HeraklionX for FSX Review
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HeraklionX
For FSX and P3D Published by Aerosoft
Reviewed by John Stevens
October 2012

Heraklion Airport is Crete's main gateway to the world. Officially known as the Heraklion Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport, it is located about 5 km (3 miles) east of the main city of Heraklion, near the municipality of Nea Alikarnassos. The airport was built in 1937 and the first passenger carrying plane did not land until 1939; this was a Junkers 52 carrying 14 passengers. The airport is now Greece's second busiest airport, after Athens International Airport. From its opening in 1937, it now serves 5 million passengers a year. Heraklion also operates as a military airport.

There are over 66 airlines that operate out of Heraklion. They can all be found listed on the this link

Any information that you could require regarding flight information, is available from this site

Installation

The installation was straight forward using the Aerosoft installer, which needs to be activated with administration rights. After inserting my email address and serial number the process was soon under way and was completed in a matter of minutes.

Once installed you can use the configuration tools provided to adjust the graphics settings. These can be found in the Aerosoft folder in the start menu. They are very easy to use and will allow you to improve the performance of the scenery, depending on your computer's specification.

Documentation

The manual can be found in your start menu under Aerosoft\Heraklionx\ and it explains the installation procedure and the required settings within FSX to help you get the best out from HeraklionX.
  Installation screen
It shows you how to use the configuration tools which come with HeraklionX. What I like about the manual is that it is straight forward and offers the right amount of information.

Performance

The performance on my system was very reasonable and with the configuration tools that are shown below. HeraklionX can be tailored to suit your own system’s performance by deactivating areas of autogen, animations and scenery, such as parked cars and some 3D objects.

I also found that even with night lighting I still had a very reasonable performance. Based on my medium performance rated system, there is no doubt that with an high end system this will run very smoothly.
The City Configurator
 
Allows you to choose which areas you would like to be activated. The airport is automatically chosen but you can select or deselect the surrounding areas to suit the performance of your computer.
  City confguration
HeraklionX Manager

This is another graphics manager allowing you to adjust what is displayed in FSX. Obviously there is a balance between performance and how good it looks, so it is worth experimenting with this to find the perfect balance.
  HeraklionX Manager
ASElite 2 Configuration

This allows you to disable airport vehicles and scenery animations, such has traffic and buses etc. Another useful tool if you do not have a higher end computer but still want to enjoy the scenery.
  ASElite 2 Configuration
Detail

Aerosoft have done an excellent job of recreating the airport, city and surrounding area. It is a very accurate rendition of Heraklion and Kazantzakis International Airport. When comparing it with satellite images, there is no doubt how accurate it is. The detailed airport buildings have a realistic look about them, with nice textures and very impressive mix of light and shadow. The runway textures are of the quality which you would expect from today’s software developers. The airport vehicles are a real treat, probably some of the most realistic I have seen.

Airport from the air
Airport from the air
Runways
Runways
City and Docks
City and Docks
Control Tower and Apron
Control Tower and Apron
Airport vehicles and buildings
Airport vehicles and buildings
City from the air
City from the air
Airport apron and control tower
Airport apron and control tower
Sea wall looking at Heraklion port
Sea wall looking at Heraklion port
Airport textures
Airport textures
Airport vehicles
Airport vehicles

The night lighting is very realistic and rounds the package off nicely. The control tower rotating light sweeps across the airport with very realistic lighting effects. The car park lighting, runway lights and general airport lights look just as realistic. The blue taxiway marker lights reflect onto the floor, and the taxiway marker boards look nice and clear. The city lighting is well balanced and I could not identify I any negative aspects at all.

Airport apron night lighting
Airport apron night lighting
Car park night lighting
Car park night lighting
Night light airport rear
Night light airport rear
City lights
City lights
Taxiway lights
Taxiway lights
Runway night lighting
Runway night lighting

My only criticisms are that I found that the PAPI lights tend to merge into each other, making them difficult to see even when you get quite close, The textures of the grass/sand between the runway and taxiway were not up to the same standard as the other textures around the airport which was a little disappointing.

Runway and taxiway grass
Runway and taxiway grass
PAPI
PAPI

Animations

The animations are nicely done with smooth movement. The city traffic moves at a realistic speed and there is plenty of it. I did notice that some of the traffic disappeared in certain areas but it was only a minor point and not really noticeable unless looking for it. The airport vehicles moved smoothly, along with the seagulls and boats.

Conclusion

This is a very nice scenery package. It looks good and there are plenty of options to help get a good performance to suit your own computer’s performance.

The textures and fantastic night lighting give it a very realistic look and it is very accurate as far as I can tell from photos. The only negative aspects are that I think that the PAPI lights could have been a bit clearer; after all there is no ILS.

Once you touch down the first thing you see is the space between the runway and taxiway, where there could have been better textures with more 3D textures visible. However balanced against the many positive aspects noted earlier.



Verdict



I think overall it is an excellent package, giving you the airport, city and surrounding area at a very reasonable price. It is more than well worth having.
    • Level of detail:
    • Performance:
    • Scenery Coverage:
    • Quality of buildings (if applicable)
    • Documentation:
    • Value for money:
8.5/10
10 /10
10 /10
9.5/10
10 /10
10 /10





Final Mutley's Hangar Score 9/10


John Stevens
Review machine Spec:
Intel i5 3.10Ghz | 4Gb DDR2 Ram |GeForce 9800GTX |Windows 7 64bit