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Scenery Review : ENBR - Bergen Flesland Airport by Aerosoft

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Scenery Review : ENBR - Bergen Flesland Airport by Aerosoft

 

One surprise this year was a scenery that I really liked in Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen. It wasn't an overall extremely out there detailed scenery, but it was a very functional airport in that I could find many uses for and the routes to use it, and I still do use OSL and quite a lot.

So I was surprised that in just a very short time after the ENGM release in that Aerosoft have now released another Norwegian scenery in ENBR - Bergen. So was I wanting to visit ENBR - Bergen...  of course I was.

 

My reasoning to which I would say is quite relevant is that ENBR would make a great companion route with ENGM Oslo. And so it turned out that way, but ENBR - Bergen is a very important port anyway and not just a regional destination so it's scope is larger than the reason's I think it is a interesting scenery. Another aspect and an important one is that ENBR is a major hub for Oil Rig services that covers the northern reaches of the North Sea Oil reserves, and the only direct UK connection from ENBR is with Aberdeen which is the major hub for the UK services for the same industry.

 

So lets have a first look at ENBR - Bergen Airport.

 

First Impressions

Obviously I am going to do the regional route from ENGM - Gardermoen to ENBR - Bergen and the local regional airline Widerhoe seems to be the right vehicle for the route. The odd thing is Widerhoe does serve every major port in Norway from Oslo, but not Bergen? That is left to the SAS services, but it is only 164nm from point to point, so that makes using a A320/B738 a bit of an overkill for such a short route...  The load factors must make up for it.  But this is X-Plane and in the simulator we can override commonsense and fly the route with the right equipment.

 

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Jack Skieczius of FlyJSim's lovely Dash 8-400 in Widerhoe colours is a great way to fly the route. It is quite a difficult aircraft to fly as it is the real version, but I am very familiar with it and so I know I can outfly it's peculiar attributes...  well most of the time.

 

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Departure from Gardermoen was via RWY 01R and you do an almost complete circle to head west via ATLA SID and otherwise it is a direct route to the west coast of Norway. Arrival for ENBR's RW 17 is via STAR BADA, but the final turn is very (very) close to the intercept of finals, in most cases if you turn at waypoint BABLU it is not a tight turn and you can easily be not lined up ready to the runway, It can be done manually but not using the FMS route, so my choice was to go slightly further north to the VOO - VOLLO (114.85) VOR and turn south from there and that gave me more time to adjust the approach via ASK - ASKOY NDB (360khz).

 

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Bergen is deep into fjord country, lovely areas with nice mountains and deep lakes. It is also highly susceptible to the weather. Low cloud, fog and misty weather are normal conditions here, and you have to be aware of these points in that it may excite a few passengers with the sudden looming out of the mist of high ground, but will it will also scare the living daylights out of the other not so in tune souls that see flying as a more of as something they have to do and rather than love the experience as we do. But the point is a looming mountain side out of the gloom here is to be more expected here than general sightseeing...  in other words you have to be careful on your altitudes and speeds as you my not have the visual aspects to help you get through the approach in one piece.

 

So the approach into Bergen is certainly visually excellent but is also highly unpredictable in the type conditions on the time you arrive there. 

This makes ENBR an interesting airport for flying in and out of, but the chances are the conditions will more to the average than the good.

 

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On finals the airport is like on a shelf surrounded by waterways and quite similar to like flying around Juneau in Alaska. Using RWY 17 is more advisable as it has a better ALS lighting system for approach and the guides can be seen more easily through the murk, the airport itself is quite hard to decipher in the haze and terrain and the distinctive approach lighting is a big benefit and in fact a requirement.

 

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So challenging ENBR is, but that is what makes airports interesting and even exciting to pilots. The autogen works as well, even if the buildings are the Germanic default, but it works very well in the layouts and the overall feel as you approach.

 

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Close in to the airport there is not a lot of buildings or urban areas, there is more to the south. So overall the area is dominated by the northern Scandinavian pine tree fauna.

 

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From that aspect Aerosoft have done a great job in creating the right environment, it looks very authentic and the airport is very well intergrated with the surrounding area, in so much so that it can be hard to distinguish the airport from a distance, which is worse in low cloud or foggy conditions.

 

I have the 'runways to follow terrain" setting on, so there is a significant set of gradients on the single runway 17/35, markings are good and the runway detailing is well done. There is well done 3d grass with sparse areas and full growth areas by the runways and infields, that adds in realism to the ground areas. 

 

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There is nothing to the west and all the buildings and the airport is to the east or with my arrival from the north to the left.

 

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The airport is split into three areas. Although all are terminals they are all defined on their purpose. The main one is the older central distinctive circular 1988 terminal designed by Halfdan Grieg. To the south in this scenery is the half-built new terminal to which I don't understand as it was opened in 2016? So why not complete it for use and to the north is the huge helicopter terminal which is located in the old 1958 terminal.

 

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Taxiway A6 was used as a departure point from the runway and that gives you direct access to the main central terminal, but I am using a stand, of which there is plenty of choice north and south and in my assigned stand which is 41 to the north on Apron N.

 

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There is a lot of linage to be aware of and a ground chart is helpful in finding the right taxi line to your gate or stand, they are well defined, but complex to follow correctly without some guidance.

 

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To surmise the arrival is very good at ENBR, but it feels murky and that is mostly the weather's fault, but also there feels a slight authentic drabness about Bergen Flesland Airport, but the word here is "authentic" drabness and not the actual scenery design but more of the feel of the place. My feeling is that a completed southern terminal would have given the scenery a slightly more modern feel, but it is as presented.

 

ENBR Bergen Flesland Airport

 

Bergen Airport, Flesland

IATA: BGO - ICAO: ENBR

 

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17/35 - 2,990m (9,810ft) Asphalt/concrete

Elevation AMSL 50.6 m / 166 ft

 

Most Scandinavian airports are both Military and Commercial, but Bergen which was originally an air station was overwhelmed in the mid-eighties by helicopter services servicing the offshore oil industry and was then with mostly the ending of the Cold War and following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, then the military activity at Flesland diminished down to the point there of there is now only about 30 military personnel at the airport. The northern military area is now only visible via the empty parking areas and a few hangars. As a note the main taxiway Y was used as a backup runway if required and is still serviceable in that role.

 

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Airport layout is mostly over covered by the local fauna, but that is what makes it more attractive in the detailing. There is a fair amount of autogen to the south and southeast which fills in the area very nicely.

 

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All runways and taxiways are well signed and designed, the area south is the new terminal construction zone that is well done. The runway is a single 2,990 by 45 meters (9,810 by 148 ft) runway numbered 17–35 (roughly north–south). The runway has 7.5-meter (25 ft) shoulders on each side and has 2,450 meters (8,040 ft) between the touchdown points.The runway has a parallel taxiway (Y), with nine intersections. There is also a taxiway further in along between the terminal and technical area (W). There are six intersections between W and Y, one of which leads to the military area.

 

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Main1988 terminal

In today's mostly generic sameness of airport terminals, you do look to the past to see any local or regional flavor. Thankfully at ENBR you do get a different style of regional design in the slightly older circular terminal design.

 

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It is very well done in that Aerosoftish way, not really outstanding in design but still expertly done. It is authentic though with those very distinctive "Gerry Anderson - Thunderbird" type boarding bridges design that looks actually older in say an 60's era than the actual 1980's era of construction. Note the excellent animated vehicles of which there is plenty of movement and action. There is a huge carpark set out behind he terminal with a landside arrivals area and with attractive animated flags...  there are eleven gates 21- 32 and there is a nice but small selections of ramp equipment at each gate.

 

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There is also the internal terminal detailing. Very nice, but it is very, very dark in there, but still very bright outside.

 

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The Airbridges are noted as animated with marginal's "Autogate" plugin...  but I couldn't get them to work?

 

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It doesn't feel right either as the wall guides are very off centre to the actual parking lines. I tried both in the set out lines or directing the aircraft at the actual guidance system and it doesn't show anything except the aircraft type?  very odd. On some remote stands (not all) there are guidance marshall's and they do work as advertised.

 

New Terminal area

To the south is the new in progress terminal construction area. It is well done, but I think that the scenery could have finished off in that area for use as Aerosoft will either have to update or see the this scenery go out of date very quickly. The new terminal also replaces the old cargo area, so there is no cargo zone either?

 

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Far south is "Remote Apron S" which has 10 stands 1R, 1, 1R,  2 - 8 but my guess is that this area will be the new cargo area in the future. More to the southwest there is more areas affected by the building works, so the scenery detail (below left) goes on well past the actual airport parameter.

 

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Apron N (North)

The area just north of the central terminal is "Apron N" This is a stand aircraft parking area with stands 41 - 48. Here is also fronting on to the apron also is the airport's Fire Station and a few workshop areas.

 

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To the east of Apron N is the Clarion Hotel and the main open air large carparks...

 

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...     the hotel is pretty basic, but faithful to the original, it is also connected to the central terminal area. Carparks are completed with great lighting and 3d cars.

 

Old Terminal

The North Sea services were overwhelming Flesland to the point that they were thinking of creating a separate area for the operations. 30-40 rotations a day is normal here, so the idea was to build a new commercial terminal and use the older 1958 terminal for the oil Industry and that is the setup today.

 

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This has to be the biggest helicopter terminal in the world, as there are nine helicopter stands, of which six are situated outside the terminal building, the building is quite basic and grey, but "Oh" what a missed opportunity in leaving the area so empty? You can accept the idea of empty gates for aircraft traffic, but in areas that are not as defined then it is to the good developer's discretion to fill in areas that require activity to make a complete scenery viable. So the areas around the 1958 terminal are very, very empty when it should be a hive of activity and it shows....  badly.

 

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Part of the northern helicopter apron are two major helicopter operators maintenance hangars for Norsk Helikopter and CHC Helikopters. Both hangars are well done and well represented. To the east is a GateGourmet facility.

 

As part of the older 1958 terminal's area is the set back control tower that was built in 1991, obviously with it's position more for the helicopter operations that commercial operations. The control tower is well done in construction by Aerosoft.

 

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Tower view works fine for both approaches, there are some railings to the bottom but they don't hinder or obscure the view in viewing.

 

Air-Station

The old air-station is in the far north of the airfield. The downgrading and use of the air station had started in 1988 and was completed by 1995.

 

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The Oil industry again took over much of the area, but it can be used as a General Aviation area as well if required. Mostly you are now left with some old military hangars and a large apron.

 

The old F16 stands are still there and stretch way out into the forest to the north, and there are a few left over barrack buildings as well.

 

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Winter ENBR

As a note Aerosoft do include winter textures for this scenery....  This will transform the scenery into a winter style simulation. So if you want a winter look you can use a set of Winter textures by xFlyer called Winter_Package or Simple Seasons. This set of textures is used with a MODS program that switches over the textures without messing about in root files, and the program is a windows program called Generic Mod Enabler or JSGME Generic Mod Enabler. The JSGME will work with the Mac, but you have to run it with Wine, and it works very well as I have used that system for years.

 

The MOD does a great job of transforming the ENBR scenery to Christmas time!

 

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However there is an issue with the trees?

 

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In the process from summer to winter they have gone flat grey?  And it certainly doesn't look very authentic as trees go...   so I have done my own fix.

 

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I have have included the fix below, see installation notes...    but it now looks far better.

 

Lighting

Lighting is good, workable without being spectacular. The approach lighting is very good (north is better than the south) as it needs to be with the weather conditions at the airport which is contrastingly always submitted to. With the airport's position there is a little autogen lighting to the south, but overall the area is quite dark.

 

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Ground navigation signage is excellent, but it rarely isn't now in X-Plane, but it is still a welcome help here.

 

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All ramp and stand areas are lit, but not overwhelmingly so, but still adequate enough to work on.

 

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The new terminal is lit on the ramp awaiting aircraft, and the rear carparks and airport approach roads are very well done and stand out.

 

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The central terminal was always going to be the scenery's focus at night and it doesn't disappoint.

 

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The highlight is the airbridge downlighting which is excellent.

 

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And the internal lighting works from both viewpoints in from the external and the internal aspects...

 

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...  where again nice downlighting lifts the scene.

 

In the helicopter operations areas it is quite average, in both textures and just basic lighting...

 

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...  and the further north you go the less lighting you get.

 

Services

In 2016 Bergen Airport served 63 destinations. In addition, offshore oil platforms are served from the helicopter terminal. Twenty-three airlines operate regular flights out of Flesland. They are served by two ground handling agents, SAS Ground Services and Norport Handling.

 

The largest airlines at Flesland are Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Widerøe. SAS and Norwegian exclusively operate jetliners on main-haul international and domestic routes. Widerøe operates the routes to Florø, Førde, Sandane, Sogndal and Ørsta/Volda on public service obligation contract with the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The airline's remaining routes are commercial. The airline's uses various sizes of the Bombardier Dash 8. Bergen Air Transport is based at Flesland.

In addition to general aviation and executive jet operations, it provides a daily scheduled service to Notodden with a Beechcraft King Air. Danish Air Transport provides domestic services to Moss and Skien. Bristow Norway and CHC Helikopter Service operate to offshore oil platforms from the helicopter terminal. Lufttransport transport maritime pilots to ships on behalf of the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

 

Charter carriers include Air Europa, BH Air, Corendon Airlines, SunExpress and Thomas Cook Airlines. (wikipedia)

 

Summary

As a companion to Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo then Bergen Flesland is a great and even a required scenery. It is tricky to fly in and and out of ENBR with interesting approaches and that weather. So it is technically a challenge and certainly in the FJS Dash8 but the fjord landscape is quite enchanting especially in low dawn or dusk lighting.

 

Everything is here in an Aerosoft workman like way. But ENBR does come across as a little grey and dull sometimes. But there are a few areas that could have lifted the scenery to above average. The unfinished new terminal area is nice in construction mode, but it is really a waste in an operations point of view, why not just have made it complete and fully usable? And why add in gate guidance that is not aligned and doesn't actually work?

 

Same with the oil operations areas, they are all just very empty when with a bit of imagination it could have been a hive of activity, it is certainly not in Aerosoft's blood to create dynamic sceneries, but here it really shows and it creates a certain blandness that is even a low point for even Aerosoft. You can of course do some work to fill in the areas, but why should you, it should already be created as you are paying good money for that, I hope an update comes soon. 

 

The rest is pretty good, but not overwhelmingly great or brilliant, workman like is the word, but it is a great airport to use if considering its location and to a point that does sum up a majority of Aerosoft's sceneries, so you know what you are buying every time.

 

Worth the purchase? Overall yes, because it is a good scenery and you can get a lot of different operations out of ENBR including the different high rotation helicopter services that are quite rare. Yes I liked it a lot, but ENBR - Bergen could have been better, and even an excellent scenery with just a little more imagination.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! the ENBR - Bergen Flesland Airport by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Bergen Airport Norway - ENBR

 

Price is US$21.59

 

Features:
  • Highly realistic recreation of Bergen Airport, Flesland (ENBR, BGO)
  • Fully compatible with X-Plane 11
  • High detail models of all airport buildings and installations
  • Highly realistic taxiway and runway textures
  • Animated jetways (Autogate Plugin required)
  • Animated service Vehicles (XP11 native)
  • Custom static aircraft
  • Includes highly detailed terminal Interior
  • Winter season included
  • Realistic night time effects
  • New terminal (construction site) included
  • Custom runway slope and mesh

 

 

Requirements :

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
2Gb+ VRAM  Video RAM

Installation :   Download scenery file size is 693.90mb. "ENBR - Bergen" in being inserted into your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder.

 

Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport (1.46gb)

Aerosoft - Bergen - Mesh (47.50mb)

 

Scenery order is important! The mesh file must be inserted below the main file in your .ini loading (txt) file located in your custom folder.

 

X-Plane setting "runways to follow terrain contours" must be ON to use this scenery.

 

Included in Scenery Package
  • Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport
  • Aerosoft - Bergen - Mesh
  • Airport Charts
  • Manual - Airport - Bergen

 

Winter Textures

As noted above I have done my own fix with the flat tree file, a fix will come but "Winter will soon be here" so I can't wait until they sort it out.

 

In the "Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport" folder there is folder called "winter_textures". Within that folder is another called "objects" and the file you need to replace with the one below is the "ENBR_Tree_Generic.dds". The new file is a .png, so just throw away the .dds file and add in the adjusted one. And you will then send me a lovely Christmas gift to thank me for making Christmas real again...

 

ENBR_Tree_Generic.png.zip

______________________________________________________________________

 

Review by Stephen Dutton

20th July 2017

Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews

 

(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)

 

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 11.02

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

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95

- Boeing 737-800 X-Plane default aircraft

- Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$30.00

 

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