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Scenery Review: X01 - Everglades Airpark, Florida by Skytitude

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Scenery Review: X01 - Everglades Airpark, Florida by Skytitude


By Felicity Smith


As a young girl, I remember rushing home after school to immerse myself in the adventures of Mark, his dad, and Gentle Ben, gliding effortlessly on their airboat through the Everglades in the television series 'Gentle Ben.' Those reruns transported me to a world filled with simplicity and joy, a feeling I’ve cherished into adulthood. So, when Everglades Airpark popped up on the Org store, and hubby suggested I take a look, I thought, why not!

Everglades Airpark, located a mile southwest of Everglades City in Collier County, Florida, is more than just a hub for aviation activities; it's a portal to the expansive 10,000 islands that dot the region. Yes, an astounding 10,000! This strategic position offers virtual pilots a scenic base that perfectly captures the essence and beauty of the Everglades. 



Installation and Documentation
Users are provided with two zip files, one tailored for X-Plane 12 and the other for X-Plane 11, to ensure compatibility regardless of the version they are using. The files are compact, with the download size being just over 160MB and expanding slightly to around 170MB once extracted. The installation process involves simply transferring the two folders into your Custom Scenery folder, making it as straightforward as preparing for takeoff. Documentation comes in the form of a modest text document. It's simple yet effective, providing all the essential information needed for installation. 

First Impressions
My first flight over Everglades Airpark in X-Plane was truly eye-opening. For those who haven't had the opportunity to visit this part of the world, the expansive view of countless islands and mangroves is striking. The scenery offers depth with its myriad of islands and islets, presenting a rich tapestry for exploration. While it's uncertain if every single island has been individually modeled, the contrast to X-Plane's more generic landscapes is notable. The enhancements made to the bathymetry data through the edited mesh significantly smooth out the dips and rises in water surfaces that X-Plane sometimes exhibits. This adjustment leads to a more realistic experience, especially noticeable when flying at low altitudes, by mitigating the visual disruptions caused by these inconsistencies


As you fly over the airpark, the detailing becomes even more apparent. A custom photographic overlay enhances the realism of the airport and its surroundings, making aspects such as the runway and the nearby Chokoloskee Bay appear more lifelike. Furthermore, the overlay extends over the water, effectively using different shades of blue to indicate variations in water depth.


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Everglades Airpark
Approaching Everglades Airpark reveals that its charm lies in the subtle details rather than grandiosity. The developer has achieved a near perfect balance with the custom foliage, including shrubs, trees, and 3D grass, which are distributed in a way that creates a scene that is neither barren nor overcrowded. Combined with X-Plane's ambient nature sounds, the setting attains an immersive quality that is both pleasing and authentic.


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The runway itself features textures that realistically reflect wear and tear. The addition of what appears to be windblown sand across areas of the runway further enhances its visual fidelity and acknowledges the airpark's proximity to the coastline. Runway markings, as you would expect, are minimal, displaying only the essential numbers and the airport’s frequency, which underscores the airpark's practical, no-frills ethos.


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In terms of structures, the airpark reflects its real-world counterpart’s modesty with just a few buildings. The main hangar, serving as a shelter for small single-engine GA aircraft, and the main ticket office, which modestly functions beyond what might typically be called a terminal, are notable for their modelling. The inclusion of 3D figures around the ticket office adds a touch of life to the scenery, a detail that enhances realism. A parking area, a small water tower, and various pieces of airport clutter fill out the scene. While the airpark does not boast a wide range of structures, each element is thoughtfully placed, enriching the overall experience without overstimulating the senses.


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Everglades City
Northward from the airpark, one encounters Everglades City, a charmingly small community that, despite its name, is home to fewer than four hundred residents. The city’s layout, with its orderly grid of streets, hosts a variety of residential and commercial structures. These are integrated into the scenery with a photographic overlay that, while not achieving razor-sharp clarity, marks a modest step up from the default textures provided by X-Plane. The waterfront, with its array of docks and jetties complemented by a selection of default boats, melds surprisingly well into the surroundings. 


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Chokoloskee Island
Chokoloskee Island, situated further south and connected to the mainland by a three-mile-long causeway, adds a serene element to the scenery. Its numerous buildings and static caravans, integrated using a photographic overlay, had the potential to be a standout feature. Unfortunately, the use of low-resolution imagery here undermines this potential. Given the relatively small size of the download package, it seems there was an opportunity for the developers to incorporate higher resolution textures without a significant increase in file size. At a time when users are generally receptive to downloading larger files for enhanced realism, the decision to keep the file size modest may limit the visual fidelity of these areas. Upgrading to higher resolution textures could have notably improved the immersive quality of Chokoloskee Island, transforming it into a more engaging part of the Everglades Airpark experience. The present resolution, particularly at lower altitudes, detracts from the scenery's potential to fully captivate virtual pilots with the natural beauty and detailed landscape that this unique region deserves.


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Night Lighting
The night lighting at Everglades Airpark, though modest, captures the essence of what you'd expect from a small general aviation airport such as this. It's not so much about the dazzle but the fit, and in this case, the lighting strikes a pleasant balance. The gentle illumination of the main office building, coupled with the streetlights weaving through Everglades City, creates a serene and realistic nocturnal setting. It’s subtle, yet thoughtfully implemented, providing just enough light to navigate without overpowering the quiet beauty of the surrounding area.


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Given that my computer is typically more engaged with games like “Hogwarts Legacy” and “Age of Empires” rather than the highly detailed and demanding environment of X-Plane 12, I approached this scenery with a measure of apprehension. To my pleasant surprise, the performance across Everglades Airpark was impressively smooth. The only moment I encountered a slight slowdown was when X-Plane 12’s default trees, especially animated ones in windy conditions, began to accumulate, leading to a minor drop in frame rates. However, for those who, like me, find the trees from X-Plane 11 more than satisfactory, switching back to these in the graphics menu is an option. Overall, the scenery performed excellently, free from stutter and maintaining a good performance level throughout. 


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In reviewing Everglades Airpark, I've found an experience that captures the simplicity and authenticity of the real Everglades, albeit on a somewhat modest scale. The scenery shines in depicting the main airport and its immediate vicinity, with its upgraded mesh, realistically modelled main airport building, and a genuine sense of place that truly embodies the spirit of this distinctive location.

However, there is room for improvement, particularly the lower-resolution overlays in the urban settings near the airport. While these aspects don’t entirely detract from the overall enjoyment, they do present a clear avenue for enhancement that could elevate the scenery to more closely match the vividness and detail of its real-world inspiration.


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Weighing the scenery’s modest intentions against its successes, it stands out as a rewarding exploration for those captivated by the charm of the Everglades. With an accessible price point, it offers a compelling option for virtual pilots in search of new adventures, set within a context that doesn't aim for overwhelming grandeur but rather a heartfelt tribute to a beloved region.






X01 - Everglades Airpark, Florida by Skytitude is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


Everglades Airpark

Priced at $12.95



  • Complete and accurate representation of Everglades Airpark
  • Highly Detailed areas of Everglades City, Chokoloskee Island and ten thousand Islands for greater VFR
  • Custom Materials and Surfaces with Physical-Based Rendering Effect (PBR)
  • Wet Surfaces Using New X-Plane 12 Weather Technology
  • Spectacular Buildings and Objects with Realistic Night Lighting
  • High Density Hand-Placed Forests and Plants
  • Custom 3D Grass Using New X-Plane 12 Vegetation Technology
  • Accurately Built Large Surrounding Area with Thousands of Hand-Placed Objects
  • Edited mesh for +25-082 tile, a lot of bathymetry data problems fixed


X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac, or Linux
Download Size: 163 MB
Current version: XP 12 1.0 (Jan 24th, 2024)


Review System Specifications

AMD R5 2600 – 16GB RAM - Nvidia RTX 2060 – Windows 10 Home 64 Bit




Scenery Review by Felicity Smith
15th March 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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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you Felicity for an awesome review of Everglades.

As i remember i did ortho's this way because the satellite has captured too much annoying shadows on higher resolution photos.

I will take a look on how I can improve the integrated ortho's terrain in Everglades.

My appreciated for honest review and your time, this is very useful.

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