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Scenery Review : HKJK Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport by FSDG-Aerosoft


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Scenery Review : HKJK - Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport by FSDG/Aerosoft

 

Africa is like Australia in that you can fly for over four hours and not see anything, so after the constant buzz and cosmopolitan feel of Europe it all feels a bit empty and even flat as you grind your way towards the horizon. So in reality in the simulator is a sort of barrier to places that are far more remote out of the safety of the friendly two hour flying circle. Personally I love the emptiness as I would living in Australia, as you feel you are going somewhere different and interesting, and I can keep myself interested in many ways anyway of working my way through the hourly fuel burn figures and FIR regions.

 

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Flying time is 6h 43min over a distance of 3006 nm, but I was late departing LIRF-Rome for HKJK-Nairobi because the JARDesign A330 wouldn't load correctly, partly my fault in not flying the A330 for a long time, but also because a few bugs I had to workaround. The later 12-noon departure now meant I would now arrive at NBO-Nairobo in the dark and an hour and half late, and not at my planned twilight arrival time...

 

This is the second Africa scenery by FSDG under the Aerosoft banner after their earlier GMMN - Casablanca back in late April. I did like GMMN overall, but I noted it as "workmanlike" as it all felt a bit production line with not a lot of finnese, but it was good to get a scenery in a different local than the usual US/European centric.

 

HKJK - Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport

In earlier X-Plane one of the key bland aspects was that the autogen out here in Africa was not very good, so most areas even when populated were shown as empty spaces around the airport.

 

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Views of autogen like this around Jomo Kenyatta Airport is now a saviour and welcome here even if the autogen is a bit unAfrican...

 

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....  and the sharp zig-zag tree line both sides of NBO looks like a developer lazyness idea, but it is actually really shaped like that on Google Maps.

 

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Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport

Uwanja wa ndege wa Kimataifa wa Jomo Kenyatta

IATA: NBO - ICAO: HKJK - WMO: 63740

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06/24 - 4,200m (13,507ft) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL: 1,624 m / 5,330 ft

 

Only one runway at HKJK, but it is a very long one at 4,200m and 13,507ft, and to note that very high elevation, so you have to be aware of your landing altitude.

 

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Main terminal is circular like an African Apple Spaceship design...  Thankfully FSDG have made a better fist of covering up the photo images in the centre of the terminal landside zone and but it is still Lo-Res, but still far more passable than the awful Casablanca landside scenery.

 

There are two terminals. Terminal 1 which is arranged in a semi-circular orientation and is divided into four parts: 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1E are used for international arrivals and departures while terminal 1D is used for domestic departures and arrivals. Terminal 2 is used only by low cost carriers.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Terminal 10.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Terminal 11.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Terminal 12.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Terminal 13.jpg

 

Parking stands 4 -21 all have SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges. 2A-2C/3A-3C T3D are all walkon/off stands. Outer circle remote stands cover J1-J9 and H1-H10.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Terminal 14.jpg

 

Terminal 2 is used by low cost carriers is separated on a smaller (M) apron with six M1-M6 walkon/off stands (below). This is a prefabricated terminal which opened in April 2015 and has a capacity of 2.5M passengers and was required to take the pressure off the main terminal building.

 

  HKJK Nairobi_Terminal 15.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Terminal 16.jpg

 

This FSDG Nairobi scenery is a crossover from FSX, so in areas it it is dated, and just spruced up a little for X-Plane, and that aspect is evident in the modeling and certainly with the textures.  Airside close up it is well done and it overall does have a lot of variety and detail in the modeling.

 

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In the main yellow sectioned Terminal 1A the FSX elements are highly noticeable, they look slightly aged and the windows have a flat bland look about them, it works though but only just, but you seriously notice the missing HDR feel and realism. And a lot of the design is like this, as they don't hit the mark either in matching to the photo-based textures...

 

HKJK Nairobi_Terminal 17.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Terminal 18.jpg

 

Clutter is mostly Swissaport branded, but a lot of the ramp vehicles are local and custom made. Traffic animations are very good, with a lot of movement and lovely rundown African buses doing the remote ramp transfers.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Clutter 1.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Clutter 2.jpg

 

Between large spaceship T1 and the Lo-Cost T2 is the nice Kenya Airways administration building and a very nice Control Tower...

 

HKJK Nairobi_Control Tower 1.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Control Tower 2.jpg

 

....  both are well done especially the Control Tower, but the Tower View is set deep into the T1 Terminal and is practically useless.

 

Cargo and Airport Infrastructure

Apron Two southwest is the large Cargo facility that hosts Emirates SkyCargo, Kenya Cargo and Tradewinds Logistics and all are represented.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Cargo 1.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Cargo 2.jpg

 

Nine cargo parking slots F1-F9 are available on Apron 2 and note the large and very visible Fuel Depot on the southwest boundary of the airport.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Cargo 3.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Cargo 4.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Cargo 5.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Cargo 6.jpg

 

Again like FSDG's Casablanca scenery the airport support infrastructure again to a point saves the whole scenery... situated behind the cargo zone and part of the road approach to the airport there are a lot of infrastructure buildings and administration buildings....  that covers a fairly large area.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Infrastructure 1.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Infrastructure 4.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Infrastructure 2.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Infrastructure 3.jpg

 

Kenya Airports Authority head office and hotel chains Sheraton/Four Flags and the Crowne Plaza are all well represented as are a lot of factories and warehousing...  overall the area is a great backdrop to the airport and for the realistic departure and arrival views.

 

Embakasi Airport (now JKIA)

On Sunday 9 March 1958, Embakasi Airport (now JKIA) was opened by the last colonial governor of Kenya. This facility is situated directly across the 06/24 runway and was the forerunner of what is now currently Nairobi Airport, the further expansion of the airport to it's current layout including a new international and domestic passenger terminal building that also included the airport's first dedicated cargo and freight terminal, new taxiways and the associated aprons which were all completed in 1972.

 

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Situated here is the original Nairobi terminal, but now the area is used by the Kenya(n) Air Force and is sometimes referred to as the Old Embakasi Airport, in the scenery it seems to set out more as an aircraft storage parking area, with loads of nice static Kenyian KQ  B747s, B737s and even a few ATRs.

 

Kenya Airways have two main maintenance hangars and a third large open hanger, all are Boeing 737 size hangars which are well represented with again some nice static KQ B737 models.

 

HKJK Nairobi_JKIA 6.jpgHKJK Nairobi_JKIA 7.jpg

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Ground Textures

Casablanca did have nice reflective (wet) ground textures, but I don't think the HDR process has been used here at HKJK... as they look a little too ordinary. Edge and taxi lines look newly painted and don't feel very worn or realistic, at all so overall the ground textures are no better than the default X-Plane textures...

 

HKJK Nairobi_Textures 1.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Textures 2.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Textures 3.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Textures 4.jpg

 

No 3d grass also adds in to the blandness of acres of Lo-Res textures that needed to have been broken up, in one airport that needs 3d grass it is Nairobi.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Textures 5.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Textures 6.jpg

 

Apron and taxiways are again just passable, it works but that word always keeps on coming to mind "Workmanlike".

 

Lighting

6h 41min after I hit the timer clock on throttles up back at Rome, I am now approaching HKJKs Rwy 06, first signs are good as the approach lighting is bright and sharp, the lights of Jomo Kenyatta Airport are to the right and they look good as well, but as I get closer to the threshold I notice there are no centre line markings? Just the width and a lot of black space between the runway parameters...  not a good start.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 1.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 2.jpg

 

Once down and a taxiway exit with Taxiway L and then it is the long ride back down the parallel Taxiway G towards the terminal area. I needed the full A330 lighting on, on the aircraft to navigate my way around the taxiways and thankfully it is good, as it is dark down here, yes there are no taxiway green guidance lighting either... I know this IS Africa and the country can be known for basic airport lighting, but I didn't expect to be crawling around in the dark at a big installation like Nairobi International.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 3.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 4.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 5.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 6.jpg

 

The lighting around the huge spaceship terminal was however excellent....  my parking bay is No.7 and I really love the full apron coverage as I work the aircraft into the gate. Yes I love arriving from a dark flight at night to that bright city airport feeling at your destination.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 7.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 8.jpg

 

Into the bay and the marshaller pops up for the SAM system, but he is very hard to see as he is small and partly hidden by a building support.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 9.jpg

 

But SAM is always a great feature to have, and better still when it actually works as it does here. Note the nice reverse service road lighting... well done.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 26.jpg

 

Full Airport overview is that the runway boundaries are well lit and so are the terminal areas, but inbetween it is a huge blank blackhole.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 17.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 18.jpg

 

Overview of the main terminal has all that great lighting on the main aprons and the remote stands.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 10.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 11.jpg

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Landside lighting is good as even if mostly like GMMN it that it hides the Lo-Res ground textures and another aspect between Casablanca and Nairobi is the night terminal textures are better than the daylight versions, overall they are not bad with their T1A orange glow feel.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 21.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 22.jpg

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Up closer and the window textures are not too bad either, but it looks like the Africans are having a Christmas Party inside...  Overall though I like it.

 

Terminal 2 lighting is lame....  but the Cargo ramp looks great.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 15.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 23.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 24.jpgHKJK Nairobi_Lighting 19.jpg

 

Rear infrastructure area is quite good in a FSX way, but no detail but just coloured blocks, and no lit up Hotel or business branding is a real disappointment....   Embakasi Airport ramps are okayish, but at least you have a lot of Nairobi city lighting behind to give you for some realism.

 

HKJK Nairobi_Lighting 25.jpg

 

Summary

FSDG or FlightSim Development Group have been doing cross over conversions of their FSX sceneries to X-Plane under the Aerosoft banner. First conversion was GMMN - Casablanca that was a basic crossover scenery. In reality the conversion of the HKJK - Nairobi has a lot in common with the Casablanca scenery in that it has the advantages of being a exotic scenery, but the same disadvantages in the conversion.

 

FSX textures and modeling are very obvious in Nairobi XP, so that means older designs and flat textures, no X-Plane features like HDR are used to convert them to a more modern and realistic feel, and in many areas you get that model on a flat base feel. That said in context Nairobi XP is very good overall in definition, as long as you don't look too deep into the detail.

 

Like all FSX convertion it depends on the developers understanding of the X-Plane features and dynamics. Here is is about half and half in that the lighting is overall excellent, but missing the critical runway and taxiway centre line lighting? Missing 3d grass is another dynamic loss in covering the excessive ground textures which are also a bit average and not very realistic. The tower view is also not set?

 

Thankfully SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges are excellent here and so is the traffic animations and good detailed clutter, so again the call is if you don't look too deep there is a lot to like here. The view is that again if FSDG was too just do a little bit more on the X-Plane dynamics these sceneries would be far more attractive and deserve the sales they could achieve.

 

I noted in the FSDG Casablanca scenery that it was "workmanlike" and that moniker can be said for the same here in Nairobi as well, but there are a few extra points to weigh up with this African scenery. First it is African and any scenery that can add to your X-Plane routings in an exciting way is always welcome, secondly is the sub-US$15 value price and for that price set then it is a great if even overall brilliant value.

 

Recommended? Overall yes, I like Nairobi XP, but it deserves just a little more attention to make it the really great scenery it can be.

_____________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! Nairobi XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


FSDG - Nairobi XP

 

Price is US$25.95

 

Features:
  • Accurate rendition of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (HKJK)
  • Realistic shadow and light rendition
  • Optimized for great performance and compatibility
  • Animated jetways (SAM plugin required)
  • Compatible with all known add-ons including Ortho4XP
  • Manual included

 

WT3:  WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly.

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11
Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux)
4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Download-Size Windows: 310 MB
Download-Size Mac: 900 MB
Current and Review Version: 1.0 (June 19th 2020)
 
Installation
Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip
 
  • FSDG-Nairobi_XP

 

Total scenery installation is 694mb

 

SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery

 

Documents

One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts

 

  • Manual_FSDG-Nairobi_XP.pdf

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Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

4th July 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)

 

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