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Scenery Review : Seattle, WA - Gateway to Boeing Country by Tom Curtis

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Scenery Review : Seattle, WA - Gateway to Boeing Country by Tom Curtis

In another giant scenery set here from Tom Curtis is a collection of airports that are mostly significant with the aircraft manufacturer of the Boeing Aircraft Company. Which is based in Seattle in the North Western portion of the United States in Washington State (WA).

The overall scenery is not new but is a collection of sceneries that have been updated and refined. KPAE - Paine Field was a separate scenery package but has now been inserted as part of the Boeing Country package. One airport is completely new and that is KTCM - McChord Field which is a large military base of some significance. So Boeing Country comprises in total of six airports in:

KSEA  - SEA-TAC, KTCM - McChord Field, KBFI - Boeing Field (Boeing), KRNT - Renton (Boeing), KPAE  - Paine Field (Boeing), KPWT - Bremerton National.

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(google maps)

I personally bought the KPAE - Paine Field and added bonus KRNT - Renton scenery when it was released as such for US$10 a few years ago, and certainly deeded it was good value, looking over the updates I can say they have had a refinement, nothing much as the originals where pretty comprehensive in their layouts, but the simple addition or change to the type of aircraft that are parked around (now mostly B787 Dreamliners at KPAE) works very well, the textures feel lighter and slightly sharper as well.

To get an idea of the landscape and placements of the sceneries around Seattle, I did a very wide and long landing circuit before going into McChord Field. It also provided a great first impression on the new scenery in the package.

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Arrival in the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III was flying North and to the East of Seattle at 7500 ft. And situated just slightly to the South of Seattle is the cluster of KSEA, KBFI and KRNT. The heading was kept on going north until the C-17 was just above Snohomish before a left turn with Everett just to right on the turn...  Now Paine Field, is known as Everett sometimes and other times it is labeled as Snohomish Airport as well, But Silver Lake is closer than both? 

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Looping around KPAE you turn directly South over central Whidbey Island for the long run down Puget Sound directly to down to KTCM - McChord Field.

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Seattle comes up on your right and as you pass again KSEA, KBFI and KRNT are in vogue, To your left is Bainbridge Island and past the Island is Bremerton and the airport Bremerton National at the head of the inlet.  Altitude is now going down to the ILS approach height of 1800ft of RWY16 while passing over Vashon Island. On my right are the double bridges of the Tacoma Narrows bridges that Tom Curtis has modeled into this scenery (It has moving traffic on the bridges as well), and then I am on the final approach to McChord Field.

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First view of McChord Field is simply great. The scenery looks very authentic filling the windows of the big C-17. The runway and the side taxiways look very well created and again very realistic. Once down and on the reversers I note two sets of arresters wires across the runway, and one for each approach of from the North or from the South.

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Once at taxi speed and I take taxiway E to taxiway H, It is a long roll to taxiway E but you have more off runway options by landing from the south on RWY34. Just before entering Taxiway H, I glance right and the view from the cockpit is really really good...  Impressive.  The big C-17 0186 is quite a nice fit on D ramp between its brothers on the flight line, shut down and opening the aircraft up you felt you had arrived back at the base.

KTCM - McChord Field (Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Lewis Field)

McChord Field is the home of the 62d Airlift Wing, Air Mobility Command, the field's primary mission being worldwide strategic airlift. The 62d Operations Group flies the C-17 Globemaster III transports from McChord Field. It consists of four airlift squadrons in 4th Airlift Squadron, 7th Airlift Squadron, 8th Airlift Squadron and 10th Airlift Squadron and an operational support squadron. More support is provided by the 62d Maintenance Group, 62d Mission Support Group and 62d Medical Squadron.

In 1917, the citizens of Pierce County, Washington approved a bond measure for $2,000,000 to buy 70,000 acres (280 km²) of land to be donated to the Federal Government for use as a military reservation. This land became Camp Lewis (and later Fort Lewis). Ten years later, in 1927, another bond measure was passed to establish an airfield just north of the military reservation. The airfield, named Tacoma Field, officially opened 14 March 1930.

On 28 February 1938 the airfield was officially transferred to the United States Government. In 1945 McChord was designated as a permanent station by the Army Air Forces. It was assigned to Continental Air Forces in April 1945, becoming headquarters of the 1st and 2d Bomb Wings after their return from combat in Europe. On 1 August 1946, McChord was assigned to the new Air Defense Command, with a mission of air defense of the United States. During the Cold War, numerous fighter-interceptor squadrons were stationed at the base, as well as Radar and Command and Control organizations, the 25th Air Division being headquartered at McChord from 1951 until 1990, The airbase had become independent of Ft. Lewis in 1947 following the creation of the Air Force under provisions of the National Security Act of 1947 and was subsequently named McChord AFB, the airfield was then renamed McChord Field, in honor of Colonel William Caldwell McChord.

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16/34  10,108  (3,081m)  Asphalt/Concrete

160/340  3,000  (914m)  Asphalt (assault strip)

ELEV AMSL 322ft

Tom Curtis notes that David Austin who had worked on the McChord flightline, has given his time and knowledge of the AFB to create a lot of the detailing in this scenery. And that in depth detail certainly shows.

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Large and sprawling the AFB is, the scenery goes a fair distance in every direction. D ramp is the centre and is dominated by four huge hangars 1-4 and the control tower, to the south is the fire station and then the USAF Air Museum which is located midfield with what looks like a large administration building set out behind. Going on to down to the far south on E ramp is the Air Defense Alert in the “Alert Barn”.

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Set between C ramp which is the main maintenance area and hangars and the large "prepping" J ramp is the base operations buildings and block house (nuclear proof?) with further north the VIP receiving centre is on B ramp. detailing is excellent as Tom Curtis has not just placed aircraft, but also has the crews and various maintenance equipment servicing the giant aircraft, this theme follows through out all the sceneries in this package as all the airport ramps and areas are very well filled with great filling out of a visual experience.

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Far north is a large freight building and C-5A Galaxy sitting on the ramp of which I would note as ramp A. Across the runway(s) on the Eastern side are some more buildings by a lot of holding pads, which look a little empty, and maybe a few aircraft stored here would have filled it out a little. far south on the eastern side is LIMA Pad where they store the explosive armaments (live pad).  All taxiways are exceptional quality, but you have steer quite carefully in a C-17 as they can be slightly narrow for an aircraft of this size.

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And note the arrester wires across the runway.

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The scenery does have photographic (ortho) underlays set out and covering the standard X-Plane textures and so in some places they can be quite flat and blurry, even with my render settings being set "very high". The KTCM ortho is not to bad, but some airports as we will see will find the ortho a bit more obvious.

Overall KTCM - McChord Field is a magnificent addition to this area and the package, and also very highly usable as a base from which to leave or arrive in military style simulations.

KSEA  - Seattle–Tacoma International Airport or Sea-Tac (KSEA/SEA)

KSEA or Sea-Tac is the main international airport of the Seattle area. It is also part of the X-Plane demo area and you can see why this area around this airport and others in this package were chosen for such a role. Sea-Tac is so versatile as an airport that you really need good scenery here to get the very best out of X-Plane as a simulator. I use KSEA more than most airports in X-Plane just because of that huge versatility. My operations also have a huge range from here. I run cargo from Sea-Tac to PANC in Alaska which is my favorite run, and passengers south to SFO, LAX and out to HNL in Honolulu, Hawaii. For regional flying I love the flight up the sound to Victoria International, of which is the most frequent I do in X-Plane and you can fly GA (or Helicopter) around to loads of very small drop off islands (Friday Harbor), and another really great loop is out to KHQM - Bowerman Airport on the coast which is really great scenery by FoxThree and gives you then the choice to fly right around the mountain range or like I do again head up to Vic, Intl or just return back to KSEA. Watercraft are in a dream world here as there are so many great places to aim for and return to, again KRNT (Renton) is a great base for that.

The airport was constructed by the Port of Seattle in 1944 to serve civilians of the region, after the U.S. military took control of the Boeing Field for use in World War II. The Port received $1 million from the Civil Aeronautics Administration to build the airport, and $100,000 from the City of Tacoma. The first scheduled airline flights were Northwest and Trans-Canada in 1947; Western and United moved from Boeing Field in the next couple of years, and Pan Am moved in 1952–53, but West Coast stayed at Boeing Field until after the Hughes merger. Two years later "international" was added to the airport's name as Northwest Airlines began direct service to Tokyo, Japan. In 1951, there were four runways at 45-degree angles, between 5,000 and 6,100 feet (1,500 and 1,900 m) long; the northeast-southwest and northwest-southeast runways intersected just west of the north-south runway that eventually became today's runway 34R. The runway was lengthened twice, first in 1959 to allow jets and then in 1961 to handle traffic for the upcoming Century 21 World's Fair.

The two-story North Concourse (later dubbed Concourse D) added four new gate positions and a new wing 600 feet (180 m) long and 30 feet (9.1 m) wide. The one-story South Concourse (now Concourse A) opened in 1961, adding another 688 feet (210 m) to the length of the airport. The 800-foot (240 m) long Concourse B opened in December 1964. It added eight gate positions, bringing the total to 19, a 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) area housing international arrivals, and the offices of U.S. Customs, Immigration, Public Health and the Department of Agriculture. Concourse C opened in July 1966. Just four years later, it was again extended to include another 10 gates, bringing the total to 35. The Port embarked on a major expansion plan and lasting from 1967 to 1973, adding a second runway, a parking garage, two satellite terminals, and other improvements. A$28-million new terminal literally swallowed up the old 1949 structure as it was built over and around it. Opened in 1973, the new terminal quadrupled the area for public use. On July 1, 1973, the Airport opened two new satellite terminals, along with an underground train system to connect them to the Main Terminal. In the mid-1980s, the Main Terminal was renovated and another 150 feet (46 m) was added to the north end. Concourse D was expanded in 1987 with a rotunda that added four new gates. In 1993, Concourses B, C, and D were renovated.  On June 15, 2004, the 2,102-foot (641 m) new Concourse A was unveiled with 14 new gates, a dozen new restaurants, new artwork and the airport's first moving sidewalks.

The new 3rd runway opened on November 20, 2008, with a total construction cost of $1.1 billion. Parallel to the existing two, the new runway was sited far west of the existing runways, so as to allow 2 simultaneous landings in times of low visibility. The airport's older two runways were too closely spaced to allow use of both during low visibility which is a frequent condition in the Seattle area. A new control tower was built beginning in 2001 and opened November 2004, at a cost of $26 million. The floor of the new tower's control cab is 233 ft (71 m) above ground level; the tower's overall height including antennas is 269 ft (82 m).

The three parallel runways run nearly north–south, west of the passenger terminal, and are 8,500 to 11,900 feet (2,600–3,600 m) long. During 2008, the airport averaged 946 aircraft operations per day, 89% being commercial flights, 10% air taxi operations, and 1% transient general aviation.

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16L/34R  11,900  (3,627m)  Concrete

16C/34C  9,426  (2,873m)  Concrete

16R/34L  8,500  (2,591m)  Concrete

ELEV 433 ft / 132 m AMSL

 

First thing to note is the relationship between KSEA and KBFI - Boeing Field, because they almost overlap each other...

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Landing from the North and you will fly right over Boeing Field if using 16L, 16C or 16R, so having that scenery in place would certainly give you a great approach, In fact the approach from the North is great because there is a lot of traffic and movement under the flight path.

There is an issue with KSEA in that as Tom Curtis recommends that the "runways follows contours" option is turned off. This creates a strange feeling as with the flat base under KSEA you then get cliff walls down to other parts of the scenery (including KBFI) which is not a great look visually, turn the contours on and the runways bend so much in that one end of the runway is totally out of sight of the other end?  And a lot of the airport objects (buildings) will then float (mostly just on a corner)...  but the gradients look right around the airport. So overall it is a no win situation, I mostly keep contours on because I hate the sharp walls and KSEA looks better on both approaches.

The airport itself is almost all on the Eastern side of the three runways in a straight line from South to North.

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The areas are from the south - Alaskan Airlines and Delta maintenance and fuel storage - Main Terminal area - Cargo South - Control Tower - Cargo North. Behind the terminals are various hotels and one seriously large carpark.

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The main terminal is a wide X from the front with four concourses....   Concourse A (south - east) 14 gates (A1–A14) - Concourse B (south - west) 13 gates (B1, B3–B12, B14, B15) - Concourse C (north - west) 10 gates (C9–C12, C14–C18, C20), 12 parking slips (C2B–C2H, C2J–C2M) - Concourse D (north - east) 10 gates (D1–D5, D7-D11)

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All concourses are domestic (if you count Canada as domestic as well) , Alaska Airlines dominates in C, D and N (north satellite), Delta in A,B and S (south satellite) Delta Connection B and S, Southwest Airlines B, American D, Air Canada (and Air Can Express) A, Frontier Airlines B, JetBlue D,  United/United Express A and Virgin America B.

There are two Satellite Terminals (North and South) in north S there is 14 gates (N1–N3, N6–N11, N13-N16), Five Parking Slips (N12A-N12D, N12F) and in the south S 13 gates (S1–S12, S15), 4 parking slips (S16A–S16D).

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North satellite is again Alaska Airlines but the South satellite is the main International off-shoot terminal servicing - British Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Condor, Emirates, EVA Air, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Icelandair (interesting!), Korean Air and Lufthansa.

Top five domestic destinations are:

1  Los Angeles, California  pax 910,000 - Alaska, Delta, United, Virgin America

2  San Francisco, California pax 844,000 - Alaska, Delta, United, Virgin America

3  Denver, Colorado  pax 753,000 - Alaska, Frontier, Southwest, United

4  Anchorage, Alaska pax 686,000 - Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, United

5  Phoenix, Arizona pax 634,000 - Alaska, Southwest, US Airways, American Airlines

Top five international destinations are:

1  Tokyo (Narita), Japan  pax 409,119 - ANA, Delta, United

2  Vancouver, Canada  pax 382,818  - Air Canada, Alaska

3  Amsterdam, Netherlands  pax 248,356  - Delta

4  Seoul (Incheon), South Korea  pax 248,198  - Asiana, Korean Air

5  London (Heathrow), United Kingdom  pax 195,951 - British Airways

Cargo operations

ABX Air - Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Vancouver

Ameriflight  - Oakland

Alaska Air Cargo - Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Yakutat

Cargolux  - Calgary, Glasgow-Prestwick, Luxembourg

China Airlines Cargo - Miami

China Cargo Airlines - Shanghai-Pudong

EVA Air Cargo  - Anchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth

FedEx Express  - Anchorage, Indianapolis, Memphis, Oakland

Korean Air Cargo  - Seoul-Incheon

You have to plan in advance to find a gate as they are mostly full, but there are a few available in each concourse and satellite, there are a few regional none airbridge gates that are great for Dash, ATR and big twin operations, but again you need to locate them before you arrive as if you don't you will spend a lot of time taxiing around trying to find them. There are a few working (marginal) airbridges and ramp traffic animations and a pushback (and forward Southwest jet) to keep the airport lively.

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Ramps are very full and has well set out features to give the airport a busy feeling, you couldn't really better this working airport aspect. Tom Curtis is very good in providing not only the main airport infrastructure, but the hotels and side buildings that make up a full visual scene, here it is very comprehensive even with rotating signs.

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The various cargo ramps cover most of the north of the airport and are split by the new Control Tower. There is a lot of space available for parking aircraft here and I usually use Cargo north because the really bigger freighters can easily park here and you are only a very short taxi to 16L or 16C for a southern departure. The control tower is very well modeled, and the (tower) view is good, but a few obstructions come in if you turn the full 360º around. Which does spoil a sit and watch arriving and departing aircraft if you like that sort of thing. All X-Plane ATC taxi routes are sorted and the runs with the A.I. aircraft is very good, If there are still to many call-offs.

There is a private jet hangar and a few GA parking hangars on the western boundary side.

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Overall KSEA is extremely good scenery, and like I noted very useable in many functions.

KBFI - Boeing Field or King County International Airport. (KBFI/BFI)

Except for the World War II period, when it was taken over by the U.S. government, Boeing Field was Seattle's main passenger airport from its construction in 1928 until Seattle-Tacoma International Airport began operations in the late 1940s. The Boeing Company continues to use the field for testing and delivery of its airplanes, and it is still a major regional cargo hub. It is also used by Air Force One when it visits the Seattle area. The Boeing Company has facilities at the airport. As with the final preparations for delivery of Boeing 737 aircraft after the first test flight are made at Boeing Field as there is a delivery centre here, other Boeing facilities at the airport have also included a paint hangar and flight test facilities.

The initial assembly of the 737 was at Boeing Field in the 1960s because the factory in Renton was at capacity building the 707 and 727. After 271 aircraft, and then the production moved to Renton in the late 1970's. Production of military airborne early warning and control aircraft based on the 737, such as Project Wedgetail (Australia) aircraft and Peace Eagle (Turkey) aircraft is still located at here. The Museum of Flight is on the southwest corner of the field. And among the aircraft on display includes an ex-British Airways Concorde, which is positioned in the scenery. Helijet, which is an helicopter airline based at Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia, does scheduled Sikorsky S-76s to the Victoria Harbour Heliport in British Columbia and then on to Helijet's Vancouver Harbour Heliport near downtown Vancouver, B.C.

A few airlines still operate out of KBFI in:

Kenmore Air  - Friday Harbor, Nanaimo, Orcas Island, Port Angeles, Tofino

San Juan Airlines - Anacortes

And Cargo:

ABX Air - Cincinnati, Portland, Vancouver

Airpac Airlines - Vancouver

Air Transport International 

Ameriflight 

Nolinor Aviation 

UPS Airlines - Chicago-Rockford, Louisville, Vancouver, Ontario (CA)

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13R/31L  10,000  (3,048m)  Asphalt

13L/31R  3,710  (1,131m)  Asphalt

ELEV 21ft /6 m AMSL

 

KBFI is a large and complex scenery in that it has so many different elements. It a Boeing Company airport but also a working one for light GA aircraft and smaller regional services (Including helicopters).

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KBFI is no doubt an interesting place to operate out of, but for me it will be for the regional and helicopter services and the delivery of aircraft to be flown to their respective bases either in Australia (Qantas/Jetstar/Virgin) via HNL/NAN(Fiji)/SYD or via Keflavik (Iceland) to Europe. Boeing use mostly the north-western/south-western sections of the airport and the eastern side is mostly GA or Aircraft services with hangars which are expertly recreated.

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There is a big Industrial feel on the west side of KBFI, as besides the ramps of final fit-out of aircraft there are a lot of factories, storage buildings and hangars. There are simply too many factories to count, but they really fill the scenery right in.

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The small control tower is situated mid-field, and you get a great 360º view with the "tower view mode. nestled between the factories is the Museum of Flight and right beside the museum is the "Red Barn" also known as Building No. 105. Built in 1909, the building was used during the early 1900s as Boeing's original manufacturing plant.

There is another historic building on the east side with the original terminal still operating, but as a cafe. But that does not mean you could not use the great ramp area in front for operations.

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There are a lot of well created storage hangars at the north-east point and various hangars and offices right down this General Aviation flightline. Behind the eastern scenery the X-Plane10 traffic is simply excellent and gives the airport a real buzzy feel of activity.

To help in the general views from KPFI, I recommend two packages. The first is Simon W's Plausible CBD 1.4 and Honni's Custom Seattle 0.2 that both add in the Seattle city skyline, both are excellent and Simon's is really great at night.

KFPI is again even by itself as scenery is excellent, as part of the package it is very, very good and very usable, personally I will be using King County more now than KSEA for my lighter local/GA flying.

KRNT - Renton or Renton Municipal Airport (KRNT/RNT)

Renton is really two airports set around one single runway. On the west side is the Renton Municipal Airport, which is really a General Aviation/Seaplane base, and on the east side is the Boeing Renton Factory that churns out the hundreds and thousands B737 series aircraft. The factory has had an illustrious career in producing Boeing aircraft from the start of WW2 to today. Famous aircraft built here includes the Boeing B-29 Superfortress (built 1,119), Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (built 943), Boeing 707/KC-135, Boeing 727, Boeing 757 (built 1,050) and the B737 series that is production today. The first four Boeing 747's were also refurbished here. But on December 13, 1969, one of the aircraft (N732PA), when landing on the 5382 foot long runway landed short and the right wing landing gear was torn from the aircraft and the number 3 and 4 engine nacelles contacted the runway.  So as scenery goes; Renton is certainly a big part of aviation history.

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16/34  5,382  (1,640m)  Asphalt/Concrete

EVEL 32ft / 10m AMSL

 

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At first glance Renton looks older than the other sceneries (except for KPAE) but that is because of the shade colouring of the photo (othro) underlays. They are are plainly lighter squares that stands the scenery out from the X-Plane default textures. The actual object buildings are of the same standard as the rest of the package. The scenery is great because it is so closed in from the surrounding suburb and city. Overflying to land on RWY34 is always a great approach.

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First the Municipal Airport on the west side, I use the water ramp or the official name as the "Will Rogers - Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base", is the area in most of my seaplane reviews because it is ideal on getting the aircraft in and out of the water with a large on land ramp area behind. Even though this GA based airport is quite small by standards there is still plenty of room to park up, and business jets are easily used here as well (On business to Boeing). There is also more GA parking and hangar space on the south-east corner as well if you need even more. The control tower is by the size of the airport really small, but well positioned on the western side about halfway up the field, there is a good refueling point here as well. (note: the named Will Rogers - Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base was named for the fact that these two famous personalities departed from this point on their ultimately-fatal trip to points in Alaska.)

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The final fit-out flightline is very well done, and usually the starting point of my delivery flights, or any test flying I do from KRNT. There are more final fit-outs in another section behind the football field that has been built up around the image in the ortho layer, but it looks a little gaudy and quite too soft and washed out to be effective. There are various buildings and test facilities that are very well reproduced around the final fit-out areas, and certainly it all works very well as scenery.

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On the north part of the scenery fronting Lake Washington is the main factory area. This is well represented by the wider older assembly factories and the newer boxier taller buildings, all are very well modeled and even detailed right down to waterside cafe.

 

KPAE - Paine Field or Snohomish County Airport KPAE/PAE

Paine Field was originally constructed in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project. At the time of development, it was envisioned that the Airport would create jobs and economic growth in the region by becoming one of the ten new "super airports" around the country. Paine Field was taken over by the U.S. Army prior to entry into World War II as a patrol and training base. In 1947 it was transferred to the U.S. Air Force which continued that operational plan until the early 1960s.

On July 25, 1966, Boeing announced that it would build the Boeing 747, a jet airliner capable of carrying nearly twice as many passengers as previous models. To build the giant jet, Boeing had to construct a facility large enough to handle the world's largest commercial jetliner. Land just north of Paine Field was chosen to construct the new facilities, including some development on the airport itself. Both the local government and the FAA concurred with the development. Work on the massive building began in August 1966 and the first employees arrived in early 1967. The 747 made its first flight at Paine Field on February 9, 1969. There has been numerous ideas to restart scheduled air passenger services or air cargo service from the airport, mostly by  Allegiant Air and Horizon Air, but to date it is still Boeing that totally dominates the Snohomish County Airport.  KPAE does however have  four flight schools — Chinook Flight Simulations, Regal Air, Northway Aviation and Everett Helicopters — making it a popular destination for flight training. There are also a number of flying clubs on the field.

Today Paine Field is the primary assembly location for Boeing's wide-body 747, 767, 777 and some 787 aircraft.

KPAE_Airport.jpg

16R/34L  9,010  (2,746m)  Asphalt/Grooved

11/29  4,504  (1,373m)  Asphalt

16L/34R  3,000  (914m)  Asphalt

ELEV 606 ft / 184.7 m AMSL

 

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Like KRNT you notice the ortho photo underlay significantly and here more so. On my original KPAE I hated it so much I pulled them all out because they ruined the effect of the scenery, It worked to a point very well. but you lose a few taxiway details and other small noticeable things, but overall it was a sigh of relief. Here again you have that big square of textures with very straight lines defining the edges of the scenery. Will I do it again and pull them out? maybe or find a better solution in trying to match them better or working on the edges to take away the box shape.

Boeing Country KPAE 5.jpgBoeing Country KPAE 6.jpgBoeing Country KPAE 7.jpgBoeing Country KPAE 8.jpg

Cleverly Tom Curtis has updated the scenery by simply changing the produced aircraft to more of the versions of the B748i and B787 Dreamliner, and it works wonderfully well. Yes there still are a lot of B777 in various stages of final assembly, but the overall look is right up to date. There has been a few more items in and around the production aircraft as well with even POTUS has dropped in Air Force One for a service.

Boeing Country KPAE 9.jpgBoeing Country KPAE 11.jpgBoeing Country KPAE 12.jpgBoeing Country KPAE 13.jpg

The scenery is dominated by those huge original Boeing 747 assembly buildings on the north boundary and the large doors are covered by the latest Boeing graphics as well and it is still the the world's largest building by volume. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore in parking up any Boeing and testing aircraft and it all feels very realistic from the cockpit, however those flat orthos spoil it a little from the outside on the more open spacious areas that don't have any building or objects on them as the flat graphics are a little soft and buzzy. The delivery center is central to the scenery and it is very well done here with one bay filled and one empty for you. Again right through the KPAE scenery there is great detailing around the aircraft like in high scissor lifts with workers working on various parts of the planes and other final-production fitouts.

Boeing Country KPAE 10.jpgBoeing Country KPAE 14.jpg

Most of the scenery in concentrated around the fit-out ramps, but you do have the new Future of Flight Aviation Center that is opposite the main assembly buildings on the south boundary.

KPAE is in a way a strange scenery and in effect a one mission reason to go there. to collect a new aircraft, which is the same as the Airbus scenery in Toulouse. But I get more out of both of them as I use them for aircraft test flights as well as that is the reason Paine Field was an attraction to me in the first place.

KPWT - Bremerton National Airport  (KPWT/PWT)

Bremerton National Airport is the largest airport on the Kitsap Peninsula with an all-weather, fully lit 6,000-foot runway. It was known as Kitsap County Airport until July 1, 1983. And is totally a General Aviation airport with 99% of movements there in the GA catagory. During World War II Kitsap County Airport was used by the United States Navy as an outer landing field for NAS Seattle. Military use continued throughout the Cold War and it would occasionally host temporary detachments of aircraft from the Navy. BNA has a second runway which has been closed for some time. The second strip has been used as a drag strip by Bremerton Motorsports Park. In 1954, Kitsap County Airport was the site for the SCCA Seafair Nationals. Today the airport is very active with flying days and car racing meetings around the airport.

KPWTapt.jpg

1/19  6,000  (1,829m)  Asphalt

EVEL 444 ft / 135 m AMSL

 

Boeing Country KPWT Wide 1.jpgBoeing Country KPWT Wide 2.jpgBoeing Country KPWT Wide 3.jpgBoeing Country KPWT Wide 4.jpg

KPWT is like KPAE and KRNT and defined by the ortho underlay and is quite easy to distinguish the airport from the surrounding textures. Certainly the best place to base your GA aircraft for the Seattle area, If you don't want all the traffic from KSEA getting in the way of a weekend flight.

Boeing Country KPWT 1.jpgBoeing Country KPWT 2.jpgBoeing Country KPWT 3.jpgBoeing Country KPWT 4.jpg

The airport is dominated by the slightly gaudy terminal building that comes across in X-Plane as more purple than the real terminal which is more in a dark blue colour, but otherwise the airport is skillfully done. There is an airport diner and a well set out carpark area and a few large hangars, in the southern area it is just mostly aircraft storage/hangarage.  Just watch that you do select the right runway here in 1/19, as the closed runway does look very realistic from the air on approach.

Scenery night-textures

Tom Curtis is very good with the lighting in his sceneries, but is not overly productive in placing more lighting than is needed, mostly to cover the frame-rate pull-down of the heavy lighting effects of HDR.

KTCM - McChord is not overly lit and quite sparsly in areas, but it works very well close up or from a distance. All the ramp areas are nicely covered and the building textures are very good.

Boeing Country KTCM Night 1.jpgBoeing Country KTCM Night 2.jpgBoeing Country KTCM Night 3.jpgBoeing Country KTCM Night 4.jpg

KSEA - Sea-Tac is well lit on the ramps and gates but there is not a lot of freestanding lighting. The odd thing is the underlay which from a distance looks like a one of those neon printed circuits.

Boeing Country KSEA Night 1.jpgBoeing Country KSEA Night 2.jpgBoeing Country KSEA Night 3.jpgBoeing Country KSEA Night 4.jpg

Boeing Country KSEA Night 5.jpgBoeing Country KSEA Night 6.jpg

KBFI - Kings County has great spot lighting on the work ramps and on the main ramp areas in front of the hangars and parking areas. Again the underlay intrudes but this time as washed out colours under the objects. But the proximity to KSEA is a great view from the air for both airports at night.

Boeing Country KBFI Night 5.jpgBoeing Country KBFI Night 2.jpgBoeing Country KBFI Night 3.jpgBoeing Country KBFI Night 4.jpg

KRNT - Renton has great lighting effects and certainly on the fit-out ramps and the drop down lighting and great textures on the factory buildings. However everything is ruined by the underlay, here you have bright spots of green and huge white blobs that make KRNT look like a lit up putt-putt golf course at night.

Boeing Country KRNT Night 1.jpgBoeing Country KRNT Night 2.jpgBoeing Country KRNT Night 3.jpgBoeing Country KRNT Night 4.jpg

KPAE - Paine Field again has that neon printed circuit look from the underlay but only brighter than KSEA, a few blobs of colour are unwelcome hideous as well. The ramps are all very nicely lit, and the main assembly buildings are well lit with good textures and graphics.

Boeing Country KPAE Night 1.jpgBoeing Country KPAE Night 2.jpgBoeing Country KPAE Night 3.jpgBoeing Country KPAE Night 4.jpg

KPWT - Bremerton is probably the best lit scenery of all in the package. Great ramp lighting stretches right along the flightline and covers all the ramp areas, but the highlights are the carpark areas which cleverly uses standard lighting pole objects with X-Plane HDR effects to give a range of lighting variants, and very effective it is. All buildings and hangars have great lighting textures and lit signs as well and that makes the whole scenery very realistic from the point of view from the aircraft on the ramp.

Boeing Country KPWT Night 1.jpgBoeing Country KPWT Night 2.jpgBoeing Country KPWT Night 3.jpgBoeing Country KPWT Night 4.jpg

Summary

With Gateway to Boeing Country there are a lot of airports here that are situated on one tile that you would think they would crush your machine to a halt. But Tom Curtis's sceneries are very, very kind to you and in that even if you don't get that really fine detail of say fuel drums or grass, and there is still a lot detailing that is associated to that particular airport or section of scenery. So your frame-rate is very good even with so much in the size and the versions of the airports it has to carry. The textures help here as well, because they are very good in that you can get away with your render settings set in "high" (Instead of my usual "very high" of which was still very highly usable in here anyway as in with all the images that are shown here) on my marginal computer graphic power, there is a slight blurriness with the "high" setting, but overall the textures are very good and highly usable and have been refined for this package.

The debatable context here is in with the ortho photo underlays. I can see the reasoning why these photographic plates work very well in X-Plane9, but I am in the corner of not seeing the same point in X-Plane10 and as when they are being used in this X-Plane version in that other developers have worked them in to the actual context of the scenery with great results. The better urban default graphics now also make the argument even more irrelevant. But I do know than many will defend their uses till their last breath, so the whole argument is on going and always debatable. On my original purchase of KPAE and KRNT I quickly pulled the orthos out and will certainly do the same here or try at least to tone (desaturate) them down to lower the visual impact, and certainly at night where they don't work in any context.

So let us talk about value...  well let us not talk about value?...  Why?...  Well you certainly get a lot of scenery here to cover the very large area of Seattle, and with this package you can then fill in a wide significant section of your X-Plane scenery system in just one simple go, and with all that quality scenery to boot at the same time...   in that the cost is simply irrelevant.

The scenery is highly flexible as well in that it can cover almost all of your flying needs for airports in KTCM - Military, KSEA-KBFI - Commercial and regional, KPWT - GA, KRNT - GA and Seaplanes, KPAE - for deliveries and aircraft testing, and you have a great selection of destinations both local and international that which anyway which way you look at it the scenery really covers almost every aspect that you need. If you already own or have Tom Curtis's the Canadian mirror scenery of "Inside Passage" with this Seattle based one then certainly you are covering the huge area of the North-Eastern part of the North American continent.

The package does now include in the price KPAE - Paine Field and the extra new military airport of KTCM - McChord AFB, which alone is worth buying as a separate parcel of scenery. Tom Curtis will on application if you have purchased KPAE send you the updated version and also on application is an X-Plane9 version as well, but remember this completed package is now optimized for significantly for X-Plane 10 with its features and animations. So as an overall package with "Seattle, WA -Gateway to Boeing Country" you getting a very large selection for a very reasonable price. No doubt this is amazing scenery and one you will use for years to come, just like I have over the last few years.

Yes! the "Seattle, WA - Gateway to Boeing Country" scenery by Scenery4xp (Tom Curtis) is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore :

Seattle, WA - Gateway to Boeing Country

Price is  US$29.95

Features

Fully functional customized ATC at all  airports.

All airports have custom night lighting  fort realistic night operations

Added global shadow options for all static aircraft and many ground vehicles

Rebuilt terminals and hangers to eliminate occasional flashing effect (Z-Thrash) that could be seen when viewing an object from a distance.

Night and day textures

Many static objects

All .dds textures for performance increase

Photo real ground textures

Animated Ground Traffic use Ground Traffic by Marginal

Installation: Download is 95.5meg to an expanded 228.40meg Boeing Country and 81.10meg KPAE.  You will receive both folders for Boeing Country 10.5 and KPAE - Paine_Field 10.5 in that both are then required to be inserted into your "Custom Scenery" Folder. Any older Seattle area sceneries must be removed, except the default KSEA Demo Area which is needed to still be in the custom folder (I found no effects or issues). In another folder are the plugins that are required for the animations in the scenery in "AutoGate" and "CustomSBDatarefs004" that are to be inserted into the Resources/Plugins folder in X-Plane unless you have the latest versions already installed.

The pdf manual included is a poor graphic? the best way to read the manual is to go to http://www.scenery4x...AC/READ_ME.html for the complete installation instructions which should be read.

Technical Requirements:

Windows, MAC or Linux - X-Plane 10.20 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible.

512Mb VRAM - 1GB VRAM Recommended

Version 10.5 Last updated: August 11th 2014

_______________________________________________________________

Review by Stephen Dutton

Copyright © 2014 : X-Plane Reviews

22nd August 2014

Review System Specifications:

Computer System:     

- 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”

- 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3

- ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb

Software:     

- Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.2

- X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.25 (final)

Addons

- Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle

Aircraft

- C-17 Globemaster III by  Dawson Design and Virtavia - US$34.95 X-Plane.orgStore (C-17 Globemaster II)

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Guest Preston Martin   
Guest Preston Martin

I have to ask, what other addon are you using for you Seattle City buildings?  I have been looking everywhere, for exactly what you have there.  I have a small building set, but no where near as extensive as that!  

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I have to ask, what other addon are you using for you Seattle City buildings?  I have been looking everywhere, for exactly what you have there.  I have a small building set, but no where near as extensive as that!  

 

I inserted the links for the Seattle buildings in the review in the KBFI - Boeing Field portion...  One is Simon W's Plausible CBD 1.4 and also Honni's Custom Seattle 0.2

 

As a note I found the cranes too bright an orange and so I destatuated them a little and now they look more realistic :)  

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Guest DCX-Plane   
Guest DCX-Plane

Hey Stephen -

I love your detailed reviews and your positive enthusiasm towards all of these efforts for our wonderful hobby, but I think when you revisit scenery reviews and update them - such as Boeing Country - you should explain how they can look really dated, You offer clues here and there but there's no harm in being totally honest. Even a close up shot.

I bought this scenery and am definitely disappointed in the details. While I appreciate the likelihood that it was created with good frames in mind - back in the day, even at that rate, it looks like something from FS2000. I knew it was a few years old but some of the models are awful. The push back trucks, trailers and ground scenery for example are literally blocks.

There's a lot of freeware scenery that far surpasses this in every respect.

What is good about it is you get to fly over Boeing Field on final to KSEA which is awesome. There's quite a bit of detail at Boeing Field itself in certain places. But let's face it, most of us will buy for KSEA. The orthophotos are bad.

It's better than default so I'll keep it and am looking forward to flying more in this region. I would certainly appreciate knowing some of these not so pleasant details in advance if there's a review for a payware scenery. Please don't take this the wrong way.

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7 hours ago, Guest DCX-Plane said:

Hey Stephen -

I love your detailed reviews and your positive enthusiasm towards all of these efforts for our wonderful hobby, but I think when you revisit scenery reviews and update them - such as Boeing Country - you should explain how they can look really dated, You offer clues here and there but there's no harm in being totally honest. Even a close up shot.

I bought this scenery and am definitely disappointed in the details. While I appreciate the likelihood that it was created with good frames in mind - back in the day, even at that rate, it looks like something from FS2000. I knew it was a few years old but some of the models are awful. The push back trucks, trailers and ground scenery for example are literally blocks.

There's a lot of freeware scenery that far surpasses this in every respect.

What is good about it is you get to fly over Boeing Field on final to KSEA which is awesome. There's quite a bit of detail at Boeing Field itself in certain places. But let's face it, most of us will buy for KSEA. The orthophotos are bad.

It's better than default so I'll keep it and am looking forward to flying more in this region. I would certainly appreciate knowing some of these not so pleasant details in advance if there's a review for a payware scenery. Please don't take this the wrong way.

Yes totally agree with your comments, I note above "On my original KPAE I hated it so much I pulled them all out (orthophoto) because they ruined the effect of the scenery"  I totally hate them, I think in this case and for the original scenery as a whole it was initially based around X-Plane9® and its patchwork bases. But X-Plane has moved on significantly the last few years that I finally hope we can see these sort of painful eyesores of an old idea. Many users still are very vocal and attached to this look, but I like the scenery to be part of X-Plane and not removed from it. The vehicles are a hard deal for the developers. With freeware you have a lot of libraries to use in this area, but for payware developers they can't use them, so in a strange paradox the freewares get all the good stuff and the paywares have to made from scratch to cover copyright issues. I hope we can set up a significant library for Payware developers to access for a small fee.

The good news is that Tom Curtis has always revisited his older work and brought them up to date, I hope this one does get that attention. Thanks for the comment SD

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