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Scenery Review : Moscow City XP by Drzewiecki Design

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Scenery Review : Moscow City XP by Drzewiecki Design

 

You fly for hours, anticipating your arrival, wanting to take in the area and the views of another country far away from your departure airport. The airport and the area you leave from is detailed and visually full, and you know you have a great airport scenery waiting for you at the other end of the flight, then when you arrive...

 

...  Nothing, but flat plain emptiness and the same boring standard X-Plane basic scenery, worse there is no OSM (Open Street Map) data in the tile either, so there is no road or autogen detailing in there as well, just well nothing.

 

When Drzewiecki Design released their UUEE Sheremetyevo Airport XP, I loved it because it was like a visitor from the Cold War past, the Soviet era, and it was also great scenery and great choice of a destination to fly to from any of the capitals of Europe...  but that was it, just this great airport in the middle of nothingness, bland....   zero ville.

 

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Now Drzewiecki Design has released "Moscow City"  a scenery package to compliment their UUEE Sheremetyevo, and boy how much a difference this release has done to this totally boring area.

 

To get the full first impression effect I flew JARDesign's A320neo from EFHK Vatnaa, Helsinki to UUEE Sheremetyevo which is flight Finnair AY153 which is a daily 9.25am service.

 

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First Impressions

I was surprised to start picking up scenery still quite away out from central Moscow, as I approached my 6000ft transition altitude. Here there was buildings and houses and the physical visual notes you were arriving somewhere.

 

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Looking hard at the horizon through the A320's windows and you could see the iconic silhouette of Moscow city.

 

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The scenery provides lite versions of all Moscow's Airports, this is UUWW Vnukovo, which was easily recognisable as you flew over. As you fly closer to the centre of the city the density of the objects below becomes quite heavy as the landscape fills in. You have all kinds of infrastructure including, blocks of flats, tower blocks, factories, housing, skyscrapers and almost everything that makes up an urban landscape, in all there is 2000 custom-made buildings that makes up this impressive scenery.

 

A note here in that you don't get that rolling as you move feeling effect where as it just suddenly appears in front of you and then quickly disappears behind as soon as you have flown out over the area. There is a slight effect of that as there has to be, but only in the far distance and as you can see from the images the views in every direction are widespread and visually it is very good to excellent.

 

The "Seven Sisters" or "Stalinist skyscrapers" built from 1947 to 1953 are all in the scenery with their "Wedding Cake" architecture or officially Russian Baroque              - Gothic style. Most famous is the Moscow State University, front and centre of the image below.

 

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Central Moscow is excellent and extremely realistic, and you really need a travel guide to pick out the landmarks and detail, but it is hard to miss the Red Kremlin complex and St Peter's square from the air.  Both sides of the aircraft is visually full until you have crossed right over the city.

 

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I am not a fan of the generated 3d OSM scenery, but this is very good in blending in perfectly with the X-Plane default scenery and giving you a smooth transition from country to urban and back again with great realism.

 

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Over the city and turning north towards Sheremetyevo, another Moscow airport UUMU Chkalovsky is represented on the turn.

 

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The city skyline is now easily visible on landing at Sheremetyevo, and that really helps in the arrival factor, more so in that the cities building infrastructure spread now comes up and around the airport to fill the gaps to the city itself, and making the original Sheremetyevo scenery that was so open and lonely in the old X-Plane view is now a big part of the whole in this combination. No doubt it really brings this always good scenery now alive and very usable.

 

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Sheremetyevo Airport

Before we move on to the city itself. It is important to note the area around UUEE Sheremetyevo itself.

 

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Compare the large image above to the earlier image at the start of this review to see the amount of change there is around UUEE Sheremetyevo with the addition of this Moscow City package. The two sceneries are of course meant to be used together, and in reality it would look odd if you had Moscow City scenery installed without the Sheremetyevo scenery included to fill out the northern areas. A highlight is that both sceneries together form a single whole, as the areas between the airport and the central city area are well filled in and that gives you a huge area of coverage and the full visual aspect.

 

To get a closer lower look at the Moscow Center I commandeered Dreamfoil's lovely Bell 407.

 

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There is a 4.000km² total area covered with this scenery here, and you have expect some sort of building replication to cover all that ground. There is of course but as well in the fact there is also enough variations as to not keep it all interesting and not obviously visually obvious.

 

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The closer you go to the central area, the variations in buildings change there is as well. And then more of the iconic buildings start to appear as you get closer to the middle. The business district is excellent, with a lot of business towers and the more modern futuristic skyscraper architecture that stands out in every view point in eye scans across the city.

 

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The more recent is in tune with the more older Stalinist era that makes up the Moscow skyline.

 

The Kremlin Complex and the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed (St Basil's) is excellently represented and so is "Red Square"

 

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There are Orthodox churches everywhere and all the big icons in the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium, Otkrytive Arena and department stores, museums and power stations and more....

 

I did have issues with many buildings floating, including the Kremlin. I tried both "Runways follow terrain contours" on and off with no flattening of the objects and there is no information in the manual either on how to fix the problem.

 

Night lighting is very good, yes there is again a repeatable pattern to the majority of the hundreds of the apartment blocks that does stand out, but the more individual buildings do all have that personal touch and some buildings look really very good.

 

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The highlight here is the business district which looks magnificent and is very realistic from any direction at night as is the lit Stadium.

 

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Although away from the central area the Ostankino Tower that stands 540.1 metres (1,772 ft) tall, and is the tallest freestanding structure in Europe and it looks great at night and is a very good position indicator from the air from any direction.

 

Included Moscow Airports

As noted also included in the scenery are seven airports and several helipads.

 

UUWW Vnukovo

 

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The futuristic Vnukovo International is very good for a lite version, with great terminals and lots of small detailing. Only thing missing is the static aircraft and a bit more ramp equipment, but otherwise it is highly usable.

 

UUDD Domodedovo

 

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The oldest of Moscow's International airports is Domodedovo. Again it is quite devoid of static aircraft and I am not crazy about the blue terminal glass work, but it is still a very workable scenery to use and has a lot of well made objects.

 

UUBW Zhukovsky

 

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Zhukovsky was a major aircraft testing facility since the  cold war years, with most of the major Russian Experimental Design Bureau's having facilities here. It is also now used by the Ministry of Emergency Situations! and cargo carriers. It was also used as a test site for the Soviet Buran  reusable Spacecraft because it has the world's second longest pubic runway at at 5,402 m (17,723 ft). Mostly it is a collection of very large hangars but has a lot of static aircraft in storage.

 

UUMO Ostafyevo International Business Airport

 

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A former military airbase. Ostafyevo features a new modern glass terminal, and caters primarily to business aviation.

 

UUMU Chkalovsky

 

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Chkalovsky is a military logistics airport that is famous for it's support for the Russian Space program and transport to Star City and the Yuri A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center. Yuri Gagarin left here on his final flight before crashing by the town of Kirzhach.

 

UUBM Myachkovo Airport

 

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Myachkovo is a small General Aviation Airport that is owned by the Finpromko company. Cargo aircraft up to the size of the Ilyushin ll-76 freighter can also use the airport.

 

UUMB Kubinka

 

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Kubinka has been a significant Russian military airbase and large airshows are held here to show off the Russian military might.

 

There is also provided UUU1 Kremlin Airport, within the Kremlin walls, but I couldn't get it to work? There are two pads in H1 and H2.

 

Summary

Your first thoughts after reviewing this excellent Moscow scenery is not with this actual package. You then wish that you could have this extensive scenery at London, Rome, Madrid, Berlin and the list could go on with any of your favorite European Cities, and don't count a load in the Middle East and Asia. But a London scenery like this would certainly be a godsend in our X-Plane world. Drzewiecki Design has already done Warsaw and Manhattan, so there is always hope.

 

It is not cheap either and you need to add in their UUEE Sheremetyevo scenery package on top of that as well. But you get an awful lot of ground covered here for your money, with the area covered here that is extensive...  huge and flying into Moscow will never be the same again.

 

A few areas to note in one that in my case a few of the buildings floated, the download is huge load at 1.4gb and this Russian area is not the best for navigation aids and programming FMS units as most waypoints are not recognised. Most of the airports ILS coordinates also have to checked and recalibrated (Drzewiecki Design do provide all the correct coordinates) so there is a little work to do to set up repeat services but the work is worth the results.

 

Not only is the actual Moscow city and all it's buildings supported, you also get seven (if lite versions) of Moscow's other airports included as well, but the framerate processing of all this huge amount of objects and scale is pretty good to excellent. Framerate does hurt more on a lower (helicopter) level and certainly you need a computer with a little extra power is in no doubt required, but overall for the size of the area the scenery is extremely efficient.

 

Yes I was impressed by this Moscow City Scenery, as this once very barren area of X-Plane is now a very attractive repeat destination as nothing can give you a greater fulfilment than seeing your destination appear in the distance and then give you a huge visual experience as you fly over and approach your destination.

 

Moscow City certainly delivers that and more...  Just more sceneries like this please!

 

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Moscow City XP by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Price: $36.00
Scenery features:
  • Extremely detailed model of Moscow metropolitan area in Russia
  • Almost 2000 custom-made buildings and other objects, all high quality, FPS-friendly and with night textures
  • Whole Moscow center done in 3D as well as all other important landmarks - museums, palaces, skyscrapers, towers, bridges, railway stations, Zara stores...
  • Trains, ships, 3D people, cars, airport vehicles, static aircraft - anything you can imagine
  • About 4000 sq.km of photoreal 0,5-1m/pix terrain with autogen
  • Sceneries of all surrounding airports including UUWW Vnukovo, UUDD Domodedovo, UUBW Zhukovski, UUMO Ostafyevo, UUBM Myachkovo and UUMB Kubinka, with all airport buildings, detailed layouts, people, airport vehicles and more
  • Very detailed Kremlin model with newly constructed heliport
 Fully Compatible with   UUEE Moscow Sheremetyevo XP by Drzewiecki Design
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Requirements

X-Plane 10.50+ (any edition)
Windows, Mac, Linux
1Gb VRAM Video Card - 2Gb+ VRAM highly Recommended
Download size: 1.8Gb!
 
 
 
 

 

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Installation and documents:

Download for the Moscow City XP is 1.47gb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" as four files:

 

DDZ Moscow City XP (3.99gb) - Yes GIGABYTES!

DDZ Moscow City XP Layer 2 (30.20mb)

DDZ Moscow City XP Documents (1.0 mb)

ZZZ_DDZ Moscow City XP Terrain (20.10mb)

 

Installation for Windows comes with an .exe installer that deposits the files in the correct order required (however I still moved the ZZZ- folder to the bottom via the INI text install list.

 

Installation Instructions are provided for Mac and Linux

 

You need to check all airports ILS coordinates are correct, instructions are provided.

 

Documents: Two documents include

 

Moscow City XP MacLinuxinstall

Moscow City XP Manual (seven pages)

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Review by Stephen Dutton
26th September 2016
Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.50

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe US$14.95 : WorldTraffic US$29.95

 

Scenery or Aircraft

- Airbus A320neo by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95 : A320neo Sound Packs by Blue Sky Star Simulations (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95

- Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95

 

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