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Calum Martin

JetStream Designs Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport (LFJL) Review

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When I began reviewing Flight Simulation products, one of my first airports I was lucky enough to fly with was JetStream Designs’ Marseille Provence Airport. If you go back to that review, you’ll see just where this fantastic developer started. Although detailed, it lacked that polish and ‘wow’ factor that so many developers had been achieving for a while now. Shortly after the release of Marseille, JetStream Designs announced that they would be covering Little Rock National Airport over in the States. To my surprise, the quality between before and after was as clear as night and day. With that in mind, has further development research mean that Metz-Nancy-Lorraine (shortened to just Metz-Nancy Airport from now on) is JetStream’s best work yet?

 

A little research into Metz-Nancy suggests that this isn’t your typical large regional airport. Instead, this middle-ground airport replaced two previous airports in the Lorraine Region of France. As a result, in 1991, Nancy-Essay and Met-z-Frescaty airports closed its doors. Many cargo carriers then used the airport as a hub due to its great location and easy access. However, in 2006, DHL stopped using Metz-Nancy airport and it was feared the airport would be of little use. Luckily, thanks to a runway expansion, larger aircraft could now visit the airport. As a result, many airlines operate seasonal flights to and from, providing a nice array of destinations for the 300,000 yearly passengers to fly to.

 

 

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Despite being a great location, for Flight Simmers who enjoy operating realistic routes to and from airports, this really is a shortfall for the scenery. The lack of high-profile airliners and range of routes will find limited use for the airport. Albeit some typical European destination, there’s very little to cater to. Unless, of course, you enjoy flying Freight routes, then the large cargo areas in the airport will be of great use to you. It all depends on your flying style as to whether you use Metz-Nancy frequently.

 

As the sun raises over the hills of Lorraine, JetStream proves itself already with some excellent night lighting. This is by far their best representation of night-lighting yet. Everything has a nice glow of orange from the nearby light fixtures, but provides enough shadow to blend in nicely with the dark skies. The ground near the terminals are lit up extremely nicely and again, provides a wonderful glow. Lamps, taxiway signs and runway lights are, again, textured extremely nicely. It makes waking up early to enjoy the beautifully done texture work worthwhile.

 

 

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After the first wave of departures leave and the internal flights begin to arrive, daylight has already hit Metz-Nancy airport. The detail on the new runway extension far exceeds anything JetStream Designs have managed to achieve before. The texturing is clean, clear and crisp. The yellow and grainy tint from their previous work is now gone and it finally feels like a ‘real’ runway. I can almost envisage that this is what the runway looks like in real-life – and I can assure you that this isn’t easily done.

 

The surrounding texturing and satellite imagery is also very detailed and the highest quality yet from JetStream. The greenery, dirt and nearby fields are all visible during the approach and matches the atmosphere of the airport perfectly. From my screenshots, you can see an obvious difference between the airport’s satellite ground textures and ORBX’s FTX Europe OpenLC. Now whilst I don’t expect every developer to create ground textures matching the colour tone of every product out there, I would expect some blending to be accounted for, at least for default FSX. A quick try and saw that there was a stark difference in texture colour. Maybe we can see an improvement on this part next time from JetStream.

 

 

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Something that did impress me greatly was the attention given on the landside sections of the airport. Although secondary to the airport, the detail given to nearby buildings and the car park is greater than most payware developers currently. Maybe the smaller sized and simplicity of the airport allows for performance, but it’s great to see a smaller developer take on the task and raise the bar.

 

As usual, the modelling work from JetStream is detailed and performance friendly. Everything from small little houses to the large main terminal buildings have been faithfully recreated here. The detail is also improving on each release. You see each window, door and air vent has been carefully created to the highest standard. Improving on their techniques, Metz-Nancy is incredibly easy on the frame rate both day and night – so regardless of your flying style and your machine, Metz-Nancy will work and look great.

 

 

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Without a doubt, Metz-Nancy Airport is JetStream Designs’ best work yet. The level of detail, the fantastic performance and the accessibility of the airport definitely demands the attention of any Simmer who is serious about their French sceneries. The improvements the team have made over the last year has been nothing short of amazing and I encourage anyone to check out Metz-Nancy. A few short comings with blended texturing certainly won’t stop me from doing a few circuits around this fantastic airport.

 

UPDATE 04SEP2014:

 

After speaking to the developer and also referring back to the manual, had noticed that my settings for some of the screenshots weren't high enough to display some of the ramp activity and a few of the buildings.

 

After fine-tuning my settings, I can confirm, with a high scenery complexity, you will have some wonderfully rendered static aircraft populating the otherwise barren airport. You'll also have a few more well designed buildings, which provides a more realistic, and life-like representation of the airport. Of course, because JetStream have done such a great job, this comes at no performance hit whatsoever.

 

 

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4/5  |  Developer: JetStream Designs |  Publisher: SimMarket  |   Price: 14.95EUR

 

PURCHASE METZ-NANCY-LORRAINE AIRPORT HERE

 

Developer JetStream Designs have really stepped up their design with Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport. Everything from the excellent night lighting to the new and improved ground texture work ensure that JetStream are a developer to keep a close eye on. Regardless of their next project, I’m sure I’ll be there.

 

+ Fantastic performance with such a detailed airport.

+ Texturing and modelling work is excellent.

 

- Limited number of airlines / routes for ‘realistic’ simmers.

- Ground textures don’t blend into FSX well. 

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UPDATE 04SEP2014:

 

After speaking to the developer and also referring back to the manual, had noticed that my settings for some of the screenshots weren't high enough to display some of the ramp activity and a few of the buildings.

 

After fine-tuning my settings, I can confirm, with a high scenery complexity, you will have some wonderfully rendered static aircraft populating the otherwise barren airport. You'll also have a few more well designed buildings, which provides a more realistic, and life-like representation of the airport. Of course, because JetStream have done such a great job, this comes at no performance hit whatsoever.

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