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Scenery Review: Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport XP12 by Cami De Bellis

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Scenery Review: Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport XP12 by Cami De Bellis


By Dominic Smith

In this review, we shift our gaze back to the creative sphere of Cami De Bellis, a developer known for her meticulous work on X-Plane sceneries. Fresh from our exploration of the remote Dolpa Airport, we're now taking you to Nepal's central hub - Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (VNKT), a more recent addition to Cami's X-Plane 12 payware scenery portfolio.

Situated in Kathmandu, Nepal's vibrant capital, VNKT serves as an operational base for a host of airlines, including international flag bearers like Himalaya Airlines and Nepal Airlines, along with several domestic carriers. Beyond its pivotal role in facilitating international and domestic flights, VNKT is also renowned as a launchpad for thrill-seekers planning sightseeing flights over the mighty Mount Everest.

As part of Cami's X-Plane 12 offerings, VNKT boasts a roster of features designed to ensure an immersive simulation experience. A meticulously modelled airport infrastructure complete with over 220 custom objects underpinned by ambient occlusion, modifications to mesh for accurate terrain depiction, and photorealistic textures adorning buildings and vehicles are just a few highlights.

The scenery incorporates accurately modelled taxiways, runways, and aprons along with a realistic representation of the surrounding environment. Added features like high-definition building textures in 2K and 4K resolutions, professional ortho imagery, night effects, custom airport lighting, World Traffic 3 compatibility, and locally inspired 3D characters contribute to the comprehensive detailing of this airport scenery.



Much like with Dolpa, installing Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport was a straightforward affair, especially for those familiar with Cami's sceneries. Upon purchasing the package, I received a download link for a zip file, which weighed in at 991MB. Once unzipped, it expanded to around 2.7GB, producing two folders: one for the main airport scenery and the other for the custom mesh.

Despite the simplicity of the installation, it required a certain level of precision. The initial step was to copy both the main airport scenery and the custom mesh folder, named 'VNKT-Mesh', into the Custom Scenery directory of my X-Plane 12 installation. For the scenery to load correctly, I also needed to place the custom mesh folder below the main airport scenery in my scenery_packs.ini file.

The final part of the installation process involved adding Cami’s CDB Library, a fundamental component for all her sceneries (both freeware and payware). Fortunately, I already had this installed, but for those who don't, a link is provided on the store product page. After completing these steps, I was all set to embark on my exploration of Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport.


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Kickstarting my journey from a bird's eye view, I took in the sweeping panorama of the Kathmandu valley, awash in the day's golden sunlight, something rarely seen in Scotland! One thing that struck me was the pronounced contrast between the airport's custom photographic textures and those found included with X-Plane, creating a somewhat jarring divide in the landscape. Due to this, I decided to generate my own photographic tiles with Ortho4XP (easily done), and so managed to bridge this visual gap rather effectively. I should also mention that I had simHeaven’s X-World Asia add-on installed, an addition I'd whole heartily recommend as it’s a vast improvement over the default autogen of the area. 


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That said, it's worth noting that the photographic textures provided with Cami's scenery are optimised for viewing from higher altitudes. As you descend, their clarity decreases, leading to a slightly blurred appearance closer to the ground. However, this is a typical characteristic of photographic textures and shouldn't be seen as a major downside.

The airport's surroundings, punctuated by notable undulations along the runway edges, benefit from the incorporation of a custom mesh, accurately capturing the unique topography of the area. This addition is a thoughtful one, easily overlooked, but greatly appreciated. While some roads might appear slightly misaligned, this can be largely be attributed to X-Plane’s design rather than the custom scenery.


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As your altitude lowers, the custom textures for the runways, taxiways, and aprons gradually reveal themselves. Signs of wear and tear like cracks, tyre marks, and oil stains all contribute to a convincing portrayal of the airport.


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The custom foliage used throughout the scenery integrates seamlessly with the airport environment, featuring an assortment of trees, shrubs, and grasses. Although these aren't dynamic like the ones in X-Plane 12, they effectively set the stage.


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A diverse array of custom aircraft models populate the airport's apron, mirroring what you'd likely see at the real location. You'll notice a fair share of De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters, an old Boeing 727, and some Soviet-era helicopters, each adding their own slice of authenticity to the scenery. Also included are a variety of accurately modelled airport vehicles, including buses that reminded me of a journey to the area I took some years back. 


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As ever, Cami's talent for architectural detailing shines throughout the scenery. The authentic fire station, equipped with a range of fire trucks, both vintage and modern, is just one testament to this. Other standout buildings include the Buddha Air hangar with its superior texturing, the Yeti Airlines sales and ticket office and hangar, and the notable Nepal Airlines presence.


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The recently built main terminal, with its uniform brickwork and distinct sloping roof, gives the airport a contemporary edge, creating a stark contrast with the older structures around. Though it lacks an interior model, this is a minor omission when considering the performance benefits. Taxis and passengers waiting by the terminal's entrance enhance the busy, bustling atmosphere. The control tower, erected a few decades prior to the terminal, is also well rendered, featuring weathered textures that speak to its age.


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Overall, the architecture of the various airport buildings is remarkably reflective of the local style and is portrayed with fidelity. The corrugated roofs and walls, in particular, add a unique touch to the airport.


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Night Lighting
When dusk falls at Tribhuvan International Airport, Cami's careful deployment of light breathes another layer of authenticity into the airport's façade, spotlighting well-illuminated aprons, taxiways, and runways that ease after-hours navigation. A substantial portion of the airport's windows are designed with baked lit textures. Although this method might traditionally fall short of dynamic lighting in terms of realism, it's been applied quite skilfully here, with the result being that it bolsters the airport's immersive ambience under the cover of darkness.


A notable exception lies in the Yeti Airlines sales and ticket office, a glassy structure where the baked lighting doesn't quite hit the mark of believability. However, it's crucial to bear in mind that the alternative, which would involve creating a model for the interior, could inadvertently take a toll on framerates. Hence, the choice to employ baked textures for such complex buildings is a sound trade-off.


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Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, by virtue of its broader scale and more intricate structures, might not rival the performance prowess of Dolpa Airport, but it holds its ground commendably. Throughout my testing, framerates hovered consistently in the mid to high thirties and this included both day and night explorations. 



Cami has once again displayed her ability to recreate another hidden gem for X-Plane 12. The meticulous attention to detail is observable at every corner of the scenery, from the weather-worn runway surfaces to the local architecture, all contributing to a palpable sense of authenticity and immersion for simmers. While a few of the photographic ground textures might not perform optimally at close quarters, this is a minor concern within an otherwise outstanding offering.


What truly distinguishes this scenery is its encapsulation of the atmosphere of Nepal, serving as a testament to Cami's dedication that extends beyond just the physical aspects of the scenery, and into the spirit of the real location. This is more than a mere addition to the X-Plane virtual world – it's a scenery that breathes a distinct sense of life and realism into the area.


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In short, Tribhuvan International Airport further underscores Cami's reputation in the X-Plane community and is a worthwhile addition to any simmer's collection.






VNKT - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl Airport XP12 by Cami De Bellis is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


VNKT - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl Airport XP12

Priced at $27.95



Highly accurate scenery for VNKT-Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport with all buildings modeled
Over 220 custom objects all with Ambient Occlusion 
DSF mesh created and modified to fix bump terrain and set and correct the topography of Airport’s area
Photo real textures on buildings, vehicles etc.
Photorealistic ground textures based on a satellite image
Professional ortho imagery 50cm – 25 km square meters – with share license authorization 
Detailed airport objects and vehicles 
Custom textured taxiways, runways, and apron 
Custom surroundings buildings 
Custom airport lights HD
Custom forest and flora trees 
High resolution building textures – all in 2K and 4K 
Excellent night effects 
World Traffic 3 compatible
Native characters created specially 



X-Plane 12
Windows, Mac, or Linux
4 Gb VRAM Minimum. 8 Gb+ VRAM Recommended
CDB-Library is required
Download Size: 1 GB
Current version 12 (June 15th, 2023)


Review System Specifications

Intel i5 10400 – 32GB RAM - Nvidia Asus RTX 3060 – Windows 10 Home 64 Bit




Scenery Review by Dominic Smith
28th July 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 copying of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions).




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