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Scenery Review : KPWM - Portland International Jetport by AeroDesigns


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KPWM_Portland_Header.jpg

 

Scenery Review : KPWM - Portland International Jetport by AeroDesigns

 

This is Portland International, but not that Portland International? Confused, this is the other airport across the country of the United States in Maine, not of Oregon State.

 

Portland International Jetport is a public airport two miles (3 km) west of downtown Portland, in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. It is owned and operated by the City of Portland. A portion of the Jetport's property, including the main runway, is in the neighboring city of South Portland. And the city is 108 miles or 174 km north of Boston.

 

The Jetport airport is the busiest in the state of Maine. In 2018, the jetport handled more than 2 million passengers for the first time, breaking the previous record of 1.86 million set in 2017. In recent years, the Jetport has benefited from service by low-cost carriers such as Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, as well as Portland's increased popularity as a tourist destination.

 

AeroDesign's first scenery was the John Glenn Columbus International Airport (KCMH) for X-Plane 11, and also with a collaboration with X-Codr (KDEN) on Montgomery Regional Airport (KMGM) which is a free download here: KMGM - Montgomery Regional Airport 1.1.

This Portland International Jetport (KPWM) is now AeroDesigns second professinal release.

 

KPWM_Portland_Head 1.jpgKPWM_Portland_Head 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_Head 3.jpgKPWM_Portland_Head 4.jpgKPWM_Portland_Head 5.jpg

 

KPWM-Portland uses an off-set cross runway layout, with the terminal area set north central in the cross.

 

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Portland International Jetport

IATA: PWM - ICAO: KPWM - FAA LID: PWM

KPWM Chart.jpg

11/29 - 7,200ft (2,195m) Asphalt

18/36 - 6,100ft (1,859m) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL - 76 ft/23 m

 

First to note that the scenery requires two downloads of first the airport (KPWM - Portland International Jetport) and then two sets of ground textures in: Y_KPWM_Overlay and Z_KPWM_Mesh. Obviously they have to be set up correctly in order in the X-Plane scenery .INI file so the overlay and mesh is set below the airport scenery folder.

 

Terminal

Portland Jetport has a single terminal, with the main multi-tiered entrance to the west.

 

KPWM_Portland_Terminal 1.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 3.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 4.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 5.jpg

 

The apron layout is fifteen stands with 10 airbridges, the stands 1A, 1B and 1C are walkon-walkoff gates and stand 11, 12 and 14 are west remote stands with a covered walkway.

 

KPWM_Portland_Terminal 6.jpg

 

The terminal modeling and overall work is very good, but there is no "Feel" to the building. Oddly a lot of American airports come across like this, maybe it is the combination of the wide white concrete ramps and white buildings, there is no depth to the bright detail, you could even say outwardly bland, but the work is however good on close inspection....

 

KPWM_Portland_Terminal 7.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 8.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 9.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 10.jpg

 

....  rooftop air-conditioning units are animated and well done. Portland scenery has the SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) system and that gives you airbridge control, however the parking positions of the airbridges are dead straight and in certain gate parking situations they intrude directly into the parking zone? So A.I. traffic aircraft can also be seen to be buried head first into most of the airbridges on parking?

 

Clutter of ground service vehicles is good, but not PWM branded, and mostly generic designs...  There are a few nice vehicle animations that run around and the numbers are well balanced for this size of airport, highlight though are the highly reflective chrome fuel tankers.

 

KPWM_Portland_Terminal 23.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 24.jpg

KPWM_Portland_Terminal 21.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 22.jpg

 

Landside is the same, very good...  but you are missing that nitty-gritty of detail and furniture, the absence of any advertising is highly noticeable as well...  so spaces seem empty, clean and open.

 

KPWM_Portland_Terminal 11.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 12.jpg

 

Terminal internally is done as well...  again it is very good with some very nice wood texturing and support columns, and the escalators that are a highlight of the real terminal...

 

KPWM_Portland_Terminal 13.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 14.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 15.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 16.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 17.jpgKPWM_Portland_Terminal 18.jpg

 

....   glass is very good in being correctly tinted but still see-through, but again there is that feeling of it all is simply not finished, in that the details are missing, like gate numbers and advertising or the passengers themselves...  it all feels like an airport that is currently closed because of the Covid19 restrictions!

 

There is only one major large covered carpark at the Jetport. The carpark is very well modeled and detailed, but there are a couple points that don't work...  First is that the top cover (blue) shade awning shadow is replicated on each floor and so it looks odd...

 

KPWM_Portland_Carpark 1.jpgKPWM_Portland_Carpark 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_Carpark 3.jpgKPWM_Portland_Carpark 4.jpg

 

....  top floor texture is a photo-ortho that has been processed, but it is too white and too unrealistic to work...  this seems to part of the overall image of the terminal upper roof areas in that ortho textures have been used to convey a realism, but in fact they have the opposite effect in blanding out the building. The entrance and floor tower are however really well done.

 

The control tower is a basic design and hard to get any realistic detail into, but again it feels a bit too white and clean here.

 

KPWM_Portland_Tower 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_Tower 1.jpg

 

Earlier the tower had a blank strip effect downwards to cover the lower windows and had a black glasshouse top, that design would have given Aerodesign more to work with....  Tower view is not set either.... naughty!

 

North and along the west side of Runway 18/35 is Taxiway C (Charlie)...

 

KPWM_Portland_Taxiway Charlie 1.jpg

 

This is the main set of General Aviation aprons and there is a lot of parking areas. Dominant here is the NorthEast Air (Air Elite) personal jet services, there are two sets of hangars and a private jet terminal.

 

KPWM_Portland_Taxiway Charlie 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_Taxiway Charlie 3.jpgKPWM_Portland_Taxiway Charlie 4.jpgKPWM_Portland_Taxiway Charlie 5.jpg

 

Far north Charlie is four large maintenance hangars, and plenty of parking area. The point is it feels again empty because there are a few vehicles but also no static aircraft.

 

Behind are two Hilton hotel properties...  one is the larger "Embassy Suites" by Hilton Portland Maine (no name?), and the second is a cheaper budget GardenInn property.

 

KPWM_Portland_Taxiway Charlie 6.jpgKPWM_Portland_Taxiway Charlie 7.jpg

 

Going West are two areas with a well done fuel Depot and Maintenance area by the threshold of RWY 11.

 

KPWM_Portland_West 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_West.jpg

 

East in the north of the small cross of RWY 29 and RWY 18 is a small cargo FedEx facility and customs.

 

KPWM_Portland_Cargo 1.jpgKPWM_Portland_Cargo 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_Cargo 3.jpgKPWM_Portland_Cargo 4.jpg

 

The area is well done here with more colour and detail, the PWM Airport Maintenance Facility is over here as well.

 

There is a very large MacJets facility south with another very empty large apron, but it is well done.

 

KPWM_Portland_South 1.jpgKPWM_Portland_South 2.jpg

 

A few areas off field (mostly to the south) have had some custom buildings completed, housing and a nice shopping mall...

 

KPWM_Portland_South 3.jpgKPWM_Portland_South 4.jpgKPWM_Portland_South 5.jpgKPWM_Portland_South 6.jpg

 

....   a nice addition is to use the Short Final's SFG Global plugin to create regional housing, here you get a very nice Maine architecture visual feel that really works in completing out the scenery.

 

Ground Textures

Ground textures overall are only average...  Portland PWM main apron has different concrete variations in depth of wear, it is lightly touched upon here and you can see the darker zones to the newer cleaner zones, but it is nowhere near enough depth the of wear and tear of the real apron (on google maps), get closer and the concrete surfaces are actually quite bland. Surprising really because AeroDesigns worked with X-Codr who did excellent work on the latest KDEN update with making at Denver the very bright concrete breath with some grungy realism.

 

KPWM_Portland_Textures 1.jpgKPWM_Portland_Textures 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_Textures 3.jpg

 

The runway, taxiway textures are not too bad, but there seems to be a disconnect between you and the surfaces, oddly the cargo area surfaces are really good? 

 

KPWM_Portland_Textures 4.jpgKPWM_Portland_Textures 7.jpgKPWM_Portland_Textures 5.jpgKPWM_Portland_Textures 6.jpg

 

There is good burnt-in ambient occlusion, that sort of brings life to the surfaces... but everything is bit too squared off and sectioned to be totally realistic.

 

KPWM_Portland_Textures 8.jpgKPWM_Portland_Textures 9.jpg

 

There is a very big (over) reliance on the photo-ortho textures within this scenery, not only for the actual ground images but as already noted on buildings as well. Problem is there are a lot of flat and very wide areas (mostly southwest) that are highly noticeable as being plain flat and photo only.

 

KPWM_Portland_Textures 10.jpgKPWM_Portland_Textures 11.jpg

 

The well done tree and fauna work does hide a lot, including the boundaries of the scenery, but that just highlights these areas even worse, as they look like holes in the ground... the colourisation of the ortho-photos are not great either, so you get this yellowy-green feel around the airport, and in areas a completely washed out bright look. Deep down this is core of the biggest visual look of Portland Maine.

 

KPWM_Portland_Textures 12.jpgKPWM_Portland_Textures 13.jpg

 

Lighting

Overall the lighting at PWM is very good, approach, runway and taxiway lighting is up to the required standards.

 

KPWM_Portland_Lighting 1.jpgKPWM_Portland_Lighting 2.jpgKPWM_Portland_Lighting 3.jpgKPWM_Portland_Lighting 4.jpg

KPWM_Portland_Lighting 5 LG.jpg

 

Apron lighting is well lit and nice different variations of tone, so it feels realistic... a nice area to depart or arrive to after dark or in twilight.

 

KPWM_Portland_Lighting 6.jpgKPWM_Portland_Lighting 7.jpg

 

Internal and landside terminal feels abandoned, empty and with only the overhead lights switched on.... Covid19 shut?

 

KPWM_Portland_Lighting 12.jpgKPWM_Portland_Lighting 13.jpg

KPWM_Portland_Lighting 8.jpgKPWM_Portland_Lighting 9.jpg

 

The clear glass comes across as grey, it is not too bad, but it feels a bit lifeless as this style of glass transparency can do. Other building lighting is the same, blocks of colour in shades of grey or in many cases even completely dark, as are both the Hilton hotels?

 

KPWM_Portland_Lighting 10.jpgKPWM_Portland_Lighting 11.jpg

 

Most building, carpark and street lighting is good and well done to complete a full nighttime scenario.

______________________________

 

Summary

Portland International JetPort is the biggest airport in the state of Maine in the United States, and averages 2 million passengers per year.

 

This is AeroDesign's second professinal scenery under their own banner after the John Glenn Columbus International Airport (KCMH), and a collaboration with X-Codr (KDEN) on Montgomery Regional Airport, that was a freeware scenery.

 

In scale PWM is a mid-sized airport with a single terminal, and overall the scenery is well done with some good work done here...  But there are areas which you would note as workmanlike, modeling is good but bland, mostly in texture realism, again textures come up with their overuse and poor colourisation procedures, and flat open areas of ortho textures make the area feel more MSFS2020 than X-Plane. In other areas the scenery feels underfinished with very empty internal areas and little colourful advertising and passenger direction signage, little static aircraft and empty aprons and the SAM airbridges are not positioned correctly, and so it feels overall like a closed and not an open bustling busy city airport.

 

Bonuses are custom modeled SAM (Scenery Animation Manger) airbridges, local Landmarks, baked ambient occlusion textures and very good World Traffic 3 support and animated vehicles (Windows).

 

Worthy scenery, well yes, this Portland International is a nice scenery and should be actually be far better, but you are faced today with quality work of highly skilled developers and you have to deliver to a standard that payware demands, Portland does however get across that line, but only just as it is a sub-US$20 price...   a nice scenery to have and use if you fly a lot on the east coast of the US and east/south Canada and if like hub and spoke services as Maine is a very nice destination...   and for that aspect KPWM is very good.

_____________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! KPWM - Portland International Jetport by AeroDesigns is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

PWM - Portland International Jetport

 

Price is US$19.95

 

Features:

  • Highly accurate and detailed 3d model of the Terminal and surrounding airport buildings with high-resolution textures
  • Normal mapping and reflections for an enhanced user experience
  • Custom modelled and textured SAM Jetways
  • Custom accurate 3D Mesh
  • Baked Ambient Occlusion
  • HDR and accurate night lighting 
  • Custom high-resolution ground textures and markings
  • Rain Textures for the ground (requires scenery reload)
  • High-resolution and color-corrected orthophotos (9cm; 0.3 foot)
  • Performance friendly 3d models for the entire airport
  • Landmarks in the vicinity of the airport
Animation plugins supported:
  • World Traffic 3 support courtesy of the amazing Cpt. K-Man
  • SAM implementation for dynamic jetways
  • Ground Traffic (Windows only)

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended 
Download Size: 3 GB zipped, 3 GB extracted
Current and Review version: 1.2 (September 30th 2020)
 
Installation
Download scenery files required are in two downloads:
  • KPWM - Portland International Jetport (2.81gb)
  • KPWM_Mesh.zip
 
In the mesh folder are two mesh folders:
  • Y_KPWM_Overlay (4.2mb)
  • Z_KPWM_Mesh (1.82gb)
 
The three folders are to be placed in the correct order in your .INI list

 

Total scenery install is: 4.96Gb

 

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

ShortFinal Global SFD plugin is highly recommended with this scenery.

 

Documents

One extensive manual in English with notes (5 pages) and no Charts

 

  • Manual.pdf

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

2nd October 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 v11.50

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini 

Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 - Free

Scenery or Aircraft

- CRJ-200 by Javier Rollon (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$39.95
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The really hard part is that many developers have a weak spot, not their fault actually, but the trick is to focus on that or those areas and hope they can improve, most do... so all round everyone wins with a better product and better value through sales. No website or mail address, but Aviation505 is on the X-PlaneForums.

 

 

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On 10/18/2020 at 4:38 PM, Stephen said:

The really hard part is that many developers have a weak spot, not their fault actually, but the trick is to focus on that or those areas and hope they can improve, most do... so all round everyone wins with a better product and better value through sales. No website or mail address, but Aviation505 is on the X-PlaneForums.

 

 

On 10/18/2020 at 8:10 AM, N279CA said:

Hi, Stephen. Excellent review (you're tough, but fair : ) Our friends at Cape Air Virtual fly into KPWM regularly. Do you know how we can get in touch with the publisher? 

Hey, we have provided ways to contact us in our manual, its after the cover page and is after the License Agreement. Regrading the review we both (Cameron and Daniel) went through and took notes on how we can make it better. Some issues such as straight jetways is a SAM issue when the scenery first gets loaded, so you shouldn't have any issues with the jetways afterwards. Static aircraft is completely done with X-Planes system, if you have Parked Planes enabled in the settings they will show up, not necessarily our issue if WT3 or TG doesn't place them, if their is an issue with them we would gladly fix them. When it comes to the ground textures we utilize a base ground texture such as the asphalt and concrete then we add a ortho layer on top to give it a better look, during the process we were able to capture overlays from pretty much everywhere but terminal due to the out of date ortho. In the future we may look at expanding the coverage area of the scenery and cover the mall area, we are always trying to better ourselves so criticism is something we want. 

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