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London Stansted Scenery Recommendations

Whilst the introduction of FS2002 has brought a new level of realism into the scenery you fly over, the airports themselves are the bits you spend a lot of time looking at. There are basically three choices at Stansted - keep the standard MS airport, download freeware scenery, or pay for a commercial package.

The standard Microsoft Stansted airport has all the taxiways and aprons that you will find on your airport chart, apart from the new third satellite terminal. However hard you try though, it is very difficult to imagine yourself parked in front of the magnificent glass terminal, with the imposing Tower watching over you. However, if scenery is not your thing, or you have no desire to mess with the complexities of the simulation, it is perfectly possible to navigate around the taxiways using an airport chart. Just be prepared to guess at a few stand positions.

With regards to freeware scenery, there is really only one that can be wholeheartedly recommended - indeed I used the FS2000 version of it for many months. The work in question is London Stansted by John Young. John is well known for his renditions of some UK airfields, and it is easy to see why. You will find it more than adequate from an eye candy perspective, and find no problems navigating around its taxiways. My only gripe from the FS2000 version was the alignment, which didn't match the ProController sector file, so that my aircraft appeared to be on the grass when in fact it was perfectly on the runway. It pays to have a fast machine to run this scenery on - frame rates can suffer due to the huge amount of coding involved, so make sure your PC is up to the challenge.

If you have the cash to spare, then look no further than London Stansted as rendered by the coding of Gary Summons. Gary is one of the countries leading scenery designers - with his work now covering many parts of the UK. Stansted is available individually, as part of the London Airports package, and also as part of the UK series for East Anglia. Whichever way you choose to acquire it, you should find it value for money. It is obvious from the frame rate hit which is less than expected, that the coding has been achieved in a very economical way without compromising on visual effect. You will find a very realistic up-to-date rendition, with full stand, taxiway and runway markings, as well as many other items that you can find with a bit of exploration. Again you should expect to have a PC capable of dealing with high-end scenery available - as a guide; I have no problems with a 1GHz AMD processor and GeForce 2 card with reasonably detailed settings.

The pictures show Stansted by John Young (left) and Gary Summons (right).


Andrew Mason
Regional Airport Manager, London Stansted