A Review by Joe (Mutley) Lawford
Since the release of FSX we have enjoyed a far
superior scenery environment than offered by its
Even with the extras that come with FSX, after a while the scenery starts to get boring and
repetitive, you just can’t help thinking something
is missing. A town, a road, a river perhaps, or just
civilisation in general!
Presently we can overcome this with high resolution
photographic scenery, but these disc space hungry
programs generally only cover limited regions of land.
They can be inconsistent in colour or even have an
unnatural hue that some times just does not blend in.
A worthy alternative to photographic scenery is
replacement default textures, so long as it is done
right. Flight1 in partnership with Scenery Solutions
have released Ultimate Terrain X Europe so here is my
What does it do?
something very clever! Using data sourced from the
Tele Atlas MultiNet Map Database Ultimate Terrain X has
re-introduced those roads, rivers, streams and lost
towns back into flight sim. Those boring lumps of
scenery are transformed into something far more
interesting and believable. If like me you are a
VFR fan then this is a delight to use.
Installation & space requirements
available in boxed and download form.
Unless you have a decent broadband connection don't even
contemplate the download version, having said that my
review copy came from a download with no problems
whatsoever. You have 2 download options, either
download the flight1 proprietary downloader, which can
help if you have drop outs in your connection, or
download directly from a link. Either way the
servers deliver the files efficiently.
Make sure you
download the two files offered as they both are required. At
1.56 Gb the main file is a hefty download so it will
take a while.
The product comes in the familiar Flight1 Ecommerce
wrapper so you don't actually pay for it until you have
have paid and have received your key take a safe back up
of the key. You can now install your product.
Unsurprisingly the installation takes a few minutes but
After installation the configuration manager is
automatically run, this verifies your
installation is good and offers a multitude of
texture variations for the advanced user.
If you cannot be bothered with tweaking then the
default settings are good, very good.
There are a range of basic features you can
switch on (or off) such as extra roads,
railroads, streams land/water class and night
The more adventurous can delve further and
change water hues, road colour and wave style
There are two manuals supplied, one for general
use and one for advanced use that includes
details over how to adjust terrain flattens,
feature widths and texture mappings etc.
This is sure to keep the most inquisitive of
Finally, there is another set up feature that
can help you will set optimise your display
settings in FSX. There is a handy
performance report which also allows you to
amend and save your FSX display settings and see
the impact from this screen.
So what does it change?
different areas of change can be summarised as follows-
Landclass (or land classification)
UTX-E replaces and extends FSX’s 93 different possible
landclass textures, these are the 1km x 1km blocks that
make up our virtual world.
UTX-E has also introduced more variation to
the land class.
•zero-lot line housing (residences with little or no
space between units))
•multi family housing
•commercial activity zones
•shipping grounds (Docks areas etc)
picture below you can see how much of an affect UTX has,
on the "after" picture you will notice a beach appear in
the bottom left corner. At top centre, there is a car
ferry which is depicted in both shots, however in the
UTX version there is a road leading to it.
We can also see the addition of a golf course and more
Water body accuracy is much improved with FSX but it
does leave out a lot of detail outside major
This includes things like
reservoirs and streams; even the coastline detail has
been improved with higher resolution rocky coastline
textures, sandy beaches, concrete piers, freshwater
dams, and manmade breakers.
nice feature is river flattening. In UTX the severe mesh
hugging characteristics of the rivers have been tamed so
they appear much more natural
Waterclass (Water classification, the wet version of
FSX has 60 different waterclass textures. UTX improves
the FSX water by providing 4 different overall waterclass choices:
•Blue water tint
•Plankton/Algae bloom tint
•Muddy water tint
•Muddy water with Plankton bloom tint.
In addition to this you can change the assigned water
textures that are associated with each water type. So
that in the dry season, for example, an area that
floods in the wet season can be seen as grassland in the
dry season. There is also an option for hard winter
water textures that turn those small and medium lake to
The possibilities here could entertain you for hours.
UTX has taken all the available road types from it’s
source data from Tele Altas and used them in their
Previously we could only expect motorways and
major roads. What UTX have done is add in minor and
residential roads. They may not be real-world
accurate but we can see civilisation returning to our
world at last.
UTX has greatly enhanced the default textures with
custom polygons. This means that the road interchanges
look so real, they are surrounded by grass so it fits in
so well with the environment.
Bridges have been given treatment too with an extra
250,000 in Europe alone, these bridges are aligned with
the roads rather than just sat on the landscape like the
UTX has also introduced dark tunnel entrances, where the
road dives underground, a nice touch but I wasn’t
convinced with the dead black entrances, the effect looked better
at night with the entrances having highlights.
With not so may railways as there are roads they are often overlooked but
in UTX they have been
considerably increased in resolution, number and accuracy along with
bridges and huge rail yards. Like the roads, a tunnel will
be produced if the rails disappear into the scenery.
This one will have your jaw dropping. We’ve got street
lights, headlights, tail lights and plenty of light
pollution from the cities! It can be a little
over-bearing with light bloom turned on at close range
but stunning on that approach to your favourite
our way in to LFPG
In addition to the FSX parks and golf courses, UTX is listed as having many other ground polygon features that are
•Grassy, Forest or Concrete areas for landmark features.
haven't seen all of these features yet so I have
plenty to look forward to. It was great to see
the beaches hugging the coasts and more islands especially off the cost of
Norway leading to the fjords!
Although I am not a golf fan, UTX has given the golf
courses a makeover too so they really do blend in and
Extra commercial areas, docks etc
Product Coverage Area
UTX – Europe covers the following European countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy,
Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San
Marino, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.
How does it perform?
machine (See specs below) I couldn't notice any drop in
performance. This is easy to say but not so easy
to prove. One thing UTX-E does do is replace a lot
of autogen (but not all) with its own textures, you will notice
that a lot of those ubiquitous pentagon/polygon shaped buildings
are replaced by roads or other suitable landclass.
The only exceptions to this performance rule is if you opt for loads
of road traffic, bridges and 3d lighting at night (Light
proportion to the improvements in the environment, any
frame rate loss is minimal and acceptable.
a long hard struggle for FSX to gain credibility in many
simmers eyes. I can see this product converting a
lot of people when the see what is achievable. In many
flight-simmers books there is a holy trinity of
environmental add-ons, Active Sky, Flight
Environment, and now, for me, Ultimate Terrain X Europe!
You are going to get more than your *$34.95, €24.10 or
£18.20 out of this one.
* download version
My review machine
UTX Europe links:
MSI Intel 975X
PCI Express Motherboard
Intel E6600 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
4x 512Mb DDR2 667Mhz PC5400
Nvidia 7900GTX 512Mb DDR3 PCI-E
Windows XP Pro SP2
UTX Europe product page