Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is located on the island of Sardinia, Italy. The airport hosts regular traffic from all over Europe. Although primarily a hub for Air Italy, lots of other airlines such as easyJet, Alitalia, Edelweiss, Eurowings and many others operate several routes out of Olbia. The airport is at its busiest during the Summer months of the year, contributing largely to the 4.5 million passengers its sees go through its doors every year. The airport has gone through an extensive expansion and makeover in the last 15 years and has a capacity of 10 aircraft at gates at any one time on the commercial airliners apron. Five of those come with jetways (which are SODE compatible in this scenery). As well as Commercial traffic, Olbia has a dedicated GA apron, where local VFR planes can be seen as well as the odd private jet.
Orbx Olbia can be purchased from the Orbx Website for A$39.95
Installation, Manuals and Tools
As always with Orbx sceneries, it is a simple download through FTX Central 3, no manual installation is required at all. As well as an easy installation within FTX Central is a Control Panel, enabling the user to tailor their scenery as they like. With options to enable/disable Dynamic Lighting, static airplanes (turned on for this review), Density of 3D grass, plus compatibility with Orbx Global and/or Europe LC & Pilot’s FS GLOBAL 2018. As of completing this review version 1.05 has been available, whereby a few fixes were added. Again, it was an easy install within FTX Central, which had been notified to me upon opening the FTX Central software. Finally, documentation for this scenery is spot on. The content of the User manual can be viewed below. All in all, installation, manuals and tools are spot on for Orbx’s products, making the user experience as simple and as stress free as possible. They are certainly still ahead of the game with regards to this as many scenery developers rely on their customers to keep up to date via reinstallation, so it’s great Orbx has such a simple system.
The attention to detail in this scenery is astonishing. The developer Matteo, has obviously spent an immense amount of time placing custom vehicles and objects in and around the airfield. Throughout the whole scenery there’s no symmetry at all, every little corner is unique and therefore becomes more realistic. The modelling and texturing of the main terminal has been superbly done, complete with the ‘Aeroporto Olbia Costa Smeralda’ lettering. There are some brilliantly textured walls, doors and glass windows throughout all of which have a realistic time sensitive feel to them with an Italian vibe.
The control tower and parking area have also been done fantastically with a nice mixture of 3D vehicles located in the parking area, textured to a high resolution. The vegetation overall has been done very nicely and uniquely providing a real sense of the Italian spirit. Moreover, the surrounding office buildings and hangars have also been done really well. The specific texturing and modelling really does add to the immersion level, again you are able to spot subtle differences between different buildings.
Surrounding the airport are some really nicely modelled buildings, including hangars for Air Italy and some unique little buildings including a local supermarket which has also been added in, done with high detail in mind. As well as the buildings themselves, Matteo has also added in some cool advertisement boards and lamp posts. On the other hand, I have to say that overall the photoscenery quality surrounding the airport could do with some TLC, the further you look in depth, the clearer it becomes that a lot of textures are blurry. If Orbx really wanted the airport itself to match the surrounding area quality wise, some higher resolution photoscenery would need to be achieved.
Moving onto texturing at the airport, we can see that the texturing overall has been to a far superior level of detail to that of the surrounding area. The addition of individual lights and cracks along the taxiways, 3D grass and individually placed shrubery results in an engrossment into the in-depthness of this scenery. The quality of texturing is brilliant throughout at a very high resolution. Matteo has also included specular effects on the ground in this scenery, one of the latest technologies to be used in Prepar3D scenery developing. Basically so that one section of the ground will have multiple layering to provide a really ‘worn out’ feel to it, making it seem as if it’s a real material that has got a lot of wear and tear.
We now venture into the city of Olbia which has been modelled in this scenery. It has been done pretty well with unique buildings scattered throughout. Normally with other scenery developers they will lay off the detail when it comes to the city at an attempt to try and save performance. In this case, I think Orbx has found a perfect balance between the two, with some nicely modelled buildings that aren’t very highly textured, thus not impacting performance heavily. The dock area has been done really nicely with a couple of static ships and multiple leisure boats around the area. A perfect view of these can be seen when commencing the approach into Runway 23. Overall, the 30cm/px photoreal scenery has been pretty nicely, not the best I have ever seen, but it is understandable when taking into account the impact detail has on performance.
Olbia at Night
At night, Orbx has clearly thought through this process and has attributed its latest techonology and dynamic lighting so that things look both realistic and perform well in the sim. They manage to balance this perfectly and are able to make it not seem too much but not little. The apron is perfectly lit, as I would expect it to be at nightime in real life. It all makes this scenery seem very alive and vibrant at the same time as performing well and seeming immersive.
This scenery comes as the first Orbx scenery to be made solely for Prepar3D v4, this can be certainly be felt in at Olbia. The smoothness and maginificent nature of this scenery is certainly noticeable. Overall, performance wise it is fantastic. The latest techniques used by Orbx to achieve both detail and spectacular performance have certainly paid off as I saw no signficant reduction in FPS during the nightime in contrast to the day time. Reguarly hitting at least 30fps in the flightdeck of the FS Labs was fantastic, ranging over the 50s outside the flightdeck, during both day and night.
- Highly detailed, accurate representation of Olbia Costa Smeralda airport with new runway and taxiway
- Beautiful ground textures in 30cm/px with 130sq/km of photoreal coverage
- Dozens of POIs modeled in Olbia with full 3D roads, helipads, ferries and trains
- Super level of realism at the airport with 3D underground parts
- SODE jetways
- Includes Dynamic lights and extremely realistic specular effects over ground textures
- Fully optimized using latest techniques
- By Matteo Veneziani
Once again, Orbx has set the bar very high with Olbia, because of the detail of the airport scenery. Olbia depicts Orbx’s perfect kind of scenery, a small to mediumly sized airport that has plenty of unique characteristics but also the mainstream ability to perform a lot of routes to it. There aren’t any long haul flights out of Olbia, although there are a lot of short-medium length flights to do from all around Europe. For me the best part about this scenery is the immersiveness. With the perfectly modelled and textured airport buildings, taxiways and static traffic, this is as real as it gets at the moment for Prepar3D airport sceneries. The only downside for me is the level of the surrounding photoscenery, although performance has obviously been taken into account. Many developers are now finding ways to combine the two, and although the city of Olbia is done nicely, the surrounding photoscenery is where this scenery is a slight let down for me. I would have also possibly been expecting the whole island to be modelled prior to installation. However, overall this scenery is of the top tier in Europe. At a very reasonable price, I doubt you’ll get bored of flying into this airport with the stunning approaches and immersiveness. If you’re wanting a high quality airport in a wonderful location on a matchless Italian island, make sure to add Orbx Olbia to your European list.
You can purchase Orbx’s Olbia for A$ 39.95 over on the Orbx Website.
Review System Specifications
I7 6700K @4.6Ghz
EVGA 1080 8GB
Please note for a means of transparency we were sent this product for free from the developer (in this case Orbx). All of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. We reviewed Version 1.05 of this scenery. Please do bear in mind that we have multiple reviewers with differing styles and viewpoints. Therefore, please take this into account. All of our reviews are one person’s point of view, this may differ from reviewer to reviewer.