Hands up, who has any idea where Bornholm is? I
certainly didn't when Vidan Design asked Mutley's Hangar is we
would like to review any of their products.
Bornholm airport is located about 3nm south-east of Ronne on the island of Bornholm in Denmark. It's a fairly small island in the Baltic Sea with an area of around 225 square miles and a population of 42,000. Despite it's small size the airport has scheduled flights to south-eastern Europe, Spain and Norway. The airport has a 2km long ILS-equipped runway, so is well equipped to handle larger aircraft.
Bornholm X is available as a 210mb download from Sim-Market and will cost you €11.95. or around £9.00. Our review copy was provided directly by the developers so I am unable to comment at how fast the download from the Sim-Market servers is. Installation was very easy and is hardly worth mentioning, however read the manual to make sure that the airport shows up correctly in FSX. After installation a new folder is placed in your programs menu (Vidan Design/Bornholm Airport X) which contains the manual and un-installer.
I was a little disappointed with the manual; it was only 5 pages long one of which was the covering page and the last one was blank, so 3 pages really. The first page gives you a little history about the airport and island, along with some relevant real world web-links, the 2nd page covers the installation side of things and the 3rd page covers any problems and gives the support details.
As this is a scenery add-on I was a little surprised to find that the manual didn't contain anything about how to set up your system to get the best from the airport. I used my default scenery settings file that I find has a good balance between performance and quality and didn't have any problems at all with frame rates – they remained in the high 40's at all times.
EXPLORING THE AIRPORT AND ISLAND
This is not a huge sprawling airport like Heathrow or Frankfurt, but a small holiday airport. If you are expecting to see 747's and A380's littering the ramp you will be disappointed. The airport buildings and layout, as far as I can tell from Google, have been re-created in exacting detail from the rusting container behind one of the buildings to the glider strip alongside the main runway.
The ground textures and sign-age are also nicely done and a vast improvement over the default offerings from Microsoft. The main airport terminal itself is the focus point of the scenery and has been excellently created and looks just like it's real world counterpart. The control tower has also been recreated as per the real world structure. The same can be said for the other structures littered around the apron from the fuel tank to the maintenance hangar. It would have been nice if the hangar door was open so that you could park your aircraft in there for the night.
The product description page states there is also some scenery for the city of Ronne included in the package. Whilst the harbour has been given some treatment and has boats coming in and out of it, the city scenery (as far as I could tell) stretched to a few buildings around the harbour. Whilst this package is mainly about the airport itself I was expecting to see a little more around the city of Ronne.
Finding the airport from the air is not a problem; you can either follow the coastline until it pops into view, look for the harbour and navigate from there, or use the navaids to guide you it. Whether you are flying in perfect VFR conditions or IFR in thick fog the airport isn't hard to find. I found that hand flying the approach was tough in smaller aircraft due to the winds racing in over the sea, but it added to the fun.
Finding the airport at night is also very easy – it's the only thing brightly lit on the island. I enjoyed taxing around in the dark as the airport seemed to come to life and take on a whole new ambiance.
Taxing around the airport was very easy as it is not a complicated airport to navigate. It is unusual to make the majority of the taxi on the grass part of the airfield, but it helps to keep the runway clear for arriving and departing traffic. I assume that in the real world the grass taxing is left for the GA aircraft.
With Ultimate Traffic running at 100% AI the airport really came to life with lots of GA and commercial aircraft coming and going. Although the AI were a little slow to clear the runway so there were a few go-arounds. The AI did not seem to want to use the grass taxiways to help clear the runway quickly.
Bornholm X is a charming little airport from a developer that I had not heard of until they contacted us directly. The package is slightly let down by a poor manual even though I didn't have any problems, but it would be nice to see some recommended scenery settings included.
The scenery around the airport is very well done whilst not being outstanding, that said the buildings do replicate their real life counterparts very well whilst having very little impact on performance.
The price for the add-on is a good representation of what you can expect, if you are unsure Vidan Designs do have several freeware sceneries available on their website for you to download and test.
I am pleased to award Vidan Design's Bornholm Airport X a Mutley's Hangar score of 7.5/10
Review machine Spec: Intel i7 2600k @3.40GHz | 8GB DDR3 RAM 1600MHz |NVidia GTX570 1280MB GFX Card |Windows 7 64bit Home Premium