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Scenery Update : LSZA Lugano Airport XP11 by Aerosoft

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Scenery Update : LSZA Lugano XP11 by Aerosoft

 

It was one of those weird moments. I have wanted to checkout LSZA - Lugano scenery by Aerosoft for simply ages and it was just to see how it looked now in X-Plane11. Lugano is special in a way to me, because it was the very first payware scenery I had professionally reviewed. That then is noted on how long ago LSZA Lugano has been actually released (2011) and it was also one of the first (actually the second released) scenery that Aerosoft did release for X-Plane as well. It felt like a very long time ago and in X-Plane years I suppose it is.

 

So flying into the original Lugano Airport (from Zurich LSZH) I found it was actually showing it's age in X-Plane11, it felt old and and also a little tired, but the great features and the details that I remembered are all still there, it was then as it is now still a great scenery.

 

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LSZA Lugano XP11 by Aerosoft

And so just a few weeks after my catchup encounter with LSZA - Lugano, Aerosoft then released the updated version for X-Plane11. Aerosoft has been extremely busy lately with updating a lot of their original sceneries and converting them for X-Plane11.

 

Although and as we will see with this Lugano scenery, is that most of the basic scenery is still original. These newer converted sceneries are however very much more X-Plane friendly and use all of X-Plane's features to a better degree than any of the earlier releases which are really just straight out converted sceneries from the Flight Simulator versions. To a point that was the issue with most earlier Aerosoft sceneries in that they had no idea on how X-Plane actually works and they all had very limited X-Plane involvement and interaction, it still happens as with their recent release for Bali. But with most of these newer conversions they are now done by a gifted X-Plane developer called Omar Masroor, and that makes a significant difference and why they are now far better to use as X-Plane dedicated scenery and have far better active features.

 

Lugano Approach

Flying into LSZA is challenging. The airport is situated at the head of Lake Lugano and deep into the foothills of the European Alps. So the approach is not anything but straight on directly to the airport, but there is a sort of S curve course into RWY01. RWY19 is even harder as the descent is very steep so most approaches are usually over water into RWY01. There is a ILS approach (111.50 ILU) for RWY01 but this is a difficult steep 6oooft at a 6.65º glideslope and as required the slow approach speed here is critical because of the short 4429ft (1350m) 01/19 runway at the end of the slope, and with a steep approach like that you are really hard pressed to hold on to a 60knt speed.

 

So you sorta "peek-a-boo" your way in around the headland to the hidden LSZA airport (arrowed).

 

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This is not the official way in but the easiest. Speed and height are critical and 80knts down to you dare 60knts stall zone with 1000ft required right on the money as you line up with 01.

 

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The small outcrop on your left gives you a perfect lineup to the centreline if you hit correctly the boundary on where the land bump hits the lake you will align up nicely to RWY01.

 

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From then on it is all nerves and a steady focused hands on the controls to watch out for sudden wind shifts from around the mountains to keep your path straight.

 

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As with most approaches like these in real life you need a special rated certificate to land at Lugano and I can see why. Throttle control is vital to get the landing point just right over the end of the runway trees, and you have to hit that runway start line on the money or it is a "go-around and try again" situation. I know the approach very well but it still worked me hard to hit that line....  but I did.

 

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Once down on the hard stuff it was then fingers crossed to rub off the speed. You are restricted on what you can land at LSZA, Jets are usually out, but small to medium prop regional's are usually okay. The B1900D is perfect.

 

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There is a turn point at the end of RWY01, but none at the end of RWY19 and even then the turning area is tight.

 

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But that is the attraction of LSZA, it is a great challenge to get it totally right and fly into the airport.

 

LSZA Lugano Overview

 

Lugano Airport
Aeroporto di Lugano

IATA: LUG - ICAO: LSZA

 

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01/19 4,658ft (1,420m) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL 915 ft / 279 m

 

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There is a major mesh issue at Lugano. This is created at a join of two tiles in the X-Plane mesh that don't quite join up with the same elevation data. So what you get are holes in the mesh. It is to be noted it is not the Aerosoft scenery that is the issue here, the scenery is correct and tested.

 

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There is no doubt on the origin of this LSZA scenery as it is crossed over from Flight Simulator scenery. That is a good thing and an adverse thing for the scenery in X-Plane. As noted LSZA is old by X-Plane standards but older still again by it's FS design. In areas it looks it's age, but in most areas it is still a very high quality scenery...  in fact its design is actually quite endearing but you will need a fairly high setting of your texture quality to bring out detail, anything less will give give you a slight blur on all your buildings and objects.   

 

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Lugano Airport was one of my first walk around airports. This is in the fact that the scenery is so detailed you look around the airport from real eye level and explore the airport from that viewpoint.

 

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At the time in 2011 it was and had the total "wow" factor, it still does give you that realistic feeling, but scenery has also come a very long way in the intervening years, as this was then early X-Plane10 and you didn't then have a lot of extremely high quality scenery to compare scenery against scenery with.

 

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It was this older texture aspect that made it feel old when checking out the original scenery out a few weeks ago. There no doubt about the great 3d modeling, but the textures are still old as well even if they are very good. Not much has changed there in the XP11 version as the textures have had no attention, but it is X-Plane11's features have added in another aspect that saves the buildings from that original outdated feel.

 

The X-Plane11 reflection feature brings the glass areas to life, and helps a lot in the overall feel of the buildings.

 

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The expansive glass hangar doors on the RUAG maintenance hangars benefit the most from the reflections as the areas covered in reflections are large.

 

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Another bonus is that you now also have the 3d grass feature. All the grass areas now have great grass and if you wish you can disable it for framerate savings, but I found out that to switch is very negligible and the effect of the grass on is excellent.

 

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The ATC ground routes and ramp starts have all been completely revised up to current standards for X-Plane's A.I., X-Life and World Traffic3.

 

Originally Lugano Airport came with a separate static aircraft package, but with the new ATC ground route layouts you don't need it any more, but to remind yourself to pull it out of your custom folder if you are updating from the older version.

 

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But Lugano creates major difficulties for these traffic systems even if the ground networks are perfect of which they are here. Problem number one is that LSZA is situated in a deep valley and all the approaches require very significant descents or climbs from a high position to allow a landing. Secondly is the fact that Lugano as an airport in frequency is not an overwhelmingly a busy place. So put the two together and LSZA is not going to generate a lot of action.

 

Running World Traffic3 creates a lot of aircraft flying overhead as they couldn't master the complex approach. Occasionally one does actually work it out and lands, but not very often. So you do get this gradual departure loss as aircraft depart and don't return to fill in ramp spaces. Settings for the ramp is to be worked out as well, because above the 50% percentage of the parked aircraft ratio, it fills LSZA out full to the brink of aircraft?  A great bonus of WT3 is that it does select the correct aircraft and operator (Darwin) with Saab 2000's for Lugano and so it does look authentic.

 

The "Migros" supermarket, petrol station and "UBS World Trade Centre" buildings are still untouched, but the areas around them have been cleaned up and all the cars updated to the current X-Plane default 3d versions and look significantly better.

 

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All buildings are quite basic and are still the older FS designs, but they still do the job of filling in the scenery very well. The small industrial area/farm to the east and the hangar with the still for lease factory at the end of RWY19 are still also all the same original quality.

 

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The ground textures (orthphotos) are noted as being refined, but they look exactly the same as the earlier versions to me.

 

Lighting

The lighting has been upgraded to X-Plane as well, with all the areas now using the X-Plane effects for better light coverage on the ramps and building areas. Approach lighting is really good, but who wants to fly around Lugano in the dark?

 

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The building texture lits are a mixed bag. From the good terminal building photo textures to the really average older FS style flat colour textures on certain buildings.

 

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The scenery gets away with it, but only just, with no X-Plane ramp lighting it would have been now a quite average scenery at night overall.

 

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Again you have to have your fairly high settings of your texture quality set to the maximum to get it anywhere near passable...  and then just.

 

Summary

LSZA - Lugano will always have a place in my heart as scenery. It is where it is positioned with that challenging arrival and also the feeling of being here.

 

It was a complete revelation on its release, but remember even then it was an adapted Flight Simulator scenery and still in areas like buildings and lighting it still shows.

 

The biggest change here in the XP11 version is mostly from the the X-Plane Simulator itself and its great active features. Lighting, reflective glass, ground routes, 3d vehicles and parking areas with better vegetation in grass and foliage are all added, but most of the work by a designated official X-Plane developer who has used his skills and has cleaned the whole scenery up of its foibles and odd items that were present in the original release, in other words it has been cleaned up and refined to X-Plane's current standards, and that is not overall a bad thing.

 

If you already have he original version of Aerosoft's LSZA - Lugano Airport then there is a still lot that is similar including the buzzy textures, but the changes with this update does do the scenery a great service and make it a more modern and current scenery and even far better version than the release version and at a cheaper price as well...  So this XP11 version gives Lugano Airport a new life and a better place in our current simulator for it's uses and now it has more in its better activity and dynamic features and that can't be a bad thing... 

 

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Yes! the Scenery Update for LSZA Lugano XP11 by Aerosoft Is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore! :

 

Airport Lugano XP11
 
Price is  US$19.95

 

This is a new initial upgrade product for XP11, so there are no deals or upgrade vouchers from the earlier version. It is only a new full purchase.

 

Features:

  • Highly detailed airport scenery of Lugano
  • High resolution photo textures for the 3-D models
  • Glass reflections of glass surfaces on buildings
  • XPlane 11 ground vehicles with appropriate lanes added
  • X-Life compatibility
  • Revised taxi routes for better compatibility with X-Live and X-Plane's own AI traffic
  • Revised ramp starts for a correct placement of the aircraft. The ramp starts now support the "Show parking aircraft" feature
  • Stratification of roads added for X-Plane road traffic
  • Old cars in the parking lots replaced by the better X-Plane-own vehicles
  • Some parking vehicles and floodlights are added
  • Duplicate X-Plane's own Navaid objects removed
  • Unnecessary files were removed
  • Revised objects for 3D grass
  • Possibility of switching off the 3D grass for optimum performance
  • All airport buildings as they are in real life
  • New vegetation details with approx 20.000 grass polygons
  • Night lighting in real time
  • Sloped runway
  • Manual and charts

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11 

Windows, Mac or Linux
2GB VRAM Minimum - 4GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 45Mb (yes only 45mb!)
 
WT3 : Traffic layouts are fine and the app will generate the correct WT3 ground routes. The airport however is difficult for its bottom of a valley position and irregular traffic patterns, so you don't get a lot of activity.

 

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Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton

17th October 2017

Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews

 

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

 

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 11.05

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

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.7 US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- Beechcraft B1900D HD Series XP11 by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95

 

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