Overview of the new Swiss Refineries scenery

  • A review of the new Swiss Refineries Scenery for AFS2.

    This is a huge leap forward and upward for user generated scenery. This is so much more than adding standard cultivation; this is breaking new ground, and then some. I was totally flabbergasted when I saw the screenshot with multiple new items that I thought were not possible.

    These are totally new things like cross-country high voltage power line pylons. You know, those huge, several hundred foot tall heavy metal structures, and good looking automobiles on the motorways, not just cars, but trucks, buses, and all sorts of vehicles you might expect to see in the real world. A closer look and you see ships and boats on the rivers and canals, colorful tank cars in the rail yards and I haven’t even gotten to the first refinery yet.

    There are two refinery complexes in this scenery package, plus some additional tank farms. Now I don’t know a cracking tower from a smoke stack, but, evidently this team knows all those things. These refineries look like photographs, literally like lithos in a media pack. But, they are actually 3D images properly sized and painted to represent a realistic operating refinery when flying in AFS2.

    I was somewhat familiar with the Chablais area where the Collombey refinery is located because I had added a small airport just down the road using our free fsCloudBase airport program some time ago. At the time, I didn’t know the name of the valley or the mountain ranges with those beautiful peaks. Actually, I still don’t know the mountain ranges, but I know the peak on the French side is Pointe de Bellevue and on the other side is Les Diablerets.


    This Libyan-owned Tamoil refinery was closed down about 4 years ago, but, there is still talk about finding another operator and bringing it back online. It still looks great when flying in a flight simulator and remains the most prominent facility in the valley.

    If you start flying around de Bex airport, LSGB, and fly North toward Lake Geneva you will experience some previously unobtainable sights out your windscreen. Starting with a gazillion of those large metal electrical power stanchions. I’m not sure if it a gazillion, but there must be more than a thousand. (and no FPS impact)

    Then you will notice all those colorful automobiles on the motorway at about the same time the refinery comes into view. Several tall towers with the expected red bands. A closer look at the motorway reveals properly spaced poles along side. I just had to reach up and advance the time to see the dark yellow sodium vapor lights all the way to the Lake. Wow.

    As I approach the refinery complex I see more and more different sized and different colored large storage tanks. A closer look and I see many are empty, then it hits me. Why do they look so different? Ah, it is because they have rust on the top and running down the sides, or no top at all. How did they do that, I ask myself. Then I see all these custom towers and racks and stacks, large vessels and piping. Then I look around and see the houses and commercial buildings all look so realistic, not the standard boxes with too many windows.

    It is then that I look around at the valley and the mountains and the water and the Lake in the distance. Outstanding location. I could fly in this valley for a week, maybe a month, and not be bored.

    That was the Collombey Tamoil refinery built in 1966 near those ancient salt mines. That Stockalper Canal was built all the way to Lake Geneva to get the salt to market. Dug with manual labor, most likely.

    Wait a minute, I just noticed the transformer station feeding all those high voltage lines and sure enough, there is a new heliport. Neat. How in the world did they do that.

    The second Refinery is up the road a ways, a little over 50 miles as the crow flies, in an area called the Seeland. This is Northeast of Chablais between two nice sized lakes connected by a manmade canal. The canal may be a river. The local folk either speak French or German and each group has their own name for everything including the lakes and canals. Some say it is a river, some say it is a canal.

    This is the Cressier/Nauchatel refinery, the largest refinery in the country and still very much in the business of cranking out airplane fuel, diesel, auto petrol and kerosene for local consumption. This refinery complex site is between the la Thielle river and the A5 motorway. This one has a few less tall stacks but, look, the tallest one has smoke coming out. Now, that has to be a first for AFS2. Smoke. Impressive.

    Even though the refinery sits next to the canal or river the waterway is more for pleasure boating and tourism than product distribution from the refinery. That is reserved for trucks and rail cars.

    Even though this area does not have the tall mountains on each side it is no less picturesque placed between these beautiful lakes and beside the canal.

    Yep, as I am coming off Lake Neuchatel heading North toward the refinery I can already see the high voltage stanchions laid out cross-country. Wow, how impressive. There are those cars and trucks on the motorway. Nice.

    The other lake further North is Lake Bienne or Lake Biel, depending on whether you speak French or German. Either way, it is only 8 miles or so up the road. Just follow the river.

    Look at all those rail tank cars. Very impressive, they look so realistic. Ah, rusty tanks. I guess I just never saw rusty tanks in the flight sim before. Most noticeably better than our normal pearly white and all the same, usually too small. This is definitely a new level of realism - no two of those tanks are the same. Amazing.

    Look on the water. Hmm, I guess they are indeed using tankers and cargo ships. I do like that smoke coming off the tall stack. Even the cracking towers have rust streaks. Sure enough there is a new heliport over there. Bingo.

    There are probably a lot more items that this team spent days and days figuring out and I just blew right past them. Sorry about that, remember I am still flying the plane as I write this. I am going to close this up and head for bed.

    You can jump over to our sister site at https://flight-sim.org/filebase/index…eries-for-afs2/ and download a single zip file that has both refinery complexes and all the extras.

    You might have to do some adjusting to move some of the old cultivation files out of the active folder to make room for all this new stuff and avoid conflicts. Not to worry, detailed instructions on what to do and how to do it is included.

    I saved the best for last. This super scenery package is totally free. Yep, yours for no cost at all.

    Thanks Thomas. Thanks Jake, thanks Ken, thanks Rodeo, thanks Michael, thanks Phil, thanks Sylvain, thanks Arno, and a special thanks to Lenidcamper for building a great new tool that generates a lot of this new stuff once you have the proper input. Everyone one of these guys burned a lot of midnight oil getting this out in record time.

    Evidently, these guys don't need to sleep, but, when they do they are dreaming up new stuff for Lenidcamper to code, right Ken, right Thomas, right Rodeo.

    Stay tuned for a similar project in South Florida. These guys didn't even get a break before we were pushing for more and more. For lack of a better term, I am just going to call them the A-Team for now.


    Review by Jetjockey10 - March 30, 2019

  • And in the next days, I’ll make some photos of Collombey area and the reffinery, because I’m living 20 minutes by car from Collombey, in Sion.

    The name of the area of Collombey is named « Chablais ». The name of the « state » (because like USA we are politically a confederation of 26 states), is « Valais », and the main town is Sion, where I live, and you can reach Sion easily by Sion Airport, which is included in the Switzerland DlC (but has no building unfortunatelly in Aerofly).


  • I'm honestly still surprised that Ipacs never went back and redid Switzerland: It seems almost like a no-brainer to refurbish the place where it all started for Aerofly Flight Simulator.

    I remember talk once of even creating a Hi-rez ortho connection between there and Orbx innsbruck.

    Maybe someday.

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  • I'm honestly still surprised that Ipacs never went back and redid Switzerland: It seems almost like a no-brainer to refurbish the place where it all started for Aerofly Flight Simulator.

    I remember talk once of even creating a Hi-rez ortho connection between there and Orbx innsbruck.

    Maybe someday.

    I totally agree with you ! As for some unfinished Swiss little airfields (still with no building now)... As may are old military ones, many existing "hidden" objects of the hidden swiss library ( grass covered shelters, some chalets) could be placed easily and would enhance a lot the Switzerland DLC...

    With Aeroscenery, it is not complicated to link Switzerland DLC with ORBX Innsbruck, but without photoshop or color balance editing, the result is too dark...

  • Jetjockey10

    Ray, thanks for your review and thanks for all the other stories about planes, sceneries and aviation history.

    You are a brilliant writer and it's always a pleasure to read your articles full of information in a fascinating phrasing.