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    • NEWS! - Scenery Released : KCLT- Charlotte Douglas International Airport UHD by Nimbus Studios     Charlotte Douglas International Airport is an international airport serving Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, located roughly 6 miles (9.7 km) west of the city's central business district. Charlotte Douglas is the primary airport for commercial and military use in the Charlotte metropolitan area. Operated by the city of Charlotte's aviation department, the airport covers 5,558 acres (2,249 ha) of land.   Charlotte was mostly known as a major US Airways hub, until they were absorbed into American Airlines in 2013, Charlotte CLT then became the second-largest hub after Dallas/Fort Worth  for the now merged American airline,   Nimbus Studios don't need any introduction to X-Plane users for quality scenery, and aircraft as well. But large complex sceneries are Nimbus's forte, including KORD Chicago O'Hare, KMCO Orlando International and most recently the excellent (and massive) KJFK - John F. Kennedy International XP12 in New York.   An added feature here is the The Carolinas Aviation Museum, established in 1992, and it has a collection of over 50 aircraft, including a DC-3 that is painted in Piedmont Airlines livery. In January 2011, the museum acquired N106US, the US Airways Airbus A320 ditched by captain Chesley Sullenberger as US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. This aircraft, which was delivered on June 10, 2011, and is about 35 years younger than any other commercial airliner on display in a museum.   This is the newest airport by Nimbus, and all in Ultra-High resolution!   SCENERY FEATURES High-Definition Airport Terminals with 3D interiors and people The new control tower that was finished in early 2022 Lights almost everywhere so very few LIT textures (saves VRAM) 4K textures with PBR materials Night lighting Ground textures with PBR materials High quality vehicles with PBR material 3D Native XP12 trees Parking lots full of cars Ground markings all over the airport Native X-Plane ground traffic. Native XP12 jetway system with custom highly detailed jetways. Detailed tarmac textures from up close or far out. High quality vehicles and miscellaneous objects. Water and snow effects. Taxi routes for AI Traffic     Please note that the Nimbus CLT is for X-Plane 12 only, and no X-Plane 11 version is available.   Designed by Nimbus Studios Images are courtesy of Nimbus Designs __________________     Yes!...   KCLT- Charlotte Douglas International Airport UHD by Nimbus Design is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   KCLT- Charlotte Douglas International Airport UHD Price is US$26.95   Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.5 GB Current version: 1.0 (June 21st 2024) ___________________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 24th June 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved    
    • NEWS! - Scenery Updated : KPNS - Pensacola International Airport v2 by FS Designs     FS Designs have updated their Pensacola International Airport scenery to v2. This release is a very big revision of this Florida scenery, it also comes with a new FS Design plugin for animated & interactive hangar facilities. (Note the plugin is currently only for Windows, but Linux and Mac are coming soon).   Pensacola International Airport, or formerly Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport and Pensacola Regional Airport (Hagler Field), and was actually temporarily branded Pensacola Intergalactic Airport each February in recognition of the local Pensacon convention! It is a public use airport three nautical miles (6 km; 3 mi) northeast of the central business district of Pensacola, in Escambia County, Florida, United States. It is owned by the City of Pensacola. Despite its name, the airport does not offer scheduled international flights, though chartered international flights are not uncommon. This airport is one of five major airports in North Florida, and among these it is the second largest by passenger count, only behind Jacksonville.   KPNS V2 features include... NEW - FSDesigns Hangar Utility Plug-In – Featuring animated hangar and t-hangar buildings with interactive doors Up-to-date custom cut high resolution orthoimagery Fully reworked terminal textures High quality 3D modeling and texturing with PBR Accurate dynamic night lighting Added more dirt, grime, details Highly optimized custom PBR ground textures Highly optimized for FPS Custom vegetation Updated airport layout Animated fans for added immersion High attention to detail with wear and tear effects using the latest texturing technology Fully reworked ground textures with added memory optimization Updated surrounding neighborhood and airport vicinity Re-modeled and re-textured hangars Added border protection facility Added more detail in curbside (terminal drop off area) Included major optimization changes       Pensacola Regional Airport covers an area of 1,211 acres (490 ha) at an elevation of 121 feet (37 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 17/35 is 7,004 by 150 feet (2,135 x 46 m) with a concrete surface; 08/26 is 7,000 by 150 feet (2,134 x 46 m) with an asphalt surface.   Runway 17 has an instrument landing system and approach lights, while the Runway 26 approach has a localizer approach. A 1,000 ft. extension to the east end of Runway 08/26 was completed in 2006. The airport hopes to extend Runway 17/35 to about 8,500 ft, and the airport's two war-era diagonal runways were decommissioned in the 1960s.   Images are courtesy of FS Designs...   Priced at an extremely low price at US$14.99, Customers who own Pensacola International Airport v1 can get the new v2 version for 50% off from the X-Plane.OrgStore. _____________________________________     Yes! - KPNS - Pensacola International Airport by FS Designs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   KPNS - Pensacola International Airport Price is US$14.99 Customers who own Pensacola International Airport v1 can get the new v2 version for 50% off.   Requirements X-Plane 12 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 2.0 (June 23rd  2024) Download Size: 1.1 GB ___________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 24th June 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved  
    • Scenery Review: KSJC - San Jose International Airport by Short Final Designs   By DrishalMAC2   Introduction Situated in the vibrant heart of Silicon Valley, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (KSJC) serves as an important hub for technology professionals, business travellers, and tourists alike. Conveniently located near the bustling downtown area, KSJC offers easy access to the heart of tech innovation, with close proximity to key players such as Google, Apple, and Facebook. KSJC features two parallel runways (12L/30R and 12R/30L) and primarily hosts regional carriers such as Southwest, Alaska, and Spirit; however, larger carriers like Delta, American, and even British Airways also operate from here. As a fan of large airports and heavy metal airliners, I was particularly excited to explore ShortFinal Designs’ (SFD) latest airport for X-Plane 12. Known for their attention to detail and realism, my expectations were high. Let’s see if this scenery package lives up to everything I want it to be…     Installation The installation process for "SFD_KSJC_San_Jose" is straightforward. Simply extract the zip file and drag the “SFD_KSJC_San_Jose” folder into your X-Plane 12 Custom Scenery folder. The initial download is 1.21 GB, and once extracted, expands to a slightly larger 1.86 GB. Quite reasonable considering both the size of the airport and the quality within. For those who prefer using their own ortho textures, an option is available. Navigate to the “!Alternative versions” folder and open the “No Ortho” folder. Here, you will find an “Earth Nav Data” folder. Copy this folder into the main “SFD_KSJC_San_Jose” folder and, when prompted, overwrite the existing files. This change can be reversed by dragging the “Earth Nav Data” folder from the “Ortho (default)” folder back into the main directory. This flexibility in texture choice is a highly welcomed addition to the scenery and one that is often overlooked by developers.  Additional plugins that enhance the scenery, such as LST (Living Scenery Technology) or SAM (Scenery Animation Manager), can be installed into your X-Plane "plugins" folder. These plugins are not required but highly recommended for an enhanced experience. If you are using X-Plane 12.1, I recommend using the openSAM plugin as an alternative to SAM, since SAM may cause some issues with XP12.1.     Documentation The PDF manual included is short but thorough, covering the entire installation process as detailed previously. It also provides links to the above-mentioned plugins and offers a description of the airport along with special features of the scenery. Additionally, the manual contains license information and contact details should product support be required. While the manual is comprehensive in many respects, it was slightly disappointing to see that no airport charts were included. However, they are readily available online, allowing users to easily obtain them as needed.     Ground Textures For this review, I selected the 'No Ortho' version, complemented by simHeaven’s excellent X-World America, my own custom ortho textures, and Global Trees. This combination significantly enhanced the area surrounding the airport, making it far more inviting than X-Plane’s default autogen and textures.     The runway textures are of extremely high quality, with elements such as touchdown zone markers and aiming points accurately placed, reflecting the real airport's layout well. Additional textures like tire marks and various grunge effects have been added to the runway textures to give an authentic appearance.      The taxiway textures are also impressive, featuring a high-quality base texture adorned with various grunge effects and tire marks to suggest usage. This depiction is true to life, as verified by examining Google Maps, where the taxiways at KSJC appear quite clean despite the airport's heavy traffic.      However, plenty of marks, damage, and oil spills have been realistically replicated at the aircraft stands, ensuring the airport still presents a used feel while remaining authentic.   The ground textures on the southwest side of the airport (not to be confused with the airline) are particularly appealing, featuring a darker shade with more wear and tear. Additionally, the patchwork on the airport taxiways has been carefully modelled by SFD, with the various shades of concrete visible on Google Maps faithfully reproduced here. Tar lines have been beautifully utilized in some areas to provide a smooth transition between different concrete textures. I especially appreciate it when scenery developers take the time to include these details, as they significantly enhance the overall scenery.     Signage and Foliage Both the 3D airport signs, and the ground signs are of high quality and are placed exactly where one would expect them to be for an airport of this size. The 2D signs on the ground are particularly notable for their textured depth and slightly washed-out appearance, which avoids the overly bright and heavy contrast typical of default airport signs in X-Plane. SFD has done a brilliant job here.     Custom trees and foliage have been strategically placed, especially along the northeast corner where a dense strip of trees significantly enhances the approach. Additional foliage has been added around areas such as the car parks and along nearby roads, contributing to a cohesive landscape. I'm happy to report that all the trees are 3D, demonstrating SFD's use of the latest X-Plane 12 features.      3D grass, available exclusively with the Ortho (Default)" version of the scenery, is placed strategically within the airport. Its colour matches the ortho imagery perfectly. The grass is kept short, aligning with real-world airport practices to minimize long vegetation, which helps deter birds and other wildlife.      Terminal A Terminal A at KSJC has been well modelled, displaying a high level of detail, particularly on the roof, a commonly overlooked area that has been given due attention here. The jetways, drainage pipes, air conditioning units, safety barriers, and extruded pavements are all modelled to an extremely high standard, contributing to the terminal's realistic appearance.     The interior of the terminal is also well-designed, featuring just enough detail to be believable from the perspective of your aircraft parked at the ramp. The inclusion of 3D people, airport signage, gate desks, and various shops creates a convincing scene inside the terminal. The external texture work is excellent, showcasing detailed representations of dirt and wear that add to the authenticity. Although the interior textures are of lower quality, this is intentional as higher resolution textures are unnecessary for areas not typically accessed during normal use. This approach not only ensures efficient use of computer resources but also helps maintain VRAM usage and overall performance at an acceptable level.     Terminal B Terminal B at KSJC boasts a more unique and striking design, making it instantly recognizable as part of the San Jose airport. The roof has been expertly modelled with a high polygon count, giving its curves a visually pleasing appearance. The overall structure of the terminal mirrors the high standards seen in Terminal A, with equally meticulous modelling.     Inside, Terminal B features even greater detail and accuracy than Terminal A, presenting a fantastic visual experience. The eateries, in particular, have been modelled and textured beautifully, likely delighting those familiar with the airport. Important airport elements like departure and arrival boards, as well as various advertisement boards, have been carefully modelled to enhance realism. The quality of the textures, both externally and internally, continues to impress throughout the terminal, reflecting the high standard of the entire package.     Other Airport Buildings The additional structures at KSJC, including the fire station, various hangars, the LSG Sky Chefs building, Southwest Cargo warehouse, and multiple FBOs and maintenance hangars, are modelled to a high standard. The texturing aligns with the quality observed in Terminals A and B. Particularly standout features are the NetJets hangar and the ATC control tower, both of which are remarkably well-executed and enhance the airport's realistic feel.     Surrounding Buildings SFD has excelled in modelling the area surrounding KSJC. Iconic locales such as PayPal Park, In ‘n’ Out Burger, At Home homeware store, City Sports Club, Staples, and the modern office buildings along Coleman Avenue are rendered with impressive accuracy. These buildings look spectacular both when on final approach and while taxiing to the runway. Additionally, the SP+ parking garage and the SJC Car Rental Centre have been carefully modelled to match this high level of detail. The self-storage buildings to the southwest of the airport are also notable, particularly when making final approaches into runways 30L or 30R. The collection of these distinctive buildings around KSJC airport creates an authentic and unique atmosphere, enhancing the experience of flying into or out of the area.     Ground Clutter The airport features an abundance of ground clutter, including custom items such as Southwest baggage carts and pushback tugs. The texture work and modelling of these elements are of very high quality, ranking among the best I have encountered in any scenery. The arrangement of the clutter is both random and orderly, contributing to the authentic feel of the airport without giving it a “copy and paste” appearance.     SFD’s attention to detail extends to the placement of 3D people throughout the ramp area, an element that is highly appreciated and often overlooked by other scenery developers. Furthermore, the integration of Living Scenery Technology (LST) from X-CODR injects a vibrant life into the scenery, with airport operation vehicles actively moving across the airport. This bustling activity truly makes the airport feel alive and teeming with movement.     Night Lighting The night lighting at KSJC is executed exceptionally well, striking the perfect balance of brightness in the ramp areas. The taxiway and runway lighting are also of high quality, with special attention given to the approach lighting. A comparison with real-world airport data from airnav.com confirms the accuracy of the lighting setups at KSJC. Notably, there is no Touchdown Zone (TDZ) lighting, and the Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach lighting is correctly implemented only for runway 12R/30L. Such precision in lighting design demonstrates ShortFinal Designs' (SFD) commitment to detail, closely mirroring the actual conditions found at the airport.     Performance On my system, whose specs are detailed at the end of this review, the performance is quite impressive. I observed no noticeable drop in FPS when comparing this scenery to the default, nor were there any stutters. This is particularly commendable given the extensive size, high level of detail, and the comprehensive environment of the airport. For reference, my testing was conducted using simHeaven’s X-World America and Global Forests with settings on high and medium.     Conclusion Reflecting on my exploration of ShortFinalDesigns' KSJC San Jose Airport for X-Plane 12, I am thoroughly impressed by how the scenery vividly brings this bustling hub to life. The package's outstanding realism, and careful attention to detail perfectly capture the essence of San Jose's vibrant airport. The installation process was straightforward, helped by clear and helpful documentation. A minor drawback is the absence of airport charts, though these are readily available online. The ground textures are vivid and precise, authentically depicting the airport’s natural wear and tear.     The interiors of Terminals A and B boast exceptional depth and realism, enhancing the immersive experience without overtaxing system resources. Additionally, the surrounding airport buildings and landmarks, often overlooked in other scenery packages, receive detailed attention, significantly enriching the atmospheric scene. The dynamic presence of bustling ground vehicles and lifelike 3D people further animates the setting.   In conclusion, SFD’s KSJC for X-Plane 12 offers an exceptional experience for the price. It successfully captures the atmosphere of San Jose’s airport, transforming every visit into a uniquely immersive journey.    ________________________     KSJC - San Jose International Airport by Short Final Designs is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:   KSJC - San Jose International Airport Priced at $22.95   Features High-Definition Airport Accurate airport layout (as of 2024) Detailed models for all buildings with baked ambient occlusion Terminals with fully modeled interiors Detailed general aviation area with several hangar interiors PBR materials on objects and ground Custom dynamic night lighting Custom high resolution pavement textures and markings High resolution photo scenery (30cm/px) Compatible with any mesh scenery Surrounding buildings including the PayPal Park stadium 3D vegetation Fully Animated Airport Animated cars and buses Animated passengers and workers Custom animated airport vehicles with PBR materials and FMOD sounds Detailed animated jetways with SAM integration Various user-controlled hangar doors (SAM plugin required) ATC network included for AI traffic addons Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac, or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.2 GB Version 1.0 (May 22nd 2024)   Review System Specifications Windows 10, Intel i5-12400F, 32GB RAM, RTX 3070Ti  ________________________ Scenery Review by DrishalMAC2 21st June 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copying of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions).    
    • Aircraft Review : PA24-250 Comanche by InDepthSimulations   X-Plane can deliver very deep and complex simulations, but the scale is also very wide. In scale from those in depth "Study" style MEGA immersion aircraft, to the humble General Aviation Simulation. And so this is what we have here, the totally opposite end of the scale in a small GA, the basics, and how you fly in a very bare-bones set up. This is important, the general knowing on how to fly an aircraft at an elementary level.   This PA24-250 Comanche is a first time release from the developer inDepthSimulations, so you not going to get an abundance of menus and features (just one actually), but that is not the point here.... it's all about the basic flying skills with a classic aircraft.   The Piper PA-24 Comanche is an American single-engine, low-wing, all-metal monoplane of semi-monocoque construction with a tricycle retractable landing gear and has four to six seats. The Comanche was designed and built by Piper Aircraft and first flew on May 24, 1956.   In 1958, Piper introduced a 250 hp (190 kW) version using a Lycoming O-540 engine, giving the PA-24-250 Comanche a top cruise speed of 160 kn (180 mph; 300 km/h). Most 250s had carburetted Lycoming O-540-AIA5 engines, but a small number were fitted out with fuel-injected versions of the same engine. Early Comanche 250s also had manually operated flaps and carried 60 US gal (230 L) of fuel. This model was originally to be known as the PA-26, but Piper decided to keep the PA-24 designation and it has the later electric flaps.     First expect a few ongoing updates, as since the release on 3rd June 2024, there has been in only a few weeks already two updates. So the aircraft in question here is still in a developmental period. As we shall see a few items still need to be added, not essential at this point (well maybe one or two items?), but in the main the aircraft is ready to fly.   First views are actually very good, it's a mid-50s design, and the PA24 looks and feels very much in it's designated period. The main aircraft modeling is actually very good. Lovely spinner holds three McCauley fixed-pitch props using the trade name "MET-L-PROP" (original was a twin-blade prop). Lower nose air-vent and side latches are well done here, as is the very nicely raised riveting of the fuselage, wings and tail-planes. The wing's aerofoil is very nicely done as well.      Glass feels a bit thin, and too clear, a slight tint would have helped, also a more stronger reflective effect, but the windshield shaping is fine.     Chunky short undercarriage, is well done and nicely detailed, and it comes with very nice (but very clean) rubber.     If you want to open the (right-hand) door and look around inside...   well you can't just yet as it's not completed, no door handle either?     The cabin itself is basic...  with two front seats and single wide bench in the rear. The front seats look very plain externally, but they are far better up close, the detail is also quite nice. Note the Trim Winder on the roof. Cabin is dressed in a cream colour that makes it feel unfinished, so I think it needs a more detailed colour to hide those flat plain sides...  a grey perhaps to match the seat colours.     Instrument panel is black, a worn black, but black never the less. It is a very sparse instrument panel as well, but reflects the period very well. Rudder pedals on the left (pilot) have built in toe-brakes, the right are just a set of rudder bars.     Yokes are very nice in the rectangle looped style, there are no buttons on these original style yokes, but I bet they felt good to use. You can hide both (only both together) by the hotspot on the left yoke.     All the instruments are grouped left, with the Standard Six central. (Airspeed, Artificial Horizon, Altitude, Rate of Turn HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator and V/S Vertical Speed). Left is a standard clock, right are two Course Deviation Indicators (CDI) and there is no NAV/COM 2 on the aircraft. Further right is a Temperature Gauge (ºF) and below is the Flap position indicator (UP-TAKEOFF-DOWN). Bottom right are two gauges for RPM and Manifold Pressure. Left switch gear is Electrics, and lower switchgear is lighting/pitot heat. Gear switch is a tiny, tiny switch, mid-panel.     Right Instrument Panel are five gauges; Fuel Quantity, Fuel Pressure, AMPS, Oil Pressure and Oil Temperature.   Something missing? well yes... a Whiskey Compass, there isn't one and on a GA... please tell me why?   Avionics Stack has a Garmin GNS530 top, and the GNS430 lower, Transponder is a modern GTX 327. This is X-Plane 12.1.0, and the Gamins now have a customised startup screen, and more original to the real GPS Units. And a very nice and fancy startup procedure it now is.     Being the default X-Plane GNS Units, they pop-out for your convenience. There is the COMM settings in the GNS Units, but there is no radio unit installed here, please fix this...     As noted there are no menus, the only feature is the nose wheel chock, and Pitot cover. They are visible/toggled via pressing the right seat cover.     The lighting is sadly pathetic...  Internally there is only one (adjustable) setting for an red indirect glow on the instruments with no backlighting, but it doesn't look too bad at night, and there is no internal cabin lights at all.     Externally it's just terrible, in the daylight you can't see any lighting at all, either the landing/taxi lights, or even the red roof beacon?     At night any lighting is still barely visible, and the navigation lights are just dull blobs....  not great.   Flying the Comanche 250 The PA24-250 is a basic aircraft, so the startup is basic as well. You just give it a little Throttle, full Prop, and a lot of rich mixture (as required) and in turning the key...  "boom" the O-540-AIA5 springs into life. Sounds are pretty good, in being custom made by Boris Audio Works, but the volume is slightly too low? Set at half volume in idle, I could hardly hear the engine sounds?     Setting the trim for takeoff is tricky, as there is no position indicator, but setting it front forward with the winder, gives you a neutral trim setting, not perfect, but sort of better than nothing....   Move your rudder pedals and you turn the front wheel. It is old style X-Plane when the rudder is set to the steering. Most X-Plane aircraft now have the rudder pedals set using a pinched movement, or a smaller limited angle for steering, if you want more turn angle, then you use the tiller (yaw)...  it's odd to have it back, but good for foot steering, the bad is that nose wheel turns more when trying to counteract the asymmetric thrust on takeoff, in so producing a squeal or smoke from the nosewheel?       But the Comanche 250 is nice to taxi...  so we ask the question? "Why fly this aircraft"...  yes it is basic, but the fundamentals are very good. As once moving the PA24 feels great, and you like being in here. And as you have probably gathered by now, there is no pilot in the aircraft?     It is highly noticeable from the external view, sadly...  it feels like a "ghost plane".   You have to point the PA24 slightly to the right off the line...   as when you feed in the power it will pull very heavily to the left, and if you are not ready for it...   you will simply slide out onto the grass? This initial asymmetric thrust is brutal, but once through the window, you get more centre-line control. Takeoff run is 1,400 ft (430 m), but the nose wants to go earlier, but then your flying. The PA24 is tricky to takeoff, note flaps are 9º, takeoff position.     Rate of climb is quite high at 1,320 ft/min (6.7 m/s), but the nose trim needs taming early (Trim set right? I don't know), the great sounds of the gear retracting is very authentic.     Finding the best climb rate is to your advantage, I found 900 fpm about right, nice climb with no loss of power, retract the flaps as soon as you can as well to help with the drag.     This aircraft is all about getting into the groove, feel it, controlling it. There is no Autopilot to use? But you can still use the Flightplan on the GNS GPS units to follow a route cross-country.     There sadly is no VOR/DME direction and range finding in here either, so you can't fly VOR to VOR. So it is either dead-reckoning or in using the GPS route. In this case the missing Whiskey Compass is a big oversight, as the bearing instrument is too low in your vision, and it is not reliable either, moving faster than your turn, then returning to the bearing heading.     The Comanche has two fuel tanks in Left and Right, with 30Gal per tank (60Gal total). The Fuel selector is on the floor. But be careful as the fuel gauge is for "Both tanks", so the gauge may show as here at being over half full, but the actual amount in the (L) tank is desperately low...     ... there is no warning or any indication the tank is low either, so does this PA24 need individual fuel tank gauges? The developer has noted that most Comanches have wing tanks (adds extra 30Gal), and that both will be added on later.   Sounds are really excellent, you thrumm along to those great external, but better yet nice internal sounds that don't get boring...  thankfully.     I have never flown a real Comanche. But when finely trimmed, you can fly this version along quite nicely with a forefinger and thumb on the yoke, with only slight movements are required to keep the PA24 steady. The Comanche is very good like this thankfully, as the flying here is totally and always manual. That said, very long trips would be generally tiring as there is no respite from the controls to relax.   Cruise speed is 185 mph (298 km/h, 161 kn) at 6,300 ft (1,900 m) (max. cruise is set at 75% power). Never exceed speeds are 227 mph (365 km/h, 197 kn), and the standard Range is 1,225 mi (1,971 km, 1,064 nmi) at 10,500 ft (3,200 m).     Reduce the power a little and the PA24-250 will descend without any yoke or pitch input, here about 350 fpm, once lower in the white zone 110 knts then you can lower the flaps to again reduce the speed. Again notable is that the speeds shown on the Airspeed dial are outer MPH, and the KNOTS are on the inner band, so you will have to adjust your thinking to that aspect.      Flaps are available in four positions 0º 9º 18º and 27º degree settings, with each selection, you easily reduce speed, but be aware of lowering the gear too early, the drag is immense, and if done at the wrong time, it could make you quickly lose height, so it is a bit of "at the right time" sort of action. (notes are that the gear here is too draggy?)     Final approach speeds are 75 knts, full 27º flap and gear down, again throttle adjustments to adjust your altitude is very good, you feel totally in control.     Finals are 160 knts, and 150 fpm descent, so just let the Comanche 250 just side itself down to the ground... with a lot of flare pitch, it needs a lot of flare pitch to control the speed downwards.     ...   touch is around 55 knts. Be aware of that big grippy tyre on the nose, so yoke inputs (and rudder pedal inputs) once it contacts has to be absolutely minute, if not the the 250 will start to squirm, if you lose it, you will not recover a good landing, so it's a skill to master. Overall it is an aircraft to tune into, but once you do it is also a lot of fun.     Liveries There is one Blank, and four liveries, all USA registrations.     Summary The Piper PA-24 Comanche is an American single-engine, low-wing, all-metal monoplane of semi-monocoque construction with a tricycle retractable landing gear and has four to six seats. The Comanche was designed and built by Piper Aircraft and first flew on May 24, 1956.   This PA24-250 Comanche is a first time release from the developer inDepthSimulations, and by all accounts and details it is obviously not fully developed. So you may ask the question, "Why review". Our view is that if the developer puts up there product for sale, then the purchaser has the right to know what they are purchasing with their money. There is also the other aspect of another point of view of the product, in this case an aircraft.   For a first development, the Piper PA24 Comanche 250 is very good in quality, so that aspect is important. So as an investment, you look at the context of the future, and not where it is now, that ongoing development progress.   There are things here I am going to list the aircraft needs, some very quickly in the next few updates. A Whiskey Compass is essential, also is a pitch trim indicator, to balance the aircraft of takeoff. The completion of the cabin, and the opening of the door. A pilot would be a great addition externally in flight, and a radio set (say a Bendix/King KMA 28 TSO) on the Instrument panel. Fuel tanks need separate gauges, and a complete overhaul and refinement of the lighting. From there on you have a pretty good basis for a nice Comanche.   It is a basic aircraft to fly, but that is also it's attraction. Bear-bones flying to refine your skills, as the Comanche takes away all the distractions and puts you literally in the pilot's seat, very X-Plane, but it also can be rewarding in recreating one of the great aircraft of the 50s/60"s, as this classic aircraft has four world records to it's name. _________________     Yes! - the PA24-250 Comanche by InDepthSimulations is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA24-250 Comanche Price is US$20.00   Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum Download Size: 576 MB Current version : 1.0.2 - June 12th 2024   Download of the PA24-250  is 562MB, for a full installation of 744Mb   Documents InDepthSimulations PA24-250 Manual.pdf (17 Pages) PA24-250 1962-1964 POH .pdf (Authentic Original Handbook, 68 Pages) Piper Comanche 250 Procedures.pdf (Checklists)     Design by InDepthSimulation Support forum: PA-24 250 Comanche _____________________ Review System Specifications:  Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software:   - Windows 11 - X-Plane v12.1.0b7 (checked in X-Plane v12.0.9rc5) Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - EGGD - Bristol International Definitive by PilotPlus+ (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.95 - EGHI Southampton Airport by PilotPlus+ (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95 ___________________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 19th June 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved  
    • NEWS! - Updated : Revolution Mini-500 Project v3.1 by vSkyLabs     The Revolution Mini-500 is a 1990s American single-seat light helicopter, designed and built by Revolution Helicopter Corporation as a kit for homebuilding. Revolution Helicopter however went out of business in November 1999, and the kits are no longer available.   The Mini-500 was designed as a light helicopter that resembles a scaled-down Hughes 500, powered by a Rotax 582 64 hp (48 kW) two-stroke engine. The Mini-500 has a tubular steel fuselage with a foam and glass-fibre structure cabin. It has a two-bladed semi-rigid rotor and a conventional two-blade tail rotor. The first Mini-500 flew in 1992 and the company delivered the first production factory-assembled helicopter in July 1994. Production of kits ceased in 1999 and the company claimed that more than 500 had been sold.   The aircraft has had a parlous history... as Rotax warns owners of the 582 engine in the Owners Manual about its limitations: "This engine, by its design, is subject to sudden stoppage. Engine stoppage can result in crash landings, forced landings or no power landings. Such crash landings can lead to serious bodily injury or death"... the statement is supported by the 16 fatalities when operating the Mini 500. Initial intentions were that it would be powered by a Mazda Wankel engine, but this was abandoned and plans shifted to the Solar T62 turbine engine. There is no indication that new production by Stitt, has delivered any aircraft kits.   The X-Plane version of the Mini-500 was released back in January 2019. There was a fully upgraded X-Plane 12 version released 12 months ago, but this update refines the aircraft to the latest X-Plane 12 dynamics and features with version 3.1.   Flight dynamics: Airfoils update. Refinements for the rotor system, increasing (a very bit) of the margin for autorotation envelope. Skids physics refinements to fix the tendency for self-yawing to the left on paved runways, at 100% RPM, collective down. Sounds: fixed issue caused when removing the doors inflight (sound remained as if the doors are still connected and closed). Interaction: Stick (cyclic) manipulator sensitivity increased to follow stick actual motion. Starter keys switch interaction improved. Graphics: Minor touches for canopy and pilot appearance.     VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' Project - Professional-grade physics, handling and performance characteristics. Highly defined and engineered flight dynamics model of the Revolution Mini-500, built around the powerful X-Plane flight model. The Mini-500 performance was analyzed by experts. Fully functional VR (Virtual Reality). Multi-Layer FMOD sound pack, composed with actual recordings of the Mini-500 helicopter engine and rotor sounds. Unique aspects of the Mini-500 helicopter are simulated and are part of the flying experience by definition: Manual engine/rotor RPM management, low rotor-inertia aspects, in-flight nose tuck during engine-stop, rotor RPM management, retreating blade stall condition (Vne), typical Mast bumping, typical autorotation capability and more. The VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot': Revolution Mini-500 is designed as if it was a real kit-built helicopter, awaiting for it's first test-flight. Was it built exactly as instructed? Will it fly as expected? wow there is only one way to find out! You will have to get familiar with it step by step...or you might get yourself into serious trouble when mistreating it. Mastering the Mini-500 will sure make you a better helicopter pilot! The original pilot's manual and other 1st hand references contributed by the Mini-500 real-world  designer were one of the core-materials during development of this project, and the VSKYLABS Mini- 500 pilot's manual includes the actual data and information of the actual Mini-500 manual. Autoupdater based on the SkunkCrafts autoupdater (XP12 only) - all updates are being pushed smoothly without the need to re-download the entire base package (base package will be updated every  once in a while to minimize the gap). The project is under constant development. Highly responsive VSKYLABS support forums.     This project is part of the VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' series, designed specifically for use with X-Plane cutting edge Experimental Flight Model.   This aircraft is also available for X-Plane 11 (obviously with out the dynamics and effects of X-Plane 12)   Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs...   The Revolution Mini-500 v3.1 by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore _____________________________________     Yes! - the Revolution Mini-500 Project v3.1 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Revolution Mini-500 Price is US$26.50 (Currently on sale for only US13.20!)   Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 3.1  (June 17th 2024) ___________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 18th June 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Rights Reserved  
    • The link above? ☝️ Its not new either, but on sale!
    • NEWS! - REP Package released : Reality Expansion Pack for Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter XP12 by Simcoders     Add in more "Oomph" to your already highly developed PC-6 Porter from Thranda Design. We have just reviewed this excellent DGS Series aircraft as it is released in it's X-Plane 12 configuration; Aircraft Review - Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design   REP packages are for me, a way to bring default and sparsely developed aircraft a host of better performance and provide extra features, that brings the aircraft up to a higher and more immersive standard. But here we have (with Thranda's blessing) these excellent tools to amplify the PC-6 to a higher more logical standard. This PC-6 REP Package comes with an extremely long list of performance enhancements, and crash and damage effects. The notable feature list from Simcoders in this REP is quite impressive!   Ultra Realistic Flight & Ground Dynamics Realistic stall speeds & behavior Correct climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic taxi behavior  Complex Damages System Triggered by the pilot actions Based on real world data Target every system in the aircraft Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane Economic System Can be enabled/disabled on the fly Earn virtual money when you fly Use virtual money to buy fuel and do maintenance/repairs Realistic fuel prices around the World Fully compatible with FSEconomy and X-CPL-Pilot More info at https://www.simcoders.com/reality-expansion-pack/economy Custom Towing System Driven by the joystick/steering wheel Realistic point of view (POV) Interacts with tie-down and brakes Interactive Walkaround Cockpit checks Lights checks Engine soft cover removal Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check Tire check and choks removal Tie-down removal Pitot tube check Engine cowl check Realistic PT-6 Engine Logic Uses an enhanced version of the new PT-6 model introduced with X-Plane Realistic lag Custom ITT evolution Custom throttle dynamics Custom propeller governor recreating all supported prop modes,electric, auto-feather included Custom hot-start behavior Correct fuel consumption Secondary fuel-flow Realistic startup procedure Automatic startup procedure available to help newbies Realistic engine temperatures The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly Realistic Landing Gear The landing gear is damaged by hard landings The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly The steering wheel acts like the real one. Spring loaded under 25° of turn, then free castoring. Electrical & Avionics System Native Virtual Reality Support Complete support of new X-Plane SDK 3.0 Menu visible in VR Windows visible in VR Learn with the in-flight tips A non invasive tip with a suggestion about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly A non invasive tip with a suggestion on how to recover the problem is shown when you damage the airplane Custom simulation of Hypoxia Tunnel vision Hard breathing Popup Kneeboard Normal operations checklist Emergency operations checklist Reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.) May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures Simulation state saving Every single switch and lever position restores its position when you reload the aircraft The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane The engine restores its cylinders and oil temperature basing on the elapsed time between restarts Maintenance Hangar Engine maintenance tab Electrical systems maintenance tab Landing gear, brakes & tires tab HeadShake Integration REP drives HeadShake to simulate the correct vibrations of the Wasp Junior engine Developed with love Coded by real pilots Very easy on FPS Written in C++ with no compromise.   Most of the changes and access to the unique features are done via the "Clipboard menu...           This is an add-on to the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series XP12. It will not work on the Thranda PC-6 XP11 version or any other aircraft. It is ONLY X-Plane 12 (not for XP11)   Developed by Simcoders Support forums for the REP PC-6 Turbo Porter _________________________     The Reality Expansion Pack for the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter XP12 by SimCoders is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   REP Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter XP12 Priced at US$19.99   Requirements: This is an add-on to the PC-6 Turbo Porter XP12 by Thranda. It will not work on  any other aircraft. X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Current version: XP 12 - 4.8.5 (June 14th  2024) ________________   NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 15th June 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Right Reserved.    
    • I certainly agree Stephen! When i checked this airport out on stream i was blown away! A very good rendition of Sydney airport!
    • Hello, I have changed the language to English but the panel, buttons and instruments appear in Russian. Can the control panel be changed and put in English? thank you so much
    • Scenery Review : FlyTampa Sydney   Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD is an international airport serving Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. And the airport is located 8 km (5.0 mi) south of the Sydney central business district. YSSY is also known as "Mascot" for the suburb it is situated in. Situated next to Botany Bay, the airport has three runways, and Sydney Kingsford Int'l Airport covers an area of 907 hectares (2,241 acres) of land. SYD is the primary hub for Qantas, as well as a secondary hub for Virgin Australia and Jetstar, and a focus city for Rex Airlines.   Being one of the most oldest and the main primary gateway into Australia, then any Sydney scenery is always going to be a main focus airport for any serious flight simmer, it is a long way by flying time to get here, so when you arrive, you want it to be worth all the effort. Sydney SYD is also part of the "Golden Triangle" a set of routes between the Eastern States of Australia in Brisbane - Sydney - Melbourne, and these crucial routes are some of the most lucrative in the world, with Sydney set as the central hub.   I am a huge fan of FlyTampa's sceneries, so I will put that aspect out there early. The reason's will be noted again in this review, however they have produced classics like Las Vegas, Corfu, Athens, and my all time favorite in Copenhagen. Their last release however was "Amsterdam" not that it was a poor rendition of Schiphol airport, but the fact that Schiphol covers a really massive area with some intense autogen surrounding it. The scenery had frameweight issues, and is hard to use (all Schiphol's have the same problem). So it was not as popular as earlier FlyTampa releases. Now here released  is YSSY Sydney, and certainly FlyTampa are back on form.   This FlyTampa YSSY is not the most recent release of SYD. TaiModels released their version only in May 2022. As the review notes, in that I liked it immensely, but that was because there was so little good Sydney Airport scenery for the X-Plane Simulator at the time, but it also had some if a few limitations visually, the differences between them are noted in this review, and the reasons why the FlyTampa version is better, also on why FlyTampa scenery excels.     Because if it's unique position sitting on the shore of Botany Bay, Sydney Airport is also in an constant consistent squabble with the area districts set around the airport. Night operational curfews are also usually always in the news, and most local residents want Mascot shutdown (They are currently building a second Sydney Airport out at "Baggerys Creek", in the Western Suburbs, due to open in 2026). But to be fair, Mascot has been here since 1911, and it is one of the first operational airports in the world, and it's position as only a short (but very slow traffic) ride from the city CBD, means SYD will always remain a major hub.     Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport IATA: SYD - ICAO: YSSY - WMO: 94767 07/25 - 2,530m (8,301ft) Asphalt 16L/34R - 2,438m (7,999ft) Asphalt 16R/34L - 3,963m (13,002ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL21 ft / 6 m   Sydney Airport is split between the long 16R/34L runway, with the "International" terminal to the west, and the "Domestic" is set to the east. However there are plans to align by airlines and alliances (meaning Qantas) into one terminal and the rest into the other Terminals. The problems stem from the connection time between the separated terminal areas, but why really change something that already works very well. So the idea has gone quiet over the last few pandemic years, but does require a bus trip between the International and domestic terminals if you are transiting, there is a rail connection (5 Min), but it will cost you Aus$6.50.     Terminal 1 - International Terminal 1 was opened on 3 May 1970, replacing the old Overseas Passenger Terminal (which was located where Terminal 3 stands now) and has been greatly expanded since then. Today it is known as the International Terminal, and it has 25 gates (thirteen in concourse B numbered 8–37, and twelve in concourse C numbered 50–63) served by aerobridges. Pier B is used by Qantas, all Oneworld members and all Skyteam members (except Delta Air Lines). Pier C is used by Virgin Australia and its partners (including Delta) as well as all Star Alliance members.     The Terminal 1 layout is very similar to older Heathrow (now Terminal 3) in being higgledy-piggledy and an add on a pier here and there sort of development , going outwardly, and all here are hanging out from the central Y shaped main terminal. But having been there it sort of all works, like an Australian Heathrow. North is Pier A in an L shape, then Pier B and to the west the large Pier C.   There are a lot of Cat 5 A380 gates here, because simply SYD accommodates more Airbus A380's than anywhere else, except for maybe Frankfurt, they are a feast for the eyes every time you come here, I counted 13 A380's once at SYD!   The Taimodels terminal detail was very good, but the quality here is another significant set of levels higher in this scenery, it also comes with a more grungy feel and object detail... note excellent fire stairs in detail, and it shows you the finer and better detail of this scenery     SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) has been abandoned by it's developer. But the gates here are all SAM animated? Into the saddle is OpenSAM 1.5, it's a basic tool, but at least it works, it also does not hang your computer when shutting down as SAM3 did.     The only area where the interior is modeled is the International Terminal main departure hall. but very good it is with a McDonalds, the view out is first rate and very realistic as is the real view.     Landside detail is again excellent, with the highlight the excellent latticework on the arrival hall awnings, again the detail is so much finer than that of TaiModels...  the static car placement is excellent.     It is important to note that FlyTampa's SYD also uses the newer LST (Living Scenery Technology) by xCodr, so that this plugin has to be installed. LST provides the "life" in the scenery with animated vehicles, both on the roads around and through the terminal areas, but also the movement of the service vehicles and equipment on the ramps. All ground service vehicles and equipment are branded, in fact all the branding and signage right through the airport is absolutely first rate here.     Behind the arrival area is the main international carparks and Rydges Hotel, the Customs offices is also set behind. The quality of the buildings in design and feel-factor here is to be seen to be believed, they look and feel very real. Ground textures are however a bit Low-Res. There is the option included to use the Ortho4XP textures, the OSM data is in the folder provided.     We are now getting into the area were FlyTampa exceeds. Further back west is the Sydney Novotel and CKS Hotel, further south is the Brighton Beach Novotel Hotel...  this hotel sited on Botany Bay is a landmark when arriving at Sydney, as it is the main focus to look for on the 16L, and even the 16R approaches...  it signals you are in Sydney.     There are also a number of remote bays to the south which are heavily utilised during peak periods and for the parking of idle aircraft during the day. (for instance the British Airways flight BA15 arrives at SYD 6.10 a.m, but does not depart again until BA16 leaves at 3:50pm for LON). Then the "Air Services facility on the bay, both areas in detail are excellent, and really well reproduced.     North of the International Terminal, but still on the western boundary is the SYD Cargo area. Qantas Freight dominates, but TOLL, a domestic cargo carrier is also well represented.     Terminal 2 In reality T2 is the heart of the domestic SYD complex, and it is the main terminal that you would use in a transition on a domestic flight.     Terminal 2, located in the airport's north-eastern section, it was originally the former home of Ansett Australia's domestic operations until 2001. It features 16 parking bays served by aerobridges and several remote bays for regional aircraft. It serves Jetstar, Regional Express Airlines (REX), FlyPelican and Virgin Australia. There are lounges for Regional Express Airlines and Virgin Australia.     I have spent many an hour here in T2, even longer when the unions go strike, which they do often. Basically T2 has two main piers and the third area is basically stands for walkon/walkoff regional flights. Sydney Airport previously had a fourth passenger terminal, east of Terminal 2. This was formerly known as Domestic Express and was used by Regional Express Airlines, and the low-cost carriers Virgin Blue (now known as Virgin Australia) and the now-defunct Impulse Airlines, during the time LCC Terminal 2 was closed following the collapse of Ansett Australia. It is now used as an office building for Menzies.     Gates (bays) are extremely good, and very lifelike to the real areas, glass is perfect in the colour and style. The grittiness of the age of the facility is all here, Sydney can be quite grubby in it's personality away from the harbour, and that feel is imprinted here.     Landside is dominated by the central causeway with those four iconic support pylons. Really well done here with a perfect feel for this important separation zone.     Landside T2 arrivals is well done, but a bit vacant, and just a few static vehicles would have made a huge difference, as it is an extremely busy area. Note the "Virgin Australia" lounge entrance. Unlike the TaiModels version, there are no internal T2 modeled areas by FlyTampa, one of the differences between the versions.   Terminal 3 Terminal 3 is another domestic terminal, but here only serving Qantas, with QantasLink regional flights having also moved their operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 on 16 August 2013. Originally, it was home for Trans Australia Airlines (later named Australian Airlines).     The current terminal building is largely the result of extensions designed by Hassell that were completed in 1999. This included construction of a 60-metre roof span above a new column-free check-in hall and resulted in extending the terminal footprint to 80,000 square metres. There are 14 parking bays served by aerobridges, including two served by dual aerobridges (A330). Terminal 3 features a large Qantas Club lounge, along with a dedicated Business Class and Chairman's lounge.     Modeling by FlyTampa is impeccable, detail is astounding, and your not going to better this quality anywhere, okay Copenhagen, which is just as good in the sheer detailing. FlyTampa really "flies" where it counts. T3 arrival landside is again excellent with stupendous latticework, signage and even some static vehicles to fill out your view.     Landside entrance has P1, P2 and P3 carparks, all are well designed and all come with signage. Notable is the small square building set between P2 and P3 carparks, it is the efficient UBER pickup area, fair walk, but very quick and handy when you get there.     Qantas Engineering The very large Qantas Engineering "Jet" base is again very well detailed and covers the iconic site with distinction. Built like a lot of old legacy airport facilities it has a large assortment of buildings and hangers to make up the massive site, and all the distinctive hangars are covered here really well. With the "191" building were Qantas do their famous arrival or announcement media.     The feel is slightly different here than the brighter textures of the TaiModels version, greyish, but more realistic...   The engine test stands are far better done here as well, more detail and far more realistic, also no burnt in aircraft tails. The large iconic open sided canopy is also better modeled in realism detail.     The trick to the area is melding the old 50's style buildings in with the later additions. The Qantas Head Offices and support buildings are represented, but not with the newer all glass facade that was the pride and joy of former CEO Alan Joyce.     SYD Control Tower The terminals are set to the north, the runways to the south, and set between them in the centre is the unique and iconic Sydney Control Tower, set off taxiway C. It is a very distinctive shape that is the image of Sydney in Australia. Design of the SYD Tower is excellent by FlyTampa, more detail than you could imagine, it has been painstakingly reproduced with the lower glass cylinders, and the operations floor set above, the spiral staircase is also excellent. Only odd thing is that radar is static? an oversight? Note the well filled out carparks. There is a realism about it that blows your mind.     Shep’s Mound is represented, and was named in honor of Bruce C. Shepherd, a passionate plane spotter who frequented the area until his passing in 2005. The mound provides an excellent vantage point for observing most of the aircraft movements at Sydney Airport.     Set here as well is the Dnata Catering facility, and the X-Plane Tower view (T) is set perfectly.     Hidden to the east of the tower on Ross Smith Drive is an excellent Helicopter facility with two major pads H1 and H2. Working from here is Black Ops, Sydney HeliTours, Austcopters and Blue Sky Helicopters.     There is a very small General Aviation area, tucked away at the threshold of Runway 25, a few hangers and parking spaces are all that are over here. But it well done for GA use.     Infrastructure We had a bit of infrastructure set in the western side. But it is excellent on the important airport approach eastern side. The fusion of the X-Plane Autogen and custom objects is excellent, and all the major hotels of Stamford Hotel (CoatesHire), Ibis (twice), Holiday Inn and Manta Hotel are all included. Entrance advertising hoardings are also excellent and highly detailed, leading all the way out to the off site Long-Term carpark. There are McDonald Restaurants all hidden in the scenery, three in fact, find them all!     Port Botany One of the biggest disappointments of the TaiModels SYD scenery was the missing of Port Botany. This is the biggest port in Australia, and critical to the view on departure from 16L, as you bank straight out and over the port as you climb out of YSSY. Here FlyTampa have totally recreated the port in detail...     ....  where there is a massive hole in the TaiModel's YSSY scenery? however here you have all of this....   just brilliant.   The detail here by FlyTampa does not miss any trick? Over Botany Bay is the massive Kurnell Refinery, and yes that is presented here as well! Important as it is seen on finals into both 34L and 34R.     Textures You feel the excellent textures with their built in Burnt-in ambient occlusion effects, even in the full day light sun. Hard to do, but that shows the depth of the quality of the ground textures here, in that you don't need to use certain lighting conditions to see the that deep quality of the surfaces. Again one of the main reasons I love FlyTampa's Copenhagen. TaiModels surfaces were too knobbly, but these are simply perfect, even down to the repaired, resurfaced areas with gridded runways, and the worn rubberised in landing zones are perfect....     The runway promontories are well done, the concrete walls are excellent, but to be honest I've seen better rock work. But it is more than passable here with the better X-Plane 12.1.0 water surrounding the walls. Certainly far, far better from the bad old days of a green filled in Botany Bay. Note that Runway 34R/16L is all domestic operations, 34L/16R is for mainly mixed International and the odd domestic operations. Cross runway 07/25 is rarely used, except for GA and short regional services, sometimes for just parking aircraft..     There is 3d grass, but it is that blade style, that quite doesn't work closeup, but fine at a distance. The scenery uses the X-Plane 12 trees to great effect here in hiding the Lo-Res ground textures, but they also give a very realistic look to the landside scenery aspect.   The X-Plane 12 weather effects are again excellent here. You would never get snow at SYD, but the heavy wet tropical storms are quite frequent.     Lighting When if you look at the scenery lighting for the first time and you get the reaction of "oh WOW", then it is something special. A lot of scenery developers put night lighting to the rear of the experience. But to arrive at your destination and it then gives you this amazing experience, then that scenery is doing it's job...  more so here as most flights are after a long time in the air, or even the dark.   All runway and taxiway lighting is now set to the official ICAO standards in X-Plane 12, so it's bright, but very realistic.     Both terminal areas are very well lit, and look nice to the eye....   the different tones of lighting work really well here.     ....  however like Copenhagen the terminal window lighting is a bit dull, you have to be in complete darkness to see any illumination, Internally in side it's a bit dark as well! but the gate numbers glow perfectly in the dark as per the real signs.     Entrance concourse is very nicely lit. And all the branding and signage is well lit and distinctive.     BP Service Station/McDonalds and a AMG dealership...  and the details go on and on. "Welcome to "Kingsford Smith" Sydney Airport, shows both old and new signs.     Infrastructure lighting is excellent, with the hotels all having realistic window lighting (no grey rectangles here). Port Botany is fantastic, a bright working port at night and it looks wholly realistic.     LST cleverly working gives the General Holmes Drive a perfect motion filled look around the runway and taxiway underpass, highly realistic. Noted here in both twilight and darker conditions.     Navigation signage is also first rate...  nice textures and also ground reflections.     Summary Pivotal primary city hubs are what connects the world together. None are more decisive than the Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport or as it is more commonly known as "Mascot", in Australia. It's an essential gateway, and that means it is an important scenery to have in the X-Plane 12 Simulator.   There have been a few earlier Kingsford Smith's in the past, mostly awful. But TaiModel's did a fair version a few years ago...  here is FlyTampa's redition, and it is one scenery to savour.   The question abounds about price. You can spend an amount on a pay scenery and it will deliver the basics, the airport and it's contents. But the question your asking, then if I spend a little more, but get a quite substantial rendition of that scenery, like not only the actual airport, but the important local environs, in this case, Port Botany, Kurnell Refinery and a load of great hotel infrastructure, a few Mcdonalds are in there as well, then is it worth that extra investment?   In this case the answer is overwhelmingly yes. Not only is the actual SYD airport reproduced in quality here, but so are the important environs surrounding tha airport are also extremely well done (a FlyTampa speciality)...   all the buildings and terminal design are excellent, and SAM (OpenSAM) and LST (Living Scenery Technology) also creates movement in the scenery. Textures are first rate with excellent ambient occlusion effects bringing them to life, with 3d grass and excellent trees and fauna. Lighting overall is also top rate with great tones.   Negatives, I don't look at anything here in a negative light, but refinements could be brighter terminal lighting, radar not rotating on the tower, and the ground textures are quite Lo-Res, but for a framerate reason.   FlyTampa create very substantial quality sceneries...  this YSSY Sydney International is certainly one of their very best, and it is a very comprehensively packed scenery, in that, it is what the X-Plane 12 Simulator is looking for in maximum simulation experience. This SYD should be in your portfolio, everyone's portfolio, as it is an amazing rendition of "Kingsford Smith, to almost perfection and certainly a five star investment purchase *****   Highly recommended! ___________________________________     Yes! the FlyTampa Sydney scenery is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   FlyTampa Sydney Price is US$28.00 Currently only US$23.00 You Save:$5.00(18%)   Features Fully Custom rendition of the Kingsford Smith Airport Custom mesh Custom night lighting SAM and LST integration Custom Mesh (with patch for Ortho4XP users) Airport modeled with PBR materials  Sloped airport terrain  Dynamic lighting, animated Jetways   Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows or Mac or Linux 8GB VRAM Recommended Current version : 1.0 (May 20, 2024)   Installation and documents: FlyTampa SYD is download of 676Mb download that is translated into a 1.61Gb install in your Custom Scenery folder. FlyTampa_Sydney_0_Airport (1.59Gb) FlyTampa_Sydney_1_Mesh (19.2Mb)   The above two install folders must be put in the order of the "mesh" below the main "airport" scenery folder. The Sydney city scenery Sydney City CBD City Scene 2020 1.3 by haydo83 is highly recommended with the FlyTampa YSSY scenery, it fills out the skyline and the approaches nicely.   Documents There are no documents provided ________________________________________   Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 14th June 2024 Copyright©2024: 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) All Right Reserved    Review System Specifications:  Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane v12.1.0b6 (checked in X-Plane v12.0.9rc5) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Yamaha M200SP Powered Speakers Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - None-    
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