Stephen

Scenery Reviews : LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, Corsica

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LFMN Nice Header.jpg

 

Scenery Reviews : LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport - JustSim and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, Corsica - Aerosoft

 

Two sceneries were released together quite independently but are perfectly aligned to go together as a perfect double point to point route. LFMN is on the French Côte d'Azur and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, is on the island of Corsica which are only 94nm apart or just across from each other on the Mediterranean Sea. This makes for a perfect days flying in either a General Aviation aircraft or as I have done here with a quick hop regional service.

 

LFMN_LFKC Google.jpg

(Google Maps)

 

JustSim are the developers of the Nice Scenery which actually will replace the default Aerosoft scenery who are the developers of the Calvi Scenery. I have already covered a few of the excellent JustSim sceneries already this year and Aerosoft are well known for their excellent European scenery so expectations are that both of these airports are very good work from each of the developers.

 

LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport - JustSim

 

LFMN Nice Overview 1.jpgLFMN Nice Overview 2.jpg

LFMN Nice Overview 3.jpgLFMN Nice Overview 4.jpg

 

LFMN - Nice Airport hangs out like a huge aircraft carrier deck on the French south coast just 3.7 miles west of the city centre of Nice. As noted X-Plane already comes with a default Aerosoft version of LFMN, but I have had a few if many problems with this scenery, so in most cases I have not used Nice Airport as much as I wanted to. The biggest issue with the Aerosoft version was under many of the surfaces the areas had not been covered correctly, and in most cases when taxiing or in my case when parking on the ramp west of the Terminal One (T1) I found the aircraft was going over rough ground and bouncing me and my passengers sick...  not good. So my flights were mostly restricted to Private Jet or the odd UK-Nice Service, overall it was never on my flight lists. Which is a shame as it is this is great destination.

 

So with the chance to replace the troublesome Aerosoft version with a workable one then I was not going to say no to the idea. And I am very glad I did as well.

 

Nice Côte d'Azur Airport

(IATA: NCE, ICAO: LFMN)

04L/22R 2,570m (8,432ft) Bituminous concrete

04R/22L 2,960m (9,711ft) Bituminous concrete

H1 29.25x96 Asphaltic concrete

H2 29.25x96 Asphaltic concrete

Elevation AMSL 4 m / 13 ft

 

LFMN Nice Overview Main.jpgLFMN Nice Overview Sm 1.jpgLFMN Nice Overview Sm 2.jpg

 

JustSim has been very prolific this year with X-Plane Sceneries, with great quality at a great price. So how can they do that with most other developers taking three times as long to deliver the same content. There is a trick involved but a clever one. Most developers use a full 3d tool to create their sceneries which can give you great detail and quality, but there are downsides to this in the fact it can take a lot of time to create every 3d object and detail it and all those 3d objects have a very heavy load on your computer. Now in the main infrastructure JustSim still does just that and make 3d objects, but in many areas the developer uses also "facade" style buildings. The trick is that if the quality of the textures and cleverness in creating facade objects that are in tune with the 3d objects around them then you can easily fill out your scenery. You can't get around every item with facade as we know from tdg's work or most WED sceneries, but with great skill you can use many areas that are just really boxes or basic shapes, like warehouses or offices. By using this method you would think you are being short changed for what you are buying, but actually the opposite is true.

With clever facade work it really lowers your loading time and the sheer frameweight on your computer compared to having all those bulky 3d objects, facades take a huge less time to build and like with JustSim's sceneries you can do a lot more objects and cover not only the immediate airport areas but a lot of the surrounding areas as well.

And that is why these sceneries are great value at a lower price but you get more in there at that price, and that is great deal if the quality is in there and JustSim can turn out far more sceneries in a year than most do with one.

 

There are two terminals at LFMN - Nice with T1 and T2 with a small terminal parking area on the west of T1.

 

Terminal One (T1)

 

LFMN Nice T1_1.jpgLFMN Nice T1_2.jpg

LFMN Nice T1_3.jpgLFMN Nice T1_4.jpg

 

T1 is the European domestic terminal at Nice and it looks the modern of the two terminals, but is actually the older building. The terminal has been really well recreated here with a lot of detail and shapes and the unique question mark style supports showing the great detail involved. The landside is a bit average as JustSim has relied on the ground images to do the road network and detail work for them, but they are too buzzy to be really effective. 

 

LFMN Nice T1_5.jpgLFMN Nice T1_6.jpg

 

Airbridges are great but have too much thrash on them, there are no animated bridges in this scenery. But the detail and glasswork is excellent.

 

Terminal 1 has 25 gates. It features flights to domestic, European and Schengen and non-Schengen destinations. 

 

It should be noted that there is a huge amount of remote parking at LFMN, and the areas between the terminals do overlap. As seen below there are no static aircraft with the scenery, and it is noticeable here. So you are going to have to get creative in either using X-Life, X-Plane 10.50 with the new static aircraft rules or hit the OverlayEditor big time...  I used WorldTraffic and that plugin did the job very nicely.

 

LFMN Nice remote 1.jpgLFMN Nice remote 2.jpg

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West of T1 is an area I like, it a small remote apron that is great for LCC's (Low Cost Carriers) and walkon boarding regional jets...  I have used it for the odd VIP arrival in a private jet as well.

 

LFMN Nice T2 West_1.jpgLFMN Nice T1 West_1.jpg

 

The parking linage is extremely confusing? but it is a great place to park up.

 

Terminal 2 (T2)

 

LFMN Nice T2_1.jpgLFMN Nice T2_3.jpg

LFMN Nice T2_4.jpgLFMN Nice T2_5.jpg

 

T2 is dominated by circular bowl or spaceship terminal, with an arm to the west and a hall to the north. The terminal is very well done but the glass is a little more see through in the real version which is more grey and Terminal 2 is the newer and larger facility here at LFMN and has 29 gates . There is a lot of infrastructure connected to the cargo area is set out behind the terminal with the usual carparks and ramps landside, rooftop solar panels are well done and overall detail is very good.

 

LFMN Nice T2_6.jpgLFMN Nice T2_7.jpg

LFMN Nice T2_2.jpg

LFMN Nice Cargo.jpgLFMN Nice Fire.jpg

 

There is a small cargo facility in the nort-west zone and a radar tower, there are several radars and they are all animated. Centre field is a bright red fire station with animated fire trucks, in fact there is a lot of vehicle animations covering the whole airport including buses, trucks, vans and baggage trucks.

 

Control Tower

 

LFMN Nice tower 1.jpgLFMN Nice tower 2.jpg

 

The control tower is extremely well modeled and is in with enclosed with the airports administration buildings, everything is not very highly overly detailed but all work together very well.

 

LFMN Nice tower view 2.jpgLFMN Nice tower view 1.jpg

 

Tower view is awful with chunks of the model blocking out all the views of the runways...

 

LFMN Nice Runways_1.jpgLFMN Nice Runways_2.jpg

 

Both 04L/22R and 04R/22L are well done with the outer runway more of the original concrete than the patched up inner runway, all lineage and signage is excellent.

 

Nice has a huge transiant of (rich) passengers that fly on to the hot spots of the French Riviera and Monaco, so the helipads here are the best in the business, a few vehicles would have been nice. Far south there is also a working radar that is well placed.

 

LFMN Nice Heli.jpgLFMN Nice radar.jpg

 

There is not a lot of off airport infrastructure, except for a cargo facility east and the excellent distinctive Parc Pheonix aviary.

 

LFMN Nice Buildings east.jpgLFMN Nice Parc Phoenix.jpg

 

LFMN - Nice to LFKC - Calvi, Corsica

 

The route is only 100nm between both airports and so you really don't have the time to do the full cruise routine, a good regional jet or prop is ideal for the run, but if you have the time then a nice GA would fill in a few hours. I'm using JRollon's CRJ-200.

 

CRJ200_LFMN 1.jpgCRJ200_LFMN 2.jpg

 

I am adding enough fuel to do the round trip back to Nice to save turnaround time at Calvi, at this short distance it really doesn't matter. LFMN lineage is very good, but you will need an airport layout and plan your route to the runways as not to lose any time as there is a lot of remote parking that looks like taxiway lines...

 

CRJ200_LFMN 3-1.jpgCRJ200_LFMN 4-1.jpg

 

LFMN is a busy airport and today is no exception, you just go when you get clearance and not look behind you. The view out of the cockpit and passenger windows is excellent as the airport looks very good and far, far better than the Aerosoft default version. The CRJ is the BlueSkyStar version with the uprated sound package and as the throttle goes up you feel the push and that really great sound behind you.

 

CRJ200_LFKC 5-1.jpgCRJ200_LFMN 4.jpg

 

Departure to Calvi is by Runway 04L using SID LONS6A Trans MERLU. And that departure means a hard right turn after you clear the airport

 

CRJ200_LFMN 5.jpgCRJ200_LFMN 6.jpg

 

JustSim provides a download of Nice City scenery in OSM with the package (see note at the end of the review) but it is not used here in this departure.

 

On departure that southern Mediterranean French feel comes in really well visually, as you pull up and away from the French Coast

 

CRJ200_LFMN 7.jpgCRJ200_LFMN 8.jpg

 

Climb is only to 14.500ft and once you get there then the descent starts almost straight away, so the cruise section is only a few minutes of say ten to fifteen minutes. So there is no time to relax on the flightdeck.

 

CRJ200_LFMN 9.jpg

 

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As one coast quickly faded into the Azur, another coast then quickly appeared through the mist under the hour, This was the northern-west coast of Corsica and LFKC - Calvi was just slightly inland inside a beautifully set valley.

 

CRJ200_LFMN 12.jpgCRJ200_LFKC 1.jpg

 

There is an ILS approach to Calvi - Sainte-Catherine which has only one runway in 18/36 and the ILS (freq 109.50) was set on the sea approach to RWY 18, Aerosoft do provide a nice few charts for the arrival and departure, but be warned in that the DME is a lock only in a horizontal centre focus on the runway, the vertical lock does not work (I checked via several aircraft) so you will need to do the descent yourself, if you wait for the lock then you will fly too high and miss the approach...

 

CRJ200_LFKC 2.jpgCRJ200_LFKC 6.jpg

 

The approach visuals are excellent from either up front or via the passenger experience, but it is a tricky landing that keeps you on your toes as RWY 18 is set slightly inland and you only see it through a gap in the trees. The village of Borgo is too your left.

 

CRJ200_LFKC 3.jpgCRJ200_LFKC 5.jpg

 

It is important to note that Calvi Airport requires your "Runways follow terrain contours" to be ON. If not you will get a lot of the off airport village buildings floating on contour edges and the airport itself is not set right. This "follow contours" creates a very demanding approach situation because as you settle the aircraft it goes over a contour change downwards (same for departing in that you are literally launched into the air like on a carrier skijump!) and get it wrong and your nosewheel will leave the ground again.

 

CRJ200_LFKC 7.jpgCRJ200_LFKC 8.jpg

 

With all these contour changes you bounce, bounce and bounce until you arrest the speed enough, on completing your landing and you will note the terminal and ramps are elevated to your right.

 

CRJ200_LFMN ramp.jpgCRJ200_LFMN ramp 2.jpg

 

To get up to the ramp you have to judge the incline correctly with enough power to get up and not stall the aircraft and to not then zoom across the ramp with too much thrust, tricky, but with practise you get it right.

 

CRJ200_LFKC 10.jpgCRJ200_LFKC 11.jpg

 

There are eight main parking slots with slot five taken up by a static Air Corsica A320. There are no airbridges as it is strictly walk-on or walk-off.

 

Overall the approach was excellent with great scenery and a demanding landing, the Terminal is very good if a little blank in detail.

 

Calvi Airport by Aerosoft

 

Calvi – Sainte-Catherine Airport

(IATA: CLY, ICAO: LFKC)

18/36 2,310m (7,579ft) Concrete

Elevation AMSL 209 ft / 64 m

 

CRJ200_LFKC Overview 1.jpgCRJ200_LFKC Overview 2.jpg

CRJ200_LFKC Overview 3.jpgCRJ200_LFKC Overview 4.jpg

 

The scenery is nestled in the valley and well intergrated the scenery is with the default X-Plane scenery surrounding it. But it is not perfect as the flat underlying ortho images are prone to show up in some areas and it is quite noticeable by their blurryness of what they are and spoiling the overall effect. However the mountain flowing streams on the east side of the runway are very visually great. There is no grass on the airport infield that Aerosoft do so well and here it would have made a significant difference to hide the orthophoto flatness, but overall the visual impact is good.

 

CRJ200_LFKC Terminal Main.jpg

CRJ200_LFKC Terminal 4.jpgCRJ200_LFKC Terminal 3.jpg

 

The terminal is a single building is certainly well done, but is not overly detailed, detailed. Landside is great but like with LFMN the underlay ortho photos don't allow a lot of detail, and there is a lot of ground support vehicles and equipment and all around the airport the tree and foliage work is very good. Overall it is pretty good.

 

CRJ200_LFKC Terminal 5.jpgCRJ200_LFKC Terminal 6.jpg

CRJ200_LFKC Terminal 7.jpgCRJ200_LFKC Terminal 8.jpg

 

Control Tower and Fire Station is great even if they have to work out of dismountable buildings...  

 

CRJ200_LFKC Control Tower 1.jpgCRJ200_LFKC Control Tower 2.jpg

 

CRJ200_LFKC Control Tower view 1.jpgCRJ200_LFKC Control Tower view 2.jpg

 

...         and the tower view is fine with all the runway approaches easily visible and with a 360º rotation

 

CRJ200_LFKC Terminal Ford 2.jpgCRJ200_LFKC Terminal Ford.jpg

 

Rear of the terminal has great support infrastructure with numumerous car hire depots (Europcar, Hertz), Undercover parking and a really well detailed Ford Dealership. There is a thing in the area for car dealerships?  there are as as many as six on the google map.

 

CRJ200_LFKC area -1.jpgCRJ200_LFKC area -2.jpg

 

There is a little off airport buildings in Borgo and the "Citadel" a "Games of Thrones" style fortress in Calvi has been reproduced with a cruise ship, but the sweet town of Calvi itself is missing.

 

Calvi is serviced mostly by Air France (Paris - Orly) and Air Corsica in regular services. Seasonal routes are very popular to many ports all over Europe. Italy is close and it is only 160 nm to Rome.

 

LFKC - Calvi to LFMN

 

The return service back to Nice was operated during the late hours, to highlight the night lighting.

 

CRJ200_LFKC night -1.jpgCRJ200_LFKC night -4.jpg

 

LFKC - Calvi has only average lighting at night. There is a few throw lights on the ramp and various lighting on certain places on the around the airport and that covers the airside.

 

CRJ200_LFKC night -3.jpgCRJ200_LFKC night -7.jpg

 

The poor lighting in the carpark would require you to use a torch to find your car, the Terminal is not much better. The Ford Dealership was the only highlight..

 

CRJ200_LFKC night -5.jpgCRJ200_LFKC night -6.jpg

 

Lighting to runway is non-existent, but this a small regional airport. But even some lighting from the terminal would help you miss the A320...

 

CRJ200_LFKC night -8.jpgCRJ200_LFKC night -11.jpg

 

Watch that slope, a "feeling your way" to the runway workload.

 

CRJ200_LFKC night -9.jpgCRJ200_LFKC night -10.jpg

 

The edge  lighting shows the runway's uneven pattern, you would need all your skill to land here at night...

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -1.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -20A.jpg

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -2.jpg

 

Mainland city lights come up over the horizon. X-Plane puts on a show as you get that "back in civilisation and I'm home" feeling.

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -3.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -4.jpg

 

Arrival is by RWY 04R and LFMN - Nice looks great on approach in the cockpit windows, runways are clear and easily defined.

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -5.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -20B.jpg

 

The airport lighting looks great to the left and very realistic...

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -20C.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -6.jpg

 

The passenger arrival view is also excellent, the hills around Nice provide a great backdrop as the city lighting is in full view...  The CRJ-200 does not have any runway turnoff lighting and that creates a small problem.

 

CRJ200_LFKC night -11.jpg

 

The scenery has no centre green lighting strips? So you have to go slowly down the runway to find the yellow lineage turn off route, it is harder than it looks. It makes it hard to work out where the turn offs to the taxiways are, yes the taxiways have the lit direction boxes but you really miss those green strips and it makes it darker out here than it needs to be.

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -8.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -10.jpg

 

You know the feeling when you have arrived and you are taxiing past rows and rows of brightly lit aircraft at the gates, it is a great feeling and it is replicated here. pull into the ramp and night turns into bright light...

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -9.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -11.jpg

 

So in the context of arrival and working on the ramps you are going to like it here at Nice. The lighting is very good.

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -13.jpg

CRJ200_LFMN night -14.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -16.jpg

CRJ200_LFMN night -19.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -18.jpg

 

The ramp lighting is excellent and so is most of the remote stands. The building lighting including the Control Tower is not as refined, it is good but not overly great as the glass is very grey and the terminals a just a shade of grey or blue. The T2 Terminal glows in a purple phosphorescent.

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -17.jpgCRJ200_LFMN night -20.jpg

 

At a distance LFMN as a collective works fine, but up really close the lighting it is a little average on the buildings.

 

CRJ200_LFMN night -12.jpg

 

OSM

 

The package comes with the optional download of NICE city scenery. This option is OSM (Open Street Map) converted to 3d objects to replicate the size and scale of the real buildings. I am not a big fan of OSM and decided not to use it in this review, one...  because it kills your frame rate (15-20 frame loss!) and two...  it has a loading error when you load up the scenery. But it is a personal choice.

 

CRJ200_LFMN OSM 1.jpgCRJ200_LFMN OSM 2.jpg

CRJ200_LFMN OSM 3.jpgCRJ200_LFMN OSM 4.jpg

 

Summary

 

In a strange way both sceneries are very much alike or even feel related, and that is why they go so well together. Both are well made, but also both use in areas the poor resolution orthophoto underlays. Lighting is better on LFMN but only over the ramp areas, if this was taken away you would find both sceneries have average building lighting, with LFKC being quite dark. Both don't have taxiway green guidance lighting and both really need them.

 

I was just relieved to get a working Nice, compared to the Aerosoft default version, so JustSim's version of LFMN is a no-brainer for me. Now it will go more on my radar and be used regularly as the French Riviera is a great destination and positioned for many different routes not only in Europe, but North Africa, Spain and Greece are all well within the short route time zone. It looks good, feels good and the scenery is highly efficient with your framerate. You will however need to sort out the missing static aircraft.

 

Aerosoft's Calvi Airport is not an airport you would use regularly, but it is in a very interesting position for great GA flying around Corsica. French and Italian coasts are also within easy distance and the odd Paris-Calvi flight would be interesting. It is a beautiful and technical airport as well, so there is a fair bit of value in here.

 

Price is the key here as JustSim's  LFMN is US$19.50 which is terrific value and Aerosoft's LFKC is US$18.99. No doubt you get a huge amount of more value out of NIce, but both together are certainly a worthy purchase. I really enjoyed the LFMN - LFKC route, and as all the route data is done will do a few more flights over the next few days without the pressure of a review to be completed.

 

JustSim's LFMN - Nice and Aerosoft's LFKC - Calvi are a great double act, and are both well worth visiting, and a great way to fill out those lazy northern summer days.

 

Dedication

This Review is dedicated to the innocents that lost their lives in Nice on Bastille Day 2016

May their lives are not lost in our thoughts, because they did no wrong but be alive and

were enjoying the freedom that the country they were celebrating allowed them that choice.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________
 

logo logo sm.jpg

 

Both LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport by JustSim and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, Corsica by Aerosoft is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Price: $19.55

Requirements

X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition)

Windows, Mac, Linux
800Mb HD Space Available
1Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum - 2Gb VRAM Recommended
 
 
 

Price: $18.99

 

Requirements

X-Plane 10.45+ (any edition)
Windows 7/8/10, OS X version 10.6.8 or later, Linux Ubuntu 12.04LTS or compatible
3 GHz, multi-core CPU (or, even better, multiple processors)
8 GB RAM - 3D graphics card with 2GB+ of on-board, dedicated VRAM
Download-Size: 300 MB

 

Features

LFMN

  • Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings
  • High resolution photo scenery near airport and city.
  • All objects are manually placed.
  • High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures
  • Runway reflection effect
  • Custom apron lights
  • High resolution building textures
  • Optimized for excellent performance
  • Animated custom ground vehicles
  • X-Life traffic compatible

 

LFKC

  • Realistic rendition of Calvi St. Catherine based on real life images
  • Photo real buildings
  • Large Aerial image with 50cm/pixel in the surroundings and 25cm/pixel on the airport, carefully fitted into the default X-Plane landscape and colour-adjusted
  • Customized terrain, runway follows terrain
  • Realistic reproduction of ground markings including old, painted-over markings
  • Animated marshaller (additional plugin Autogate™ required)
  • Customized night illumination
  • Custom made trees and forests
  • Very good performance and implementation
  • Animated bar on the entry of the parking lot
  • Numerous details
  • Changing static  airplanes including wreckage to the south west
  • Animated road traffic 
  • Recreation of the citadel of Calvi and vessel

 

Installation and documents:

Download for the LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is 506.90mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 1.21gb

Install requires the scenery pack "JustSim_LFMN_Nice_terrain" to be below the main "JustSim_LFMN_Nice" folder in the INI order, if installed the "NICE-OSM" has to be below both of the above...

If you are using WorldTraffic you can get the LFMN ground routes here: LFMN Nice GroundRoutes

 

Download for the LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine is 282.10mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 937.20mb

Install requires that the "runways follow terrain contours" checkbox to be ON.

Package comes with a full set of charts and Aerosoft manual

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Review by Stephen Dutton
30th July 2016
Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe US$14.95 : WorldTraffic US$29.95

 

Scenery or Aircraft

- CRJ-200 by JRollon Planes (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$49.95 : CRJ-200 Sound Packs by Blue Sky Star Simulations (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$20.00

 

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