REVIEW: FSX LANDCLASS BATTLE – FINAL WORDS

Comparing Landclass addons is a labour intensive task. I visited eight areas that I have been to myself and photographed recently. My findings were surprising and I had much hoped for a different conclusion, but here it is:

1) The quality and accuracy of all landclass products and the default scenery can’t be trusted. They are very inconsistent to say the least;

2) Prepar3D has replaced much of  the FSX landclass for Europe, but in terms of accuracy it isn’t necessarily an improvement;

3) Ultimate Terrain X wasn’t as accurate as I had initially thought, still best of the bunch, although it just covers half of Europe;

4) Neither SceneryTech Landclass Europe or Cloud9’s XClass Europe will give you geographic accurate landclass for Europe, but XClass looked better to my eye by a hair. What these landclass products do is add more variety to the default FSX scenery.

So when the time comes to install FTX Global I will do the following:

1) Set up FSX with Ultimate Terrain X and XClass. SceneryTech will be uninstalled.

2) AS for Prepar3D I’d say it does the job just as good as the dedicated landclass products, so they aren’t really needed.

For anyone interested in flying in a geographic accurate simulator world there isn’t really a good product out there. The landclass addons aren’t really needed, and if I had known what I know now I would never had bought SceneryTech or XClass. However, if you don’t care about realism they will add a bit more variety to the drab default FSX landscape and make looking out the window a bit more enjoyable. Looking through the set of screenshots it is apparant that at least one product hits a home run for each area, meaning that realistically it is possible to create a fairly accurate landclass addon even with the restrictions the default scenery grid system and limited selection of textures. The freeware scenery FinlandX shows how it can be done for some countries with a large degree of automation by converting real world data to polygons, hence avoiding the FSX grid system.

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6 thoughts on “REVIEW: FSX LANDCLASS BATTLE – FINAL WORDS

  1. I was wondering how you were able to set the camera up like that to compare the landclasses? I would like to do some comparisons but I don’t know how to set it up like you did.

    • Soory for the late reply Mike, but I’ve been living in the woods for a few months. You need to learn two things to set up views. Enter slew mode (Y) – it will allow you to move your aircraft in any direction without flying it by using the arrow keys. Also, you need to know how to cycle views (S) and go to 2D cockpit mode, then cycle the instruments (W) to remove them alltogether. When you’ve found a perfect view, just save the flight and you can load it again when you have installed different scenery for comparison.

  2. “just as good as the dedicated landclass products, so they aren’t really needed.”

    Hell no. FSX turns the south of my country into a urban area with random trees, when in reality it’s just minor towns with long stretches of farm land in between. The product I use comes way closer to the real thing, a major game changer.

    It all depends on the area, but a third party land class can make a HUGE difference!

    • And that was really my point. They are inconsistent at best, and unless you know an area first hand you really don’t know what you are getting. As my compariosons have shown, all LC products and default LC have strong and weak points. How do you know what to use at any given location? Only someone with local knowledge will know.

      That said, it would be really helpful for readers of this blog if you could tell which LC product you use and where it makes such a huge difference.

  3. Hi Simmerhead,

    Now as ORBX OpenLC EU is out in the market, are you going to include it in the landclass comparison and update your review? It would provide a great resource for us simmers.

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