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Scenery Review : KGPI - Glacier Park International Airport by YD Design


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Scenery Review : KGPI - Glacier Park International Airport by YD Design

 

Kalispell Glacier Park International Airport is situated in Flathead County, Montana, six miles northeast of Kalispell. The airport is owned and operated by the Flathead Municipal Airport Authority, a public agency created by the county in 1974.

 

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The airport was built in 1942 as Flathead County Airport, from which its IATA and original FAA and ICAO codes of KFCA were derived. Airline flights operated by Northwest Airlines began in 1950; however, passenger traffic was sparse for years. In 1970 the airport was designated as an international airport and received its current name. In the 1970s and 1980s passenger traffic increased as Hughes Airwest (previously Air West), Western Airlines, Delta Air Lines (which acquired Western), the original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) and Horizon Air offered a new jet services. Jetliners operated into the airport in the past include the Boeing 727-200, Boeing 737-200, Boeing 757-200, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 and Fokker F28. The 757 operated by Delta is the largest aircraft ever to have provided scheduled passenger service at the airport.

 

This is not the first scenery for X-Plane from YD Design, as other sceneries include...  KBYY - Bay City Regional Airport, KMTP - Montauk Airport, NY and MBPV - Turks and Caicos Islands, but this is the first scenery I have reviewed for the development house. This KGPI - Glacier Park was created in conjunction between YD Design and Vref Simulations, that has produced the same Kalispell-KGPI scenery for the MSFS 2020 platform.

 

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The boundaries of the YD Design KGPI scenery is quite pronounced against the default texture here in Montana, and you can see were the transition between the two elements has been blended together. But that said KGPI is actually nicely intergrated into the scenery. To a point YD Design's didn't have much to work with, as the default textures out here are the mostly very basic.

 

So the first impression is actually a very good one. Route wise the Glacier Park position in the eastern Rockies has a lot of great opportunities. Seattle, Vancouver, Portland and even Calgary are all within a easy reach of both a service jet flight, or a large General Aviation aircraft.

 

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There is a recommended free "Static Aircraft" pack that you can download from the X-Plane.Org, and very good it it is in filling in a lot of the ramps and aprons at FCA, again this is an add-on here that is highly recommended.

 

KGPI Kalispell-Glacier Park

 

Glacier Park International Airport

IATA: FCA - ICAO: KGPI - FAA LID: GPI

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02/20 - 9,006ft (2,745m) Asphalt

12/30 - 3,504ft (1,068m) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL2,976 ft / 907 m

 

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There is only a single terminal at Glacier Park, that comes with five stands 1A, 1B, 1C, and two in 2 and 3 that have Airbridges, which are SAM active. Stand 2 is recommended for B737/A320 grade aircraft. Note that the KGPI Chart does show seven stands and not the five in the scenery?

 

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The terminal modeling and design is very good, with nice concrete and stone work textures, however they can be close up a little Lo-Res, but overall all there textures are very nicely done.

 

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The SAM custom Airbridges are well worn and in parts quite heavily rusted, so they look very authentic...

 

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Terminal roof detail is very good as well, with worn (cracked) stained areas and nice windows...

 

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Landside is excellent with great carparks filled with 3d vehicles, fauna is well used with flower beds and nice general kept environs. Carpark textures are the ones I like. Developers go two ways in either using photo underlays or this semi-surface look, this is a far better approach that gives you a far more realistic feel and look, where as photo images are usually very Lo-Res and come with a lot of burnt-in elements...   so this approach works perfectly as you get the better detail and actually more realism.

 

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...  the only odd thing in Landside is that the entrance sign feels out of scale in being too large, if real it would be a massive structure?

 

Entrance sign is really nice!

 

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Rear of the terminal is a very nice hotel in the "Country Inn and Suites", it is also well done in the unusual timber construction facade, and is a focal visual point of the airport on arrival.

 

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FBO

The is a huge FBO (Fixed-Base Operator) facility here at GPI, Glacier Jet Center, and the twin huge hangars are really well done and a focal point of the airport, in front is the Fire Station and the U.S. Customs office. Shame the doors don't open SAM style?

 

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The Northeastern areas are all made up of large hangarage structures, and all are authentic and custom to the airport, detail is also very good and varied. Refuel depot is nicely positioned, so Glacier Park is an ideal flyway, refuel and fly back airport for the full experience.

 

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Behind the FBO area is more custom hangarage, again quite varied and well done in detail.

 

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There is not much to the south, just some more hangarage and administration offices.

 

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Control Tower

The Control Tower is way across the field on Taxiway D, there are a few small GA hangars over here as well...

 

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...  the field tower is well done, but not much of an exciting building. Oddly there is no marked pathway to the tower or any walkway markings around it's base, and it is very much separated from the area buildings by the missing markings, a small oversight, but it looks odd. Tower view is set odd as well? it is correct in the field position, but set too low in the central part of the tower itself to be useful?

 

Ground Textures

Overall the textures are excellent at FCA. The main runway 02/20 has a concrete ripple effect, very unusual but well done here, but most of the taxiways and the cross shorter 12/30 runways are a very stony asphalt, nice tar joins are also well done...  ramp is concrete, with a little grunge, but nothing like really dirty. Excellent are the darker stain areas that break up the same consistent surface feel, in then giving all the apron areas a realism. The ALES Airport Layout Enhancement Solution is also used extensively in this scenery.

 

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The Burnt-in ambient occlusion effect works very nicely as well in the right lighting conditions creating the shadows to highlight the stone in the asphalt, and the surfaces become nicely detailed and realistic in the said conditions. The ripple runway effect is very pronounced, but looks very good. They are all PBR reflective (wet) active textures as well.

 

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The grass is the strake kind, which works very nicely on the ground, but very noticeable above it, but there is a lot of lovely spring flowers and tall grass that makes the airport quite pretty in areas. Also notable is that there is no SAM seasons for KGPI, which being sited in high in the Rockies, would have certainly benefited from a nice white winter scenario. XAmbience is noted as coming soon by the developer for a white Christmas, but I would prefer SAM Seasons.

 

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Lighting

Overall the airport's lighting is good, but the window realism is sadly only average, with just a gray blank look across the terminal and all the buildings.

 

All approach lighting is very good. Rwy 02/20 has a long RAILS (Runway Alignment Indicator Light System) on the 02 approach, but the 20 approach is still even shorter is very good. Both ends of the 12/30 runway have no approach lighting at all, but there is good runway width and even centreline lighting to make the runway quite usable even in dark conditions.

 

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The main ramp is nicely lit as are all the general areas of the airport, including the road approach and carparks.

 

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Horrible as mentioned is the window lighting, everything is a dull grey and not very inviting, and if you want to be picky, then some under arrival awning lighting would have been great for bringing the landside arrival areas more realistic...

 

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...  but there is a very nice feel down here.

 

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There is some very bright (flashing lights) Police in a takedown going on in one of the outer carparks...  migrant smuggling, or drugs! we will never know. The excellent Country Inn is again ruined by the scenery's average glass lighting.

 

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FBO area is very nicely lit, but again that glass lighting.... uggh! it could have been so far better with realistic glass at night as everything else is in this scenery is that good.

 

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Navigation lighting is also excellent. The signs don't reflect on the ground sadly, but the detail and feel is very good, the abundance and placement of the signage is also very good.

 

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Summary

I like to be surprised. This Glacier Park scenery from YD Design and Vref Simulations is very good, very professional in it's design and detail. Modeling is very good and comes with a lot of custom buildings and textures, ground textures are also very good with good non-photo Lo-Res inserts that most other developers cheat with. So all carparks and apron areas look and are very good and are all very realistic with also the use of the ALES Airport Layout Enhancement Solution tools. The two Airbidges are SAM active are really well done texture wise for wear and rust. Nice details include the Country Inn and Suites hotel and excellent FBO area. Free "Static Aircraft" package is also a required bonus.

 

3d grass and nice fauna give off a mountain feel, but winter textures or SAM seasons are not included, but should be. Noted is the coming use of the XAmbience Pro snow textures? but I would still prefer the SAM Seasons system.

 

Negatives are very few, but slightly noticeable. The entrance sign is out of scale in being too large, more lighting under the arrival awning would also be nice...   but overall the biggest visual unfortunate drawback is the building night window textures are so very old fashioned (grey) and look awful, this night texture design is so very FS2004, I hated it then and still do.

 

Overall Glacier Park is an excellent scenery, and I will be looking at more YD Design's sceneries to see if there are some more gems in there. A bigger bonus here with this KGPI scenery is the price...  as the scenery is priced at only US$13, a simple bargain in not only great value but also the high quality you get here for that sort of low investment...   as they say "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!"...   Recommended.

_____________________________________

 

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Yes! KGPI - Glacier Park International Airport by YD Design is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


KGPI - Glacier Park International Airport

Price is US$13.00

 

Feature List
  • Custom SAM jetways
  • Custom volumetric grass
  • Custom 4K ground textures
  • PBR on all buildings and surfaces
  • ALES ground lines
  • Orthophotos
  • 50+ custom objects
  • Optional free static aircraft pack

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 2.3 GB
Current and Review version : 1.0 (March 10th 2021)
 
Installation
For the size  large download of 2.3Gb download that is translated into a 2.85Gb install in your Custom Scenery folder.

 

The Install (INI) order is just a single folder:

  • KGPI - Glacier_YD Design

 

An optional free "Static Aircraft" KGPI package is also available and well worth the download in insertion.

 

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

ShortFinal Global SFD plugin is highly recommended with this scenery.

 

Documents

One simple Readme and Credits

  • READ ME pdf
  • Credits

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Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

1st April 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 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 v11.53

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 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90

Scenery or Aircraft

- Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research
 

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