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Lugano X
For FSX/P3D Published by Aerosoft
Reviewed by Mikael Stockfors
August 2013

The city Lugano in the south of Switzerland, a short 10 minute flight in a small propeller plane away from the Italian metropolitan area of Milan, is a city with a population of around 60 000 people. It’s located on the northern shore of Lake Lugano inside the valley of the Lugano Prealps, and to be honest a more or less black spot on the map for me (honestly, if it wasn’t for the fact that the local hockey team had a Swedish head coach a few years back, which meant it was mentioned in the sports pages, I would probably never have heard of it before).

The airport serving the city has been modeled in great detail for FSX (and X-plane) by developers Fly Logic and the scenery was published by Aerosoft in April 2012.

Download and installation

The download version comes in a 202 mb zip-file (the scenery is also available as a boxed product), and once installed it will occupy just over 300 mb of hard drive space.

Download speeds from the Aerosoft server are fast, and even on my fairly slow ADSL connection the download didn’t take long to finish. The installation process follows the standard Aerosoft installation procedure, and as long as you follow the on-screen instructions and have your key-code ready, it won’t take you long to get the scenery installed. It’s worth noting that the scenery doesn’t require activation within the Aerosoft Launcher, in fact it doesn’t even show up in it.

After installation you will find a new entry in your start menu called Fly-Logic where you can find the documentation, charts and a small utility for enabling/disabling traffic in and around the airport.


The documentation comes in two PDF-files, the first is a manual consisting of 44 pages that, in four different languages, covers some history of the airport, which planes are certified for operating in and out of Lugano, the area that the scenery covers and where to go for support. The second document is an 11 page PDF with all the charts you need if you want to fly “by the book”.

The manual doesn’t really cover anything important as to how to use the scenery, but on the other hand there aren’t really special features in it which need explaining. The charts on the other hand are most essential if you want to fly anything larger than a Twin General Aviation airplane in to the airport.

The scenery

Let’s start with what the airport looks like by default in FSX. The two images found below are from the default scenery, one is the representation of the AFCAD as seen in FS Commander and the second is taken from the south side of the airport just above the shores of the lake. At this point I should also inform my readers that in addition to the scenery up for review I also have FS Global, UTX Europe and FScene X installed.

FSC LSZA Default

LSZA Default comparison

Compared with many default airports it looks like a fairly detailed airport even in its default shape, but let’s move on with two comparisons with the Fly Logic Lugano X installed.


LSZA Lugano X comparisson

Comparing the AFCAD representation from FS Commander, as expected, there is a lot more detail in the Lugano X version, most notably in the northern part of the airport and the parking spaces in front of the main terminal. Looking at the screenshot comparison the increased detail becomes even more evident. The ground textures are sharp and crisp and the buildings correspond well compared to real world images. In most cases both 3D-models and the textures on the buildings and the other objects used in the scenery are of good quality, but some vehicles found in the parking lot outside the airport are of lower quality.

Terminal area landside

Terminal area airside

Tower car parking terminal

Shed for airport vehicles

Judging from the documentation and what I can see in the simulator the scenery is limited to the airport and the areas in close proximity, but the city itself isn’t enhanced in any way. Whilst I didn’t expect to see the whole city modeled in the scenery it would have been nice if the scenery had extended a bit further out from the airport boundary.

There are however a few objects placed further out of the airport, and these are very important if you didn’t do you flight planning correctly and arrive here after the sun has set. On the peaks of most of the high hills surrounding the airport you will find a red light to warn you where not to fly. At least five of them are visible in the image below.

Night approach

As far as performance in FSX I found that the scenery had very little, if any, effect on my frame rates.

Flying into Lugano

The Approach into Lugano is a tricky one. The approach is always made from the south, regardless of what runway you will land on. The localiser takes you over a 3,700 feet high chunk of land, and once you pass over the ridge you only have about 4 nm to get yourself down to the runway at 915 feet elevation.

During the course of this review I tried the straight in approach for runway 01 in both the PMDG BAe J4100 and the Majestic DHC Dash 8 and both attempts ended with a Go-Around.

On approach

On approach 2

Flying in visually in a GA aircraft is easier, but if you follow the localiser it’s a much steeper approach than you expect. One little quirk to look out for is the dual PAPI-lights for runway 01. The one furthest south is for a 4.7 degree approach and the second one is for a steeper 6 degree approach.

I didn’t even dare try the circle to land procedures for runway 19 in anything bigger than a Cessna 172, and while it’s not as tight as the one into Innsbruck it’s still a challenge to get right.

View to the north summer

View to the south winter

Final thoughts and conclusions

I found Airport Lugano X to be a very nice rendition of a small regional airport in a stunning setting. The quality of the models and ground textures are good, as are the night lights. The setting in a deep valley also makes it a difficult place to fly to if you do it by the book.
I shall certainly revisit Lugano in the future and I hope you will join me.

 Verdict:   silver
• Level of detail : 8.0/10
• Performance : 10/10
• Scenery coverage: 7.5/10
• Quality of buildings: 8.0/10
• Documentation: 8.0/10
• Value for money: 8.0/10
Mutley’s Hangar score of 8.3/10, with an "Highly Recommended" and a Mutley's Hangar Silver Award!

Mikael Stockfors
Review machine Spec:
Intel Core i7 860 @ 2.8GGhz | 16 gb DDR III Ram @ 1600 mhz | GTX 560 TI OC 1GB Graphics |Windows 7 64bit Pro