Flight simulator gaming enthusiasts in Nanjing who miss flying are now able to take a step back nearer to that reality thanks to a new software release which offers a photo-realistic representation of our city’s airport to budding aviators.
It was last Friday, 25 August, when the ZSNJ Nanjing Lukou International Airport scenery add on was released, in both PC and Xbox versions, for the ever-popular Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The ultra-realistic software is the development of Hangzhou-based WF Scenery Studio (WFSS), a scenery producer for the Chinese flight simulator community. Other airport scenery packs offered by the company include those for Shanghai Pudong, Shanghai Hongqiao, Kunming, Xi’an, Zhengzhou, Shenzhen and of course, Hangzhou.
While it’s early days yet, the gaming community has reacted very favourably to the release. And that’s largely because the add on is remarkably realistic. We should know, having spent enough time in, around and above Lukou.
Among the many features of which flight simulator pilots coming into Nanjing may make use is the Visual Docking Guidance System (VDGS), which helps them to bring the aircraft to a stop at the exact required point.
Then there are also the nice touches as regards weather, animated jetways, dynamic lights, low visibility runway lights, animated vehicles, ground markings and “seasonal textures”, which, logically, means it can represent snowy conditions.
The exterior simulations aimed primarily at these budding pilots are also complimented by views of inside the terminal. This publication can vouch for their authenticity, while a night view of Terminal 2 is particularly impressive.
And that photo-realism referred to earlier? That’s obtained using a process known as “physically based rendering” (PBR) which produces images that model the flow of light in the real world.
The ZSNJ Nanjing Lukou International Airport add on, priced US$20.99, is available in the Microsoft Flight Simulator Marketplace, and on SimMarket (€28.68), where it has gathered almost entirely five-star reviews.
Dating from as long ago as 1982, the Microsoft Flight Simulator gaming phenomenon is one of the most iconic home flight simulator programs in the world. The latest version, complete with virtual-reality capabilities and released for PC in 2020 and Xbox in 2021, won Best Sim/Strategy Game at The Game Awards.