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Scenery Upgrade : UBBB Baku and City XP v1.3 by Drzewiecki Design

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UBBB Baku v1.3_Header.jpg


Scenery Upgrade : UBBB Baku and City XP v1.3 by Drzewiecki Design

When Drzewiecki Design released their Baku and City scenery for X-Plane11 it caused me very mixed emotions. This was a scenery I really wanted and to use as it filled in that exotic location criteria, plus just in being on the edge of the eastern European boundary it wasn't too far away from any major European airport gateway either. In the first aspect it was a great scenery, but overall it was the conversion aspects (UBBB Baku was originally a FSX scenery) to X-Plane that just left the scenery feeling a bit too empty.... The full reference review is here: Scenery Review : UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City by Drzewiecki Design


 So here is Drzewiecki Design's v1.3 of the Baku scenery (v1.2 was a small update) and I was wondering if it would be just more of the same, or will DD now bring to the scenery more to the dynamics of X-Plane than the dullness of FSX.


First views of Baku v1.3 was that it still sorta looked the same, but in reality it certainly is not.


UBBB Baku v1.3_Head 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Head 2.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Head 3.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Head 4.jpg


Early emptiness was created by using a lot of photoreal textures, and these were very good... from the air, but they were very tabletop flat when you got closer to the ground. They are still there, but the extra Azerbaijan whole-country photoreal is now not an option anymore, and mostly because it ruined the great original X-Plane default textures (in other words this is X-Plane and not FSX and you don't need them).


UBBB Baku v1.3_Autogen 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Autogen 2.jpg

UBBB Baku v1.3_Autogen 3 LG.jpg


Another relevation is that Drzewiecki Design has now inserted the area's autogen and in that development in also hiding the worse of the flat aspects of the photoreal from the ground perspective, and so it now works very well as it spreads right down the coastline and all around UBBB and especially on the approaches and departures from Runways 15 and 16 which are now excellent with the autogen now filling right out to the northern coastline. And another important fix is that the actual X-Plane11 UBBB Airport "Location" layout now actually exists...


UBBB Baku Map.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Location.jpg


....  the original is on the left, and the fixed working version is on the right, and this is a great start of getting UBBB to a condition we require. With the airport's layout done, there was another area fixed as well...  ATC routes! and if you have ATC routes, can also now have WorldTraffic3 ground routes...   Yeah!  I will admit that the biggest turnoff for me with the Baku scenery was simply no airport activity.


UBBB Baku v1.3_WT3_ 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_WT3_ 2.jpg


In the original release I could have lived with everything else, but no activity mean't that UBBB was a very empty and sterile place to use and so I didn't add it in to my usual route choices. That is not the case now as you can generate those important WT3 routes, but it still comes a little quirk. If you want your Baku full and active your only choice is to use the "Autogen" flights? Yes the AFRE flights work, but because there is so little flight data on the AFRE you will get only minimal activity, it works if you want that aspect and it helps to have the static aircraft option switched on as well to fill out the aprons, but overall the Autogen option is the one to use.


Tower view is sorta fixed as well... it is now set at the right coordinates, but it is still set too low? The left image is the tower view setting, and the right image is where it should be.... but it is far better than looking at a carpark.


UBBB Baku v1.3_Tower view_ 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Tower view_ 2.jpg

UBBB Baku v1.3_Tower view_ 3 LG.jpg


 Nice tower as well. Newly added into v1.3 is the nice curvy 747-8 maintenance hangar and some static Embraers in Buta Airways livery...


UBBB Baku v1.3_Hangar 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Hangar 2.jpg


... and the detailing up close is very good, and it is a very welcome addition.


The extraordinary Terminal 1 (International) is now even better with now HDR effects in reflections and detailing, almost all the glass and metal framework feels more realistic, it deserved far better in the original release.


UBBB Baku v1.3_Centre 7 LG.jpg


UBBB Baku v1.3_Centre 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Centre 2.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Centre 3.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Centre 4.jpg


Another area covered is the lack of ground clutter and animations...  now there is great clutter with the correct airport branding GYB as well...


UBBB Baku v1.3_Centre 5.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Centre 6.jpg


...  animated truck, buses, luggage carts and vans all work across the airport, there isn't a lot, of a lot of animated vehicles but they are still very welcome.


A new addition to the terminals is SAM - Scenery Animation Manager. The plugin now works here with both VDGS and Marshallers...


UBBB Baku v1.3_SAM 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_SAM 2.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_SAM 3.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_SAM 4.jpg


All gates on both Terminals are active, and Marshallers are on all the remote stands. SAM has been around a few months now and you would expect the areas of gate elevation to be now sorted? Obviously not so and it is annoying...  but I am still a big fan, big surprise is that DD don't use the animate hangar doors option, as the onsite Silk Way maintenance hangar is an obvious choice


UBBB Baku v1.3_SAM 5.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_SAM 7.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_SAM 6.jpg


Besides the better HDR glass reflections, the runways/taxiways have had the same dynamic wet look treatment...


UBBB Baku v1.3_HDR reflections 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_HDR reflections 2.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_HDR reflections 3.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_HDR reflections 4.jpg


... the effects brings out the nice and realistic textures, very moody...     but excellent.


Another big criticism of the release version of Baku was of the airport lighting... the main Terminal one was very good, but everything else around it was to be desired. Biggest missing area of illumination was all the apron lighting (it was quite weak), and that has been handsomely rectified. UBBB at night now looks brilliant.


UBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 2.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 3.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 4.jpg


More so is the fact you can see the airport from a distance.. and it is now not just a black hole between two runways. Terminal 1 looks glorious and simply bathes in light..


UBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 5 LG.jpg


....  with Terminal two it is another transformation in that the apron lighting disguises the inadequate FSX lighting.


UBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 6.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 7.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 8.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 9.jpg


The airport's entrance to the terminals infrastructure is now also more realistic (in other word you can now actually see it) and the cargo ramps are perfectly workable and would even now coax you all the way out here for a night time freight run.


UBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 10 LG.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 11.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 12.jpg

UBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 14.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 15.jpg


Areas are very well lit and the new maintenance hanger drop down lighting is really nice, and it is in nice contrast with Terminal 1 in the background.


It is highly debatable if coming to UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev is now best at night, certainly at dawn or dusk than in the daytime, this is now an excellent night period experience.


UBBB Baku v1.3_Lighting 13 LG.jpg


Baku City

Part of the package is the city of Baku itself...  Yes we had issues with that as well. This was again the very same photoreal textures that created flat spaces around the custom city objects. I grabbed the default S-76 to have a look. Again the restricted autogen reach means that the Baku city at 25 km from the airport is what works around UBBB does not work in the city...


First views are very good, with the autogen doing a very good job, even if it is SoCal housing, and you have a lot of urban industrial as well...


UBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 1.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 2.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 3.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 4.jpg


...  but once you get to Baku city, it all sort of peters out to just residential housing (again SoCal), and so the custom Baku objects in places are islands again on a photoreal underlay...


UBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 5.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 6.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 7.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 8.jpg


....    so it doesn't look like a capital city, and in fact looks odd with the low flat housing and the stand out custom objects, in areas it is still plain empty.


UBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 9.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 10.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 11.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 12.jpg


So it is a real shame really as the autogen does such a great job outwards, but fails inwards of where it is also needed, and obviously the city is not that great for VFR flying, but still consigned to just being an outline on the horizon for approaches and departures. A point is that is this a Laminar Research issue or a developers issue, my guess it is an Laminar issue as I find this aspect a lot in these near city areas.


Azerbaijan Airports

The original six airports in regional Azerbaijan of UBBL Lenkoran (In X-Plane as UB10?), UBBG Ganja, UBBN Nakhchivan, UBBQ Qabala, UBBY Zaqatala and UBTT Zabrat. have mostly been pulled. They were very average anyway, but I still thought they could have been enhanced more rather than simply pulling them out...


Two are still usable in UBBG Ganja and UBTT Zabrat which is near UBBB. The UBBG Ganja (left below) is now a global airport and quite good, but you will have to clear the apron of trees before you use it?


UBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 13.jpgUBBB Baku v1.3_Baku 14.jpg


UBTT Zabrat  (above right) is basically untouched in the update.



My first reaction to Drzewiecki Design releasing their Baku and City scenery for X-Plane11 was of excitement as it's position globally which is great for interesting routes out of Europe and the eastern Mediterranean ports which is a growing area of X-Plane activity. First views was that this is a great airport with very interesting terminals... but overall UBBB was an empty and stale place with just a straight FSX to X-Plane conversion. Personally I had fears that this v1.3 update would be just more of the same.


My negative list in the review was quite substantial, but this update has crossed almost all of them out, and added in a few nice additions that takes UBBB Baku forward immensely.


The missing airport ground layout..  fixed, missing ground routes...  fixed, lighting...  fixed, empty photoreal textures...  fixed, and on it goes. All the fixes also go forward more than that as the fixed ground routes will now support WorldTraffic3 with some amending in that the AFRE routes out here are pretty thin, so the "Autogen" is required to give you an active airport, static aircraft "on" also helps in filling the place up.


The lighting fixes are the biggest improvement and the airport is now one of the best for lighting and use, and the photoreal textures have been covered over by some great autogen, although it doesn't work quite as well in the central city area of Baku.


Additions to v1.3 are excellent as well. All glass and ground textures are now all HDR with reflections (Glass) and Wet Surfaces. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager is also now active and usable and there is now more branded ground clutter and animated vehicles. A new large modern 747-8 maintenance hangar also adds into the scenery.


The changes here in v1.3 all sum up to a scenery that was interesting, but boring to...  a huge up jump to be the one of the best in this category... in reality this should have been the original release version, but for those that paid out then, then now they get their money's worth, and for the rest of the fence sitters then why wait any longer to get a very active and interesting destination in a new and upcoming area of X-Plane activity...  five stars on getting it right for Drzewiecki Design, they did really good, but more importantly they listened and changed the Baku airport to the needed requirements...  (now) Highly Recommended.




X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


The UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City v1.3 by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

UBBB Baku Airport and City XP


Price is US$23.00


  • Extremely detailed model of UBBB Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku

  • UBBB with 3D people, high quality static aircraft, up-to-date airport layout

  • Advanced interior modeling (Terminal 1, tower, Silkway hangar)

  • Baku city with hundrieds of custom-made landmarks with night textures

  • HDR lighting, detailed markings, static aircraft

  • Animated jetways, VGDS, marshallers (SAM plugin)

  • Custom-made UBBB airport charts included

v1.3 features

  • - upgraded Baku city autogen
  • - much better HDR lighting at UBBB
  • - new animations and other details
  • - new 747-8 hangar and static Embraers in Buta Airways livery
  • - SAM plugin support for jetway animation, VGDS and marshallers
  • - airport aprons with reflections and rain effects



X-Plane 11

Mac, Windows or Linux
4Gb+ VRAM Video Card
1GB HD for Installation
SAM plugin is required for use of this scenery.
Current and review version : 1.3 (June 14th 2019)


DD Baku XP Documents


  • Baku XP MacLinuxInstall
  • Baku XP MANUAL
  • UBBB CHARTS (charts are quite basic in two airport layout charts and two ILS runway approach charts)

These UBBB charts are better: http://uvairlines.com/admin/resources/charts/UBBB.pdf

Navigraph charts are excellent as well, but you have to have an account.




Update Review by Stephen Dutton

18th June 2019

Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2019


(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)


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