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Scenery Review : VNKT - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl Airport by Cami De Bellis

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VNKT - Katmandu_Header.jpg

 

Scenery Review : VNKT - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl Airport by Cami De Bellis

 

One thing always stood out with VNKT - Katmandu Airport and that it was hard, I mean it is a really very hard place to to get into and then out of. In a propeller aircraft it wasn't that bad with some tight turns and their low speeds, but in any heavy it was a nightmare as the airport is basically situated in a valley with walls of mountains surrounding any entrance or escape. The various real crashes of aircraft flying into mountainsides around Tribhuvan also highlights the danger (Air Crash Investigations). There is actually only two ways into VNKT - Katmandu, directly or from the west and both approaches go into RWY 02, the opposite end of RWY 20 is really a non-starter and is usually never used. So any approach requires planning and perfect altitude calls to get the approach absolutely darn perfect as the DOVAN approach is as snaky as they come....  so take a look at the approach chart to really understand the difficulty and planning required of flying the bigger machines around Katmandu Airport, and note the airport altitude at 4395 ft ASL

 

VNKT - Navigraph Charts.jpg  VNKT - Navigraph Charts RNP.jpg

(navigraph)

 

Cami de Bellis has been around X-Plane for many, many years and has covered a lot of scenery in that time, but lately she has turned pro with now three sceneries as part of her portfolio... First was the Bhutan VQPR - Paro International Airport scenery, then NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia of which I really liked, this Katmandu returns her to the mountains and is more similar to the Bhutan feel.

 

VNKT - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl Airport by Cami De Bellis

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Head 1.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Head 2.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Head 3.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Head 4.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Head 5.jpg

 

I will note that in these views I am using the SFD (ShortFinal) local autogen, but in Katmandu I wonder if it reflects the wrong landscape? Yes Katmandu has high-rise buildings, but more colourful old Hong Kong than the more modern Rio de Janeiro look and feel we have here?

 

Take out the SFD autogen and it is far more greener (below) aspect, but you lose the Katmandu skyline of buildings as well. A second note is that Cami provides a full downloadable (2.4gb) Ortho4XP version of the area, but most of the detailed ortho it provides is buried under the foliage.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Head 8.jpg

 

Overall my first impressions of VNKT were very good as Cami is very diligent in the way she creates her sceneries, but the approach to RWY 02 was not good?

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Head 6.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Head 7.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Head 9.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Head 10.jpg

 

AS there is a very flat ortho image zone right sitting on the threshold of RWY 02, and the flat images also go right up the east side of the runway, both zones don't give any viewing pleasure on arrival at VNKT, which makes it all a very odd business? It doesn't work from in the air either because it looks like a set in rectangle, it looks like Google Maps, and it is not far from the truth?

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Head 11.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Head 12.jpg

VNKT - Katmandu_Head 13.jpg

 

As with most airports around Asia they are in part very old and part new, and so it is the case with Tribhuvan Intl.

 

Tribhuvan International Airport

त्रिभुवन अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल

IATA: KTM - ICAO: VNKT

02/20 - 3,050m (10,007ft) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL 4,390 ft / 1,338 m

 

 

Development of the international terminal building was commenced in 1987, when the construction of the Airlines Operation and Control Tower building was completed and the taxiway was later overlaid in1989, the final construction of the terminal building was completed and opened on 18th February 1990.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 1.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 2.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 3.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 4.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 5.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 6.jpg

 

Many a freeware artist has try to create this TIA terminal over the years out of generic objects. But the terminal design and layout is simply too complex and far to diverse to try to recreate unless it is totally custom made. Notably the detail is required here for this elaborate design is simply off the chart and Cami has done a very good job of recreating the style and feel of this brick terminal and triumphs where most past were doomed to fail.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 7.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 8.jpg

 

Cami's detail is very good, even with local aspects like cars, buses and signage. The cars are imported Indian Hindustan Ambassadors based on the UK Morris Oxford series III model and they give the airport a very authentic look.

 

Everything here is walk-on, walk-off even with  a very long walk or to bussed out to the aircraft as it is laid out like a flightline. There are nine stands 1-9  in a line, so not an airbridge in sight.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 9.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 10.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 11.jpg

 

Control Tower is set mid-terminal and is quite exquisite and nicely done here. Tower view is correct, but there are a few obstructions...

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 12.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Terminal 13.jpg

 

Domestic Terminal

The Domestic Terminal is well separated from the actual parking apron, so again everyone is bussed over to the aircraft...  There are seventeen stands D1 - D17 on the large apron...

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 1.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 2.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 3.jpg

 

...   domestic terminal is two-faced in being a very modern facade on arrival, but a chaotic dated mess on the other airside, detail here is very good and again very local and I love the detail.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 4.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 5.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 6.jpg

 

Out on the apron again the detail is again first rate, worn trucks but again local liveries give a very authentic air to the scene. There are a lot of nice static aircraft to fill in the visual impact, mostly Twin-Otters and ATRs.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 7.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 8.jpg

 

Set as part of the Domestic Apron is the Government of Nepal's VIP-Terminal, looking more like a local temple it is a very nice place to receive international guests, like Queen Elizabeth II who landed in a Dakota plane for her first visit to Nepal in 1961.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 14.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 15.jpg

 

I am not crazy about a lot of the larger trees that are set around these parts of TIA, very cardboard looking and not very realistic in most lighting conditions, they stand out for all the wrong reasons.

 

Between the Domestic Terminal and it's remote apron is a collection of motley maintenance hangars...  more military focused than civil, the name however is "Nepal Airlines Engineering". Excellent roof lattice construction again highlights the great detail.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 9.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 10.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 11.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 12.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Dom Terminal 13.jpg

 

It is really well done, because every building is very different and complex in design, worn and age are well conveyed for realism, so the overall aspect is authentic. Various MIl's in Russian helicopters and the odd Russian transport aircraft also fill out the scenario.

 

Landside is very good with what you expect from Cami in again a lot of detail...  carparks, billboards, signage are all first rate, and TIA has one of the most elaborate entrances to an airport in the world.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Landside-South 1.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Landside-South 2.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Landside-South 3.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Landside-South 4.jpg

 

On the eastern side of RWY 02/20 is a collection of buildings, a major maintenance hanger for Budda Airways and some nice if abandoned airliners...

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Landside-East 1.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Landside-East 2.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Landside-East 3.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Landside-East 4.jpg

 

...   highlight is the remains of a 10 May 1973, a Douglas DC-3 operated by Thai Airways that  overran the runway on landing with 100 of passengers and 10 crew on board, there was one fatality (the actual aircraft was a DC-8) that sits next to the very well done Fire Station.

 

Southwest is a large fuel deport and airport support facilities, again the detailing here is very good and highly realistic...

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Landside-West 1.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Landside-West 2.jpg

 

Ground Surfaces

All the runway surfaces at VNKT are excellent, and there are a lot of various areas to replicate as well, stony shoulders and oily parking areas are all well realised...   highlight is the threshold turnaround zone at the start of RWY 02.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Surfaces 1.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Surfaces 2.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Surfaces 3.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Surfaces 4.jpg

 

Lighting

Overall the lighting is very good at VNKT. Approach and taxiway lighting is very good as is the navigation signage.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 1.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 2.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 3.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 4.jpg

VNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 5.jpg

 

Ramp lighting is very good with great apron coverage, the domestic apron is good as well but there are a few stand dark areas like with stand D-17.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 6.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 7.jpg

 

International Terminal lighting is very good considering the complexity and the terminal looks authentic at night.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 8.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 9.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 10.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 11.jpg

 

The control tower's windows are a bit too bright (they can't see out into the dark with bright lights inside) but the modern side of the Domestic terminal does not look like it is part of this scenery at all? it stands out, but in all the wrong ways. This is a personal viewpoint as I really don't like this sort of ex-Fsx early era glass colouring, and again I think it doesn't work here in context either... I understand why it was done this way, but I am not a big or even a fan at all of the bland artificial colouring look.

 

Airside Domestic is very good as is the maintenance hangers, in that some are lit nicely inside. East side has minimal lighting but fine.

 

VNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 14.jpgVNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 15.jpg

VNKT - Katmandu_Lighting 12.jpg

 

WT3/Traffic Global. There are no WT3 ground routes that come with the scenery. A generation is good, but don't expect a lot of traffic up here

Traffic Global works fine and fills up the airport, but there is not much actual action?

_________________________

 

Summary

Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Katmandu is the only International airport in Nepal, and is set high in the Himalayan ranges. So the exotic placed scenery always deserved a good custom modeled version for such a prized destination in the X-Plane simulator.

 

This is Cami de Bellis's third professional scenery after Bhutan's VQPR - Paro and NWWW La Tontouta Noumea in New Caledonia, and we know that any scenery from this long and experienced developer also comes with a lot of dedication, love and an outstanding focus on detail.

 

Overall VNKT - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl is excellent, with detailed complexly rendered terminals and a very authentic reproduction of the Tribhuvan International airport, all the aspects are well documented with all terminals, International, Domestic and the VIP-Terminal all represented with the motley collection of maintenance hangars also well reproduced. Plenty of active traffic and very good lighting adds in to overall a great package. Aprons and ground textures are also first rate as is the landside detail, in fact all the detail is excellent and very local for that exotic Nepalese feel is very present.

 

But several points do tend to overwhelm the scenery, with in one the approach (RWY 02) ortho textures are flat and highly visible in the wrong way, the idea again is correct, but it doesn't work in reality? Domestic terminal lighting (modern landside) again overwhelms all the other low key lighting of TIA, and there are also various floating objects landside and some of the larger trees again stand out for all the wrong reasons.

 

Challenging and certainly in any approach and departure from NVKT, this a welcome addition to the X-Plane collection of places you need to go to to experience the full dynamics of the simulator. Cami de Bellis is also highly regarded within the X-Plane community and we all love her outstanding work as it comes from absolutely the right place... Highly recommended.

_____________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

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


VNKT - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl Airport

 

Price is US$26.00

 

Features:
  • 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

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 Gb VRAM Minimum. 8 Gb+ VRAM Recommended
CDB-Library v.2.4 is required
Current and Review version 1.0 (May 9th 2020)
 
Installation
Download scenery file size is 980mb:
 
  • VNKT_Kathmandu_by_CDB

 

There is an optional Ortho4XP download available at 2.48gb.

 

  • VNKT-Mesh
  • VNKT-Kathmandu_Tribhuvan_Intl NEPAL

 

Total scenery installation is quite big (excluding the Ortho4XP) : 2.74gb

 

CDB-Library v.2.4 is required for this scenery

 

Documents

One extensive manual in both .pdf and rtf. English with notes (5 pages) but no charts. Ortho4XP download and install details.

 

  • Ortho4XP.txt
  • VNKT-Kathmandu NEPAL.pdf
  • VNKT-Kathmandu NEPAL.rtf

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

13th May 2020

Copyright©2020 : 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)

 

Review System Specifications: 

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane  11.41 - tested v11.50.b6 (fine)

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Traffic Global (Just Flight) US$52.99

Scenery or Aircraft

- Airbus A319 by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00

 

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