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Scenery Upgrade Review : EVRA - Riga International Airport v2 by JustSim


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EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Header.jpg

 

Scenery Upgrade Review : EVRA - Riga International Airport v2 by JustSim

 

The equation is quite simple. Quality scenery at the right price in the right place. I don't deny I champion certain scenery developers because they hit every point in delivering consistently good quality scenery at a good price point. The price set is in so that the developer gets a good return for the work put in, but the price is also relative to the you being able to form a decent collection of quality destinations within a good network.

JustSim has always delivered very well in this context. It is very rare that their scenery is below par or under developed, but overall they deliver great destinations for very good value...  but one destination in past reviews from JustSim, somehow got overlooked...  Riga in the capital of Latvia.

 

This is odd for me as I do a lot of routes around the Scandi and Baltic areas, and Riga is nicely positioned for a short-haul from Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm or Helsinki, and a medium-haul from the UK or Germany or even Switzerland. Time to put that right with a new and upgraded version from JustSim of EVRA - Riga to v2 or version 2.

 

The original JustSim EVRA release was in Oct 2017, so this is a welcome update to add in some or mostly the newer introduced effects and clean up any changes at the airport to current layout standards. It is an upgrade to v2, so that means you have to repurchase the scenery to get the upgrade, but that aspect is quite small considering the expansive changes here and that only a US$5 Upgrade fee is required, not really painful at all or just a missing cup of coffee.

 

Riga International Airport is the international airport of Riga, the capital of Latvia, and it is the largest airport in the Baltic states with direct flights to 76 destinations as of November 2019. It serves as a hub for AirBaltic, SmartLynx Airlines and RAF-Avia, and as one of the base airports for Wizz Air. The Latvian national carrier AirBaltic is the largest carrier that serves the airport, followed by Ryanair. The airport is located in the Mārupe Municipality west of Riga, and approx. 10 km from its city centre.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Map Riga.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Map Airport.jpg

(Google Maps)

 

Riga International Airport

Starptautiskā lidosta "Rīga"

 

IATA: RIX - ICAO: EVRA

EVRA Charts.jpg

18/36 - 3,200m (10,500ft) Concrete/Asphalt

Elevation AMSL36 ft / 11 m

 

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First impressions of this upgraded scenery is excellent...  you can see the the scenery's boundaries, but they are expertly intergrated into the default scenery, some clever use of trees covers and even forms the Rwy 18 Approach, mostly the orthophoto toning is perfect and upgraded here in v2 to the latest photo images. Overall the EVRA fits in perfectly into the surrounding landscape.

 

Riga airport was built in 1973 as an alternative to Spilve Airport, which had become by then very outdated. A renovation and modernisation of the airport was also completed in 2001, coinciding with the 800th anniversary of the founding of the city. In 2006 and 2016, the new north terminal extensions were opened. But there is a nice feel here of the modern and older aspects of the airport, that is if you think of the 70's era as old.

 

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You can see how the old original single terminal has been enlarged and expanded outwards with the North Terminal extension, but the original layout is highlighted by the old "Witches Hat" style walkon/walkoff circular gates (used for only Stands 101/103). The feel and look of the weathered concrete roof is spot on.

 

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Exceptional are the terminal's glass and surface textures. Again all glass and surfaces have had the full shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects added in v2, and they are breathtaking in quality, the glass shines and the terminals glow in detail... everything is absolutely first rate.

 

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The visual quality is excellent, as is the architectural design of glass frames within the glass panels. Other highlights are the light vanes on the main terminal windows, and the lovely surface sheen of the cladding.

 

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The original (but refurbished) pier has only seven stands in 102 - 109, and only the five inner have Airbridges in 102, 104, 106, 107 and 109, both 108/109 stands are Walkon/Walkoff. JustSim still use the older (Marginal) Animated Jetways system, not the better SAM system. The system here is custom designed and highly detailed, but the older Jetway system can be a bit hit and miss in working. But you can't ignore the excellent detail on the airbridges, and the gate internal detail, transparent glass and advertising is absolutely first rate.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Pier One 1.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Pier One 2.jpg

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The North Terminal Pier is of the same design. This pier has the same layout of eight stands, with Airbridges on seven Stands 300, 301, 302, 304, 306 and 308. Stand 309 on the end is Walkon/Walkoff.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Pier North 1.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Pier North 2.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Pier North 3.jpg

 

It is easy to get confused in in the use of the piers as that areas are split up in A,B,C zones or Schengen or Non-Schengen Areas, basically the original pier is Non-Schengen and the North Pier is Schengen, but there are areas of crossover.

 

Behind the North Pier is the excellent Riga Aviation Museum or Rīgas aviācijas muzejs. It was established in 1956 by Victor Talpa, and is all mostly supplied with Russian and Eastern-Bloc aircraft, but the layout is well reproduced here as are the enclosed Russian aircraft.

 

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There is also extensive remote stand parking, both north and south of the central terminal area piers. Aprons 3, 4 and 5 are positioned north and Apron 1, P (North) and P (South) and lowest is Apron 2, is to the south.

 

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Landside

On the arrival side of the airport it is mostly very good, but there are a few quirks here that are a bit headscratching...   The actual terminal facade is excellent, and certainly with the add on northern section with some amazing glass construction, outward as well as across...

 

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... but you have this really well modeled and textured terminal areas, then it all goes to a bit Lo-Res orthophoto (noted as Hi-Res?) then it returns back into the X-Plane traffic roads, but in between is not a very convincing carpark? It is obvious because it looks obvious, on the lower part there is a substantial requirement of trees (burnt-in), but only a few set 3d trees as coverage...  so it all looks a bit half done.

 

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Infrastructure wise though landside it is all very good. There is the RIX Administration Offices, Tez Tour, Policija Station and a very nice and prominent AirBaltic Administration building...

 

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...   plus all the required buildings including a Havaş-ground handling services company, the Siemens dept and the Itella Logistics SIA of which both have nice reflective facades.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Landside 10.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Landside 9.jpg

 

Control Tower

Another quirk is on the control tower... outwardly this 70's era tower is very authentic, but related to the render scaling there are some very bad blue border outlines around the tower's railings and stairs, so bad are the outlines that they split the towers forms into two sections from every visible angle, it is visually far worse at night.

 

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A shame as the tower detailing is very good. There is a basic tower interior fitout and the view in here of the field is great with even window shades, but the X-Plane Tower View setting is also correctly placed position wise, but set too high above the tower itself.

 

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Field Infrastructure

There is a lot of excellent field infrastructure, including a very nice VIP arrival centre and RIX logistics base. Animated traffic does work around here (Fixed for v2), but there is not really a lot of it, but overall that is enough anyway... enough movement to give action around the ramps, but not enough to overwhelm the scenery... perfect. All JustSim scenery has a lot of excellent clutter and you are well provided for here with a lot of the buses and vehicles that are locally branded.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Landside 19.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Landside 20.jpg

 

FBO Riga has a large presence at RIX as a certified ground handling agent and the operator of the business aviation center all positioned to the far south of the field. Their reception and administration building is very stylish and very well reproduced here, as is the huge adjoining maintenance hangar, AirBaltic also have a maintenance hangar near by. Situated in front of the FBO Riga facilities is a very authentic Fire Station.

 

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To the far north on Aprons 4 and 5 is another FBO Riga maintenance area with one very large hangar with open doors, and three other medium sized hangars fronting a work parking area (Apron 4)

 

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Over the field in an area called Z3- Remote Apron are two more AirBaltic storage hangars, a VOR facility (RIA) RIGA 112.05 Mhz, and two more Russian aircraft in static storage. There is some very nice detailed field infrastructure, like both the approach localiser antennas and the said VOR frame.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Landside 26.jpg

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If looking to the east from the airport, there is an unusual object sticking high up into the sky. This is the Riga Radio and TV Tower, which is highest point reaches 368.5 metres (1,209 ft), and which makes it the third tallest tower in Europe (after the Ostankino Tower at 540 metres (1,770 ft) and the Kyiv TV Tower at 385 metres (1,263 ft)) and the 16th tallest self-supporting tower in the world. JustSim have modeled the tower as a visual reference to the city, so no you were not seeing something odd or an X-Plane elevation error.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Landside 27.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Landside 28.jpg

 

Ground Textures

If the building textures have had the the full occlusion texture baking effects, then you would certainly expect the ground textures to have been put through the same process, well they have and also redone with a more updated process for v2.

 

All the varied combinations of surfaces are really well done here at Riga. Runways have lovely rubber landing wear, and inner outer wear, and all the surfaces are not clean, but have some dirt and wear, even the concrete squares. Lineage is first rate with slight wear in some areas and heavy wear in others, so it all looks totally realistic...

 

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The PBR effects are excellent as well, with great reflection detail that brings out the best of all the surfaces, the concrete ripple surfaces are the absolute highlight here.

 

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Grass is very well done (the underlying textures are very good here and help enormously) and all new here. 3d and very comprehensive, is the grass that covers most of the field surfaces, it all looks very good from the aircraft as well (meaning realistic).

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Textures 10.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Textures 11.jpg

 

Lighting

Overall the lighting at EVRA is very good, but again there is a quirk. There is only one runway here at RIX to light, and Rwy 18/36 is well served on both approaches with excellent lighting. There is however no RAIL or approach aids.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Lighting 1.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Lighting 2.jpg

 

Airport lighting is two tone, but not say airside and landside. Here I like the layout of lower tone for the older original airport layout, and the brighter tone for the newer North Terminal zone..  that said the older darker tone is quite a lot more darker on the ramps to use.

 

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I am still debating the night window lighting in this review of RIX? JustSim have done excellent terminal lighting before (EBBR-Brussels is a good example), but here at Riga it is a bit odd or is it just simply too over bright...

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Lighting 6.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Lighting 7.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Lighting 8.jpgEVRA - Riga_JustSim_Lighting 9.jpg

 

...   more odd is the fact the other terminal lighting is far too dark? I understand what JustSim are trying to achieve in creating both types of area lighting, but does it work in context? in fact the glass lighting here at RIX seems to conflict more than compliment each other.

 

EVRA - Riga_JustSim_Lighting 12.jpg

 

And the Landside arrival area again comes up short as the drop off areas are all in darkness?

 

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FBO and AirBaltic south area is really well lit, as are the Landside infrastructure buildings, Siemens and AirBaltic buildings.

 

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Navigation signage is very good, but not with any ground reflections (surprisingly), but the signage does have a worn realistic feel.

 

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_______________________

 

Summary

JustSim are known for quality scenery at a value price. This is Riga International in Lativa, and this scenery is an upgrade from the original EVRA released scenery from Oct 2017. The focus here in this upgrade has been the redone textures, to a higher and more modern quality with better PBR and the full occlusion texture baking effects, ground orthophoto images have also been upgraded as has the new vegetation and grass. Glass and building textures are beyond excellent, as is all the clutter and branded animated (also new) traffic.

 

The ground layouts have also been upgraded to the latest charts with the (Marginal) Autogate system being all very custom made and being really well done. As per any JustSim scenery as much detail has been added into the Landside area as is the focus on the Airside with the Riga Radio and TV Tower thrown in for good measure.

 

But there are a couple of nicks in all this perfection. The Landside by the arrival area of the Terminal goes Hi-Res to Lo-Res and back to Hi-Res and the area generally feels not completed, same with the missing landside terminal arrival lighting at night. The Control Tower has some nasty render scaling that creates some very bad blue border outlines that is highly visible and the terminal window lighting is either too bright or too dull to be authentic. To be fair I never reviewed the original released scenery, but mostly guess that these issues followed on to the newer v2 version.

 

Overall this another brilliant scenery from JustSim, and highly usable in any network around the Baltic Sea. As this is an upgrade to v2 and not an Update, so that means you have to repurchase the scenery to get the upgraded features, but that aspect is quite small considering the expansive changes and only a low US$5 Upgrade fee is required if you already own JustSim's v1 original scenery.

 

So another nice EVRA upgrade from JustSim, certainly a great Baltic destination that will see a lot of visits on your network, another great scenery at a great value price...   perfect!

_____________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! EVRA - Riga International Airport v2 by JustSim is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

EVRA - Riga International Airport v2

Price is US$18.50

If you already own EVRA v1 by JustSim can get this new v2 for only $5, please find the coupon code under your original EVRA v1 invoice at the X-Plane.OrgStore

 

New Feature List (v2 changelog):
  • - new high-res ground textures
  • - new parkings and apron (charts 2021)
  • - new ground equip models
  • - new surrounding models
  • - new airport nav and service models
  • - new vegetation and grass
  • - new orthophoto (latest 2020)
  • - all models now have full PBR textures
  • - COM frequencies updated
  • - ground traffic routes updates and fixed
  • - autogates LOD radius fixed
  • - minor fixes and improvements

 

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

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 757 MB
Current and Review version : 2.0 (April 5th 2021)
 
Installation
This is an extensively large download of 738Mb download to  install in your Custom Scenery folder.

 

The Install (INI) order is:

  • EVRA_Riga_JustSim_v2.0

 

Total scenery install is: 1.63Gb

 

ShortFinal Global SFD plugin is highly recommended with this scenery.

 

Documents

None

___________________________________________

 

Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

7th 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 v11.52

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 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90

Scenery or Aircraft

- Zibo Mod Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research
 

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