air and access the accuracy and effect.

I selected Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle Airport, In fact I was privileged to have taken off and landed in a Fleet Air Arm Sea King next to the River Tyne in Newcastle on a few occasions at a Royal Navy Reserve station,  if you can imagine a postage stamp, with a wall to the front, the river to the back that will kind of set the scene, not just once, but on three separate occasions.

I selected, one of my favourite aircraft within FSX, the mighty Augusta Westland EH101 and decided to fly from Newcastle Airport and track along the coast to find the estuary up the River Tyne, and if the detail allows, have a look at Newcastle.

Mouth of River Tyne - Newcastle Overhead Durham train station

As we all know by now the best height to get the full advantage of the satellite acquired detail is above 2,000 AGL, so flying at this height I decided to ‘pop’ out and have a look, I can assure you it did not disappoint. One word will suffice… Excellent!

An acid test in my view, is to pick an area you know, and attempt to ‘navigate’ using the VFR data below, was it successful?

Well, I hovered over my home City of Durham, I was able to pick out the roads and truly navigate out of the city and find my house! In fact Google Earth sprang to mind such is the quality, I guess no great surprises because the data is captured in the same way! A silver’ thingy’, whizzing around the Earth taking loads of visual digitized scans.

I have to say, this series of products (Parts 1 2, 3 and 4) has added so much to the flying experience.  If you only fly in a fairly small part of the UK then you have one of 4 programmes now available to choose from, adding amazing detail to the ground below.

I also noticed that the fields, trees etc looked highly accurate and believable, I keep forgetting they should because what we are looking at is real life digitized pictures.

If you are looking for some scenery enhancement to improve your VFR capabilities, with smooth running graphics, (a constant surprise in FSX, I had always assumed that the speed would be slower, not faster! I guess the FSX programme is still fairly ‘clean’ especially when you consider all of the third party add-ons in ACOF) then you will have to add this ensemble to your collection, now in 4 parts, offering great ground detail from the South East to the borders of Scotland.

I know I have said it before, but, the default scenery within FSX is extremely good, but this package offers some 64 times more accurate flying, which can only be an enhancement and allow for better and more accurate flying, recognising key land masses, road layouts, and even the road you reside! And if you own a mansion with a swimming pool and heliport I am certain it would be in view!

Wonderful rural views

I must mention, that Part 4 Scenery is a step up form the incredible previously released volumes (1,2&3). Put simply, it provides wonderful enhanced scenery covering Northern England.

In the instructions it does mention that due to the improved mapping accuracy, some default airports can appear to be below your visual ground level post installation, I have experienced this anomaly, at RAF Lyneham, but I have not tried to cure it as yet, but I am assured that the process is easy to rectify.

I have mentioned this already, but as you climb, the ‘focusing’ effect becomes apparent, but this is not a negative issue.  I may add, my computer is not really a high-end spec machine, it can be best described as a fairly standard one. So if I have not encountered any major issues then you should not either.

I would recommend, a good clean-out (I used C-Cleaner, an excellent free programme) getting rid of any rubbish that may be lurking, defrag your machine, before installation, minimizing any potential issues. If you do not have C Cleaner installed DO IT NOW!

Please remember this programme is to enhance the VFR ground scenery, and you will not see any discernable detail much below 1,000AGL, so, do not expect to land in your dive-way, or in the office car park! All you will see around you are are lumps of colour. But climb and all will become clear!

Price, they can be found at approx £21.99 ($39.00) each. There are some really good package deals available right now, well worth a look.

Be careful out there!

I don’t know how many times I have said it, but the detail and superb effects presented truly amaze me. A cracking job!

Onwards and Upwards..
Nigel C Martin

    My review machine specs:   Just Flight Links

   AMD64X2 Dual Core processor 3800+

   4x 512Mb DDR2 667Mhz PC5400

   Nvidia Geforce 7900GT
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