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  1. Scenery Review : LEBL Barcelona El Prat by JustSim As cities go, then Barcelona on the North-Eastern coast of Spain has almost everything. History, cultural diversity, iconic buildings and even its own strong separatist tradition in language as the local dialect is Catalan and it is the sixth-most populous urban area in Europe. It's place on the Balearic Sea gives you a very wide selection of services, not only to anywhere for in Europe, but all of the Mediterranean countries that are very easily accessible and North Africa is well within reach as well for most narrow-body services. Spain was quite devoid of good quality scenery only not too long ago. But today there is now plenty of choice for domestic services but the best is still mostly on the eastern coast side. But LEVC - Valencia Manises by DAI Media is first rate as is LEXJ - Santander and LEZL - Seville Airport by tdg. There is a LEPA - Mallorca and Pilot+Plus's LEIB Ibiza and a great small airport in Soria Garray. But the best combination is with JustSim's excellent (now updated to X-Plane11) LFMN - Nice with their new scenery here which is LEBL - El Prat airport Barcelona. First impressions My approach was from the north or flying in by Southern France over the Pyrénées Catalanes range. The aircraft is Rotate's MD-88 and I have the xEnviro weather plugin running to create the realistic weather conditions. Once you clear the range you pick up the STAR/RNAV "ALBER" via "Gerona 114.10 GIR" for approach to RWY25R. I have the winter textures installed and as winter in Spain is not a natural usual occurrence, but this year it is and they have had even snow in Southern Greece, and so I am vindicated. The heavy low level cloud is making it hard to find the runway, time to trust my instruments. The entrance into Barcelona is picturesque. Helping in the view is that there are a lot of available objects to enhance the scenery and one of the best is Barcelona Skyline 2.1 by marpilot. This loads in a lot of Barcelona icon buildings that make up the scenery, as well JustSim adds in quite a few of their own, and the most impressive are the main loading cranes on the docks directly in line of your northern arrival path. The cranes are a great visual view to the direction of the airport because most arrival routes tend to come in on a slight angle along the coast, in most cases you do a slight right turn to finals on the approaches RWY25L and RWY25R and for most of the arrival sequence the airport is quite hard to focus on... then it is suddenly right there and right on your nose. This arrival was tricky in this service as well with a bad 19knt crosswind, so I crabbed all the way down to the threshold. Runway layout is interesting with two runways in 07L/25R and 07R/25L being situated almost north-south, but the third 02/20 is a cross runway that crosses 07L/25R and in operations on either runway you have to aware of any traffic using the other live runway. The older terminal two is on the right with a 25R approach and is now mostly abandoned today except for a few LCC's (Low Cost Carriers). The bulk of the traffic uses the newer Terminal One that opened in 2009. Lighting is excellent on the ramps at Terminal One. And the view from the cockpit was excellent, however the terminal's window lighting was quite subdued and very dark, and should have been brighter even in this light dusk light. And so it all looked like the outside lights are on, but no one is home. Taxiway E3 took me to the south side of T1 and my gate at stand 256. Opposite both sides of the terminal one's 60 main jetway gates there are plenty of remote stand parking areas, but none of the jetways are yet animated but noted by JustSim that the feature is coming, ditto for ground traffic animations as well that was noted as a "work in progress". Again in stopping at the gate there was the constant feeling of that no one was home. Overall though I found the arrival very good both visually and atmospheric as the terminal design work and external lighting was very well done. ________________________________________________ Barcelona El Prat Airport IATA: BCN - ICAO: LEBL 07L/25R 3,743, (12,281ft) Asphalt concrete 07R/25L 2,660 (8,727ft) Asphalt concrete 02/20 2,528 (8,293ft) Asphalt concrete Elevation AMSL14 ft / 4 m Overview LEBL intergrates really well into the X-Plane landscape, there are no tell tale boundaries except a slight one on the far south-west and the traffic/roads system goes well into the airport as well from the same south-west, from a visual point of view LEBL is perfect. The port area make a significant difference to the scenery as noted on the approach phase above. It an area full of cranes and storage tanks, but well done. The north-west boundary is the older part of El Prat, with the original airport areas... so we will start there. Terminal 2 Ignore everything the other side of RWY 07L/25R and you would have a pretty good idea of what El Prat looked like forty years ago. Top north is the large well modeled Iberian maintenance hangar with in front a lot of remote GA and private jet ramp parking available. Centre field is a fire station and the old control tower and terminal and now administration buildings. A big point of this scenery is the ground markings and layout is exceptional, all the complex (and it is very complex) taxiway designations are very well noted and signed, you will still need a ground map to work the ATC correctly, but the signage helps a long way in finding your way around. Ground textures are excellent with great variations in detail and the many different surfaces, and note the excellent 3d grass centre The old original terminal is now split into three Terminal 2A, 2B and 2C and currently Terminal 2A is unused. Terminal 2C is used only by Easyjet and Easyjet Switzerland flights, with flights to the UK using module M0, whilst flights to the rest of Europe use module M1. Terminal 2B the oldest terminal dating back to 1968 is mostly used by Ryanair and others like Transavia. And T2A is adapted for large aircraft such as Boeing 777. The terminal is again also split into Modules, where flights to schengen destinations use Module U and flights to non-schengen destinations use Modules W and Y.... got all that? The terminals are well modeled, if a lot unused. Far north-west is a large cargo area with a huge amount of ramp space. There are a few objects lying around but overall it is empty, It is however a good cargo zone to use. Control Tower To the east there is an excellent radar installation and the stylish modern control tower. Detail is first rate and the tower can be seen all over the scenery because of its position. But the tower view setting is not done, so your view is somewhere over on the ground in the cargo area? not very good for a scenery of this class and the sad missed opportunity of a great view of both the 07L/25R and 02/20 crossed runways. Terminal One The stylish Terminal One was opened in June 2009. It is the fifth largest in the world. It has 45 new airbridges that are expandable up to 60 parking gates. This terminal is also capable to embrace large aircraft like the Airbus A380-800 or Boeing 747-8I. Terminal One handles both Schengen and non-Schengen flights. It is split into 5 Modules with Module A handling flights to Madrid, Module B handling Schengen flights, Module C handling Air Nostrum flights, Module D handling non-Schengen European flights and Module E handling non-Schengen non-European flights. A note on the Barcelona to Madrid airbridge, which was one of the most busiest in the world. Started on 4th November 1970, Iberia began the "Air-shuttle" service between Barcelona and Madrid-Barajas. This Barcelona–Madrid air shuttle service is known as the "Puente Aereo" (in Spanish), or "Pont Aeri" (in Catalan) or literally "Air Bridge", and was the world's busiest route until 2008, with the highest number of flight operations (971 per week) in 2007. A few years later, in 1976, a terminal (next to Terminal Two as noted above) was built specifically for Iberia's air-shuttle service. Now it runs out of Terminal One. El Prat's Terminal One was always going to be the central focus of this scenery, and it doesn't disappoint on that level here. It is very well modeled and the glass looks better in the daylight than at night, however it will be interesting to see if JustSim upgrades the glass here with X-Plane11 reflections like they did just recently with their LFMN - Nice scenery. It would certainly add a bit more depth to the textures and make it more realistic again. Airbridges are excellent but none are currently moving, as noted animated jetways are coming. Landside is good with great X-Plane traffic running right into the airport, even if it does come out of a few buildings? The intergration of the 3d terminal ramps into the default roads are clumsy, not aligned and are a different colour and that makes them stand out, and with no animation either makes them also empty. Static Aircraft Using the LEBL - Barcelona scenery from JustSim can be a lonely affair. JustSim don't provide any static aircraft with their sceneries and that is highly noticeable here at El Prat as for it's sheer size. So you can hit the overlay editor to add in a few aircraft or use the utilities of either X-Life from JARDesign or WorldTraffic from CJS. I used WorldTraffic and it worked very well in filling out all those empty open spaces. There isn't any specific ground routes but there is a LEBL pack as part of the "Catalonia Airports" package. But you are going have to edit (cull) a few ground routes as every gate is full, and there is a huge list of 1140! ground routes and that is in "Arrival" only? A tip to cull a few spaces is Gate 256 - take out all runways routes listed as "02-1378" for gate 226 all "02-1363" and for gate 242 delete all "02-1371" files in both Arrival and Departure folders and that trick just saved you 4 hours work. JustSim do note that the WorldTraffic ground routes have been done, but I think they are confusing that with the X-Plane built in ground routes as WT routes have to be supplied and installed directly in WorldTraffic (they go into the WorldTraffic Ground routes folder), and here they have not been added into the package for installment. Night Lighting Best to time your arrival in Barcelona for the dusk period as the lighting is effective and visually exciting. LEBL - Barcelona looks great at night as does the city itself. Runways and taxiways are well lit on approach and on the ground and you get the better highlights of the extra provided 3d object buildings to the north-east of the airport. As noted in first impressions the ramp and apron lighting is excellent, but the glass is a bit dull on T1, but better on T2 of where it is wasted. Services Domestically Vueling dominates El Prat, with the flag carrier Iberia well down the order in 7th. Most carriers are LCC, but the British, German and French Flag carriers do most of the European uplifting. 1. Vueling -15,912,302 : Europe, Africa, Asia 2. Ryanair - 6,785,995 : Europe, Africa 3. EasyJet - 2,799,947 : Europe 4. Lufthansa - 1,407,346 : Germany (Munich and Frankfurt) 5. Air Europa - 1,283,721 : Europe 6. Norwegian Air International - 1,240,280 : Europe, (future U.S.) 7. Iberia - 1,184,660 : Spain 8. British Airways - 829,335 : Great Britain (London) 9. Air France - 739,442 : France (Paris) 10. Wizz Air - 651,098 : Europe International Top 10 international routes note the British love their Spanish holidays, as most routes are for Tour operators and LLC operations. Emirates (Dubai), Aeroflot and American Airlines Delta and American are the only few long haul users. 1. London Gatwick - 1.364.620 : British Airways, EasyJet, Monarch Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Vueling 2. Amsterdam Schiphol - 1.241.129 : KLM, Transavia, Vueling 3. Paris Charles de Gaulle - 1.235.888 : Air France, EasyJet, Vueling 4. Rome Fiumicino - 1.227.988 : Alitalia, Ryanair, Vueling 5. Frankfurt International - 1.030.604 : Lufthansa, Vueling 6. Paris Orly - 982.125 : Transavia, Vueling 7. Brussels National - 841.374 : Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, Vueling 8. Munich F.J.Strauss - 766.960 : Lufthansa, Vueling 9. London Heathrow - 701.905 : British Airways, Vueling 10. Milan Malpensa - 660.880 : EasyJet, Vueling Summary With a lot of the scenery that we cover here at X-PlaneReviews. it is becoming more and more prevalent lately in the fact you get the feeling the scenery has been released quickly and before it is finished, and you get that feeling here with this JustSim El Prat version. Maybe it was to catch in with that Christmas or holiday sales season, but that is not a great business plan overall. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the LEBL scenery as it is, and it is fully usable. But for the sake of a few weeks or a month to tidy up the edges and complete the whole package is not going to change the bank balance that much. No animated gates and vehicle animation is noticeable, Checking that the tower view is correct, more ground servicing equipment, a manual that is missing, no charts and so on, not big things and all supposedly coming down the line... but it is still important when delivering something that is supposed to be fully completed, not that this aspect is not the usual practice in aircraft, but you do expect it in scenery. The glass on Terminal One needs another look, it needs to be more alive at night than a blank dark tint, and a great advance would be to make really sure that if you don't want to supply static aircraft then supply the tools to run the airport as a live entity anyway (Certainly X-Plane11 will change that aspect with better static aircraft tools). Most really good sceneries are important for the reason that has nothing to do with their design and visual appeal. Position, position, position is the hotel's mantra and so it is with a great airport scenery. But in X-Plane position is no good if you can't use the scenery to get the total effect of arriving and being in that place. But with LEBL - Barcelona you certainly get everything in here that you require and with also the great position to use with most services from Europe and Mediterranean countries. So the overall scenery is excellent and well developed as well and there is no doubt that LEBL will certainly play a big part in my X-Plane network in the future, so as an investment LEBL is top notch. I personally really like JustSim's sceneries, they deliver a lot of value and here at El Prat you certainly get that, but just tidy up the rest of the to do list before releasing next time. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! LEBL Barcelona El Prat Airport by JustSim is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LEBL - Barcelona Airport Price is US$21.00 Features: Custom runway, taxiway and airport lights Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings Manualy placed a lot of autogen buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance Animated jetway and airport traffic - work in progress ______________________________________________________________________ Installation The download package is 639.10mb and is 928.80 when installed as a single folder in your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder. The addition of city objects in the Barcelona Skyline 2.1 by marpilot package is well worth the installation. This scenery can be used in both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11, however the X-Plane features at this point in time are not shown. Documents: None Requirements : X-Plane 10.50+ or X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac, Linux 2Gb+ VRAM Video Card Recommended Current Version: 1.1 (last updated Dec 26th 2016) ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 18th January 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews 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 / Checked install in X-Plane11b6 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe US$14.95 : WorldTraffic US$29.95 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - McDonnell Douglas MD-80 by Rotate ((Rotate MD-88 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95
  2. I agree with you Michael that is tough decision. Part of the problem is that X-Plane11 is still in beta, but the basics are done with the v2 release. Yet It may take still a few months before the new v2 expansion pack comes out. If you want XP11 only then I would wait. SD
  3. News! - New X-Plane11 Scenery Version : LFMN - Nice v1.3 by JustSim Just over six months ago X-PlaneReviews did a comprehensive back to back Review of JustSim's LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, Corsica by Aerosoft. (review). Both sceneries were excellent, certainly as a matched pair for point to point services. But already we have an update of the LFMN - Nice scenery from JustSim that is now X-Plane11 compatible. The scenery is also one of the first to take in and use the new X-Plane features so it is worth having a look at. LFMN - Nice Airport is on the French south Côte d'Azur just 3.7 miles west of the city centre of Nice. It is a very good scenery with great intergration into the X-Plane landscape. Service wise it is highly usable because of its excellent position for not only Europe, but the many Mediterranean destination and even North African ports also right on your doorstep. X-Plane11 Reflections The big new feature at LFMN from X-Plane11 is glass reflections, using "Physically Based Rendering" or "PBR". This new tool can finally give X-Plane real looking glass, which has always been one of the most hardest areas to get right from X-Plane scenery developers, many have been very successful, but in a lot of sceneries the glass areas have been woeful. The reflection feature works extremely well at LFMN, because of the large wall glass areas. But the real experience is as you move around the terminals as the reflections are excellent and they move with you. This is certainly nothing new in X-Plane as we have had cockpit panel reflections for years, but it is a new reality feel to use in scenery. The UFO saucer shaped T2 makes the most of this feature because of it's unique shape. So naturally this comes off better than most in the scenery. While still on terminals the LFMN scenery now has a many autogates (marginal) working, but you are required to have the plugin installed. Regional Autogen In the release version of LFMN. You had the option of downloading OSM (Open Street Map) w2xp scenery converted to 3d objects. I noted I didn't like it and mainly for the nasty framerate kill of 15-20 frames, it didn't look right either. In this 1.3 version the 3d objects have been dropped for the newer X-Plane11 autogen region system. Efficiency is the biggest benefit as the built in autogen is far (far) better better than the old OSM 3d object version, it looks better from the air as well. The X-Plane11 regional system allows terraced buildings and that has been put to great effect here, but the German autogen is slightly off, but still at least it is now European. A note on this regional autogen is that it is very early days yet on how good this visual tool will be, it is still quite basic, but I hope Laminar Research with external 3rd parties do put a lot of attention its way as it has the potential to be a great feature for X-Plane. On installing, make sure the old "- LFMN_Nice_JustSim_City" folder is removed before running the new version, if required the old w2xp-scenery is still available for download. X-Plane11 Parked Aircraft Static parked aircraft comes with X-Plane11 as well. And LFMN has been well configured to take advantage of the feature. The static aircraft feature works but only to a point? One is that here I am in the South of France, but LFMN is dominated by American and Canadian aircraft, and two there is a huge military DC-10 on the ramps. You can of course select the DC-10 out, but not the choice of liveries? I still use as in the review WorldTraffic by Classic Jet Simulations as it gives you more ramp control. And a very animated airport comes as a bonus. Wet (Reflective) Runways Another great feature is reflective runways. Bring down the rain and you get a wet look on the runway surface, it looks brilliant in the right light and conditions, be prepared to see more like this. All the rest of the features with this JustSim LFMN - Nice scenery are all still in there with excellent textures and lighting and great ground animations. X-Plane11 is already known for its great atmospheric feeling and that it is all highlighted here. In a few months most of which is noted here will be second nature in X-Plane11, even almost background noise. But it is exciting to see and use for the first time. It is an exciting time for developers as well in the way they can use these great new features, and no doubt they will to their utter most limits.... that is exciting as well. The LFMN v1.3 scenery is priced at great value at US$19.50, for earlier previous owners of JustSim's LFMN Nice Cote D'Azur you can buy this new XP11 version for only $5 or the cost of a cup off coffee: Check out your original LFMN invoice at the store in your account, as the discount code will be listed there. You can still use the scenery in X-Plane10 as well as X-Plane11 but without the above mentioned features. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Version v1.3 LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport by JustSim is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LFMN - Nice Cote d'Azur Price: $19.50 Features: New version with support for X-Plane 11 (X-Plane 10 still supported) Support for Autogate Windows and glass have reflection (XP11 only) 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 Requirements: X-Plane 10 and X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac, Linux - 800Mb HD Space Available 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum - 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: XP11, v1.3 (last updated January 10th 2017) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 11th January 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 : Weather Engine xEnviro US$69.90 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
  4. Aircraft in the late 50's didn't have transponders, but yes you could add it in easily with Plane-maker and use the X-Plane default Transponder and place it on the 2d panel... Note a totally upgraded version of Mike's Boeing 707 is due anytime, it has been comprehensibly upgraded to the DC-8 standard and better!... SD
  5. News! - New Liveries : Airbus A320-271N neo by Peter Hager Peter Hager from Peters Aircraft has added more liveries to his A320-271neo series. As more NEO (New Engine Option) aircraft join the world's fleets then more liveries are required for the newer bus. Peter Hager likes to match the engine version to the particular airline, so all the liveries presented here are for the Pratt & Whitney PurePower® Geared Turbine engines that are already in service or due for delivery this calendar year. The other neo engine option for the A320 of the CFM LEAP-1A engines will also be released soon by Peters Aircraft. The new liveries now include: The NEO launch (first in service) Lufthansa livery Spirit Volaris (Mexican) China Eastern LATAM (South America) - HK Express (hong Kong) Viva aerobus (Mexico) - Air Astana (Kazakhstan) All liveries are free for current purchasers of the Peters Aircraft Airbus A320neo series (not to be confused with the JARDesign version) Peter Hager does also note the new v7.3.5 version is not yet updated to X-Plane11. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Airbus A320-Neo Pratt&Whitney by Peters Aircraft is available from the Store : Airbus A320-Neo Pratt&Whitney Price is US$49.95 All the new liveries are currently updated at the X-Plane.OrgStore, so go to your account and download the v7.3.5 updated version. Features Detailed 3D cockpit Systems and procedures Detailed systems and procedures managed by plugins. As close as possible to the real aircraft systems Complete cold and dark procedure Airbus A320 Neo Liveries House Color, Lufthansa and Qatar Manual The Flight Crew Operating Manual comes with 196 pages of illustrated descriptions of systems and procedures. Fly by Wire and Auto Thrust The FBW system precisely simulates the normal mode, including all protections Auto Flight The Airbus autoflight system, including FCU, FMA and A/THR, is authentically simulated FMGS This model simulates FMGC, FAC, and two large scale MCDUs, to be displayed in a pop-up panel. The MCDU the flight plan aspects a lot more detailed and sophisticated, than XP does Custom Sound System Realistic sound effects recorded on a real aircraft newly created after recordings of the real P&W PurePower engine sound. Images & Text are courtesy of Peters Hager Developer site : Peters Aircraft _____________________________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 10th January 2017 Copyright:X-PlaneReviews 2017
  6. News! - Aircraft Released! : PA34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado Very quickly into 2017 Carenado have released their first offering of the year in the PA34 Seneca V with built in G500 instrument pack. Of course the first question is "Does it fly in X-Plane11" the answer is yes it does, but remember to date X-Plane11 is still a beta (b5) so if a few things don't gel then when X-Plane11 goes stable then things should settle down, but basically it is still stable enough to purchase for use in X-Plane11. Features Carenado G500 Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Original Seneca V autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Highlight of course is the Garmin G500 gps system, but if you want it, the default GNS430 is available as well. To use the G500 you are required to download the Carenado data pack "G1000 Database) and install in the X-Plane root folder to allow the system to work. Included in the package 6 HD liveries. 1 HD Blank livery Carenado G500 PDF PA34 Emergency Checklist PDF PA34 Normal Procedures PDF PA34 Performance Tables PDF PA34 Quick Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF Interior quality is up to the usual Carenado high standard... in other words, simply brilliant. Technical Requirements Windows Vista - 7 (64 bits) or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane10.50 (or higher) 64 bits requiered 2.5 GHz processor - 16GB RAM - 1GB VRAM 480MB available hard disk space Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. The PA34 Seneca V is available right now from Carenado... ______________________________________________________________________ The PA34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado is NOW available! here : PA34 Seneca V HD series Price is US$32.95 Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 7th January 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  7. Don't see why not, only thing to note is that the winter textures are a few years old now, with no updates... SD
  8. GPU, and you need a fair bit of power to get the best out of them... but they are worth it SD
  9. Scenery Review : CYBD - Bella Coola BC by Beti-X Just under three years ago in February 2014 and small art studio called Beti-x under the Aerosoft banner released a scenery called CZST - Stewart (X-PlaneReview - Scenery Review : CZST Stewart by beti-x) At the time Beti-x noted the CZST scenery was just a test of the X-Plane simulator and our sales potential. But the CZST scenery was a game-changer for X-Plane in the sheer quality and photographic 3d reality of the area, and it easily won the X-PlaneReview's Best Scenery of 2014 award of that year as well. As time went on with not only all the kudos and the rave reviews of CZST - Stewart did we see any more action from beti-x, we then thought that our simulator was being passed on as we were not worthy of the time and investment for more scenery from the studio, but here we are with a completely new scenery in the first few days of 2017 with CYBD - Bella Coola and it feels like we are suddenly back in the brilliant scenery business. Like CZST - Stewart we are best looking at where CYBD - Bella Coola BC is first to get an overview of what we are looking at. (Google) Bella Coola is the really the whole Bella Coola Valley, located on the Central Coast, British Columbia. Situated 427 kilometers north of Vancouver and it adjoins the famous Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park. In charts it is to note not to confuse Bella Coola with Bella Bella (both as Campbell Island and Denny Island) as it is in the same area but more to the north-west. CZST - Stewart is far more further north along the same mountain range, but to fly between the two beti-x sceneries is not impossible with the right aircraft (not too big or not too small). (Google) The similarities between CZST - Stewart and CYBD - Bella Coola are quite remarkable. Both are deep in a valley, and both have wide deep canyon (fjord) river systems in their western approaches and very high mountain ranges on their western flanks. CZST came with a very large area of HD scenery, and CYBD's area is even larger with 275 square kilometers of provided mountain scenery, but the central heart is the Bella Coola Valley itself with the townships Bella Coola on the Bella Coola River itself then Lower Bella Coola and the airport is 14 km distant east from the main townsite, then just past the strip is the Hagensborg township and going still further east will take you to the famous Chilcotin plateau. First Impressions There are two direct flights to Bella Coola with one service from Vancouver International (South Terminal) or from Anahim Lake Airport CAJ4 to the east. I departed from CAJ4. To say that CYBD is buried deep in a valley is an understatement, I'm at 8500ft and if I put my wheels down I could still collect snow from the peaks, CYBD is down there, deep down there. It is simply brilliant scenery for flying in, but you have to be totally aware of the dangers with such a deep valley to navigate down. I kept my height as I flew over CYBD to get my bearings, and it is quite hard to make out the strip from this height. But it is down there nestled close to what is left of the Bella Coola River, and it is very similiar to the CZST layout, from up here most of the townships are hidden however the view is breathtaking. I have already started to descend down to the wider form of the Bella Coola River and the coastal township appears on the bank, once over the wider water it is a task to find enough space to turn around 180º to fly back around towards the airport. The approach is a dog leg to the right, so you have to carve your way in, in an S shape track at 1000ft, as the mountains now loom right over you. First up below you is Bella Coola itself, and the township is a wonder to behold, a slight bank to left is then required as you fly over Lower Bella Coola... The Valley and scenery is dominated by one long thread that is the Highway 20 (known over most of its length as the Chilcotin - Bella Coola Highway), that stretches from the Government Wharf on the Bella Coola River to the high Chilcotin range. In the scenery the focus on HWY 20 is that most of the buildings are associated with the road or surround it, but they make a brilliant arrival as you follow the tarmac thread below you, The detail is perfect and almost overwhelming. A sports ground and even wood piled on the river banks give you a sense of the Canadian countryside. But as much as you would like to enjoy the scenery, your focus is on landing at CYBD, or even in finding the airfield? The strip is buried between tall Canadian Fir, Cedar and Pine trees and there is no lead in guide at all, there is a single red light on the eastern windsock, small and mostly hidden... but something, but night operations are simply out of the question as the runway is not lit? So you look for a hole in the trees and the river on your left (going east) which is a good guide, and there CYBD is. You then need to be as low and slow as you can to be able to drop down quickly as you clear the tree line. CYBD has one tarmac runway that is 05/23 at 4,200ft (1,280m) long (elev 117ft), and in most cases that is fine, but at CYBD, you use up a lot of the tarmac getting down to the hard stuff after clearing the trees, so your thoughts are how long an area do I have to stop or do I need another go around, it is tight but I got it right every time, so there is enough space... just. The approach grass part of the field is excellent as is the stone walls to your left by the river. The Canadian Roadhouse style terminal is right in front of you as are a few hangars on the right, I really liked the Compass detailing painted on the ramp, and the huge mix of vehicles and people at the airport. As arrivals go, CYBD is an impressive place to be at, and very challenging. Beti-x CYBD - Bella Coola Atmospheric early arrivals are all very nice, but what do you get with the scenery besides a challenging arrival. So let us look at the airport itself first. The strip itself is a well worn runway 05/23 situated almost east-west. It looks like it was a grass runway, but with a tarmac construction later on. Hwy 20 curves behind the airport, and that gives you deep immersion of the scenery as it is dotted with hundreds of homesteads and farms all perfectly reproduced from the real buildings. On the main apron is that excellent Canadian ranch house style terminal and a large hangar with a set of fuel tanks set in between. The apron itself is perfectly reproduced and extremely realistic with wear and tear and maintenance patches, with that noted compass and heli pad. Landside carpark has been faithfully reproduced, and with animated vehicles, the busy Hwy 20 traffic also adds to the areas buzz. Detailing is simply exceptional... if you went VR I think it would be perfectly real on the ground. Note the local power line poles and lighting that works. Further up field are more hangars and buildings for General Aviation and Helicopters. Well done is the maintenance yard and 3d people just hanging around the GA hanger. Bella Coola is famous for its giant (and therefore dangerous) Grizzly Bears, but also for HeliSkiing, which takes GoPro thrill-seeking skiers high up onto the slopes. So the West Coast Helicopter base is here faithfully reproduced, but tight to use. There is an abundance of grass, thick and thin and expertly created fencing, it is all just overwhelming in detail. Bella Coola Valley East of the airport is the Hagensborg township. Because this scenery is so large in size at 275 square kilometers. There is no real boundary to the scenery as it just blends in to the landscape. So like in the real world you feel the populated areas by the gradual build up of buildings into a town. Then the township is reproduced perfectly, and noted here by the town store, petrol station and lodge. Going west you just follow Hwy 20. The whole 14km distance is populated with buildings along the highway, not easy to do with so many different styles and farmlet designs, but it is all here... with every single building. Next township is he smaller Lower Bella Coola. Here the town is dominated by Mamayu (butterfly) building. And a power generation station like the same in Stewart, important detail. Finally at the entrance to the Bella Coola Valley is the township of Bella Coola itself... The biggest building in the township is the green roofed Hospital and Medical centre, otherwise it is a place of ramshackled housing and apartments. Plenty of hotels to stay in and a few churches to pray in. Some of the graphic ground detail here is not as scaled as in other areas like the airport and looks more buzzy at 50 cm per pixel and not as street walking realistic as the airport at 02 cm per pixel, but still workable considering the size of the scenery . But every building in the town is here and reproduced in detail. Hwy 20 Ends at Government Wharf that is also reproduced here and is ideal for Float Planes to dock at. In context this is a huge area of scenery to reproduce, but the detail is as noted very overwhelming, it is at least double the size of Stewart with just as much or if more internal detail. The only thing I will note is that there isn't many other airports close to CYBN, certainly of any size or of value. So flying from point to point is restricted and even the closest in Bella Bella Campbell Island (CBBC) doesn't have any X-Plane scenery to use and neither is there any for Anahim Lake Airport CAJ4 either? (hint). Winter Textures We haven't finished yet with the area surrounds! X-Plane does now have a built seasons system, but it is not yet refined or completely active. 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. You add in the supplied CYBD Winter textures to the Root file (top) of the MOD enabler. Then when you run the MOD enabler you switch over the folders from left to right and to reverse the season right to left. All the details of this set up and operation are provided by Beti-x in the manual. The results are winter wonderland spectacular! The apron is turned into an ice ring, and note the snow on the terminal and buildings roofs, beautiful. You will need to turn the heater up in the plane to keep warm, and finding your way to the runway is harder with the snowy edges and the frozen ice. And once airborne the landscape is a spectacular sight... I followed the Bella Coola Valley back out to the west... over lower Bella Coola and then Bella Coola itself. The MOD certainly gave you a far wider choice of options in flying into and around CYBD, either by fixed-wing or Heli services. The snow and ice coverage was excellent, and it gives you the perfect flying winter scenario to immerse yourself into the season. Lighting All night operations are of course "Verboten" at CYBD, but doesn't stop you having very early morning atmospheric departures from the airport. The dark runways make it gloomy at night but the apron and terminal are very well done to excellent if quite low key. Street lighting is excellent, but mostly the scenery is just window lighting of a remote outpost in the wilderness. Where required the lighting detail is very good... ... But mostly this is Sleepy Hollow. Summary First few days of the New Year 2017 and it looks like it already that the "Best" scenery of the year is already won, and by a long mile. Sorry to all the other really hard working scenery developers, but Beti-x is a a total level above everyone else in detail and sheer area cover in objects and all at a high quality at that. Beti-x's CZST - Stewart was a revelation, and CYBD - Bella Coola is in the same league if not a notch above, but the sheer scale of the scenery for detail is absurd and this scenery is also cheaper than their CZST -Stewart which is insane. Texture quality is overall excellent, but some signs are a bit blurry. The very good news is that Beti-x is back... on the scene and still making scenery for X-Plane. Even if one of their sceneries only comes along once in a while, you know it will be an event and a scenery to use and savour. Overall CYBD - Bella Coola is totally brillant, and highly usable with excellent value, but watch out for one of the locals... he is pretty mean and it is still his territory! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the CYBD - Bella Coola scenery by Beti-x is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : CYBD - Bella Coola Price is US$24.00 Features: Faithful replica of the real airport with HD buildings and pre-rendered ambient occlusion Airport surroundings with handcrafted ground imagery with a resolution of 2cm per pixel Surrounding Photoscenery at a resolution of 50 cm per pixel covering an area of over 275 square kilometers Volumetric grass Hand placed 3D animated trees and other custom objects The architecture of the buildings fits in precisely with this location Winter version included 1GB of pure High-detailed fun X-Plane 10 and X-Plane 11 compatible ______________________________________________________________________ Installation It is important to understand how the beti-x scenery in Bella Coola is assembled in X-Plane. The download package is a huge 1.12gb and expands to a massive 2.35gb when installed. So you have to make sure you have the space to install the scenery. Three folders are installed in your "Custom Scenery" Folder and must be in this order... BetiX - CYBD_A BetiX - CYBD_B_Overlay BetiX - CYBD_C_Roads BetiX - CYBD_D_Mesh If using HD Mesh Scenery v3 from Andras Fabian, or any other mesh add-on, make sure that in the scenery_packs.ini hierarchy, they are lower than our four directories and the above main file hierarchy is correct. You will also need to have your "runways to follow contours" checkbox on (render settings). If not you will have buildings situated halve way buried under the ground and trailers floating (levitating) in the air... I recommend to do all your installation and settings and then restart X-Plane from scratch to make sure they all reload in the correct order. Note: this review was done in X-Plane10, the scenery will work fine in X-Plane11, but currently as X-Plane11 is still in beta (b3), X-PlaneReview's will not switch over until there is a stable release version. Documents: Manual (very good) .pdf (10 Pages) Requirements : X-Plane 10.50+ or X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac or Linux 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 4GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1Gb Note: it is a big area scenery, but I found no framerate issues as the scenery is very efficient. ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 6th January 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews 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 / Checked install in X-Plane11b3 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders : Environment Engine by xEnviro Scenery or Aircraft - Bonanza F33A HD Series by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95
  10. No, the HD scenery is not connected, however for the built in autogen lighting to work (light throw) then yes the HDR has to be on, but that is the same as with the standard default scenery. SD
  11. The answer is yes and no... In X-Plane10 the aircraft is complete, In X-Plane11 the aircraft has not been updated yet. So most of the issues they are complaining about are void because they are trying to use an X-Plane10 version in X-Plane11? If you do want to use the aircraft in X-Plane11 I doubt the update will be too far away, maybe within the next few weeks, still a worthy investment... SD
  12. No details? Are you using XP10 or XP11? The default FMC or the payware version? SD
  13. It is the "Speed" button, once the FD1 (FlightDirector) is activated you use the speed button to set the selected speed and the system holds that speed, it is up to you (the pilot) to make sure the speed is correct to the thrust output as this system will not make the adjustments for you... SD
  14. The v2 of the latest Boeing 757-200 is a new version, so yes you have buy the new version, but there is a discount available by quoting your current invoice number, contact for details.. SD
  15. It is the "Custom Data" folder, but I can't post that as it is too big. Laminar Research should update that soon... SD