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Scenery Review: EPKK Krakow XP by Drzewiecki-Design


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Scenery Review: EPKK Krakow XP by Drzewiecki-Design

 

Drzewiecki Design are one of the more prolific creators of X-Plane content with a total of 20 sceneries to date. They focus on mostly Eastern European airports with a smattering of North American Airport and City extension packs.  They started work in the flight simulation field in 2000, the brand was established in 2006 and the company founded in 2008. 

 

They expanded their products into X-Plane 10 and 11 and are one of the most prolific scenery creators in the X-Plane world to date. 

 

The airport first opened in the 60's and it was also a military airbase in the cold war period up until 1968. In 1995, the airport was renamed John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice in recognition of his early life spent in the area.  It has one runway 07/25, 2,550 m in length. 

 

It is currently the 2nd busiest Polish airport after EPWA Warsaw Chopin Airport and is a hub for Ryanair and Easyjet as well as other low-cost airlines, but interestingly has a number of diverse routes as far away as Dubai. So if you fancy a long-haul 5 hour flight on a wet day, then Fly Dubai FDV1787 is one possible route to go for. 

 

Installation is comprised of an executable file  (current version EPKK_Krakow 1.0) is a hefty 1.07 GB file installer which should automatically detect your X-Plane 11 folder.

 

The installation is of a standard design and the steps are outlined below:

The installer gives you 4 different installation choices, which is nice. I choose option 1 in this case.

 

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One word of warning though, for all  Drzewiecki-Design airports, as the last part of the installation wizard, it suggests a rebuild of the scenery.ini text file. I don't recommend this procedure as it messes up your current scenery order and this makes your other previously installed payware sceneries not show correctly and you will have to manually reorder the ini file so that the airports show correctly again. This is the only vendor I've seen this suggestion with so far. 

 

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After the installation, load up X-Plane and you get not only the airport, but the surrounding City as well, with it's history buildings from the 13th century onward. 

 

Firstly, lets look at the default scenery compared to what you get at first glance. As you can see, there is a nicely detailed landscape and more realistic layout with European-style buildings which greatly enhances the feeling you are in a unique place. 

There is a lot of details here when you take a closer look and it includes many parking spaces and even includes parking barriers. Even the roof of the car park has details like air-conditioning units and lighting. 

 

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The advertising posters and decals are well defined without blurriness, even up close, and I love the "KRAKOW AIRPORT" signage on the building, it adds a certain character to it, and it blends nicely with the existing building textures.

 

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The custom tress add a regional feel to the airport, and the tower and ancillary buildings textures are very clear and crisp, and there are also little details like fencing added. These are small but very important items that make or break a scenery. An example is Aerosoft Dublin which is missing boundary fences, which I find quite annoying, and takes away from the immersion factor. Especially when taxying to or from a parking spot or terminal building.

 

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A nice touch that Drzewiecki-Design have done is add static military aircraft to the scenery. After all, it is partly used by the Polish Airforce. There are some fine examples of the EADS (Airbus) CASA C-295's complete with liveries and markings and the old Soviet-era control tower is a nice touch, along with the secluded car-park (presumably for military or private parking. The details on the hangars is excellent even if it is a 2D picture inserted, it's good enough while taxiing.

 

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The office and administration buildings are nicely detailed, with missing plaster work and national flags,and while the textures are not exactly high-definition, they are good enough for casual usage. I'm also impressed with the ground textures which are well defined, and not low-res like some offerings I've seen.

 

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The older control tower contrasts sharply with the modern one, and it has that Soviet-Era feel too. Very school-house feel to it. Very nicely rendered in high-definition and lots of details such as the external staircase. The national flag is not animated, but this is a small issue. However, the windsock along the runway is, and this is a nice touch indeed.From a screenshot point of view it's not possible to see, but I took two comparison shots with added wind on the second shot to show the windsock difference.

 

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Particular attention is given to the navigation aids, in this case the Krakow DME is well modeled as is the ILS glideslope and antennas. 

 

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Runway markings are very good resolution and can be read easily, with no blurriness or lack of definition, and the 3D grass is not obtrusive but I feel blends in as well as it could, given the limitations of the sim. Of course, as expected, the runways are sloped(one of my pet hate is flat runways). 

 

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Coming back to the apron, there are nice selection of static aircraft included - to me, there is nothing worse than an airport devoid of planes. There is a nice selection of different airlines which actually use the airport - as diverse as FlyDubai and Ryanair. 

No shortage of ground accessories or vehicles here. Plenty to keep you occupied while waiting for passengers to board or deboard as the case may be.

 

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There is also nicely detailed textures around the surrounding areas and hangars - the fences and carparks are also nicely done with not much repetition with the vehicle models, which has a nice mixture of brands and colours. 

 

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I do love the extra details like the posters and signage around the carpark and railway areas which are good quality and legible. The roads are not so good here, but passible for their purpose. Even the railway station is of high quality and has the electric pylons included. It's details like this that give this addon great value for money. 

 

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The railway station even has passengers at the platform if you look hard enough. You won't be using this view every day, but it does go to show the amount of effort they put into making an airport. The airport cars are varied in both make, model and colour, resulting in a nice impression of realism. It can be all too easy to make a repeated sequence of cars in a scenery which can be done quickly, but this is quality work and you can see they took time over it and the results speak for themselves.

 

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The air-conditioning units and lights on the carpark and surrounding buildings have great attention to detail Even the interior of the tower looks good with PC terminals evident along with office staff and furnishings. The people themselves are very well rendered and don't look overly robotic as some can do. 

    

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Coming to the city of Krakow itself, which lies about 11km from the city itself, it gives a good representation of the area, and some of the important buildings and historical sites are included. This includes the market square, and Wawel Castle, which has the claim to be the  first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world.

 

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The fine attention to details in the main square and churches have good quality textures and modeling and adds extra value to this already good scenery. As you can also see, there are some very East European-style buildings used to great advantage here, and even included is the famous Kościuszko Mound which is nearly 200 years old. A monument built in memory of  Polish  leader Tadeusz Kościuszko, who fought against Russia and Prussia in the 1790's.

 

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There is a nice mixture of old and new architecture represented in Krakow, and it's nice to see such detail being included in what is meant to be just an addon airport. 

 

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Night views:

The night-time lighting is very effective and has different tones depending on where on the airport you are viewing from. 

The light is brightest where you need it to be, on the apron and jetways, and on the advertising hoardings, but toned down to a yellowish hue on the car parks and public areas and in the town and surrounding areas. 

 

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In areas that you expect to see less lights, such as the control-tower area, and the hangars, this is also done well, and I in particular, like the lightspill from the open hangar doors. Even the lights on the highway are well light where the traffic crosses under the bridge, and the carpark areas make a nice contrast compared to the apron and taxiways areas. 

 

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Summary:

For such a small airport, this offers great value for money along with excellent details and high-resolution buildings and local landmarks, more than just an airport, it offers a complete Polish travel experience. Drzewiecki-Design are well thought of in all major simulators and this product speaks for itself. I found little or no faults with this scenery, and they are very clever in using the resources to their best with little compromise to the overall product. I own most of their sceneries, and have very few complaints about them. They are highly professional in most of their sceneries, and I would have no hesitation in recommending this product as a must-have. 

There are many European and Asian destination at your fingertips and you are sure to be able to use most of your addon aircraft in this scenery without adverse framerates. 

I would definitely recommend this product.

______________________________

 

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Yes! EPKK Krakow XP by Drzewiecki-Design is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


EPKK Krakow XP

Price is US$25.00

 

Features:
Kraków John Paul II International Airport (IATA: KRK, ICAO: EPKK) is an international airport located near Kraków, in the village of Balice, 11 km (6.8 mi) west of the city centre, in southern Poland. It is the second busiest airport of the country in terms of the volume of passengers served annually.
 
Kraków-Rakowice-Czyżyny Airport (ICAO: EPKC) is one of the oldest permanent airfields in Europe, open for occasional traffic by certain types of aircraft. A portion of it is now the site of the Polish Aviation Museum with a 720-metre long and 60-metre wide segment of the original concrete runway restored for use by the museum for light planes (to 7,500 kg) and helicopters.
 
  • High quality model of EPKK Kraków airport in Kraków, Poland, featuring the most up-to-date version possible.
  • Extensive though performance-friendly interior modeling at most terminal buildings, control tower and some hangars
  • Animated jetways, VGDS, marshallers (SAM plugin), custom animations, advanced dynamic lighting, static aircraft and people, detailed runway vertical profile (slopes)
  • EPKC airport including the whole area of Polish Aviation Museum
  • Photoreal Kraków city with landmarks and autogen
  • Highly advanced performance-friendly design, numerous optimization techniques used

 

WT3:  WorldTraffic3 GroundRoutes are not provided and Traffic Global operates perfectly.

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac, Linux
4Gb VRAM Video Card  Minimum - 8GB VRAM Recommended
Current and Review version: 1.0 (March 9th 2020)
Download Size: 1.2 GB
 
Installation
A developer installation wizard is included. Do not allow the INI order to be changed by the install in a rebuild, keep to the manual install and required noted scenery order.

 

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

 

Documents

One Readme pdf (4 pages), with About, Install and Airport details

  • READ ME pdf

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Scenery Review by Jude Bradley

13th 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)

 

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 11.52 

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

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

 

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