An early assessment of TE Netherlands for AFS2.
It is a fairly large new area (85,000 km2) with tons of custom buildings, nice clean looking country sides, a few new cultivation features and of 43 total airports. Lots of nice water to fly over and around, lots of historical buildings and structures, but, not many ships or boats, although it does contain a healthy number of wakes for the few boats used in the images.
There is a good mix of military airports, commercial airports - large and small, and basic general aviation airports - many with turf or grass runways. I haven't found any good aviation charts that show the full mix of airports, but the fsWidgets map Netherlands Aero and ESRI Satellite Hybrid seems to get me by. I am trying to visit each and every included airport and do a little basic research before moving on to the next one. I am about half done so far.
Overall, I think this is a very good start for 3rd party scenery for AFS2 and I am pleased that we have it available. I think it is priced fairly and should provide hours and hours of new places to see and experience.
I am disappointed that it does not include any animated ships or boats, although animated wind turbines are plentiful. I have yet to find any of the older wooden windmills found throughout the countryside, but they are evidently there to be found. The ones I have found are the very sleek and modern version. Also, no automobile traffic can be found on the major highways. Also, no animated trains or trams. No smoke from the smokestacks and finally NO TULIP FARMS. Surely the acres and acres of colorful tulips will appear some day soon.
Absent from the large commercial airports are all the jet ways. This gives the Schiphol airport an unnatural and unfinished look although there are plenty of blue KLM static aircraft scattered around. Again, this is something that can and should be corrected in a future update.
I have only found one faux pas and I am sure it will be fixed. The most southern airport EHBK, Maastricht Aachen, is just a blurry mess on my screen, however, the files all seem to be correct. Apparently a lot of work was done to upgrade the scenery in this area, but, the airport is just not reflecting that effort. This could be something as simple as a comma used for period or a missing ]> or just a basic typo.
My PC system will not run TE Netherlands using the optional Vulkan (beta) setting for more than 5 minutes, however, other users report no problem, whatsoever, using it with Vulkan (beta). When I switched over to OpenGL, my sudden screen freezes was cured, I just lost the high quality anti-aliasing that is associated with the new Vulkan (beta) option.
When using the Netherland Aero chart it is difficult to know which airports belong to what country due to the very wavy and convoluted border. A safe bet is that if the identifier starts with EH it belongs to the Netherlands, an EB identifier will be Belgium , and ED will be Germany.
At first look there appears to be plenty of cultivation, but a closer inspection reveals a lot of repetition, as in over and over and over. The commercial areas look very IPACSish with lots of big boxes and low, flat rectangles and these areas stand out as such. Most of the smaller villages and townships are more true to form, have less commercial areas, and are therefore more fun to view from close up when flying low and slow.
The green areas, i.e. parks and protected areas, might be among the best features and appear to be more customized. There are enough historical buildings, museums, attractions, and structures mixed in with the "more of the same" and that is truly refreshing. All the national monuments and tourists attraction seem to be well covered. I plan to use some travel guide "list of things to see in the Netherlands" and see if they truly are represented in this "True Earth" edition for AFS2.
Major churches, cathedrals, refineries, tv and radio towers, and transmission lines are to found through the scenery so we just need to spend some time seeking and searching. The promo text says there are literally thousands of hand-placed landmarks and POI included.
Meanwhile, I do recommend that you purchase this first 3rd party scenery for AFS2 and let us know what you like about it.