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Iceland X
For FSX Published by Aerosoft
Reviewed by Mikael Stockfors
June 2011

Welcome to the land of fire, ice and water (at least that’s what I learned in 5th grade geography thatthe colors of the Icelandic flag represent). Based on what else I remember from 5th grade geography and other things I’ve picked up along the way my somewhat preconceived view of Iceland is a cold, desolate and barren chunk (ok, a bit larger than a chunk perhaps) of rock way out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

In recent times Iceland has made its presence known in the aviation world as the source of the big ash cloud following the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull that grounded most flights over mainland Europe during parts of the second quarter of 2010. And before you ask, Eyjafjallajökull, nor any other volcanic activity nor the ash cloud is modeled in the scenery due to limitations within FSX.

On a more factual note Iceland is a roughly 100 000 km2 large republic with a population of 320 000 people, and of greater importance the location of a scenery released by Aerosoft back in December 2010. But judging from photos around the net the desolate and barren parts of my presumptions wasn’t far from the truth.

Barren and desolate, isn’t that what default FSX scenery does best I hear you thinking. Well, that’s true, but there’s still much room for improvement.

Download and installation
The scenery is so far only available as a download from the Aerosoft shop with as far as I’ve been able to find out no word on a boxed version. The download file is around 400Mb, and fully installed the scenery will occupy roughly 1.3 Gb of room on your hard drive. The installation is a simple and fast process using the usual Aerosoft installer. Just run the downloaded file and follow the on screen instructions and you should be up and flying over Iceland in a few minutes.

What you get
The scenery is a landclass/texture based scenery with photoreal textures making a small appearance on the glaciers covering parts of the island. The scenery covers all of the main island and the surrounding small islands including Surtsey, Vestmannaeyjar to the south and Grimsey to the north of the main island. The package also includes a custom-made terrain mesh.

All of the airports with one big exception are included, and most of them have custom-made buildings. I think I counted only twelve out of roughly 60 airports where there are no custom buildings placed in the scenery. Five of the airports are furthermore marketed as being “Detailed airport sceneries”. The only missing airport is Keflavik, the large international airport to the east of the capital of Reykjavik. The plan is to sell this airport as a stand-alone add-on in the future.

Reykjavik Airport

Hornafjordur Airport

The road network, rivers and lakes are modeled with great detail, and some dynamic Naval and VFR air traffic are also included in the package, along with some special waterfall effects.

In order to make the experience as real as it gets, Aerosoft have also included individual seasonal adjustments for each of the months of the year, and if you in a situation where it’s snowing but the ground textures aren’t covered in snow the scenery will adjust this to reflect the weather you’re currently flying in.

12 Months of Iceland
What it looks like
The quality of the ground textures are generally very good, and combined with the land class gives you a great improvement over the default scenery with as much variation as you can expect in this environment. I have yet to find a place where I can see any apparent repetition in the laid out textures. Combine this with the new Terrain Mesh and you will find many beautiful and stunning sights, particularly in the mountainous regions. The previously mentioned waterfall effect also adds a nice touch to the landscape.

The only places that I feel a bit let down by are the urban areas in Reykjavik. In my mind the Textures have a very non-urban feel to them, with very large green areas in them. However, I’m not familiar with Reykjavik, and it might just be that this is an accurate representation of how the city actually looks, but it feels a bit odd.

The green city of Reykjavik

Landmarks in Reykjavik

Heading into reykjavik from the southwest


Performance wise the higher resolution textures are not a problem. This is mainly due to the nature of the general landscape on Iceland, where there aren’t many big, or even small, forests. In fact trees in general are rather uncommon, so the amount of objects, specifically placed or auto generated, are much lower than what you can expect over other parts of Europe or North America. This of course frees up resources to handle the larger textures.

The airports I have looked at are also a big improvement over the default airports, but I still feel they lack that little extra needed to give that Wow-feeling. And the airports where I have spent most of the time are at the detailed airports. I cannot really put my finger on what it is that’s missing but they feel somewhat “unpolished”, particularly compared to the airports in other I’ve previously reviewed. However, I guess I should take in to consideration the difference in the price tag.

Eyjafjallajökull - General Area

General scenery

Iceberg maternity ward

Thermal effects at the blue lagoon


Winter time

Known issues
Looking at the Aerosoft support forum there has been a few minor complaints about the scenery itself, but in my mind it’s mostly small issues ranging from the colors of the roofs on buildings not being varied enough to some missing lights on the ground at airports.

However there are two compatibility issues with other add-ons mentioned that I feel are big enough to mention in this review.
  • 1. Conflicts with FS Global Terrain Mesh.
    If you have FS Global installed it seems that this mesh will take priority over the one supplied with Iceland X causing some strange effects. Among others the inlet to the harbor on Vestmannaeyjar will be blocked off, leaving ships stranded on the ground. Also, the small Island of Surtsey looks really odd. The only work around I’ve found so far to remedy this problem is to disable the FS Global Europe scenery layer in FSX.
  • 2.CTDs when you also have Earth Simulations Alderney scenery installed. 
    A few users have reported that they suffer from CTDs when flying over Iceland X, and the common tread appears to be that they have the Alderney scenery from Earth Simulations installed. The developer of Iceland X has also stated that they found this issue in Beta testing but failed to find a solution to the problem. Last time I checked a representative from Earth Simulations has offered to help in locating the issue, and hopefully it can be solved in a future update to either of the sceneries.


All in all Iceland X is a good, solid scenery that gives you a huge improvement over the default scenery, without eating up your available computer resources. With a price tag just below €25 it’s also fairly reasonably priced considering the big area covered.

All things summed up I award it a Mutley’s Hangar Score of 8.5/10.

Mikael Stockfors
Review machine Spec:
Intel Core i7 860 @ 2.8GGhz | 16 gb DDR III Ram @ 1600 mhz | GTX 560 TI OC 1GB Graphics |Windows 7 64bit Pro

       System Requirements
  • Flight Simulator X (Acceleration or FSX SP2 required)
  • Windows XP / Vista / Windows7 with the latest Service Packs
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 CPU (Core 2 Quad advised) or equivalent
  • 2 Gb RAM 
  • 256Mb graphic card (512 MB recommended)
  • 400Mb Download size
  • 1.3Gb hard drive space