Dream Factory Studio Geneva Coitrin
By Fred Ďmulletmaní Clark


A little winter wonderland.
 

I have been to the real Geneva twice now. Both times for a skiing holiday and both times the number of winter charter aircraft at the airport reached extreme heights. With its large apron, equipped including 3 satellite buildings and a 12,750ft runway, this airport more than capable of handling all the traffic that comes through.

The airport is ideally suited to ski charters, and is the main airport for a large portion of the Alps ski resorts. It shares the charters with Lyon. French skiers need not worry about customs problems that they could avoid at Lyon either providing they remain in the French sector of the airport, as the airport runs along the French-Swiss border, and therefore
 

Of course in the summer, there is no snow! And so the number of charters slows up. The airport is still busy though, with it being one of EasyJets major Hubís, and a lesser one for Swiss International Airlines. There is also a large number of private jets there, due to Geneva, and Switzerland being a major business city/country, and the airports proximity to the centre of Geneva (3 miles) and its rail links to Zurich and Swiss capital Bern.
 

As you taxi about the airport, or catch the bus form your parked aircraft to the terminal, any number of business jets can be seen coned off. Infact, it was something special to see 2 beautiful snow-framed 737BBJís parked up after I landed there earlier this year.

The airport is also a European Union freight HUB, despite Switzerland not being a member of the EU, as the freight operations are accessible form both countries. Farnair Switzerland and TNT base themselves at the airport, but many other cargo airlines make regular appearances.

                  Sunrise in Geneva. The lake is filling.

 

A small 2,700ft grass runway sits parallel to the airports main runway (5/23) and caters for the GA aircraft that fly into GVA. For this reason, if you fly about in commercial aircraft, private jets or GA, you will find many aircraft similar to your type when you land at Cointrin. Be aware though that it will not take long for improper flying practices to be processed at GVA, as the IATA (International Air Transport Association) has a headquarters there.
 

As you approach the airport, the aircraft flies through stunning scenery. The approach to runway 23 takes us right over the sight that is Lake Geneva. Looking across the airport form the terminal (facing north) air airport finds itself with a backdrop of mountains, and it almost seems like the airport is the only flat part of land nearby. And so, with all this scenery around, you have to ask why the major developers have not produced several versions of this airport.
 

Before DFS decided to take on Geneva, there was Airport Geneva 2004. This, apart form a freeware version was the only scenery fully compatible with FS2004, and although good, it wasnít up to the current standards of Airports that we are seeing from FlyTampa and Cloud 9. One way of upgrading your looks of Geneva was buying Switzerland Pro. Unfortunately this was very expensive, and although groundbreaking, wasnít worth the price if you only wanted it for Geneva. And even if you did get it, you were sill left with default scenery.
 

There are 3 satellites, which normally find themselves occupied with easyJet aircraft. 2 have (no operational in the scenery) jet ways.


But thankfully, a long overdue new version has been created. DreamFactoryStudio is a new name on the scenery scene, but the person behind it certainly isnít. His work is well known and well respected, being found in the Sim-Wings sceneryís Ė Scandinavian Airports, France 2 and Islands of Malta being highlights. The new GVA scenery is fully compatible with Switzerland Pro, but looks just the same with default scenery, or Ground Environment which I am using.
 

I got it from Simmarket, who, at the moment are the only available retailer. This is not a complaint as their service was fast and efficient. There is a link to the purchase page at the bottom of this review.
 

Installation was completely painless and after a quick read through the 3 page manual I loaded up and got ready to fly. It would have been nice to have charts ready for the airport with the scenery, but unfortuntulatly there are none. It would be nice to have an English speaking tester proof read the manual, as there are a number of errors.(At Mutleys Hangar are very picky about spelling and grammar)The exclude zone of the airport is large. It took away most of my autogen in the surrounding areas. Although this good for frame rates, itís horrible for looks. In general the frame rates are very high, and I had no problem on approach, even in the frame hogging add-ons, such as Captainsim and PMDG. The airport detail does pop up later than I would like, but its all there at about 10nm out.
 

On the forum (which a link for is placed in your start menu on install) there are exclude files that reduce the area that appears flat. The bad news is that they donít reduce it enough, and there are still large flat pieces of land. To be quite honest I didnít notice much difference between the original files and the new ones.

 

Just to complicate matters further the number of stickyís on the support forum, which is hosted by Simflight, is humongous. Last time I checked there were 4 stickyís and 9 announcements. The information these posts contain could often be condensed into one post (and would benefit from doing so) and more often then not the information is confusing to the inexperienced user. The actual posts from people with support questions follow similar conventions, and there are 2 topics constantly arising. ďCould you tighten the flatten more?Ē and ďabout the AFCADÖĒ
 

Cargo terminal. Parking can be a bit tight sometimes. The interesting tower design overlooks the departing aircraft. Anyone for lunch?


The latter comes because of some problems found with the AFCAD file, that could be solved but havenít yet. AI aircraft are not assigned to specific gates, which although wont affect users with no traffic, its something I would love to have. Also; aircraft cannot take off runway 23. They seem to taxi into position and sit there. The user aircraft can then happily be given clearance to takeoff or land. Apparently this is due to the fact that the hold point is missing. I was also given some interesting routes to get to my stand after landing. This included a trip across the grass runway in my 737!
 

A lot of developers are playing with animation, and so at Geneva we see follow me cars, baggage cars and the like zipping around the aprons. Unfortunately some of these seem to pop up in unexpected places, like randomly on a taxiway, then taxi right in front of your aircraft, and disappear again. I like having the animation there, but would prefer it if it came form a location we cant see, and then used routes that we would either be unlikely to taxi over or are out of the way.
 

So far itís not sounding like the greatest package in the world. But I would like to point out, that despite its bugs; Geneva has a number of factors that do make it worth buying.

 

The first is the fact that on the airport itself, detailing is superb. The textures are very high resolution and always enjoy taxing into my stand. Right down to wear and tear. Some yellow lines look really worn, and like they need repainting! Any words (such as the stop marks for the aircraft types) are very legible. The textures on building and vehicles are also of a very high quality.
 

Night falls at the bus terminal. Night falls on the airport, and the apron is lit by terminal lights.


You will not be left in the dark at night either. Full night lighting is included. The lighting around the terminal buildings may not be to everyoneís taste, but it does serve its purpose well. Cars headlights also illuminate at night, just so you donít taxi into them, and taxiway lighting is perfectly balanced between visible and garish.
 

Ground textures blend in well with the surroundings. This is another point worth mentioning. Although the exclude zone is very large, I donít feel I am missing it when I fly in. Maybe this is because I am using Ground Environment, but it is not as apparent as I first thought it would be. Many trees are placed on the airport boundary, so that the lack of autogen does not make it feel that you are looking out onto a desolate landscape.
 

I would go as far to say that apart form the strange animations airside, the airport is perfect, and this is the most important thing about the airport, as thatís the place you spend the most time!
 

With a single service pack to fix the bugs and visual problems I have mentioned this airport really could be scenery that you must get. I would certainly say that itís a must have for any Switzerland pro flyers, as it will add an immense amount
 

I am very happy with this scenery and will be making many more approaches onto the massive runway throughout the year. Very few buyers will be disappointed. An FSX update was planned, but Cornel (the man behind DFS) cannot get his FSX frame rates up to a useable level, so there wonít be one just yet, but this scenery certainly gives life to a destination I havenít properly explored in either simulator.

 


Mulletman's photo gallery - Click on image to see full size.

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Sunrise in Geneva. The lake is filling. South west end of the airport, with Lake Geneva behind. Airport detailing is of a very high quality. Power lines are something to avoid. Looking down only the superb ground textures

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Seasonal changes (Autumn/Summer/Winter/Spring) Approach lights are nicely modelled (Runway 23) Monitoring the taxiway near the runway 5 hold point. The grass runway on the opposite side of the airportÖ

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..And the GA terminal next to it. Night falls on the airport, and the apron is lit by terminal lights. Buses wait to take passengers to their aircraft. Notice the headlights. The stopping system. These seem semi pointless without active air bridges, unless you want to park without using the external view.
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Follow me car (which is poorly animated, but well modelled), and taxiway details. Look at the wear and tear! Cargo terminal. Parking can be a bit tight sometimes. Not as much ground clutter as I would like, but thatís a minor criticism. Sometimes the seasonal textures are incorrect. Here there is no snow around the airport.
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The interesting tower design overlooks the departing aircraft. Anyone for lunch?  You could easily get lost dropping passengers off for their flight. Charters are common at GVA, Monarch being one of the main charter airlines.
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There are 3 satellites, which normally find themselves occupied with easyJet aircraft. 2 have (no operational in the scenery) jet ways. An AI A320 pulls away form Genevaís only runway capable of handling such aircraft. The car types are easily identifiable. Although there is plenty of parking available. Detailing goes right up to the very edge of the airport, but unfortunately thatís as far as it goes.
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That little white truck is horribly animated. It disappears at the bottom of this shot and appears at the top (travelling along that road) A new thing for scenery developers in this grass. Adding more dimension to the flat fields around runways. Rain wonít stop you. The runway is equipped with CatIIIb ILS systems. One reason Geneva is so popular is the World Trade Centre, on site.

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Links:

Dream Factory Studio.
SimMarket product page.

Geneva Airport.

Night falls at the bus terminal.

This area is now taken up by a fire training craft, which would make a nice addition.    
   
  Mutley says.. . . .

Thanks to Fred for this review.

Looks as though SimMarket will be getting an order from me!

  

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