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Plugin Update : Ground Handling Deluxe by JARDesign

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Plugin Update : Ground Handling Deluxe by JARDesign


JARDesign's Ground Handling Deluxe plugin was my "Plugin of the year" in 2015 and a worthy winner it was. Selections of criteria for yearly submissions is not if the aircraft or plugin is just good at the point of release but also it's future contribution to the overall X-Plane landscape.

The Ground Handling Deluxe plugin is a clever idea of extending an aircraft features with ground support animated vehicles for any X-Plane aircraft. Obviously that has some great advantages because of the many great aircraft we fly like the x737 series and the FlyJSim aircraft which don't come with ground support equipment and static elements. There is another bonus in the fact you also get a consistent type of a quality set of ground vehicles whenever you use it, I like that option because some developers use very eastern-block types of support tankers and trucks that don't really fit into the landscape of western airports.


But the plugin is becoming far more versatile than that as we will see. For myself the impact of the plugin was enhanced because I couldn't use it. For a few months it crashed my X-Plane app that was traced to a faulty key (the installation system has since been overhauled) and it affected only me and no one else. But my empty gates were a reminder that how much I missed the activity and control the plugin created around the aircraft before departure or after arrival. I am one of those users in that I want the full impact of from battery on to battery off and the full service in between. Landing and opening up the aircraft and loading and unloading the aircraft is as important as actually flying the machine...  I want the full deal. 

And in a way the Ground Handling Deluxe plugin fills in a big part of that picture.


I looked quickly at the plugin in the JARDesign A330-243 update and we will quickly recap the plugins features here...

The GHD (Ground Handling Deluxe) plugin is activated in the drop down X-Plane/Plugins menu. And that brings up a floating menu selection.


GHD_Menu 1.jpgGHD_Menu 2.jpg



Drive up All
Drive Away All
Hide all
Control Panel
Build Aircraft Set


The allows you to - "Drive up All" and "Drive Away All" service vehicles in the list, "Hide all" vehicles and brings up a Control Panel that allows you to activate or hide individual vehicles. It is best to bring up first the control panel (highlighted larger)...


GHD_Menu 3.jpg


Open the Control Panel and you can see the list available, and it is extensive. Even better the system allows you to add vehicles in as well.

Three buttons do all the work in Press + to activate a vehicle and Press - to drive it away and "Hide" will make the vehicle disappear. The top three buttons are the "All" activations. This system allows you to control the vehicles on the ground, when you want them to appear but also when to finish the job and go away, simple but very effective.


Press "Drive up All" and you unleash mayhem!...  The Service vehicles all appear and then go about their business with gutso.

And totally great fun to watch it is.


GHD_Activity 4.jpgGHD_Activity 5.jpg

GHD_Activity 6.jpgGHD_Activity 7.jpg


The highlights certainly are the pallet loaders, Pallets come on to the base, turn, then lift and then move the pallet inside the aircraft, then repeat. The catering trucks are also excellent and the Neoplan buses are very realistic with opening doors. Quality of the vehicles in design and texture quality is outstanding.


GHD_Activity 8.jpgGHD_Activity 9.jpg


As noted you have total control, or just use the three "All" commands to use every vehicle and static elements.



There are "Sets" for different aircraft that can be created or completed sets that can be downloaded from the JARDesign site (registration required).



And there are defaults sets that come with the plugin and "custom" sets that can be downloaded. As an idea of what is available here are these five different aircraft:


EADT x737

GHD_x737 1.jpgGHD_x737 2.jpg


The x737 from EADT benefits by a huge amount with the GHD plugin. Even a fire truck in case you spill some fuel. But I loved the fuel truck that goes very well with the x737 fuel loading system...  overall excellent.

FlightFactor Boeing 757


GHD_FFB757 1.jpgGHD_FFB757 2.jpg


The FlightFactor Boeing 757 already comes with a great set of ground support systems, but you can mix and match more by combining both the GHD and the FF default units to your benefit.


X-Plane Boeing 744


GHD_B744 1.jpgGHD_B744 2.jpg 


The default X-Plane Boeing 744 is greatly enhanced by the support ground services. The days of sitting alone at the gate after a long haul are long gone. It just looks excellent and realistic with all the gear packed around the 747 at the gate.


Regional Aircraft




You are not restricted to the "Heavies" either. The plugin enhances other aircrat that you wouldn't associate with static ground vehicles like regional aircraft. Here is the FlyJSim Q400 and Aerosoft ATR72, and they both benefit from having a built in ground handling support.



Ground Handling Deluxe update January 2016


That is the basics of GHD, now what is new in the update. The eagle-eyed of you would have noticed that a lot of the support vehicles have different liveries. And you don't have them either...


When the first release of Ground Handling Deluxe came out if you wanted a brand at an airport it was quite difficult as you had to change over the actual art of the vehicles in the root folder of GHD. I created a great KEF for Keflavik (BIRK) but when I arrived at Manchester (MAN) I had to change the files over directly to get the representative brand there?  And then worse I had to restart X-Plane to get the new branding to appear.




I loved the idea, as you could tailor the brand to an airport or company, but the process was very awkward.


In the update we have a brilliant fix to the problem of different brands.


Liveries 1.jpgLiveries 2.jpg


Now there is a "livery" option as part of the menu (bottom). This option now allows you to change the brand livery on the run, select a new livery and "wah-la" you have a complete set of new branding for your airport...


It is extremely easy now to create your own sets of liveries. Duplicate a livery set you like or duplicate the default set. Then there is a great paintkit as part of the plugin package that allows you to create very quick branding of your required vehicles. And replace them (with the same correct title) of the vehicle you want. Here in the first column is my saved QF.psd (Photoshop) files and the paintkit. The Liveries are stored in the Plugin in the "Liveries" folder and in the far right column is the replaced QF (Qantas) liveries in the .png format. It is important that in renaming your set of liveries that there is no breaks in the title (It won't work). When you run X-Plane and select the plugin and the liveries option it will change instantly to the correct branding....  brilliant!


Liveries sets.jpg


As a note I will upload these liveries to the JARDesign site.


You can create your own aircraft sets as well. There is a built in system for creating sets under the GHD menu selection: Build Aircraft Set


Dash8Q400_Set 1.jpgDash8Q400_Set 2.jpg


There are a few video's that show you how to build sets or modify them. Like all things there is a little learning curve. Here I am adding in a second set of chocks under my QF Q400. But once you get the hang of the system and its animation it is quite easy to do.



Another exciting additional feature to the update is....  K Loaders! The really big ones!

There was the smaller K's "Container loaders" also known as a Unit Load Device (ULD) with the original plugin release, but what of those huge 30Ton container lifting loaders.


SSG_B748-F_K Loader 1.jpgSSG_B748-F_K Loader 2.jpg


If you are a serious cargo hauler like me there was nothing worse than flying 10 hours half way around the world to just parking your freighter on the cargo stand and...  going home. No fun in that.


Now you have in the update a smorgasbord of fun as the aircraft is swamped with huge loaders to load on and unload off your precious cargo. 


SSG_B748-F_K Loader 3.jpgSSG_B748-F_K Loader 4.jpg


These huge loaders will bring tears to any hardened cargo flyer. And for myself I can now wallow in the loading and off loading at my ports around the world.


SSG_B748-F_K Loader 5.jpgSSG_B748-F_K Loader 6.jpg


Hopefully the new Super K Loaders will be soon part of the FlightFactor Boeing 777 and 757 Freighter sets...  please.

A full v220116 update list is:


+Add ability to change Liveries using Menu->Plugins->GndHandling->Liveries
+6 Liveries as example
+Improved registration system
+Add Instant News system
+Add BIG loader
+Add set for 747F cargo aircraft
+minor bugs fixed


A small note on the "news" system in that JARDesign will let you know of any changes to the JARDesign products. Which is very good. But the problem with developers "Letting you know" is that they think their notice is the only one going to you. If the trend continues it may clog up the X-Plane start up with you waiting for all the notices to parade in front of you...  so we do require the choice if we want their notices or not, I still prefer the Email version.



JARDesign X-Life

A notice that the next product from JARDesign is X-Life. It is a plugin that allows you to have the tools around you that covers the full flight from gate to gate.

The plugin will create Aircraft Traffic (using X-Plane default aircraft), Aircraft Traffic maps, ATC and vocal ATC interaction, Follow Me car and flightplanning.

You can try out a beta version for Windows and Mac then go here: X-Life Public Beta

And there are a few YouTube videos to see the action then go here: X-Life EDDL Departure

Well worth checking out.




Ground Handling Deluxe Summary

Once bitten you will never want to be without "Ground Handling Deluxe". As noted it was my "Best of 2015" for plugins and it is now even better with more excellent functionality of the changable liveries (and very easily customised) and those brilliant new huge K Loaders...

GHD is a really great addon and for action around the ramps it is just invaluable, and simply adds so much more to the whole X-Plane simulation.

An amazingly great investment at a great price.


logo logo sm.jpg


Yes! Ground Handling Deluxe by JARDesign is available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here :


Ground Handling Deluxe

Price is US$14.95


Features :

  • Perfect 3D with Awesome animation
  • 3D Sound and Light
  • Advanced motion algorithms
  • Set-Editor to Create your own set easy
  • Ability to change Liveries
  • News System
  • Compatible with any X-Plane 10 airliners

Installation :   Download file size is 433.20mb into your X-Plane Plugin Folder. Installed file size is 817.10mb. Registration is required and a product key is deposited in the plugin for use.

Notes: Aircraft for sets are not provided. Most current X-Plane payware and main Freeware aircraft are covered.


Requirements :

X-Plane 10.40+ Any Edition (64 bit only)
CPU: 2,4Ghz Multi-core.
Memory: 8 GB RAM.
Video Card: 1Gb VRAM. 64 bit OS (Windows 7 / Windows 8, Mac OS X)
For best performance, you need a 2Gb Video Card, with HDR mode ON.

Last updated January 22 2016

Developer Support Site : JARDesign Group Board



Review by Stephen Dutton

28th January 2016

Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications:

Computer System:  - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42

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


Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg


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