Review: Aerosoft Aspen Extended for FSX and P3D

Aspen is known as the place where the rich and famous enjoy the snow and the peace and quiet of a small town. It's also the place where we can find a whole bunch of corporate jets. Aerosoft's revisits this town with Aspen Extended for FSX and P3D.

Aerosoft Aspen Extended

Back in 2007, Aerosoft released Aspen X for FSX, which brought this area of the world with great detail to the sim. Almost 10 years later, it was time for a revamp, so Aspen Extended was born.

Features

Here are the features, as per the official website:

  • Up-to-date rendering of Aspen Pitkin County Airport (KASE), including extended runway and new taxiways, Fire Station (with Oshkosh Striker 1500), Fixed-Base Operator, Terminal and hangars.
  • Fully baked high resolution textures with ambient occlusion shadows and light maps for all airport and town models.
  • 100 square kilometers of high resolution photo scenery (30cm, LOD17) covering the Aspen Valley, with full seasonal and night variations.
  • 5 meter (LOD13) mesh covering 2400 square kilometers of the Rocky Mountains around Aspen.
  • Tarmac and runway markings with realistic wet weather and specular effects.
  • All current VFR and IFR approaches.
  • Detailed rendering of the Aspen Valley Hospital and emergency helipad (CO50).
  • Dozens of custom local landmarks, including Aspen High School, Aspen Chapel, Aspen Recreation Center, Hotel Jerome and Benedict Music Tent.
  • Animated `Silver Queen` gondola to Ajax.
  • Extremely dense custom Aspen-style autogen houses and mansions.
  • Static CRJ-700s in United Express and Delta liveries.
  • Realistic new runway and street lighting system.
  • Animated windsocks.
  • Compatible with Vero-FS `Heart of Colorado` photo scenery.

 

Aerosoft also updated the runway which was extended by 1,000 feet back in 2011.

Installation

Not much to say here except that, when you open Aerosoft's Launcher, you will notice a small bug: instead of the scenery being added to the "Sceneries" folder, it's inside a folder called "Scenerie". Clearly a typo. It's nothing that will ruin your experience, though.

Aerosoft Aspen Extended - Launcher bug

You can install it on 4 simulator versions: FSX, FSX: Steam Edition, and Prepar3D V2.x and 3.x. It's the same package for all the different versions.

aerosoft-aspen-extended-installation-sim-selection

You can then also chose between Winter (snow) and Summer (grass) textures.

Aerosoft Aspen Extended - texture configuration

Aspen is very much different during these seasons and that is noticeable in the simulator too, as one would expect.

The scenery

Aerosoft Aspen Extended

Aspen is a beautiful mountain area and a well-known ski-resort. The whole area is one big natural wonder which is a true pleasure to fly at. The town is comprised of mainly autogen, so you can control the amount of buildings, but you also have a few custom landmarks, my favorite being the ski lift; it brings a bit of a life to the scenery and it's pretty cool to follow it uphill.

Aerosoft Aspen ExtendedAerosoft Aspen ExtendedAerosoft Aspen ExtendedAerosoft Aspen Extended

The Aspen Valley Hospital has an emergency helipad which can be selected in FSX's airport list so you can start your MEDEVAC or patient mission from there. For a more realistic feel, you should probably start at the airport (KASE) with is only a couple of minutes away from the hospital.

Aerosoft Aspen Extended - Aspen Valley Hospital and emergency helipad

One of the things that I wasn't very happy about was the lack of traffic on the streets. I wasn't expecting a huge amount of vehicles but they are pretty much non-existent. Even with the slider cranked all the way to 100% I just saw a couple of cars and a truck that quickly vanished never to be seen again. It's too bad, though, as it would make the town look a bit more alive.

Manual

The manual is not too big at only 13 pages but it covers everything you must know about the scenery, including frequencies and airport/runway data. It also mentions high-altitude operations since the airport is located almost at an altitude of almost 8,000ft. You'll have to be careful as your rotors will have an hard time providing you lift so more power will be needed. If don't pay enough attention, you may find yourself in a nasty situation.

Frame rate

Aerosoft Aspen Extended

I found absolutely no issues here. Aspen Extended is not an extremely complex scenery and, even with the huge amount of autogen, it's pretty manageable on the FPS side. There's nothing else to say here.

Our rating

Positives

  • Good depiction of Aspen
  • Challenging area and very fun to fly at
  • Perfect for helicopter flights
  • Specific texture sets for Summer and Winter

Negatives

  • Town seems a bit deserted due to the lack of vehicles

Bottomline

    Aspen Extended is quite a nice scenery in a challenging area, filled with mountains all around the airport. If you're into MEDEVAC or scenic tours, this is a good scenery for you to perform these kinds of flights.

Installation 10
Mesh 9
Textures 9
Buildings 9
Visual impact and quality 9
Frame rate impact 9
Total score
9.2
Click here to purchase/download or more information

Please note: the link above was either provided by the author of the product, the store that sent us the review copy or a personal choice of the article writer. It does not, in any way, indicate an endorsement of HeliSimmer.com to the website hereby linked.

More about this scenery

Location

Sérgio Costa

About Sérgio Costa

Sérgio has been a flight simulation enthusiast for nearly 25 years. His passion with helicopters developed during MSFS 2000 when he discovered the complexity of these aircraft and the challenge it was to control them. Since then he has been primarily a helicopter flight simmer, trying his best not to crash and kill all his virtual passengers. Sérgio is HeliSimmer's editor and writer and one of the Three Grumpy Simmers, a YouTube series and Podcast produced together with YouTubers Bel Geode and NovaWing24, obviously dedicated to flight simulation.

Proud partner of