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Scenery Review: KONT - Ontario International Airport XP12 by VerticalSim

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Scenery Review: KONT - Ontario International Airport XP12 by VerticalSim


By Dennis Powell 


Evoking memories of a 60s TV show, one might recall the phrase, “California is the place you ought to be. Swimming pools, movie stars.” Yet, a short journey east of Hollywood's dazzle takes us to Ontario, California. This area, less heralded but equally intriguing, hosts a sprawling suburban expanse and an airport that serves as a serene counterpart to the ever-busy LAX.

Developed by VerticaliSm, Ontario International Airport emerges as a noteworthy addition to their portfolio. Situated as a gateway to Southern California's adventures, it offers an experience distinct from the frenetic pace of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The locale is steeped in suburban authenticity, replete with residential areas and the kind of small-scale industrial backdrop one might anticipate in a community adjacent to, yet distinctly apart from, Los Angeles. Encircled by mountains to the east and the undulating hills of Los Angeles to the west, KONT positions itself intriguingly, but how does it fare as an X-Plane destination? Well, that's what we're here to uncover.




Installing this scenery package is a breeze. The process involves a simple download of the 1.6GB package, unzipping the folder, and then transferring the uncompressed scenery folder into your Custom Scenery directory. It's straightforward: no complicated licensing, no codes to enter, no hassle at all. Just a quick click, drag, and drop, and you're all set to dive into this scenery experience.


On a side note, while the store's description suggests that the gates require SAM3, I've found the package operates smoothly without it. Despite removing the SAM suite due to its impact on my system's performance, I faced no issues with the gates. However, it's worth noting that you'll miss out on the marshaller's guidance into the gate, which could be a consideration for those who fly airliners

This scenery package includes a PDF that efficiently details setup, installation procedures, and any special features you might need to know about. In addition to the installation guide, the PDF offers an overview and some other handy pieces of information. For those interested, it also contains a link to the latest version of the SAM suite. 


The provided documentation is straightforward and includes necessary information about SAM3 compatibility. As previously mentioned, while I choose to fly without the SAM suite due to its effect on my system's performance, those with more robust systems might find it adds to their experience. And don't worry about being overwhelmed by the PDF, as it's a concise six pages. You’ll find it short, sweet, and refreshingly straightforward, sparing your hair from turning grey as you read.




Exploration Walkthrough
Situated in a semi-arid desert basin just east of Los Angeles, the airport is encircled by mountains to the east and rolling hills to the west, north, and south. The surrounding area is peppered with autogen, primarily suburban housing and light industry. Warehouses are a common sight as you approach, and the light industrial zone to the east of the airport forms part of the scenery.


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The local vegetation is quintessentially Southern Californian: scrub brush and palm trees, with a smattering of deciduous trees for shade. The airport features two parallel runways running east to west: 8L/26R, stretching 12,197 feet, and the slightly shorter 8R/26L at 10,200 feet. Both runways boast comprehensive centreline lighting.


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However, the ground texture, based on ortho photos, is where the scenery slightly falters. These photos retain time-specific shadows and include numerous 2D-rendered parked cars in the lots and conspicuous 2D junk piles around the airport. This aspect is the only notable shortcoming, but considering the airport's price point, it's a minor quibble.


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The runway and taxiway textures use transparent textures as their base, with custom polygons for the pavement. This technique, a holdover from X-Plane 11, ensures intricate taxi routes but precludes AI aircraft generation and landing at the airport. However, those familiar with World Editor can easily rectify this.


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The 3D modeling of the main terminal buildings is notably detailed, capturing the essence of their real-world counterparts with a high degree of accuracy. The terminals feature angular roofs with sharply angled glass elements, plus subtle curve that adds to the realistic portrayal. 


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Smaller structures such as maintenance buildings and hangars are also accurately rendered, matching online photos, though lacking interior details. The exteriors, however, are painstakingly modelled, contributing to the airport's ambiance.


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The airport is abundant in clutter: 3D parked cars, ramp equipment, baggage trains, static aircraft, and notably, a Boeing 727 by a cargo hangar, a fixture in many satellite images. Also, present are power poles, dumpsters, bollards, concrete barriers, cargo containers, and custom signage.


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The gates, rendered using SAM, are not functional on my setup due to the absence of the SAM plugin, a decision influenced by its impact on my system's performance. Many gates are labelled with airline names like Southwest, Delta, and JetBlue. While not all gates are marked, it’s easy to discern airline allocations. A noticeable omission, however, is the presence of people, an increasingly common feature in payware airports that adds a vibrant, lively atmosphere.


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Night Lighting
The night lighting at Ontario is particularly noteworthy. Surrounded by a brightly lit suburban area, accentuated by its proximity to several freeways, the airport itself doesn't overly stand out at night. Yet, it is sufficiently illuminated to be identifiable as an airport.


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The runways are equipped with the standard centreline, edge, and approach lights expected of a busy international airport. A unique feature that caught my attention were the taxi lights. Unlike the runway lights, which are strung in lines, these taxi lights appear custom-made and hand-placed, creating an impressive density and detail on the ground. Additionally, there's a significant cluster of wig wag lights at the points where various taxiways converge near the runways. The main terminal ramps are well lit, achieving a balance between visibility and subtlety.


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In contrast to some sceneries where you might notice a shift in lighting intensity from twilight to full darkness, Ontario’s lighting remains steady and constant. There’s no abrupt increase in brightness as the night deepens. Given the significant light pollution from the surrounding autogen, the airport's lighting is executed with just the right touch, noticeable but not overwhelming, perfectly complementing its environment.


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Performance Impact
This airport marks my second venture with the recently acquired Nvidia RTX 2060, and during my exploration, frame rates consistently hovered in the mid to upper twenties. Pinpointing the exact cause of these low frame rates is a bit challenging. It could be attributed to the airport itself or potentially the extensive autogen in the surrounding area. However, given that my settings for autogen and vegetation are cranked to the max, I’m guessing I’m CPU, rather than GPU limited. 

What I can confidently report is that, despite the lower frame rates, the overall flying experience remained smooth. There were no hitches, hesitations, or scenery skips noted. During my testing of the scenery, I used the JRX Bell 407, which might have influenced the frame rates I observed. However, it's still too early to conclude if this particular model is a significant resource hog, as I haven't had enough time to thoroughly test its impact. It's a well-known fact though, that certain aircraft can be more demanding on frame rates than others. For those with a reasonably modern computer setup and a robust graphics card, this airport should not pose significant performance issues. Additionally, for those utilizing AutoOrthoXP and X-World America by simHeaven, you'll be happy to hear that VerticalSim's Ontario integrates almost seamlessly into the wider area. 


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Overall, Ontario by VerticaliSim presents a solid and well-executed scenery, effectively capturing the essence of its real-life counterpart. The numerous buildings are modelled with care, each one enhanced by a high level of texturing detail. The use of transparent textures for runways, taxiways, and ramps means an absence of AI aircraft, but this isn’t a major issue. For those desiring AI activity, it's an easily rectifiable point. At a price of just $15.99, this minor limitation doesn't detract significantly from the overall value.

The only real niggle is with the ortho photos. The retention of shadows and 2D objects could have been addressed prior to their use, and in certain areas, the 2D vegetation isn't completely masked by 3D counterparts. These aspects, while minor, might slightly distract pilots who prefer low altitude flying. However, the photos do ensure accurate runway and parking lot markings.


For heavy metal simmers, VerticalSim's Ontario is an excellent choice. It offers an escape from the congestion of LAX and serves as a gateway to explore the varied landscapes of Southern California: from the coast to the mountains, and yes, even those swimming pools and movie stars the classic 60's TV show alluded to.


Dennis Powell, Sunset Arts LTD.






KONT - Ontario International Airport XP12 by VerticalSim is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


KONT - Ontario International Airport XP12

Priced at US$15.99



  • Brand new XP12 weather maps
  • Accurate cargo ramps
  • 2023 Airport Layout
  • HDR Lighting
  • PBR on nearly all materials
  • Moving vehicle traffic
  • Traffic AI Routing
  • SAM Jetways
  • Usage of LOD’s for optimization


X-Plane 12 - (not for XP11)
Windows, Mac, or Linux
8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Version 1.0 (January 12th, 2024)


Review System Specifications

Windows 10 Intel i5-6600K 16GB RAM RTX 2060 with 12GB VRAM




Scenery Review by Dennis Powell
31st January 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).





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