Having decided to finally try out the Valencia X mod, part of the Aerosoft ‘X’ range of scenery packages that revolutionize parts of the world, I wanted to try and give readers an idea of what they would be getting.
This mod was developed by Latinwings, a new-start within the world of flight simulation but also a company who are making major waves at this moment in time for their innovative design and their collective approach to realism, and published by Aerosoft. This took more than six months to put together, as the airport had to be adequately researched.
The city of Valencia itself is located just on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, and is the fifth biggest seaport in Europe and the largest in Spain. The airport that this is based on, Valencia Airport, has long been an integral part of Spanish aviation.
As a mostly domestic airport, Valencia Airport has long been one of the most popular locations to fly to and from in the Iberian Peninsula.
In 2015 alone, the airport took place in over 59,000 flight operations and 2016 looks to continue in that trend. If you want to make sure that your simulator represents the biggest and best airports in the correct manner, then you should almost certainly consider trying this out.
I personally found this to be a very fair and accurate take on an airport I have visited more than once – but what was my final verdict?
Ease of Installation
Right off the bat, I was very impressed at just how easy this was to install. In a single 558 MB Zip file, it was easy to get the files extracted from the Zip and ready to install. Once you process the purchase of this product, you are given a serial key to use and this is needed to use the online activation of the product.
The software that you get once you verify your purchase is great, too. It helps you pick the right simulator to install to from P3D to FSX: Steam Edition. Make sure you have at least 1GB of free space to install on by the way, as this is fairly sizable.
The installation, though, is a piece of cake. It works on its own and just rips through everything that is needed with relative ease. You just need to let it work its magic.
Areas of Coverage
The first thing that I noticed upon usage was just how far this seemed to stretch in term of coverage –this was not just the airport, this went far beyond. The main focus is obviously the airport, though, but the surrounding town of Manises and the main city of Valencia are both covered as best as it possibly can. With plenty of new models made from the ground up and with plenty of major adjustments and additions of city landmarks like the Science Museum, you can really feel the city of Valencia burst into life.
The areas of coverage then were very impressive – this stretches pretty far and wide, and gives you about the best coverage that you possibly could have hoped for. With 2048 x 2048 textures being used as well, you can quickly notice that this has a much greater level of general concentration and detail than its old counterpart.
General Detail Levels
However, the detail level that has been included throughout is pretty impressive. Not only does this make use of real ground poly for extra detail and realism, it uses plenty of 3D vegetation across the city to help make it feel more alive and less flat.
The major change, though, has been to the airport environments. The airport ground have been gradually extended out by over 2 square miles, giving you a much better level of growth and realism. The whole area is packed with the major airport facilities you tend to see at Valencia Airport and this obviously makes it much easier for you to get around.
The region, though, is split up into two mainly separate locations – the North, and the South. Both major regions are dissected by a single asphalt runway, which is clearly defined. There’s also been the conversion of an old runway into a taxiway as per real life.
One thing that did strike me, though, was the lack of realism in the ground color – it’s all very brown and dirt-like in which the real airport is not like. Whilst it does not look so strange when you are on the ground, when you fly in from the sky is can look a little strange.
That being said, it does not take away from the overall look here. The airport is also further improved by being populated by old aircraft, with a few Airbus A300s and a Boeing 747-200 sitting around. These have ball been abandoned, though, and need to be revived before they move. At the time of writing, these are merely static.
Some other impressive changes to the overall level of detail is the addition of some new communications towers and some specific red and white buildings throughout the airport. You also get the addition of on-field VOR, ILS aerials and boundary fences to make the whole place look far more authentic.
Around the actual airport terminals, though, are the large car parks and ramps which lead to the rest of the airport. Many of the roads have been filled in with the correct, official signage which obviously plays a major role in populating the area and making it look a little bit more alive.
The airport is also loaded with some nice little touches, for example the group of plane spotters just south of boundary fence as a lovely touch that really helped to humanize the look and feel of the whole mod.
Official Trailer Video
If you want to see the busiest parts of the airport then you need to head to the northern parts of the runway. This is where the majority of the “fun” tends to be, with a cargo ramp and a large DHL warehouse easily noticeable as you pan over. There is also a UPS warehouse and both of these accurately designed and shown which looks absolutely sensational.
Other couriers are in this part of the airport, too, given its importance to cargo transport in the region as a whole. For example you’ll see Spanish couriers such as Spain-TIR and also the likes of Swissport. This lets you see that the whole region is loaded with major changes and additions which work to adequately sell the image of the whole airport at work.
The cargo area is backed up by the addition of the new fire station and tarmac car park which is realistically designed. It has three major fire appliances there alongside a 4x4 vehicle, giving you another piece of realism that helps to make the airport feel alive.
The northern apron, the general aviation part, is also very busy in general. The area is built for the use of business jets and airliners and you should see it loaded more or less all the time. There is a large building here as well, the Real Aeroclub de Valencia, which is a business who offer professional flight training.
It’s these little touches to make sure that you can really feel the closeness to the real thing, as this is one of the most populated and commonly used airport within the region hence the incredible level of miscellaneous objects around.
Move towards the second ramp in the airport, though, and you get to see a much more branded part of the airport. From the regional terminal with plenty of branded airliners all here to the massive, high-resolution notice boards that sit next to the regional terminal making it look better than ever.
One of the major additions to this part of the city, though, is the addition of the CRJ in Air Nostrum colors – even when you fly over here at night you can see a much needed addition come to life and really help the place look absolutely wonderful.
Terminals 1 and 2 sit nearby the Regional Terminal, as well. I was really impressed by the overall level of detail in this part of the region but the glass here has been replaced by opaque textures. This does a fair amount to take away from the overall shine of both terminals, which was pretty disappointing.
It’s made up for, though, by the addition of a small army of different jetways, ground debris and animated flags around the place. This helps to sell the image very well but the addition of the proper glass would have been a welcome addition.
Head along from here to the Technical Block which is where the control point for pilots is as well as the location for airport security forces. Next to all of this is the BP-branded fueling station, which is a large tanker park which is detailed and alive at all times.
Away from the busiest part of the airport, you will find the southern runway. The original terminal here, positioned just to the edge of the southern apron, is no longer used to handle passengers in the normal sense. That being said, it still carries the same look even in real life, so there has not been a huge amount of change to this building.
There is a range of hangers and commercial buildings sitting around the place, though, which adjoin the apron. This makes a really big difference and gives you a much more recognizable south to the airport, helping to sell the whole region a little better.
One major disappointment for me, though, was the fact that the huge Cessna Citation regional service center is so exceptionally dull. There’s no Cessna aircraft here so it looks really empty and dull, and given its importance to the area in real life it’s a shame to see it so poorly used here, taking away from its classy look quite dramatically.
Behind this area is the large UN support vase, where you’ll see everything from satellites to large service buildings. That being said the textures here are pretty average, which isn’t too bad given that it’s an outlying area you will likely not be visiting up close and personally.
The last part of the airport that really impressed was the large Avialsa T-35 complex. This massive blue hanger is full of Air Tractors and amphibian crafts, sitting on their own outside. There’s also a few Cessna 337 aircraft in the same livery, sitting behind an open front hangerplace.
The airport houses aircraft which are used for fighting back against forest fires which is a nice touch, adding another little bit of life to the region as a whole.
I was just genuinely very impressed by the hard work that gone into many aspects of the north and south sides of the airport, it was one of the most considered takes on Valencia Airport I’d had the pleasure of using.
The final little addition to the airport for me, though, was the addition of Frank. Frank is a free to use avatar who walks around the airport, wearing an Aerosoft hi-vis jacket. He can be loaded for use with any airport and he is able to walk around, small, fall, crouch and jump. Frank offers nothing else to the service really, but it was a nice little touch.
The Surrounding Areas
One thing that really impressed me was when you leave the airport. Many airport mods notice a really major drop off in quality from the airport that was modded to the nearby areas – Valencia X suffers from no such problems. The surrounding area here is adjacent Autovia A-3 highway, which connects together with the capital, Madrid. The A-3 passes the airport boundaries you can still see some basic structures come alive below, as this continues to line the northern side of the streets with local designs and specific architecture to make them stand out.
The north of the airport gives you access to the small town of Manises, which uses photorealistic scenery to come alive a little bit. This makes the place look a bit better although everything here is quite generic. Again, given it’s a mere outlying area it’s hardly the end of the world.
The rest of the surrounding area which has been best managed is the city itself. The city proper of Valencia has been made to look brilliant – the western and dock sides have been changed majorly. There is also the addition of the Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe, a massive science museum within the city which stretches across City of Arts & Sciences.
This is a major part of the city and it looks great whether you are here during the day or night. Sadly there is no night lighting for this building which is a little disappointing.
One thing that really annoyed me, though, was the lack of the Mestalla Stadium. The Mestalla is a major landmark of the skyline of the city of Valencia and this majorly kills the atmosphere of the city, not least because Valencia CF – the football club who play here – is one of the major attractions of the city to foreigners and tourists.
You do, however, get the old F1 and current Moto GP circuit – this has been designed very impressively and it dos look pretty great. Again, it’s just a shame that the Mestalla was not given the same treatment here.
Changes with the Season
One big thing that I was a fan of was the changes to the season – some of the ground changes are quite impressive. Although they aren’t radical you can certainly see that the city changes a little depending on the time of day.
Ease of Management
I did find this really easy to install but a little hard to navigate at first. Thankfully, the team have added in some very detailed charts which give you access to Lufthansa Systems Flightnavs, allowing you to get SID/STAR details to fly around with accuracy. This is a nice but not excessively necessary touch that those who really want to be uber accurate can turn to for fun.
Overall, the ease of use is attached to the manual that is included – this manual is a piece of cake to use and makes learning Valencia simple.
Value for Money
Overall, this offers some of the best value for money that you are likely to come across. With everything from project sliders to let you choose how much memory is being used to the addition of some very useful features to help you avoid losing too much performance. Overall, I was running with a solid 31 FPS and was very happy with that.
I would happily recommend using this for anyone with a decent machine who wants a solid piece of scenery that does great justice to one of the countries – and indeed Europe’s - most underrated cities.
You can pick up your copy of Valencia X scenery over at SimShack here.
If it's freeware you want, check out this file in the library here.