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Scenery Update Preview : KORD Chicago O'Hara Intl by Nimbus Simulation Studios

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Scenery Update Preview : KORD Chicago O'Hara Intl (version 1.0.2) by Nimbus Simulation Studios
Nimbus Simulation Studios have released a heavily revised version in version 1.0.2 of their KORD Chicago O'Hara Intl Airport. "Nimbus Simulation Studios" and "revised"? Yes this KORD is "Butnaru's" actual original 2013 scenery but with now a new name and a new look. 
This more than an upgrade, as the basic original KORD (Terminals and inner infrastructure) was already very good, but the airport textures in runways and taxiways and the empty outer boundaries were average but fine for that period. Today the expectations on scenery for X-Plane are high, as users demand detail and (lots of) features for their money, the days of just developing an airport with just good 3-D objects are long gone. So it is refreshing to see Butnaru in revisiting his older work and bringing them up to the standard we expect. All his past work was excellent, but still many in certain need of a refresh like we have here with KORD v1.0.2.
The original excellent internal terminal areas have been retained and ground support equipment detailing has been enhanced. Walking people are a Butnaru's speciality and they are everywhere (even walking around inside the terminals!) and a lot of that open flat photographic USGS (Images) underlay has thankfully been filled in and notably in the carpark areas. The photo underlay still blandly pokes out here and there, but overall the scenery visually is a huge step forward.
Overall this KORD scenery does look and feels fuller, more complete and the extended details now compliment the earlier good terminal work.
Ground animations are everywhere now also, giving you a buzzier feel on the ground, and no doubt this airport is calling out for WorldTraffic...   traffic.
Runway and taxiway texture and detailing look far better and more realistic than the originals, they maybe are the same? but the detailing looks too new to be so. The scenery is now also all HD (High-Definition) and the quality shows in all areas, maybe that is the difference.
Highly realistic now, Textures feel and look great from the ground and also is the view from the cockpit.
Butnaru was the first to incorporate a 3-D aircraft bridge taxiway link on taxiway's A and B by RWY32R's start point within the original KORD (Runway Contours... off) and it worked well back then. it looks now even better intergrated here, but the very empty and notable not even textured roads with no vehicle animation under the bridge taxiway link renders the positive changes back into a negative.
From above you can see the more completion of the whole scenery and the differences in the (awful) quality of the original textures.
New 2015
Old 2013
The poor photo 2013 colouring was one of the reasons why I didn't use KORD very much over the years, I didn't much like it then, and I can still see why now. Airports have to have to at least reach a certain level of at least being realistic, I am not in a moment saying or asking for complete perfection, but poor resolution and colouring that is easily rendered (Photoshop anyone) of which I have had to redo myself lately is not worthy of payware product.
Thankfully the new KORD is excellent and everything benefits from the better resolution and correct colour changes to the scenery. Like noted the runway and taxiway areas have hugely benefited from the changes.
KORD Summer Overview 3.jpgKORD Summer Overview 4.jpg
The green belts around the runways are a little too green compared to the surrounding X-Plane default landscape, but in reality KORD does standout from the its background in the real world as well.

KORD Summer Overview 5.jpgKORD Summer Overview 6.jpg


Overall the base textures are a huge improvement.


You get a really special feature with the new KORD, and take note here other scenery designers...


Winter Textures

Chicago is not really known for its lazy balmy summers and hot tropical nights, more of a white stranded, frozen, grounded, infuriating and snowbound scenario is usually the case with any news reports.

Last years release of default X-Plane winter_package by xflyer totally changed all that. You can use "Simple Seasons" to change the textures over but it is a bit of a messy business, but I found that JSGME or Generic Mod Enabler (It works fine under WINE for MAC users) is a perfect solution. (newly built in X-Plane scripts in 10.40 should hopefully fix this problem in the future)

You get a full set of winter textures with this KORD v2 for both Summer and Winter periods...





The winter KORD textures are a bit whiter than the default textures, but overall they work extremely well, the great thing that Butnaru has done is fill in the small details like the edges of the taxiways and runways, buildings and aircraft all have snow on their upper layers.




So it is extremely highly realistic, as shown when I did a landing at KORD in the AA (Rotate) MD-88.






Pull the weather in close around you and then get the lowest visibility distance that you can dare and go for it. It is set a little brighter (clearer) here so you can actually see something, but "hey" this is great winter flying as the KORD airport textures really work for you...  this is a real Chicago arrival.

They are not easily changed over; as there is quite a lot of files to resite. My solution was to create two separate KORD's for both Summer and Winter... 




Just take one scenery out and replace it with another, and swap the MOD's over and you have an instant winter. I personally love winter textures as they give you a whole new dimension to online flying.


Night Lighting




Lighting is good, but not highly detailed. Butnaru is a broadstroke sort of scenery developer more than a intimate detailed artist. So everything is there that you need and use, but not in a very highly detailed way.




There is a nice variation in lighting colour, but not any really high detailing like rows of lights in a carpark for example.




Working down on the ramps it is not bad at all as it is all well lit. Terminal buildings have great depth as the internal areas at night are well created with a lot of internal detail.





You get full sets of SID and STAR (DP) charts and "TAKEOFF MINIMUMS AND (OBSTACLE) DEPARTURE PROCEDURES" information...  But no Airport ground diagrams or gate position charts?




Overall this is certainly a great update to a scenery that begged for a good upgrade. KORD Chicago O'Hare is one of the most used in online flying in America and so X-Plane users deserved a good scenery to use. And yes as Butnaru's newly named "Nimbus Simulation Studios" has certainly delivered here and the stand out feature are those excellent winter textures that makes this scenery...  oh so Chicago.




X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! the updated KORD Chicago O'Hara Intl (version 1.0.2) by Nimbus Simulation Studios is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here :


KORD - Chicago O'Hare International Airport -HD


Price is US$24.95


NOTE: Owners of the previous KORD Airport by Butnaru are entitled to a $10 upgrade price - $15 -  and should contact sales@x-plane.org to get their coupon code


Features KORD v1.0.2:

High Definition Airport
  • High resolution ground textures
  • Terminals with 3D interiors
  • HDR lights
  • Numerous custom objects with high-res textures
  • Night lighting
Seasonal Textures
  • Both Summer and Winter textures are included
Animated Airports
  • GroundTraffic (plugin by Marginal)
  • Autogates
Complete Airport
  • 9 runways
  • Cargo area
  • Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 5 fully modeled with all concourses
  • South and North Tower
  • More than 100 gates modeled




X-Plane 10.30+ (any edition)
Windows, Mac or Linux 
1Gb+ VRAM Video Card - 2Gb VRAM Video Card Recommended
Note: Make sure you have v1.0.2 on download
Preview by Stephen Dutton
21st December 2015
Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews
(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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