Introduction

We finally have an updated version of everyone’s favorite difficult approach airport – Madeira (Funchal) Airport, or LPMA! MK Studios together with Aerosoft have released the new incarnation of this wonderful island and below you will find Madeira Evolution X review.

Madeira, for its size, and location, has a very large following among the flight simmers.  The reason for this, of course, is the airport design, more specifically, the runway design, with the mighty looking pillars coming out the sea to support it. And also, the challenging approach and landing as the location and orientation of the airport does not provide for an easy straight-in approaches. Add to this the fact that Madeira is a popular tourist attraction and you have all the ingredients for a popular scenery release.

Important to Note: This review is highly subjective and based on the opinion of the reviewer. It is not meant to judge the product on its 101% accuracy in terms of taxiway line colours, placement of autogen buildings, totally accurate depiction of local flora and fauna etc.  The review is only looking at the overall feel and look of the scenery, performance and enjoyment factor.

Madeira Funchal Airport
Madeira Funchal Airport

By William Verguet


Airport stats:
Full Name: Madeira Airport (aka Funchal Airport)
ICAO:LPMA
Elevation: 190ft / 58m
Runway(s): 1
05/23 – Length: 2781m / 9124ft Surface: Asphalt
Passengers: 3.1 million pa

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Aero VIP Porto Santo
Aigle Azur Paris–Orly
Air Berlin Berlin–Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Leipzig/Halle, Munich (all end 25 March 2017)
Air Berlin
operated by Belair
Zürich (ends 25 March 2017)
ASL Airlines France Montpellier, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
ASL Airlines Ireland Seasonal charter: Dublin
Austrian Airlines Seasonal: Vienna
Azores Airlines Gran Canaria, Ponta Delgada
Seasonal: Faro
British Airways London–Gatwick
Brussels Airlines Brussels (begins 1 April 2017)
Binter Canarias Seasonal: Gran Canaria, Tenerife–North
Condor Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig/Halle, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart
Corendon Airlines Seasonal: Amsterdam
easyJet Bristol, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Porto
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse
Edelweiss Air Zürich
Enter Air Seasonal: Gdańsk, Wrocław, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Poznań
Finnair Helsinki
Germania[22][23] Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt/Weimar, Friedrichshafen, Hamburg, Nuremberg Münster/Osnabrück
Iberia Seasonal: Madrid
Iberia
operated by Air Nostrum
Seasonal: Bilbao, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela (begins 27 July 2017)
Jet2.com Birmingham (begins 2 October 2017) , East Midlands, Edinburgh (begins 30 October 2017), Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted (begins 3 April 2017), Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Luxair Luxembourg
Monarch Airlines Birmingham, London–Gatwick, Manchester
Neos Milan–Malpensa
NIKI Berlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf, Munich, Zürich (all begin 26 March 2017)
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, London–Gatwick
Primera Air Charter: Bergen (begins 20 April 2017), Billund (begins 20 April 2017), Göteborg, Oslo–Gardermoen (begins 18 May 2017), Oulu
Scandinavian Airlines Seasonal: Stockholm–Arlanda
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal: Vilnius
SmartWings
operated by Travel Service Airlines
Seasonal: Prague
TAP Portugal Lisbon, Porto
Thomas Cook Airlines Manchester
Seasonal: Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Porto Santo
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Brussels
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki
Thomson Airways Birmingham, Exeter, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester
Seasonal: Bournemouth, London–Luton, Nottingham/East Midlands
Transavia Amsterdam
Transavia France Lyon, Porto
Seasonal: Paris–Orly, Nantes
Travel Service Airlines Charter: Prague, Strasbourg
Travel Service Polska Charter: Katowice, Warsaw–Chopin, Wrocław
TUI Airlines Netherlands Seasonal: Amsterdam
TUIfly Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Cologne/Bonn, Frankfurt, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart
TUIfly Belgium Brussels
Ukraine International Airlines Charter: Kiev–Boryspil
Volotea Charter: Nantes, Beauvais, Clermont–Ferrand, Dijon, Perpignan, Marseille, Saint–Etienne
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona
White Airways Charter: Lyon, Nantes, Paris–Charles Gaulle, São Vicente

Source: Wikipedia

Developer: MK Studios/Aerosoft
Version Used: 1.0
Price: 25.37 euros @ Aerosoft
Platform(s): FSX/FSX:SE/Prepar3d v2.5 and v3
Purchase from: Aerosoft


Computer system and settings

This review was performed on a PC with the following specs:

Processor (CPU): Intel i7 CPU 4790k @ 4.3 GHz
Graphics: MSI GeForce GTX 970 4Gb / Driver: 378.78
Memory (RAM): 16 GB
Operating system: Windows 10 Professional (64bit)
Primary monitor resolution: 1920×1080
Prepar3D v3.4

Settings in Prepar3d v3 are shown below:


 

Installation

Installation is a breeze as is usual with Aerosoft installers.  It does everything for you, and all you have to do is make sure that you select the correct flight simulator once asked to do so.  The installation process will create all the necessary folders in your main addon scenery folder and will add the scenery to your scenery library. One step where you must pay attention is when the installer asks you if you have FTX Vector installed.  If you do have it installed, then you must click on Yes or you will have elevation issues once you load up your scenery.



The scenery will be installed into two different folders – MadeiraX2016 and PortoSantoX2016. Manual will be in the MadeiraX2016 folder.

Also, SODE 1.4 will be installed as well, if you have any scenery that uses SODE 1.2 and is not updated for 1.4 then you may experience problems with them.


Detail and Texturing

As you approach the island on your way to Madeira Airport, the first thing you will notice is how sharp and gorgeous the island has been modeled.  It almost seems like every hill and valley has been carved into the scenery by hand. The island just pops out at you as you start thinking about how to land your plane in one piece.

Developer ensured that the island is covered in autogen to make it look populated and alive.  If you take your time to do a low fly by of the island you will notice little details everywhere, like working windmills, and flying birds, that make you feel like you are really there.

 Madeira Terrain Details

Paired up with AS16 and real world weather, you can get some striking vistas of the clouds touching the top of the island and creating a magical image as you fly in and out of the clouds.  This of course is not a feature of the scenery, but due to the very good mesh that is covering the island the effect is even more pronounced comparing with default scenery.


Night lighting has been done well.  There are some patches of land, especially around the runway that look unnaturally black, but overall the lights are well placed and the airport is easy to operate around at night.  Also, the island itself has a lot of working beacons that bring the scenery to life if you happen to be flying around at night.

Madeira at Night


Madeira Airport itself is very nicely modeled. All of the buildings are detailed and the interior of the terminal is done in 3D so you are able to peek inside and see how it looks like from a passenger perspective. It appears that this may have been done as an afterthought as the detail on the inside is lacking in the looks department (or the airport really looks so empty and sad from the inside), but on a positive note less details means better performance.

The area surrounding the airport building has been paid attention to and the front of the airport has quite a few nice looking car and bus models as well as some moving vehicles to give it some life. The apron also has quite a few static models of airport equipment and other vehicles, but unfortunately no moving objects to increase the immersion even more.

Madeira Airport Interior


Madeira Airport Details


Porto Santo

Porto Santo is an island 43km (27 mi) northeast of Madeira. The release of Madeira Evolution X caused a bit of a controversy as many simmers expected the island to be done in the same fashion and attention to detail as the Madeira Island.  This did not happen, and some people in the community were upset.

In v1.0 of the Madeira release Porto Santo is indeed much less detailed than Madeira.  The Porto Santo Airport (LPPS) has been upgraded from default and it does look nice.  However, the ambiance is not there as nothing around it or in it has been done in detail.  Developer has mentioned that this will possibly be corrected and released as an expansion for minimal extra cost.

Update: Version 1.01 brings some updates to the Porto Santo island.  Mesh and coastal problems have now been corrected.

Porto Santo Island


Madeira Airport is AI compatible, but it seems that there is a problem with the AFCAD as the departing and arriving planes intersect just before the runway entry/exit.  Lets hope that the developer will release an update for this to satisfy those of us that love seeing AI Aircraft operating at our airports.

Performance

Considering the amount of details that were put into the scenery (airport and the whole island) the performance is quite good. On the system that was used to review the scenery (see above for details), the FPS was consistently high and hovering around 50fps.  This number was achieved with some AI aircraft in the area but without payware aircraft. Of course if you load up the scenery sitting in an PMDG aircraft you will get lower frames, but still very acceptable for normal operation.

VAS usage was also very good.  As the image below shows, VAS was around 2gb after about 20min of running the scenery.  Again, this number does not take into account a long flight in a payware aircraft before you arrive to Madeira.

Madeira Evolution X


 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Installation
Texturing
Detailing
Performance
Value for Money
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