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Calum Martin

ImagineSim - Shanghai Pudong Intl Airport (ZSPD) Review

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Asia is by far the most growing economy for Aviation. It is constantly turning out huge international airports. Carriers are buying bigger and better aircraft constantly and there’s a growing number of operators. In the world of Flight Simulation, it’s relatively shocking that Asia has only just began seeing airports and scenery packages created for it. Of course, getting the required information for the developers is tough, but that hasn’t stopped ImagineSim from taking advantage of the gap in the market. By creating Shanghai Pudong International Airport, ImagineSim have allowed simmers to begin, end or even stop-over in one of China’s most important airports.

 

 

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Being the most populated City in all of China, Shanghai serves as a vital hub for the country. By operating hundreds of routes across the Globe, there is likely to be several routes of your airliner of choice to allow you to visit Shanghai. With 60 million passengers currently passing through one of the two terminals at Shanghai, it’s certainly a busy airport. Four runways, a vast array of freight operations and intertwining taxiways make for a challenging and varied airport.

 

If you’re familiar with ImagineSim’s previous work, you’ll already have some expectations. Having used their previous sceneries before, I can promise you that Shanghai Pudong International Airport is their best package yet. As you load up the sim, you’ll immediately notice the attention to detail in the runways and nearby taxiways. Without looking at any other aspect of the airport, you already have a ‘feeling’ that this is an add-on of quality. A quick pan of the camera and I am pleasantly shocked by the frame-friendly airport. Despite its size, it holds a nice steady frame rate. However, as soon as I began adding traffic and weather, things began to take a hit. As always with FSX, things need to be in moderation for you to immerse yourself fully.

 

 

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One of the most striking features of the airport is the beautifully designed terminal buildings. Despite being a logistic nightmare for passengers, it’s lengthy, glass-sheltered construction is beautifully rendered in FSX. Passengers and utilities are rendered and textured inside the glass terminals to really make you feel you’re prepping your CDU with hundreds of anxious passengers hounding at your to hurry up. Once you’re done, you can begin boarding. Sadly, by default, the JetBridges don’t work, but AES has you covered. A little disappointing, but not a make-or-break situation.

 

I spent a lot of time taxiing through the sprawling airport. There’s certainly a wide variety of taxiways for you to choose from when arriving or departing. All of them are detailed and correct as per the real-life airport. Included with the package is charts of the airport, but sadly, none of the terminal procedures – although easy to find on the Internet. One of the more sophisticated features of the airport is the use of a Guidance System. Although most scenery packages include them these days, ImagineSim have gone the extra mile. Accurately creating the same guidance system used at Shanghai. Instructions in the manual are very simple to follow and showcases just how detailed the team have made the airport. Different signals represent varying speeds you should be pulling into stand, whilst the typical traffic light system informs the pilots the position of the aircraft to the ideal parking position.

 

 

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As I’ve mentioned earlier, China has been relatively untouched by developers in the Flight Sim community. Fortunately, ImagineSim have provided some excellent high-resolution photoscenery surrounding the perimeter of the airport. As you approach the airport, the ground below you will look incredibly realistic. Using FTX Global, I found it blended in very nicely, despite not being a feature of the airport. It certainly shows the quality ImagineSim were aiming for with Shanghai.

 

Whilst I am impressed with the quality of the day textures, I am less-so with the night textures. Despite some great use of 3D lighting on the runway / taxiways, I find that not enough of the same love and care have been used in creating wonderful night lighting on the buildings themselves. From the screenshots, you can see that the buildings look very bright. I am fully aware of the limitations of the FSX engine, yet other developers have overcome this by creating a slightly darker texture pallet for buildings to compensate. Perhaps, as well, we have been spoilt lately from other developers, but the ground lighting near the aprons again don’t seem to be of high quality. It’s a massive shame, as had ImagineSim managed to get this right, I would find it very hard to find any flaws with the scenery.

 

 

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ImagineSim have really come out their shell with Shanghai. Taking on an airport that so many people have on their wish list, and one that would appear to be hard to get accurate data on, would probably have left people worrying about the final quality of the product. However, I can say without doubt that this is one of the best Asian scenery releases in recent times. From a very fair performance compensation to high quality textures in and around the airport, ImagineSim have proven to be a worthy contender in the Airport Add-On competition. I can only hope the team take on more ‘must-have’ airports in the future!

 

 

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4/5  |  Publisher: SimMarket  |  Developer: ImagineSim |  Price: 24.99EUR

 

Incredible work from the team at ImagineSim. Shanghai is a must have airport if you intend on flying to China. As an easy access airport to the world and Asia, it’s wonderful to see this much detail, but still provide some decent performance. Just be aware it’s still not the highest detailed airport compared to other developers, ImagineSim are certainly getting close.

 

+ Easy to use and quick to install. Also very quick to inject the weather.

+ Great local weather effects based on surrounding terrain and weather.

 

- Night textures on buildings are too ‘bright’.

- Would be nice to see native JetBridge support.

 

 

Purchase ImagineSim’s Shanghai Pudong Intl Airport (ZSPD) Here

 

 

My Specs: 

Processor - 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-3770K Ivy Bridge (OVERCLOCKED TO 4.8GHz)
RAM - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 2133 (PC3 12800)
GPU - GeForce GTX 780 FTW 3GB GDDR5
Mother Board - ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Hard Drives - 2 x 128gb OCZ SSD + 2 x 1tb 7200RPM HDD
Operating System - Windows 7 (64-bit)

 

Add-ons Used In Screenshots: 

Scenery – ImagineSim’s Shanghai Pudong Intl Airport (ZSPD)

Aircraft – Aerosoft’s Airbus A320, PMDG 777-200LR/F/300ERX
Utilities - REX4 Textures, FS Global Real Weather, SteveFX DX10 Fixer (Also tested with DX9), FTX Global

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