FTX Norway – ORBX – review (5*)

Norway. The land of Fjords, Trolls, Vikings. Land of Red, Yellow, and White Houses. Beautiful rendition of this country in FTX Norway scenery by ORBX. 

ftx-norway

Pros and Cons

What I like in FTX EU Norway?

  • perfect coastlines;
  • high resolution mesh;
  • good (authentic) ground textures;
  • corrected airports;
  • sloping runways on some small airfields;
  • scenery objects placed around Norway – Oslo Opera House, refineries, lighthouses, fish farms, etc;
  • bridges;
  • photosceneries for several places;
  • authentic autogen (textures and shapes);
  • small objects and details.

What I did not like in Norway?

What can be improved?

  • library objects placed in some places that do not fit Norway – like F-18s on some airports.

Beechcraft over Lofoten

F-86 of the Royal Norwegian Air Force in Bodo

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Purchase, Installation, Manual

Click “Buy now” on the product page, to go to Flight Sim Store where you can buy FTX Norway for 49,95 AUD (Australian Dollars). It’s a download edition. In case you need a DVD – you can order a DVD backup for additional $8 (+shipment).

To install FTX Norway you need to enter your order number, product key and order date. Make sure you activate the scenery in FTX Central after your installation is complete. Before running your FSX – check if there are any patches or service packs on the ORBX support page.

Detailed scenery encourages low level flights

Countless islands and skerries

Documentation

Documentation of this add-on consists of a manual and Google Earth file that shows all airports and selected scenery objects. You can download both from ORBX website.

Configurator

FTX Norway config tool allows you to select frozen rivers in winter and to turn on/off the animation of wind turbines (for better performance).

Additional scenery objects – refinery.

The same place seen from another F-86 of Luftforsvaret

FTX Norway – what kind of scenery is this?

FTX EU Norway is another area scenery of ORBX, so you can expect:

  • landclass scenery for entire Norway (landclass definitions and custom textures);
  • vector data (roads, power lines, rivers, lakes and coastline);
  • mesh – high resolution elevation map for Norway;
  • scenery objects in selected locations – characteristic buildings like plants, refineries, churches, lighthouses, etc;
  • autogen – custom buildings and trees covering entire area of Norway;
  • 135 airports (improved or added).

Sloping runway in Northern Norway.

Wind farm in Northern Norway

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Mesh (5*****)

It’s excellent! Norway is a mountainous country and mesh quality plays a very significant role in this scenery. After tens of hours of flights inside fjords and valleys I can say that the 10m mesh for this country is superb.

This resolution permitted the developers to create sloping runways on small rural airports – they may come as a shock to some pilots who are used to perfectly flat airports in FSX.

Mountains, mountains, mountains everywhere.

Low clouds often force me to fly between mountain ridges

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Landclass (4****)

I have been to Norway twice and as far as I can compare what I remember with FTX Norway scenery – I have to say that it is quite authentic. I like how the distinctive Norwegian regions were divided – flying over Norway in FSX I could clearly see if I am over northern tundra or over temperate south.

 

Custom ground textures.

The only part of landclass scenery that I do not like that much is the place where tundra turns into forests. In my opinion (and I consulted few friends about this) – the border between these two regions is located too far to the North. In real world tundra reach further south.

If I remember correctly – this is Tromso.

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Autogen (6******)

It’s amazing what ORBX did here – the buildings are PERFECT! Red, yellow, blue and white houses look like they were taken straight from a Norwegian post card and places in the scenery.

Their placement is equally good – I feel that with each scenery ORBX improves their technique and that their autogen is reaching the level inaccessible to other developers. Through entire country houses are well aligned with roads and create very authentic urban environment.

Additional points should be given for forest density. As usual in ORBX sceneries – forest are very dense – well over the standard FSX level.

Picturesque towns.

Perfect placement of buildings.

Forests and vegetation.

Scenery objects (4*****)

Apart from the autogen FTX Norway contains additional scenery objects – bridges (25 – very similar to the real ones), stave churches (28), lighthouses (97) and fish farms, harbors, etc.

I like this part of FTX sceneries but (as always) I feel that I would like to see more such objects. Do not get me wrong – 97 lighthouses and 28 churches is a nice number but when spread across entire country… it gets lost. Also – the diversity of this objects is low. I would really like to see some other objects.

Bridges are my favorite objects. The number (there are 25 bridge models) may not be that impressive but actually – I flew over most of them. With the limited number of roads in Norway you will often stumble upon one of these bridges when flying VFR.

Bridges.

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Vector scenery (5*****)

Vector scenery can be divided into three parts that can be rated separately. The lowest grade would go to roads in small towns. They are a little chaotic and I in some places roads take too much space when compared to buildings. In larger towns and in cities this ratio is correct.

W 4 star (or good) rating would go to roads (outside of urban areas). When I flew over Norway I felt comfortable using a normal road-map.

The best feature of the vector scenery is the coastline. Complicated shorelines are recreated precisely and it’s a pleasure to watch hundreds or thousands of tiny islands and skerries passing below when I fly along the cost.

Precisely created road network and coasline.

Airports (5*****)

135 airports and heliports is a lot. They were all created or upgraded.

Do not expect ORBX airport scenery quality at these airports. They are just upgraded to a usual ORBX standard. That means that even if they can not compete with ORBX payware airports – some of them are better than a few airports of different developers… Unfortunately – the quality varies and until you land you never know if the airport you want to land at is a small marvel of just a basic FSX landing strip with a few additional objects.

A moment after the rain stopped – Mehamn.

The same place, different angle.

ORBX uses a common object library for these airports so you can expect to see the same hangar or static plane on various airports. I do not mind – actually I prefer to see repeating library objects instead of not seeing anything.

On the plus side some animated people were placed on airports. I noticed animated dog also. On the minus side – some objects were taken straight from Australian and North American libraries so you can expect F-18s and Black Hawk helicopters at military airports. Actually I would prefer to see F-16s, but this is a detail that only a few people will notice and even fewer would complain about.

Walking a dog…

Narwik – Vatsim flight.

Beechcraft. Lofoten Island. Andoya.

F-86 in Bodo.

Performance (5*****)

I did not see any significant impact of this scenery on my PC. In some places (where there are lots of trees) you may expect a slight framerate drop.

Lofoten.

Summary – 5*****

ORBX sets high standards for area sceneries. Actually FTX is a class for itself and among FTX sceneries – Norway is one of my favorites.

Screenshot note

When looking at my screenshots you can feel that FTX Norway is suitable for low level flights only. That would be wrong. With a good network of medium-size airports Norway is a perfect place to fly your Airbuses and Boeings.

I do not want to discourage anyone who is flying Boeings, but I really recommend that you take a smaller plane and discover places like Lofoten Islands – where you will fly next to steep mountains between small airports.

Andenes – Northern Lofoten.

Quality to price ratio – very good

50 Australian Dollars or 33 Euro for a country of this size… it’s not much. 33 Euro for this level of details and this quality – it’s a good price. 33 Euro for the amount of time I spent flying over Norway – it’s a bargain.

Trondheim. VFR route.

F-86 in Bodo.

Lightning na jednym z lotnisk.

Summary
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FTX EN Norway - ORBX
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