Aerosoft’s Aspen X
Reviewed by Ludo Lambrechts
Aspen-Pitkin airport, one of the United States’ most challenging airports, an airport most should avoid. However it is used frequently by express/connection services due to the popularity of the city. Aspen started out as a small, mining town, a very insignificant place. However in the past decades it has boomed and grown into a Mecca for skiers. People from all over the world travel to Aspen, Colorado to challenge the slopes.
Aerosoft has developed an Aspen scenery, a follow-up on their series of challenging approaches. Their first scenery was the Lukla scenery. It is however the first challenging scenery developed for FSX. In photos Aspen does not look challenging at all. It was not a sloped runway or a short runway or even hidden. It’s runway can handle the smaller regional jets and is very flat. It is also well exposed in the clearing. So what makes this approach difficult?
It is a difficult approach because the runway is only open to landing from one direction. The high altitudes make it impossible to land from any other sides. Even on the Western approach the drop in altitude is quick and difficult to achieve. Aspen is subject to severity of the weather and is often closed due to blizzards during the winter months. At night time all airport operations are ceased due to the risks of the surroundings. This IS a CHALLENGING airport.
So, say that you are that thrill seeker in FSX. You grew tired of the well-planned, easy to execute departures of destinations such as a KSFO or a CYYZ or YSSY to name a few. Or more simply put major airports which cater to the bigger jets and bigger cities. These airports, Lukla and Aspen, are just right for you. The one this review focuses on, is Aspen X and is more “usable” than Lukla. Since Aspen is not limited to STOL aircraft it allows pilots to fly to thousands of destinations. In contrast to Aspen, Lukla only caters to smaller aircraft with less range and also lacks a lot of other airports in the area.
The scenery covers the Aspen-Pitkin County airfield and the surrounding mountains. It covers a fair-sized area of Pitkin County and is a good value. The surrounding mountains are created with photorealistic textures, and a detailed mesh. The mountains look both accurate and authentic. Even though Aerosoft seems to have put the focus on the airport itself you can’t forget about the package is the surrounding area. The mountains are superbly remodelled. Flying through the mountains around Aspen is an amazing experience, one which should not be passed by.
The city of Aspen has also been touched on by Aerosoft. Included is a custom autogen. This autogen features unique buildings and houses which you would find in the city of Aspen. Like I said, they are unique and they add an “Aspen” feel to it. Too often in flight simulator you will see the same houses from different cultures and climates appear in completely different cities. Not in Aspen. Aspen looks generally like Aspen would.
The airport has been touched on by Aerosoft. It has been well recreated in the FSX interface and looks amazing. It is not a big airport or a crowded one so it’s hard to give it top marks. I can say however the ground textures, based on photo material. On top of these ground textures are the few terminals and hangers located on the premises. Also included are high-quality rendered vehicles. Like I said, in summary this airport has been rendered very well, it is a small airport however so it would not be fair to draw comparisons to other airport titles. AspenX is a scenery package and the airport is just a fraction of the product.
This product has been marketed as a product for those who seek challenges in their flights. But I think that Aerosoft’s AspenX also has another appeal to it. It is beautiful scenery, a photorealistic one. Anyone who loves flying in between the breathtaking mountains must get Aspen X. It is as simple as that. This product bring you a challenge, brings you the sights, and is a great value. I award Aerosoft a 9.5 out of 10!System Used
* MSI K9N Diamond NVIDIA Socket AM2 ATX Motherboard
* 850 Watt Power Supply
* AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.0GHz 2MB Cache
* 2 X Kingston HyperX 2048MB PC3200 800MHz Dual Channel DDR Memory
* XFX GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB DDR3 SLI Ready
* 1 TB of HHD Space
Reviewd by Ludo Lambrechts for Aerosoft