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London Gatwick 2004 Review

Last updated Wed, 20 Nov 2013 18:40:41 GMT
Originally posted on Sat, 22 Nov 2003 11:37:10 GMT

OSS is a scenery design group that develop add-ons for the Microsoft Flight Simulator Range.  OSS's previous scenery package, London City 2003 boasted some great scenery add-ons, lots of little details that makes their packages special - as is their latest release, London Gatwick 2004!  Developed over many months using the latest in GMAX technology, and lovingly hand textured,  OSS are sure you will get many hours of enjoyment from flying in this ultra realistic scenery environment. 

I will be reviewing this stunning, fully featured package, Gatwick 2004 from Online Simulation Solutions under Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. 


Shot showing main terminal and ground in background
click for larger image

 

THE INSTALLATION

The package comes with a great installation interface for those non-technical simmers.  The set-up is pretty minimal, just let the installer do the work.  There is no need to enter the FS2004 Scenery library, and add the entry - the installer does all the work for you, so the package can be installed even with the less computer literate simmer.



Professional installer - gives good first impressions
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You then get the option to choose which version of Flight Simulator you wish to install the package for; FS2002 or FS2004.


Choose your FS Version
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THE REVIEW

After waiting several minutes for FS2004 to compile everything, and load the scenery into memory, I was presented with a highly detailed landscape with lots of eye candy overall.  I looked to my left; I could see jet liners at the terminal with terminal tunnels fixed on them.  Looked to my right and could see various things going on.  There were moving vehicles and food wagons in front of me, all going about their business - great dynamic scenery.


Terminal, tunnels and airport staff
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View of main airport and tower from other side of airport
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As I made my way towards the runway, I decided to take a quick look at the detail of the terminals...
I loved the terminal tunnels - the exact duplicate of the real ones - including the HSBC sponsorship and all of the other extra details that standard scenery does not have really made it rise above the rest.  OSS have proven that they care about the most smallest of details - they have built their name on quality not quantity; and I like it.


Great ground texture
click for larger image

Being from London myself, and flown from Gatwick many times, I could really related to this version and the real life version.  The main feature that stood out to me, and I'm sure would stand out to many people who have flow from Gatwick was the raised bridge at the entrance of the airport itself.  Great detail.

 
Raised bridge at North Terminal
click for larger image

Again, what I have to stress most is the detail OSS have used in this package is great.  It include features such as moving trains, moving ground vehicles, terminal trains, moving cars on motorway, fire crew training, and lots of improvements on features that are in every airport add-on such as the terminal tunnels, ground textures... etc.  Some shots that show this level of scenery are below:


...Train sim?
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Joining the fire crew training session
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The airport main ground, notice the raised floodlights and other features
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Control tower - copy of real one; notice the fence on the right
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Conclusion

It's clear that OSS's Gatwick 2004 is a great scenery package all round.  The amount of detail put into it is great, and the little things really build towards giving you a most realistic environment in Flight Simulator.  There were problems with AI aircraft following the old taxiways that were on the default version, and that would be great if it could be fixed - because 747's taxiing on grass is slightly odd.  Gatwick 2004 is priced at $24.95, a reasonable price for an add-on as such.  It seems OSS are working a lot with London and the surrounding area, which is great - perhaps in the future, a 'London' package or a 'South England' package will be released including all the airports in the surrounding areas.

You can download London Gatwick 2004 Here

 

PRO CON
  • Reasonable Price
  • Lots of little features to make simmin' more realistic
  • Easy install interface
  • AI traffic follow default paths because paths in LGW2004 have been changed
INFORMATION TEST SYSTEM
  • AUTHOR: Online Simulation Solutions
  • PRICE: $24.95
  • P4 3.2GHZ HT
  • 1024MB RAM
  • Nvidia Geforce FX 5200
  • FS2004

 

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Ian Stephens

About Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a flight simulation enthusiast also with a keen interest in aviation and technology.  Ian spends a lot of his time experimenting with various simulator packages but has a love for Microsoft Flight Simulator X because of the huge selection of add-ons available.  However, Ian also has copies of Prepar3D and X-Plane installed. 

Ian has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.  Should you wish, you can contact Ian via email at ian.stephens@flyawaysimulation.com.

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