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Scenery Review - KJAX -Jacksonville International Airport by FS Designs

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KJAX - Jacksonville_Header.jpg


Scenery Review - KJAX -Jacksonville International Airport by FS Designs


Florida...  thoughout my over long decade in the X-Plane Simulator. I have been drawn a lot to this one part of the world that is Florida. Why "God Knows", but Florida produces a lot of interesting flying. Coast to Coast, up and down, oddly there isn't a lot of visual landmarks either, as long as you don't count the Disney Kingdom, but I just like flying here. One of my favorite flights I do on a regular basis is from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), cross the state to pick up the east coast then fly north to KJAX or JAX in the eastern far north of the state. Mostly because I had good scenery for both airports. After a decade, now both ports are feeling a bit tired in X-Plane 12. So I was extremely interested when FS Designs released a brand new X-Plane 12 featured KJAX -Jacksonville International Airport.


FS Designs are developers focused currently on only Florida sceneries, with their earlier FS Design airports that covered KMTH Marathon on the Florida Keys, then later KPNS Pensacola International Airport in Escambia County. So this latest Jacksonville release is their third for the sunshine state.


Jacksonville International Airport is a civil-military public airport 13 miles (21 km) north of Downtown Jacksonville, in Duval County, Florida. It is owned and operated by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.


You can't miss Jacksonville Airport from the air. It has twin V shaped runways sited on a brown clearing inset a forest of green, with the tip of the "V" pointing west.


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Is this aspect correct? the heavy brown field. Well no actually from a Google map point of view. Yes it is a brown field, but the field is also covered in a slight shade of green... or grass. So has the developer let us down? again no. Because get down low and yes there is a lot of lovely 3d green grass that covers the field, just like the real field... so what is the problem? actually it is X-Plane's FOD.


The FOD is so short it is creating lines and mostly hiding the green over-layer of the grass, it stands out quite markedly low to the ground...


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It is of course an X-Plane trait we have had for years, but please fix it, as it really works against the scenery here....


Jacksonville has two separate areas.  The commercial single terminal airport...


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....  and in the southwest quadrant of the airport is the Jacksonville ANGB, which is basically a small air force base, albeit without the military housing, military hospital or other infrastructure of major U.S. Air Force installations. The Air National Guard provides a fully equipped USAF Crash Fire Rescue station to augment the airport's own fire department for both on-airport structural fires and aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) purposes.


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Jacksonville International Airport


KJAX Charts.jpg

08/26 - 10,000ft (3,048m) Concrete

14/32 - 7,701ft (2,347m) Concrete

Elevation AMSL30 ft / 9 m


The terminal at JAX is composed of a baggage claim area on the first floor and a check-in ticketing area on the second floor at the front of the structure landside. Past baggage claim and ticketing is the central mezzanine, where shops, restaurants and the security checkpoint are all located. Beyond the mezzanine are the airport's Concourses A and C, which include 10 gates each (for a total of 20), along with other shops and restaurants. It is all a very nice well thought-out easy flow layout.


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Concourse detail is excellent here... the shaping and modeling is first rate, curved roofs to perfect glass creates a very realistic exterior.


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Both Concourses A and C are identical, or mirror, so what is done on one is exactly the same on the other.  Ground clutter is excellent as well, just enough and not too much, but not airport branded... there are no animated service vehicles either, so JAX is a bit lacking in visual movement.


KJAX - Jacksonville_Concourse Detail 5.jpgKJAX - Jacksonville_Concourse Detail 6.jpg


All gates are SAM3 active, and the airbridges are nicely authentically styled and again no branding, only oddity is the truck squashed under Gate C5, it's not hard to miss?


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Only the two ends of the Concourses are modeled internally, good, even basic, but well done with monitor screens.


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Nice touch is the imprint image on the end of each Concourse, a very nice attention to detail.


Landside arrivals is really nicely done in the modeling, but get in closer and the texture detail is very low-res (resolution), more low-res areas are the photo based ground textures, and then even more in creating a (photo) but surrounding flat ground areas.


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You can get away with this low-res effect from a distance, as it actually looks very good, but it can't bear close scrutiny and certainly can't be walked around in a realistic sense, note the well done entrance station, and the double carparks are masterfully modeled. All areas here have full 3d carparks, so overall the view is very well done, its you just don't want to look too close and lose the detail.


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Again there are no animated vehicles, so that makes the landside a bit no-active also. Rear of the Carparks is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Airport hotel. Modeling is fine, but the low-res textures mean you can't even read the name of the hotel?


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Interesting is the water. You have a mix of photo and X-Plane water, the problem with the X-Plane water is the very sharp straight boundaries around the lake, however they look more realistic (reflections) than the photo flat based water.


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The Jacksonville Aviation Authority building and area is well done, but again the join between the photo and X-Plane default textures could have been more professionally executed, again highly noticeable, and this time from the air.


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Control Tower

Not only is there a field tower at Jacksonville, but it is also home to "Jacksonville Center". This center is responsible for approximately 160,000 square miles of airspace — airspace that covers parts of five states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina.


Notable is that JAX is an "international" airport because it maintains a federal inspection station and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol service to accommodate international traffic, but it doesn't host international scheduled services, except for charters.


Both facilities are well modeled here, positioned spot center in the field, as is the tall tower. But again the viewing room up top is only photo textures, and not detailed glass windows.


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South by the threshold of Rwy 32 there are three ramps for cargo...  both FedEx and UPS are big operators here with the FedEx facility being very large. All three ramps are covered in the scenery and the detail cargo ground clutter is very well done.


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Set behind the FedEx is the Embraer Regional maintenance facility and at the rear is Forward Air Cargo.


KJAX - Jacksonville_Cargo 5.jpg


General Aviation

To the north of the terminal area is the large General Aviation ramps. There are two, in one called G1 the main GA ramp, and the FBO ramp


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Most of my flights to JAX were to these ramps, as mostly I flew General Aviation aircraft across Florida. They are good, but just bland images on the Sheltair Aviation JAX building (terminal), and it is nowhere as good as my decade old version? Yes the feeling on the ramp is bland with a wide open apron that needed some detail to break it up, although its need is to cater for those extravagantly large personal jets, say a B727 or "Trumps' B757.  The FBO ramp is dominated by "Signature Aviation", and their terminal is slightly better, as are the row of six Signature Hangars, with another larger one set behind the FBO ramp. Ground photo textures here are very good.


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Highlight here is the Golf ball top radar, set in the middle of the carpark, it can be seen from everywhere at KJAX. Another final point on the ramps in the terminal and GA areas. Is that FS Designs has placed a few static aircraft, one a UPS cargo on the cargo ramp, and a few GA's on the GA ramps...  there are also a few static airliners set at gates C2/C4 and A3, but these badly interfere with Traffic applications (in my case Traffic Global) so you get double or spawn aircraft on top of each other. There is however both a "Non Static" and "Non Grass" options available with the scenery, so just drag those options and replace.


Jacksonville Air National Guard Base

Concurrent with the closure of Imeson Airport, the 125th Fighter-Interceptor Group (125 FIG) of the Florida Air National Guard (FANG) relocated to Jacksonville International Airport. Military Construction (MILCON) funds provided for the establishment of Jacksonville Air National Guard Base in the southwest quadrant of the airport and placement of USAF-style emergency arresting gear on the JAX runways. Upgraded from group to wing status and redesignated as the 125th Fighter Wing (125 FW) in the early 1990s, the wing is the host unit for Jacksonville ANGB and operates F-15C and F-15D Eagle aircraft. The 125 FW is operationally-gained by the Air Combat Command (ACC).


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Positioned right on the threshold of Rwy 14. FANG is well laid out and detailed... again your not going to do a walkabout, but for a visual aspect it is very good...  again low-res textures means there is not a lot of detail, and the signage is all very blurry up close.


KJAX - Jacksonville_NAG 5.jpgKJAX - Jacksonville_NAG 6.jpgKJAX - Jacksonville_NAG 9.jpg


The separate military radar is set at the entrance to the ANG, plus two McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagles guard the same approach. Shame they are not placed on the flight line or in the bunker hangars as well, as those areas are empty of static aircraft.


KJAX - Jacksonville_NAG 7.jpgKJAX - Jacksonville_NAG 8.jpg


Mid-field is an animated rotating radar, which well done, but let down by the poor low-res textures of the demountable buildings.


KJAX - Jacksonville_Textures 9.jpg



KJAX is an all concrete airport, both the runways and the taxiways, even the ramps are made up of large concrete blocks. The ground textures are excellent, different types of concrete surfaces for the different areas, runways are well rubbered in, and gunge is well done.


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However there isn't a lot of a stony feel, it's all quite flat. This is an X-Plane 12 airport. With that you get X-Plane 12 weather effects...   but don't expect heavy snow in Florida. But the wet and rain effects here are very good.


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The night time here at JAX is very disappointing...  runways use the standard X-Plane illumination numbers, so they are okay, but the rest is dull.


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All the ramps around the terminal and concourses are very dull, or at best just viewable, you can't work down there in this darkness. In fact the whole terminal is in darkness, even the glass areas?


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Internally it's a little bit better, but its not enough. Oddly the best place to work is under the terminal/concourses... it is all nicely lit under there?


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Most outside working areas including cargo is very poorly lit, barely worth the effort. GA areas and hotel, are all bland grey none (or feebly) lit areas...


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...   only the carparks show any sign of bright life.


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Navigation signage is fine, a bit low-res, and come with no ground reflections.


KJAX - Jacksonville_Lighting 16.jpgKJAX - Jacksonville_Lighting 17.jpg



Jacksonville International Airport is a civil-military public airport 13 miles (21 km) north of Downtown Jacksonville, in Duval County, Florida. It is owned and operated by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.


JAX is a favorite primary destination of mine as I fly around Florida in the United States a lot. So a good KJAX Jacksonville with X-Plane 12 features is very well received.


In detail and from the air the airport is excellent, there is a lot of objects and features here. The central terminal and two winged Concourses (A&C) are really well modeled and designed with internal areas in both concourses. SAM3 (plugin required) is also active here on the 20 gates available. Landside is excellent with two large storied carparks, Hilton DoubleTree hotel and the Jacksonville Aviation Authority building all represented.


The spread of detail over the wide airport area is very well done, and covers the Jacksonville Air National Guard Base to the southwest  of the field. Concrete ground textures and varied clutter is well done (certainly the carparks), but there is no vehicle animations Airside or Landside. Both "No Grass" and "No Static (aircraft)" options are available


Any deeper interaction however is limited by the poor low-res textures on the buildings outside of the terminal area. The General Aviation areas which are significant to me are generally quite poor, even my decade old JAX X-Plane 10 GA areas were far, far better than this... disappointed, as also is the very poor lighting, the terminal areas really can't be used after dark. A lot of flat photo textures were also used to reflect the ground areas, including water, the idea is fairly successful, but don't look to closely.


A note here is these low-res textures in the scenery, all my graphic sliders are at the "Full" settings, but I got a lot of Low-Res images in X-Plane 12, We are waiting on (late again) for X-Plane 12.06, which is supposed to have better and improved performance and reduce the risk of blurry textures. I'll revisit this scenery when the upgrade is available.


I can recommend JAX Jacksonville a lot, as it is a very really well done scenery. Interaction with the excellent terminal area is well done, but we have to understand is that just don't look too closely, or expect a detailed walkaround experience....  otherwise it is a great JAX scenery



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! - KJAX - Jacksonville International Airport by FS Designs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


KJAX - Jacksonville International Airport

Price is US$19.99



X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 1.6 GB
Current version: 1.0 (June 5th 2023)

Installation and documents:

JAX is download of 1.38Gb download. There is only one folder as part of the installation;


  • FSDesigns KJAX Jacksonville Intl Airport


2.08Gb is installed into your Custom Scenery folder.


There are four options with the scenery

  • Non-Grass & Non-Static Version
  • Non-Static Version
  • Non-Grass Version
  • X-Plane 11 Version


In each option folder there is the "Earth nav data" and "earth.wed" files to change over for the conversion.


SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 3.0 or higher is required for this scenery



There is a supplied manual;

  • ReadMe.pdf
  • InstallationInstructions.pdf
  • Changelog.txt

There is a full Installation pdf



Review System Specifications

Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.05r1 (This is a Release Candidate review).

Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

Scenery or Aircraft




Review by Stephen Dutton

26th June 2023

Copyright©2023: 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


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  • 6 months later...

There has been three updates one substantial v1.01, then two small twiddly updates v1.2/3. Lighting is the major change, and KJAX is far better than the almost complete darkness before...  still not the best though as the GA area ramps are still in darkness, but let us say better... so it's not the scenery's strongpoint. LOD's are still too short as well.


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That said, it's a great scenery, one I have used frequently, do I recommend, yes absolutely.

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