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VFR Terrain - Stunning terrain scenery for England & Wales


VFR Terrain is available now from Horizon Simulation

NEW! Visual Flight

Available Nov 2004!

NEWS: Visual Flight announces full 19m support for VFR Terrain and FS2004 Update

Following the recent release by Microsoft of the FS2004 Update, Visual Flight is pleased to announce that with a simple one-line modification to the Flight Simulator configuration file, existing and new users of VFR Terrain are able to benefit not just from the full 19m terrain mesh resolution of the update, but also from the equivalent increase in coast and lake shoreline resolution.

Instructions for increasing the terrain resolution to 19m are given in the following  Visual Flight Forum article:

Visual Flight will also be releasing an easy-to-use program to perform the adjustment for anyone not confident in carrying out the above procedure if there is sufficient demand for this.

VFR Terrain is unique in providing both high resolution terrain mesh and  accurate and detailed coastline/lake shoreliness, certainly on a national scale, and the use of Visual Flight's pioneering multi-render mesh technology means that the full benefits of the 19m mesh are available without any of the potential drawbacks, as can be seen in the following animated sequence of screenshots of  VFR Terrain with VFR Photographic Scenery:

The animation shows two frames, the first at 38m resolution and the second at 19m resolution. ( If you're only seeing the first frame, make sure your browser settings allow you to view animated images). In the first frame, the concrete dam is obviously out of shape, whereas in the second there's a clearly defined straight edge along the top and bottom of the dam wall, giving a much better semblence of reality. If you then look around the shoreline of the reservoir, you'll see the lake edge with the updated FS2004 is much better defined, with no water textures climbing up the terrain, and a far more convincing overall visual appearance.

Anyone interested in the technical background to the 19m terrain resolution in the FS2004 Upgrade can find out more in the following Visual Flight technical article (written before the FS2004 Update was announced):

VFR Terrain

VFR Terrain by Visual Flight is the first ever complete high resolution terrain scenery on a national scale, featuring not only the highest possible resolution terrain mesh, but also accurate and detailed coastline and lake scenery - another milestone in flight simulator scenery following the success of VFR Photographic Scenery.

"Frankly this mesh is nothing short of amazing... The difference it makes is astonishing..."

Bethesda North Wales.jpg (310171 bytes)
Bethesda, North Wales (VFR Terrain + VFR Photographic Scenery)

The terrain mesh included in VFR Terrain is based on NextMap UK 5m IFSAR radar data compiled at 19m for both FS2002 and FS2004, the maximum resolution supported by Microsoft Flight Simulator. Not only does it use the best possible source data (18 times more detailed than the sources used for other UK terrain mesh sceneries) but it makes maximum use of Flight Simulator's capabilities - without seriously impacting frame rates.

Coastline and lakes

Terrain mesh is only part of the equation, and uniquely, VFR Terrain supplies a complete terrain solution including coastline and shorelines, plus completely flat water/lake surfaces and 'real water' textures for VFR Photographic Scenery users to facilitate water surface effects and float-plane landing.

The VFR Terrain coastline includes estuaries and rivers at least partway upstream (depending on width and other characteristics), plus major lakes/reservoirs plus many minor lakes/reservoirs (again depending on size and other characteristics).

Estuary.jpg (331455 bytes)
NB. This image shows accurate shoreline/landable water, but not mesh

CornishCoast2.jpg (152420 bytes)
Showing accurate coastline and mesh on S Cornwall coast - FS2004

Perfect with VFR Photographic Scenery...

Naturally all the features of the scenery are accurately positioned to align perfectly with VFR Photographic Scenery, as can be seen from the screenshot below.

Snowdon from NW.jpg (532124 bytes)
Snowdon from the North West

The combined effect of using the terrain mesh scenery together with the photographic scenery can be stunning - screenshots such as the one below do not fully do it justice.

Thirlmere2.jpg (531953 bytes)

... and also with the default Microsoft scenery

Here's the same screenshot as the one at the top of the page, but this time without VFR Photographic Scenery:

BethesdaWithDefaultSceneryPlusVFRTerrainSummer.jpg (557195 bytes)
Bethesda, North Wales (VFR Terrain only)

VFR Terrain is designed to work with or without photographic scenery. In addition to the high resolution terrain mesh, it includes all the land/water mask and vector coastline scenery needed to replace the default inaccurate coastline and lakes with super accurate replacements including the usual coastline effects, i.e. waves breaking along the shore. No other terrain mesh scenery offers this much for non-photo scenery users.


Users have found that VFR Terrain does not seriously impact performance. With a decent system, properly set-up, you may even want to try your hand at flying the valleys in a fast jet, RAF-style...

Hawk in the Valleys.jpg (149623 bytes)
Flying the valleys (Hawk by RAF Virtual)


The map below shows the area covered by VFR Terrain, which includes the Isles of Scilly and an area of overlap into Scotland. NB. The Isle of Man is not included.

coverage.jpg (125671 bytes)

Do you need VFR Terrain?

Decide for yourself. The screenshot below shows exactly the same scene as in the two previous screenshots of Bethesda (one with VFR Photographic Scenery, one without), but this time without VFR Terrain:

The screenshot below shows exactly the same scene as in the two previous screenshots of Bethesda (one with VFR Photographic Scenery, one without), but this time without VFR Terrain:

BethesdaWithDefaultOnly.jpg (530103 bytes)
Bethesda, North Wales (default scenery only)

As you can see there is simply no comparison.  The magnificent Welsh mountains are almost completely missing, as is all the incredible terrain detail which VFR Terrain brings to Flight Simulator.

Note: Except where stated, the screenshots on this page show VFR Terrain and VFR Photographic Scenery.

Buy now

VFR Terrain is available from Horizon Simulation. Please do not confuse it with other terrain scenery products.

Mailing list

If you wish to receive news of VFR Terrain and other products developed or published by Visual Flight, you can subscribe to the Visual Flight mailing list. Send a blank email to visualflight-request@freelists.org with subscribe in the Subject line.


The information on this web site is given in good faith based on the information available to Visual Flight at the time of writing. In using this web site you agree that Visual Flight will accept no liability for any loss or damage resulting from errors, omissions or changes to any of the content of this page however caused. Copyright © 2002-2004 Visual Flight. All Rights Reserved. The Millennium Map™ is a product of Getmapping plc. Photographic imagery Copyright © Getmapping plc.