‘Supercity: Auckland for FSX’ is a huge photoscenery covering the greater Auckland area — the ‘Supercity’ which comes into being with the amalgamation of local Auckland councils on 1 November 2010.
Like the earlier Auckland City — for FS2004 — it does not include models of any of the airports within the scenery area, but it does form the basis of an ongoing project to create some of the airports in ‘Real New Zealand’ fashion — highly accurate, photographically textures recreations. NZAA and Ardmore are in development in 2009, and due for release sometime in 2010.
Auckland is situated in the upper North Island, and is New Zealand’s largest city, although it is not the capital — it is, however, the retail and commercial centre of New Zealand. The population of the greater Auckland area is approx 1.3 million, which represents a third of the entire population of New Zealand.
Geographically, Auckland is characterised by its location between two major harbours, the Manukau and the Waitemata. To live in Auckland is to live near the water — it is known as the City of Sails, because of Aucklander’s love of sailing. It is punctuated with small, extinct volcanoes, and is the gateway to a number of islands in the Hauraki Gulf.
The scenery depicts the greater Auckland area at a resolution of 2.5 metres per pixel. This isn’t high by FSX standards, although it does represent double the resolution of the old FS2004 scenery. It is fully autogenned — with a huge number of hand-placed buildings, houses and trees, approx three quarters of a million objects.
The photo scenery is a summer-only depiction, but because Auckland is very temperate, it does not vary much during the seasons.
There is a custom night map which lights the city for dawn, dusk and night-time flights. I’ve paid extra-special attention to the creation of the water blend, as the shallow harbours are a major visual feature of the area, especially when flying to and from Auckland International.
The photo scenery is designed to blend well with the default scenery outside the area — this works best in Summer, but is very effective all throughout the year.
The scenery includes a custom-built central city and port area, plus a number of other local landmarks dotted about. There are a few helipads which you can select as a FSX airport.
Although the scenery doesn’t include remodelled airports (they’ll be released separately) it does include Mechanics Bay, and the previously-mentioned helipads. Mechanics Bay is the home of the Westpac Trust rescue helicopter, and chopper pilots can use it as a handy base to explore the city.
Note that the default Auckland International is one of the high-definition airports included in FSX -- the default airport fits very well within the photoscenery.
The 3D model includes the Auckland Hospital, but we’ve left the default hospital tucked in behind it because this is used in one of the default missions. The ‘Piha Rescue’ mission comes with FSX, and if you haven’t done the mission, now would be the ideal time, with the city looking the way it should.