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Australia is one of the largest countries in the world, yet it has only recently been given the acknowledgement it deserves within the flight sim community. Thanks to teams such as ORBX, there’s some beautiful coverage of the country, yet there were still many airports which, quite simply, had never been given quality scenery. Again, ORBX delivered some stunning airports, but the performance of some of them left a lot to be desired. Fly Tampa have always been consistent with their releases. Airport after airport sees both a well performing airport, alongside unbeatable quality. To most, Valentine’s day is about showing love and affection for partners, but for simmers, Valentine’s day 2013 was the day FlyTampa melted the hearts of their fans by announcing Sydney would be coming to Flight Sim in the near future. Just a little over 2 years later, we’re all ready to go down under. Sydney, as a city is important for many reasons. Being the most populated city in Australia and the State Capital of New South Wales obviously attracts visitors from all over the Globe. It’s home to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and of course, the Sydney Opera House – quite simply, it’s a beautiful and rich city. The airport itself is the only major airport within the city, and sees nearly 40 million passengers a year. It’s amazing, it has taken this long to be faithfully recreated within our Flight Sim products. To be perfectly honest, when FlyTampa announced their development on the primary hub for Qantas, it just all felt perfect. I couldn’t think of a better developer to bring this huge airport to life. Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (YSSY) has three runways, with a maximum length of 12,999ft – meaning that long haulers will of course comfortably be able to fly their long distances. Being on the far east of Australia, expect to be able to fly direct to the West Coast of the USA, New Zealand and Hawaii quite easily. Even direct flights from the middle-East and Asia are all possible in your long range aircraft. As a result, VAS and Frame Rates are normally at the forethought of people’s minds. After extensive testing and a range of settings, I can confirm that it should not be a worry. Providing you use ‘appropriate’ settings, and it’s relative to your hardware, you will have similar frame rates to that of other FlyTampa scenery. Thanks to the configuration options, you can easily select what features you want on or off. Find that 3D grass gives you poor performance? Turn it off. Want to see little fishermen on the coast during approach, turn them on. You have plenty of options to fine tune it to suit your system, which is definitely a win-win solution for everyone. In regards to VAS usage, I had no troubles. I have modest settings (but my Simulator still looks fantastic), and I have installed the LITE package (sets textures to 1024, instead of the default value of 2048). Even with VAS heavy add-ons such as the PMDG 777 and MyTraffic 6, I never got close to being out of memory. It’s a little more intensive than some scenery packages, but you have to remember exactly how much detail FlyTampa have gone with Sydney. Speaking of detail, remember those Fishermen I mentioned? Well, how would you like to add sharks, moving traffic, static aircraft, traffic lights and much more to improve the visual quality? There’s so much attention to detail it is unbelievable. There’s moving fans in the rooftops of some buildings and plenty of puddles along the taxi ways. Dirt is spread throughout the airfield, as well as stones and concrete to really immerse you in the experience. Texturing aside, the modelling is quite simply, the best I have ever seen in a Simulator. The famous control tower at Sydney has been authentically recreated, and to the finest of detail. You genuinely could mistake it for the real thing. It has the perfect geometry, scaling and texturing. I remember when the first image of the control tower was released, and I had a hard time guessing which was the Sim and which was real – I still have that same problem now. Alongside the configurator, is the opportunity to change the seasons accordingly. Texturing changes depending on the month you chose, which again, just helps to differentiate FlyTampa from the rest of the competition. Not only have they done an excellent job with the airport, but they’ve also worked hard to make sure the surrounding area also. There’s plenty of satellite imagery that has been used to create some really good and detailed ground textures. There’s also been some work done to the nearby buildings within Sydney. Although it doesn’t extend too far from the airport, it’s enough to keep you immersed during the approach into Sydney (and also the departure). It is obvious that I think FlyTampa have done a remarkable job on Sydney. With a range of terminals fully created, beautiful artwork and texturing and mind-blowing model work – this ranks as one of the best created add-on packages for Flight Simulation. With excellent performance (considering its size and location) and moderate memory usage, Sydney will be the new number 1 spot for short and long haulers alike. It may be far away from home (for some of you), but it’s certainly worth the trip. See you down under! Purchase FlyTampa’s Fly Tampa Here