Torp – Sandefjord X – Aerosoft – review (5*)

Torp – low-cost airlines airport for Oslo, pilot training centre and popular general aviation airport. In FSX it is a beautiful destination for both airliners and small planes.

ento

Pros and cons

What I like in Aerosoft’s Torp – Sandefjord X?

  • dense, tall grass
  • realistic rocks around the apron
  • models and textures
  • runway and taxiway lighting
  • barriers on closed taxiways and apron
  • runway and taxiway textures
  • static planes
  • navaid models (VOR & ILS)
  • config tool
  • charts
  • performance

What I do not like in Torp?

  • VAS footprint
  • scenery lacks people

What can be improved?

  • models – a tiny gap between some walls (negligible problem for 90% of users)
  • configurator issues

Ads and your donations help pay for keeping this site online. Thanks for your support! :)

Summary – 5*****

I flown to and from Torp using planes that actually fly there – 737s of Norwegian and Ryanair. I also flown Cessnas and Diamond, which are used by pilots of local flight school and flying club. In all cases – Torp Sandefjord made a great impression, which was only improved with time as I studied its details – like the VOR beacon south of the runway and the rocky wall separating car parking from apron and terminal. Ground textures and models of buildings increase the positive reaction even further. The only flaw I noticed was a significant VAS footprint which is, fortunately, managable with some adjustments in settings.

I strongly recommend this airport to anyone who flies 737s and Airbuses and to all general aviation pilots flying in Norway.

Torp Sandefjord – ENTO

Torp Sandefjord is an interesting example of airport that was built and then expanded despite being not necessary at all. It is the way the cold war worked. Simply – the military thought they needed additional bases so they made a plan and executed it. Torp was created as an auxiliary and refueling base for U.S.A.F. Then it was extended to hold a nuclear arsenal in case of war. It was also planed as a repair facility (a single military aircraft was actually repaired there).

Fortunately the civilians got involved in time (actually – almost from the beginning) and Torp gained a real purpose.

From 1950s to 1980s it was a quiet airport serving few travelers in Vestfold and Telemark counties. Traffic increased with the closure of Oslo – Fornebu airport when it was decided that Gardermoen will take the role of the main airport for Oslo. As the new airport was located 55 kilometers further from Telemark (which is already 100km from Oslo) – some traffic moved to Torp to serve southernmost counties of Norway.

The real boom begun in the end of 1990s when Ryanair and KLM opened routes to Ireland (and later Great Britain) and Netherlands. At this point Torp was no longer considered a local airport but begun its career as Oslo-Torp – a cheap airline destination for Norway’s capital. In the 21th century Ryanair, Wizzair and Norwegian expanded their routes and currently this is a departure point for low cost flights to nearly all European countries.

Pilot’s notes

Runway (18/36) is 2809 meters long and 45 wide (9215×150 ft). Due to terrain restrictions taxiways were build in unusual pattern with the main taxiway and apron located on the opposite sides of the runway. Aircraft taxiing to runway 18 need to cross the runway on their way. De-icing area is also located on the other side of the runway – in the middle of taxiway Y.

Chart

The southern part of Y is closed to aircraft, but can be used during helicopter training flights. Unfortunately in the scenery this part of the taxiway lacks high resolution texture. Check the map below to see how the helicopter traffic patterns are set up and how taxiway Y is used for as a runway for these helicopter flights.  Keep in mind that the normal landing and takeoff spot for helicopters is located on the apron, near W3 taxiway.

heli-pattern-training

Both runway directions are equipped with ILS and there is a VOR/DME beacon south of the airport (for VOR/DME approaches). All these navaids are modeled in the scenery.

Ads and your donations help pay for keeping this site online. Thanks for your support! :)

What to fly and where to?

The following airlines and planes fly to Torp-Sandefjord:

  • Ryanair (Boeing 737)
  • Norwegian (Boeing 737)
  • Wizzair (Airbus A320)
  • KLM (Embraer 190 & Fokker 70)
  • Widerøe (Dash 8-300)

In summer charter airlines operate 737s, A320 family and occasionally 757s. Royal Norwegian Air Force visits Torp in their C-130 for training.

Low cost airlines have their destinations scattered all over Europe (Canary Islands are the furthest destination in the schedule). KLM operates the single route to Amsterdam and Wideroe flies to Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim and Kopenhagen. Military C-130s are stationed in Gardermoen.

Apart from the airline traffic Torp also sees a lot of general aviation traffic. Two flying school (aircraft and helicopter training centers) are located at the airports. There is also a flying club (Sandefjord Flyklubb) with a base in the northern section of airport.

If you are looking for a good destination for your ga aircraft – Norway is the perfect place. There are several good add-on airports nearby: Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger (by Aerosoft), Notodden and Sandane (ORBX). Nearby Denmark also offers a wide choice of payware and freeware airports. There is also a great freeware add-on airport pack available for Norway.

Aircraft recommended by C-Aviation. When you buy products at FSS following these links you help pay for keeping this site online. You may consider contributing directly. Thanks for your support!
A2A - B-17 Flying Fortress A2A - Wings of Power 3: Civilian Mustang A2A - Wings of Power 3: P47 Razorback Captain Sim - 707-300 Captain Aerosoft - Discus Glider X Aerosoft - Twin Otter Extended (Download)

Aerosoft Torp – Sandefjord X

Coverage

The scenery covers Torp – Sandefjord airport.

Author

It was created by Joakim Tychesen (who also made Svalbard X).

Scenery features (from Aerosoft.com):

  • Highly detailed and realistic ground textures
  • Accurate and realistic representation of all airport buildings
  • Realistic custom made airport specific objects
  • 20cm/pixel photorealistic coverage
  • Optional 3d grass
  • Optional static airplanes and people
  • Features Dakota Norway, Norway’s only Douglas DC-3 along with its touring facilities
  • Features various flight/heli- academies and aviation clubs

I stroke features that I could not find in this scenery – I will get back to this later.

Sceneries recommended by C-Aviation. When you buy products at FSS following these links you help pay for keeping this site online. You may consider contributing directly. Thanks for your support!
Aerosoft - Night Environment - Poland Pacific Islands Simulation - Marshall Islands Vidan Design - Danish Airfields X - Endelave Vidan Design - Danish Airfields X - Nordborg Vidan Design - Sonderborg X Vidan Design - Danish Airfields X - Tunø

Purchase, installation, documents, configuration

I am reviewing  the scenery that is available in Aerosoft Store, where it costs 15,45 Euro (the exact price will change due to different tax levels in each country). It is a download version. Installer size is 750MB and you have to enter your email and the product key to run it. The scenery is then installed into Aerosoft folder inside of the main FSX folder. All documents and the configurator are installed in the same location.

Documents:

  • German manual
  • English manual
  • airport charts

I like the developers who add charts to their sceneries. I feel that they care for the user. Even if it is not difficult to find the real world charts, it actually helps in this case. The standard airport diagram in AIP does not include stand numbers. This is where included charts are helpful.

Manual consists of the usual information about the airport, suggested FSX settings and configuration options.

Configurator

I had some issues with the configuration tool. It does not work in the location where it was installed in my FSX. After some research I found a similar problem mentioned on the Aerosoft forums by people who use P3D and after some additional trial and error I got it to work. For this I needed to move the scenery folder outside of my FSX folder, then run the installer and save changes. Only then I could move the scenery folder back to FSX/Aerosoft and enjoy the changes.

What configuration options are available?

  • seasonal textures (winter, spring, summer and autumn)
  • 3d grass (off, minimum, medium, max)
  • taxi lights (no lights, realistic, practical)
  • static planes (no / 4 options)
  • static pilot flightschool aircraft (no / 3 options)
  • FTX Norway

Considering how well this scenery performs – I hardly see any reason to disable the grass or static planes.

P3D compatibility (v2)

When this review is being written (April 2016) the scenery is compatible with P3D v2 only.

First impressions

The scenery made a good impression right from the start. I selected a Cessna parked on the general aviation parking – just in front of the flight school. When I looked around me I saw the buildings I knew from the real world photos. Pilot and EHC logos on the walls (Pilot and EHC are the names of flight schools in Torp) are the correct logos for both schools. Two Cessnas and a Diamond DA 42 were parked nearby. I remembered that I had seen this DA 42 in a youtube video published by someone who flies in Torp. Nice touch!

With the extremely long runway (as seen from the cockpit of Cessna 182) I chose to line up in the middle of the runway – right from W3 taxiway. Later – during several flights I flown on Vatsim, I noticed that virtual ATC usually gave taxi instructions to runway via W3 taxiway – for a shorter taxi and quicker departure in general aviation planes. As I taxied to runway – white and red barriers caught my eye – I like such details when I move around the airport.

But actually until then it was just a correct payware scenery. Nothing special. Torp “had me” just after I took off. I did not even mind the trees – they are well placed in most of payware sceneries nowadays. But the way the approach lights, ILS and VOR antennae were designed made me do one more pass above them just to admire the craftsmanship. I do not know why this details are so hard to do well in FSX, but rarely I like these structures. And here I like them very much.

Software recommended by C-Aviation. When you buy products at FSS following these links you help pay for keeping this site online. You may consider contributing directly. Thanks for your support!
Aerosoft - Professional Flight Planner X (Download) A2A - Accu-Feel v.2 AL&S: Global FSX Enhancement REX - REX4 Texture Direct HD with REX Soft Clouds HiFi Tech - Active Sky 2016 Full Version for FSX

Grass and small objects

The second great impression was made by the dense, tall grass and small taxiway signs design. I remember that I was looking out ot the cockpit of 737 – it was a short flight from Bergen, and when I taxied I passed this beautifully placed grass I could see that it is tall enough to make the impression of greater density but at the same time not so tall that I would complain about the lousy job the gardener is doing.

And then I noticed the taxiway signs which have this strange poles sticking upwards. Only after some thinking I recalled the same poles in many structures along the Swedish and Norwegian roads. It is easier to clear the snow when you can see objects buried in it.

No people (and no DC-3)

I looked for the promised people and the DC-3… and I did not find them. I also looked at official screenshots in the store and even browsed through a reviews on other sites looking for any trace of life in this scenery. There is none. Anyone knows what happened to people in this scenery? And even more important – anyone knows who stole that Dakota?

 

Mesh and terrain modeling

Back to positive impressions. Take a look at the picture below – do you see the rocky wall separating the apron and car parking. I remember it from my visit to Torp a few years back. I also remember how the road makes almost perfect place for spotters – you just need to climb a smal scarp to the fence. Now take a look at the second picture. It is modeled exactly as it is in the real world. Beautiful work on the mesh and terrain models (the rocky wall is a 3d model – FSX mesh will never look that good).

 

Airport lighting

This is one of the best examples of night lighting I saw in FSX. The lights are not too bright nor they are too dark. And bright places in the scenery match the locations of lights.

One more interesting feature – Torp scenery uses volumetric light. It gives the “always in fog” impression but I like this effect even in good visibility. It is much better than sterile clean look some of the lights have.

What else I like in Torp?

Flying club buildings in the northern part of airport are nice. Ground textures are sharp and detailed (take a look at this no smoking sign below). Airport vehicles are modeled (fire trucks, tankers, deicers among others). There are two fuel stations on the airport – one for airliners (it actually fuels the tanker trucks which then fuel the aircraft) and the second, self-service, is for general aviation aircraft.

Any details I do not like?

Once again I will complain about the lack of people. I wish there were some on this airport. If I had not used FTX Norway I would complain about the coverage – I really like sceneries which cover some area around the airport.

I almost forgot – I hate the F-84 model. It looks like a mockery of this beautiful fighter-bomber. It’s wings are so short that I can not believe that something like this would ever fly, its tails is… strange. And tip tanks are twice as big as they should be. On the other hand – I like that the three military planes were placed in front of Dakota Norway building. Let me bitch about one more detail – military aircraft textures are mirrored. And one more – there should be F-86 Sabre (one of my favorite planes!) there too.

Ok. If those are the complaints I have after 30 or more flights from this airport… you may understand why I am so fond of it.

Performance

Frame rates – great

In terms of frame rates – I am absolutely delighted! Locked 40 frames on average. 30 frames in PMDG 737. It is more than I expect from a payware scenery. This is more than I get in majority of sceneries that I am satisfied with.

OOM errors (VAS footprint)

I had some issues with VAS usage and actually experienced OOM errors and nearly OOM errors (reported by FSUIPC warning pings). And on a short flight too. You need to be very careful not to set your FSX options too high when using Torp.

VAS – not necessary a problem

As I said – you need to be careful with your config. VAS does not have to be a problem here if you manage your settings properly. I actually made a few flights in PMDG 737 without any problems (and 737 is known for its large VAS footprint).

The problem lies with the great performance of Torp – when I see 40 frames I automatically switch my settings to very high. And with FTX Norway, REX clouds and multiple clouds layers generated by ASN, Torp will cause problems. As soon as I reverted to more conservative settings – problems were mostly gone.

Summary – 5*****

I flown to and from Torp using planes that actually fly there – 737s of Norwegian and Ryanair. I also flown Cessnas and Diamond, which are used by pilots of local flight school and flying club. In all cases – Torp Sandefjord made a great impression, which was only improved with time as I studied its details – like the VOR beacon south of the runway and the rocky wall separating car parking from apron and terminal. Ground textures and models of buildings increase the positive reaction even further. The only flaw I noticed was a significant VAS footprint which is, fortunately, managable with some adjustments in settings.

I strongly recommend this airport to anyone who flies 737s and Airbuses and to all general aviation pilots flying in Norway.

Quality to price ratio – great

15-16 Euro? It is a great price for scenery of this quality.

Add-ons featured in this review:

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Torp - Sandefjord X - Aerosoft
Author Rating
5

Donate