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Scenery Review : EINN Shannon Airport by Boundless

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Scenery Review : EINN Shannon Airport by Boundless


Back in the post-war "Golden Age" of air travel, aircraft did not have the range or endurance to fly non-stop from Europe to the U.S, so routes had to either fly to Gander in Newfoundland as part of the great circle route, and when Shannon Airport became active, this also became part of the routing. 


Shannon Airport evolved from a former flying boat terminal was located at Foynes  - a small town southern bank of the River Shannon Estuary and first proposed in 1936, and completed just before WW2. Ireland being a neutral country, the airport was often used by the Soviet Air-force as a refueling stop, as Ireland is not part of NATO.  It is also reputedly the site where Irish Coffee was created. The often wet and cold Irish weather prevalent in the west of Ireland necessitated the use of whiskey to keep passengers warm while awaiting their transatlantic flights.  


Up until 1993, 50% of the U.S transatlantic flights had to fly from Dublin via Shannon airport which resulted in one famous British comedian remark that he flew from U.K to Ireland in a small commuter plane and then had an internal flight in Ireland on a 747. Of course, he would not have known about this agreement when he made this observation. This agreement was eventually ended in 2008, resulting in greatly reduced traffic from and into Shannon Airport. 


It was also the very first Duty Free airport which started in 1947, although for travelling within the E.U, it does not give the same benefit to U.S destinations. U.S. Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance was also set up as a convenience first set up in Shannon, and later in Dublin so as to avoid delays in processing passengers on arrival in the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance area is actually considered U.S soil, and I personally know of one passenger who had an apple confiscated from him while in this area, as it wasn't allowed to bring fruit into the US, even though this occurred in the island of Ireland. 

It is the 2nd largest airport in Ireland, after Dublin, but has the longest runway in Ireland at 3,199 Meters, (10,495 feet) compared to Dublin at 2,637 Meters, (8,652 feet). 


EINN Shannon Head Overview 1.jpgEINN Shannon Head Overview 2.jpg


The Boundless Shannon Airport package is a quite a small 700mb zip file which, when uncompressed is 1.55Gb file named aaa_Boundless_EINN_Airport. You might wonder why this naming convention is used, but actually it's quite handy, as it means not having to reorder your scenery.ini file as X-plane usually reads them in alphabetical order. This in practice means you can just start up X-Plane after pasting the folder aaa_Boundless_EINN_Airport into your "Custom Scenery" folder, and it will read the new scenery on first launch. 

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One of the interesting features on the land-side of the airport from the main road, is the prominent Boeing 707 or 720 tail fin, near the main traffic roundabout (or "traffic circle" as they are called in the U.S). Some older pictures of the fin show it to be a slate grey, but online photos show this as an advertising board for Irish Rugby, so they seem to use it for certain roles. The current Boundless version is shown with the Shannon Airport "S" logo. 


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Once past the roundabout, you pass the College of Catering Management run by National University of Ireland Galway, a hotel, and the inevitable car rental parks with warnings that we drive on the left-hand side of the road. There are a few issues with the road leading up to the main building (notably default car textures which were not removed from the roadway), which is a bit disappointing, and the bus lane leading up to the terminal is fuzzy and not really defined that well. The car park is populated with 3D cars which is nice to see and adds realism to the airport, and they even went to the trouble of putting Irish-type registration codes on them, but the roads themselves could be a bit sharper. 


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The current airport terminal was opened on 27 March 2000 by then Minister of Transport Mary O'Rourke. This facility has 40 check-in desks, 5 baggage carousels and 14 boarding gates (including 6 airbridges). There are nearly 20 aircraft parking stands. Both the short-term and long-term car parks can hold 4,200 cars.


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Much of the older landside section of the airport has since been renovated with new 'Shannon Airport' branding. An airside area renovation and passenger separation project was completed in Summer 2010.


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The terminal represented here is well done, and completed in that cladding effect, all the glass is see-through reveling the internal parts of the terminal. Some areas like at the check-in counters have been filled in nicely, on the departure side, these areas are more cavernous and empty. I do however like the detailing of the local Irish birch wood and the red support columns.


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There is an abundance of detail of the complex of buildings that make up the whole of the terminal. And Boundless have created a reasonable job of making it it all look compounded as a single entity.


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This Boundless Shannon comes designed with AutoGate compatibility (animated jetways / guidance systems / marshallers), and the ground vehicles are again in high quantities in service vehicles and animated traffic that skirt and scurry around all the ramps. Most are correct in being the local service provider of Swissaport.


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Until 2020, the westbound flights of the British Airways business class-only flights between London City Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York stopped for fuel in Shannon to allow them to take off from the short runway of the London City Airport, which is located in the London Docklands area. This stop also allowed passengers to clear US Customs and Immigration in Shannon rather than at JFK. Introduced in 2009, two flights per day, one of which carried the flight number BA1, were operated using A318 aircraft capable of operating steep approaches. The flights were halved in 2017, and in 2020, amid their suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced that the flights would not be resumed.


Set adjacent to the terminal is the Shannon Aer Lingus cargo area, Shannon has a history of esoteric foreign military use. A large part of its business in recent years has been military stopovers, currently almost all American; however, the airport was also frequently used by the Soviet military until the 1990s, since Ireland, having a traditional policy of military neutrality, was not a member of NATO. There were some restrictions, such as being carrying no arms, ammunition, or explosives, and that the flights in question did not form part of military exercises or operations. Shannon saw military transports throughout the Cold War and during the first Gulf War. Although the warehousing now is quite legal, you would never know what was store or held behind these doors over the years.


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Boundless has provided a lot of the required hangars and local businesses in aviation, and the results are quite comprehensive in the layout of the real Shannon Airport. The Shannon business Park is also included, with both the default and custom buildings placed accurately.


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There is a Lufthansa Technik Shannon EASA Part 147 approved Maintenance Training Academy also on this site. The aviation services training academy is one of the most experienced and respected in the industry. Shannon also provides Lufthansa Technik AG maintenance, completions, repair, and overhaul services for aircraft, and maintenance, repair, and MRO services for engines and components, the site is on the western side of EINN.


There are two towers at Shannon, with the large field tower and dated in design, even post war, set south field east.


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Boundless has done a rotating beacon on the roof, and the internal desks with two field controllers that have also been placed in the room. The second tower is a ramp tower set between the main terminal and the Aer Lingus cargo wharehouses. This area is also part of the original Shannon terminals and still in again a post war design with smaller ramp tower set central to the buildings.


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One of the noticeable features  in this package is the excellent grooved runway. This is necessary in the west of Ireland, due to the fact that this part of Ireland gets the most exposure to the wet and windy weather Ireland is famous for. Hence the name "Emerald Isle". 

It is aligned at 057° and 237° respectively. This is to account for the prevailing south-westerly winds in the country.


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There is a huge amount of variation in all these respectable ground textures, it looks like Boundless has done a lot of research in this manner to get them right, and they do look very good. There is grass set out around the edges of the runways and taxiways, and some clumps in the middle, Boundless has tried to create a mown recently field, and I like the results.


EINN Shannon Textures 8.jpgEINN Shannon Textures 9.jpg


In some field areas the same fuzzy trees have not been covered over with 3d style trees and they are very visual to my eyes when using the main runway, or on the 057° approach. I am also surprised that Boundless does not yet provide seasonal textures (SAM), as the winter effects here at Shannon, would be a great bonus.


Another highlight are the mud flats set out around the airport. Shannon is positioned on the Shannon River, but slightly inland and directly between the main estuary and the closest main city in the area which is the famous Limerick (25 km). Limerick is the third-most populous urban area in the county (Limerick), and the fourth-most populous city of Ireland. 


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The lighting is very good here at Shannon. That has been noted above at 3,199 metres (10,495 ft), Shannon has the longest runway in Ireland (which allowed it to be a designated alternative landing site for the Space Shuttle). And so the approach lighting had to be to a certain NASA specification, in other words very bright and that it could also be seen from a considerable distance.


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The overall ambiance is not what you would call very bright, as most of the lighting is set at a soft glow, but it is very widespread and the coverage is fine. Boundless has used several lighting tones which gives the areas a very varied look about the ramps and carparks.


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Because of the see through terminal glass, to can see the lit internal areas at night. The Control (Main) is lit up, but so also is the main control area, that is a no, no as no internal light (except for screen reflections) would be allowed in control towers.


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The Lufthansa Technik Shannon hangars are lit both in the external building and through the open doors also the building is lit up internally.


DHL Aviation, FedEx Feeder, Turkish Cargo and UPS Airlines all service Shannon, the airports central geographical position allows for services to meet going east or west...  from the very early days this was Shannon's greatest asset, and even now today, nothing has changed.


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On the whole,Shannon airport is a great addition to the expanding list of Irish airports being created for X-Plane. Although quite a small country by international standards, Ireland has a rich aviation history, and EINN is a great little airport to use as a base, whether you fly long,short,or hauling freight, it provides a versatile airport which is good on frames and has a very interesting and chequered history. An internal flight can be done from Dublin in about 35 minutes if you are short of time. There are other sightseeing flights you can choose if you wish to fly to Kerry or Donegal (found here https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/63591-eidl-donegal-ireland-2020-ciano35/ ) I would have no hesitation in recommending this scenery. There is room for improvement of course, but it's easy on frames and the real-weather makes it for some very interesting landings. 


I would really like to see Boundless add Dublin to their list of addons as a revamp is sorely needed with a new tower and new runway in progress at the moment. 



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Yes!...  EINN - Shannon Airport by Boundless is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


EINN - Shannon Airport

Price is US$23.99


Main Features Included:
  • Accurate taxiway, runway & Apron networks
  • HD, photorealistic PBR apron, taxiway & runway textures
  • HD custom Buildings
  • Photorealistic sea & water
  • Recoloured water in surrounding area (more naturally brown in the estuary rather than default blue)
  • Terminal interiors modelled
  • Crisp HD, orthophoto base, carefully sharpened and recoloured for best results
  • Full night lighting
  • 3D Grass at airport
  • Custom streetlights / apron lighting
  • Brand new HD Static GA aircraft
  • Fully compatible with traffic Global & WT3
  • Boundless HD Trees / forests - colour matched to the ortho below, includes many colour variations / tree types
  • Thousands of custom objects manually placed for best results
  • High level of airport detail
  • PBR textures used with airport buildings and many custom objects
  • Full airport fencing accurately placed
  • Animated custom road traffic
  • Animated custom airport vehicles (Shannon Airport vans, custom fire engines etc)
  • Excellent FPS
  • Various open hangars
  • Designed with AutoGate compatibility (animated jetways / guidance systems / marshallers)
  • All nearby buildings, e.g. car rentals, Shannon Golf Club
  • Shannon business Park included, with both default and custom buildings placed accurately
  • Nearby areas covered with our custom night lighting


Requirements :

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 700 MB
Current and Review version: 1.0 (February 6th 2021)

Download of the scenery is 677Mb, and the single folder is installed into your X-Plane Custom Scenery Folder...

  • EINN_Airport_Boundless


Full package installation is 1.67Gb


This scenery is fully compatible with Traffic Global

Extras and Documents:
There is a 2 page pdf, with install and airport information
  • Shannon Documentation


Scenery Review by Jude Bradley

5th March 2021

Copyright©2021 : 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) All Rights Reserved


Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i9-9900K CPU 4.70GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb  DDR4 4300 RAM - EVGA GeForce GTX 2070 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.51 

Addons: Saitek Throttle and Yoke : Sound -Soundblaster Audigy Fx

Plugins: : BetterPushBack - Free LiveTraffic - Free Weather ActiveSkyXP https://hifisimtech.com/asxp/

Scenery or Aircraft

- ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00


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