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Scenery Review: Dortmund XP by Aerosoft

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Scenery Review: Dortmund XP by Aerosoft 


By Michael Hayward



Dortmund Airport, a regional hub in the Rhein-Ruhr region of Germany, welcomes over 1.2 million passengers yearly. Flights from Dortmund Airport are operated by a range of seven airlines, including low-cost carriers and regional operators. These airlines connect Dortmund to key destinations across Europe, offering routes to major cities like London, Paris, and Milan, as well as popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and beyond. 


Since its inception in 1925, the airport began with flights to Paris and gradually expanded its routes over the ensuing years. During the tumultuous period of 1939-1945, commonly referred to as the great European disagreement, it was repurposed as a German Air Base, later transitioning to RAF control. While Dortmund Airport may be smaller in size compared to its regional counterparts, Dusseldorf and Cologne Bonn Airports, it plays a significant role in enhancing the city's connectivity. Serving as a vital link, it efficiently bridges Dortmund to the broader European network, offering an array of flight options that cater to both business and leisure travelers.



Aerosoft, a household name in the flight simming community, boasts over two decades of experience in developing high-calibre add-ons for X-Plane. Their portfolio, featuring successes like Heathrow, Manchester, and Toulouse, sets high expectations for any new release. In this review, we will explore how their latest creation, Dortmund Airport, available for both X-Plane 11 and 12, and see how it measures up to these lofty standards. 

Installation & Documentation

Upon purchase, you'll receive an installation key for redemption via Aerosoft One. This all-encompassing package, designed for use across various flight simulator platforms, facilitates not only updates but also allows configuration adjustments within the scenery. It serves as a convenient central hub for all your Aerosoft products, representing a significant advancement over the previous Aerosoft Launcher. The installation includes a comprehensive 20-page manual, available in both German and English. It details the airport's facilities and provides a glimpse into the history of Dortmund Airport and the surrounding region. A brief look of this manual is recommended for a deeper understanding of the airport you'll be using.




Airport Layout
Viewing Dortmund Airport from above reveals a straightforward layout. It features a single runway, 06/24, accompanied by a terminal parking area, a helipad, and business jet facilities, all interconnected by a main taxiway. This simplicity makes it an exceptionally easy airport to navigate.


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The ground markings are diverse, ranging from standard yellow taxi lines to chequered service roads, and even include distinct lanes for turnback and pushback parking spots. A notable aspect appreciated by many low-cost airlines at smaller airports like Dortmund is the design that allows aircraft to turn around at the gate. This feature not only saves space but also reduces reliance on pushback tugs, enabling planes to dispatch independently without the need for a ground marshal.


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Subtle weathering effects in the parking areas, such as liquid stains and minor cracks in the concrete, contribute to the airport's lived-in feel, avoiding the sterility of uniformly pristine surfaces. The recently renovated parking area stands out with its lighter grey shade, contrasting with the older sections of the taxiways and runway.


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Signage & Foliage

The taxiway markers at Dortmund Airport stand out for their clarity, both during the day and at night, ensuring easy navigation. Additionally, the airport's abundant foliage is strategically placed, contributing positively to the overall ambiance and visual appeal.


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Structures & Facilities

The main airport terminal is modelled with a reasonable amount of accuracy, presenting an impressive view from both airside and landside. Dortmund may not boast the world's most beautiful airport, but its modern terminal, reconstructed between 1998 and 2000, certainly has a distinctive appearance. Unlike some sceneries that feature fully modelled interiors or window transparency, Aerosoft has chosen photo textures for the terminal's exterior, which achieves a realistic effect, albeit without interior visibility. Whilst it works for the most part, I felt some of the texturing could have been better. It's quite satisfactory overall, but a future update could potentially enhance these aspects.


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Beyond the terminal, the attention to airside details is impressive. Situated to the south of the terminal are the helipad, business jet, and maintenance facilities, located on a slightly elevated terrain. Aerosoft has skilfully adjusted the ground mesh here, adding to the overall authenticity. The blast chamber, with its 200° of soundproof blast fencing for engine testing, is a particularly noteworthy detail.


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Surrounding Area
Aerosoft has not only focused on Dortmund Airport but has also significantly enhanced the surrounding area, including a detailed recreation of Dortmund city. This is complemented by high-quality orthophotos, rendered at an impressive 50cm per pixel resolution.

As you head towards the city centre, a recreation of the railway station and numerous city landmarks and buildings comes into view. Although these may not match the airport's terminal in resolution, the use of photo textures ensures each building is recreated with high fidelity. This attention to detail is particularly striking when flying low or gazing out of an airplane window during approach.


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In my experience, some sceneries either neglect city details or, on rare occasions, overshadow the airport itself. Here, however, there's a commendable balance between the airport and its surroundings. While it may not totally rival the satellite imagery and photogrammetry of Microsoft Flight Simulator, the hand-modelled towers in many respects offer a more appealing visual experience. 


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Additionally, Aerosoft has modelled the local gliding airfield, DE-0182 Engsen-Opherdicke. Whilst it’s a relatively modest setup with a few hangars, a club room, and some glider equipment, it's a charming addition to the scenery. This airfield is certainly worth exploring, especially for gliding enthusiasts or those looking for a nearby short field for leisurely flights over the city in a Cessna.


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Night Lighting
The night lighting at Dortmund Airport is particularly noteworthy. The taxiways are lined with the standard blue edge and green centre lights, which provide a clear and vivid guidance system. This becomes even more prominent during night approaches, with the runway lights standing out impressively.


Each gate area is illuminated by overhead floodlights that effectively brighten the surroundings. These lights make excellent use of X-Plane 12’s advanced lighting engine, creating a realistic and visually appealing environment. Their effectiveness is especially appreciated during preparations for flights after dusk, as they ensure the aircraft parking area is well-lit and visibly distinct.


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The performance at both Dortmund's main airport and the surrounding city was consistently smooth, even under challenging weather conditions. I was impressed by the absence of any noticeable frame rate drops, which is particularly commendable given the density of objects and details within the scenery.


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Opinion & Closing Remarks
In conclusion, Aerosoft's Dortmund scenery is a commendable effort, especially considering its coverage, though there's room for improvement, particularly in the detailing of the main terminal area. The buildings, while visually appealing, could benefit from additional refinement, perhaps with some enhancements to the interiors, even if not to the extent of full-scale recreations seen in other sceneries.

On a positive note, Dortmund excels in its performance impact, proving to be incredibly FPS-friendly. The low-poly design of the buildings ensures minimal effect on frame rates, making it an ideal choice for those with lower-spec systems. The recreation of the city region and the included glider field are welcomed additions, adding significant depth and vibrancy to the package. Priced at $22.99, this scenery offers good value, especially when compared to more expensive, top-end airport sceneries. It represents a cost-effective option without compromising quality.

Overall, while there's scope for additional enhancements, Dortmund stands out as a solid mid-tier Aerosoft airport and makes for a worthwhile addition for those looking to enrich their X-Plane 12 experience, particularly with the picturesque city views during approach and departure.






Dortmund XP by Aerosoft is available from the Org store here:


Dortmund XP
Priced at US$22.99



  • Both XP12 and XP11 versions included
  • Detailed rendition of the airport and its surroundings, incl. landmark objects
  • Photo realistic ground textures based on aerial images (50cm/px)
  • All airport buildings and facilities
  • True-to-original navigation aids (ILS, VOR/DME, NDB, ATIS)
  • Excellent night effects
  • True-to-original runway and taxiway lighting
  • Detailed 3D city model of Dortmund incl. colour-corrected 60cm/px aerial image covering the entire city area
  • Authentic rendition of the airfield Hengsen-Opherdicke incl. colour-corrected 30cm/px aerial image
  • The aerial images for Hengsen-Opherdicke can be turned off
  • Autogen covering the area of the aerial image, corrected by hand
  • Animated wind objects: wind turbines and windsocks specific to Hengsen-Opherdicke as well as the helipad the Hospital Centre North
  • Ship traffic at the Dortmund-Ems Canal when using the Seatraffic plug-in by Marginal/Jonathan Harris
  • Volumetric grass, toggleable
  • PBR-based reflecting water surfaces
  • Backup library – runs without add-ons


X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 (both versions supported)
Windows, Mac, or Linux
 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 4 Gb
Current version: 1.0 (XP12, November 21st, 2023)


Reviewers System:

Windows 10 Professional
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Processor

Palit GeForce RTX™ 3080 GamingPro


Scenery Review by Michael Hayward 

26th January 2024

Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews 


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copying of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) 



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  • Dominic Smith changed the title to Scenery Review: Dortmund XP by Aerosoft

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