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Scenery Review : CYBD - Bella Coola BC by Beti-X

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CYBD - Bella Coola Header.jpg


Scenery Review : CYBD - Bella Coola BC by Beti-X


Just under three years ago in February 2014 and small art studio called Beti-x under the Aerosoft banner released a scenery called CZST - Stewart

(X-PlaneReview - Scenery Review : CZST Stewart by beti-x)


At the time Beti-x noted the CZST scenery was just a test of the X-Plane simulator and our sales potential. But the CZST scenery was a game-changer for X-Plane in the sheer quality and photographic 3d reality of the area, and it easily won the X-PlaneReview's Best Scenery of 2014 award of that year as well.


As time went on with not only all the kudos and the rave reviews of CZST - Stewart did we see any more action from beti-x, we then thought that our simulator was being passed on as we were not worthy of the time and investment for more scenery from the studio, but here we are with a completely new scenery in the first few days of 2017 with CYBD - Bella Coola and it feels like we are suddenly back in the brilliant scenery business.


Like CZST - Stewart we are best looking at where CYBD - Bella Coola BC is first to get an overview of what we are looking at.


CYBD - Bella Coola Map 1.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Map 2.jpg



Bella Coola is the really the whole Bella Coola Valley, located on the Central Coast, British Columbia. Situated 427 kilometers north of Vancouver and it adjoins the famous Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park. In charts it is to note not to confuse Bella Coola with Bella Bella (both as Campbell Island and Denny Island) as it is in the same area but more to the north-west. CZST - Stewart is far more further north along the same mountain range, but to fly between the two beti-x sceneries is not impossible with the right aircraft (not too big or not too small).


CYBD - Bella Coola Map 3.jpg



The similarities between CZST - Stewart and CYBD - Bella Coola are quite remarkable. Both are deep in a valley, and both have wide deep canyon (fjord) river systems in their western approaches and very high mountain ranges on their western flanks. CZST came with a very large area of HD scenery, and CYBD's area is even larger with 275 square kilometers of provided mountain scenery, but the central heart is the Bella Coola Valley itself with the townships Bella Coola on the Bella Coola River itself then Lower Bella Coola and the airport is 14 km distant east from the main townsite, then just past the strip is the Hagensborg township and going still further east will take you to the famous Chilcotin plateau.


First Impressions

There are two direct flights to Bella Coola with one service from Vancouver International (South Terminal) or from Anahim Lake Airport CAJ4 to the east. I departed from CAJ4.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 1.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 2.jpg


To say that CYBD is buried deep in a valley is an understatement, I'm at 8500ft and if I put my wheels down I could still collect snow from the peaks, CYBD is down there, deep down there.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 4.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 3.jpg


It is simply brilliant scenery for flying in, but you have to be totally aware of the dangers with such a deep valley to navigate down. I kept my height as I flew over CYBD to get my bearings, and it is quite hard to make out the strip from this height.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 5.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 6.jpg


But it is down there nestled close to what is left of the Bella Coola River, and it is very similiar to the CZST layout, from up here most of the townships are hidden however the view is breathtaking.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 7.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 8.jpg


I have already started to descend down to the wider form of the Bella Coola River and the coastal township appears on the bank, once over the wider water it is a task to find enough space to turn around 180º to fly back around towards the airport.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 10.jpg  CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 9.jpg


The approach is a dog leg to the right, so you have to carve your way in, in an S shape track at 1000ft, as the mountains now loom right over you.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 11.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 12.jpg


First up below you is Bella Coola itself, and the township is a wonder to behold, a slight bank to left is then required as you fly over Lower Bella Coola...


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival Flyover 16.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival Flyover 17.jpg


The Valley and scenery is dominated by one long thread that is the Highway 20 (known over most of its length as the Chilcotin - Bella Coola  Highway), that stretches from the Government Wharf on the Bella Coola River to the high Chilcotin range. In the scenery the focus on HWY 20 is that most of the buildings are associated with the road or surround it, but they make a brilliant arrival as you follow the tarmac thread below you, The detail is perfect and almost overwhelming.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival Flyover 18.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival Flyover 19.jpg


A sports ground and even wood piled on the river banks give you a sense of the Canadian countryside.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 13.jpg


But as much as you would like to enjoy the scenery, your focus is on landing at CYBD, or even in finding the airfield? The strip is buried between tall Canadian Fir, Cedar and Pine trees and there is no lead in guide at all, there is a single red light on the eastern windsock, small and mostly hidden... but something, but night operations are simply out of the question as the runway is not lit?


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 14.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 15.jpg


So you look for a hole in the trees and the river on your left (going east) which is a good guide, and there CYBD is. You then need to be as low and slow as you can to be able to drop down quickly as you clear the tree line.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 19.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 20.jpg


CYBD has one tarmac runway that is 05/23 at 4,200ft (1,280m) long (elev 117ft), and in most cases that is fine, but at CYBD, you use up a lot of the tarmac getting down to the hard stuff after clearing the trees, so your thoughts are how long an area do I have to stop or do I need another go around, it is tight but I got it right every time, so there is enough space...  just.


The approach grass part of the field is excellent as is the stone walls to your left by the river.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 21.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 22.jpg

CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 23.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 24.jpg


The Canadian Roadhouse style terminal is right in front of you as are a few hangars on the right, I really liked the Compass detailing painted on the ramp, and the huge mix of vehicles and people at the airport.


CYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 25.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Arrival 26.jpg


As arrivals go, CYBD is an impressive place to be at, and very challenging.


Beti-x  CYBD - Bella Coola

Atmospheric early arrivals are all very nice, but what do you get with the scenery besides a challenging arrival. So let us look at the airport itself first.


CYBD - Bella Coola Airport 1.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Airport 2.jpg


The strip itself is a well worn runway 05/23 situated almost east-west. It looks like it was a grass runway, but with a tarmac construction later on.


CYBD - Bella Coola Airport 3.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Airport 4.jpg


Hwy 20 curves behind the airport, and that gives you deep immersion of the scenery as it is dotted with hundreds of homesteads and farms all perfectly reproduced from the real buildings.


On the main apron is that excellent Canadian ranch house style terminal and a large hangar with a set of fuel tanks set in between.


CYBD - Bella Coola Airport 6.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Airport 5.jpg


The apron itself is perfectly reproduced and extremely realistic with wear and tear and maintenance patches, with that noted compass and heli pad.


Landside carpark has been faithfully reproduced, and with animated vehicles, the busy Hwy 20 traffic also adds to the areas buzz.


CYBD - Bella Coola Airport 7.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Airport 8.jpg


Detailing is simply exceptional...  if you went VR I think it would be perfectly real on the ground. Note the local power line poles and lighting that works.


CYBD - Bella Coola Airport 9 LG.jpg


Further up field are more hangars and buildings for General Aviation and Helicopters. Well done is the maintenance yard and 3d people just hanging around the GA hanger.


CYBD - Bella Coola Airport 14.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Airport 15.jpg

CYBD - Bella Coola Airport 10.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Airport 12.jpg


Bella Coola is famous for its giant (and therefore dangerous) Grizzly Bears, but also for HeliSkiing, which takes GoPro thrill-seeking skiers high up onto the slopes.


CYBD - Bella Coola Airport 11.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Airport 13.jpg


So the West Coast Helicopter base is here faithfully reproduced, but tight to use. There is an abundance of grass, thick and thin and expertly created fencing, it is all just overwhelming in detail.


Bella Coola Valley

East of the airport is the Hagensborg township.


CYBD - Bella Coola East 1.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola East 2.jpg


Because this scenery is so large in size at 275 square kilometers. There is no real boundary to the scenery as it just blends in to the landscape. So like in the real world you feel the populated areas by the gradual build up of buildings into a town.


CYBD - Bella Coola East 5 LG.jpg


Then the township is reproduced perfectly, and noted here by the town store, petrol station and lodge.


CYBD - Bella Coola East 3.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola East 7.jpg

CYBD - Bella Coola East 6.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola East 4.jpg


Going west you just follow Hwy 20.


CYBD - Bella Coola West 2.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola West 1.jpg


The whole 14km distance is populated with buildings along the highway, not easy to do with so many different styles and farmlet designs, but it is all here...  with every single building.


Next township is he smaller Lower Bella Coola. Here the town is dominated by Mamayu (butterfly) building. 


CYBD - Bella Coola West 5 LG.jpg


CYBD - Bella Coola West 4.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola West 6.jpg

CYBD - Bella Coola West 3.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola West 7.jpg


And a power generation station like the same in Stewart, important detail.


Finally at the entrance to the Bella Coola Valley is the township of Bella Coola itself...


CYBD - Bella Coola West 8 LG.jpg


CYBD - Bella Coola West 9.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola West 15.jpg


The biggest building in the township is the green roofed Hospital and Medical centre, otherwise it is a place of ramshackled housing and apartments. Plenty of hotels to stay in and a few churches to pray in. 


CYBD - Bella Coola West 14.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola West 13.jpg


Some of the graphic ground detail here is not as scaled as in other areas like the airport and looks more buzzy at 50 cm per pixel and not as street walking realistic as the airport at 02 cm per pixel, but still workable considering the size of the scenery .


CYBD - Bella Coola West 10.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola West 12.jpg


But every building in the town is here and reproduced in detail.


CYBD - Bella Coola West 11.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola West 17.jpg


Hwy 20 Ends at Government Wharf that is also reproduced here and is ideal for Float Planes to dock at.


CYBD - Bella Coola West 16.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola West 18.jpg


In context this is a huge area of scenery to reproduce, but the detail is as noted very overwhelming, it is at least double the size of Stewart with just as much or if more internal detail.


The only thing I will note is that there isn't many other airports close to CYBN, certainly of any size or of value. So flying from point to point is restricted and even the closest in Bella Bella Campbell Island (CBBC) doesn't have any X-Plane scenery to use and neither is there any for Anahim Lake Airport CAJ4 either? (hint).


Winter Textures

We haven't finished yet with the area surrounds!


X-Plane does now have a built seasons system, but it is not yet refined or completely active. So if you want a winter look you can use a set of Winter textures by xFlyer called Winter_Package or Simple Seasons. This set of textures is used with a MODS program that switches over the textures without messing about in root files, and the program is a windows program called Generic Mod Enabler or JSGME Generic Mod Enabler. The JSGME will work with the Mac, but you have to run it with Wine, and it works very well as I have used that system for years.


You add in the supplied CYBD Winter textures to the Root file (top) of the MOD enabler. Then when you run the MOD enabler you switch over the folders from left to right and to reverse the season right to left. All the details of this set up and operation are provided by Beti-x in the manual.


CYBD - Bella Coola winter files 1.jpg

CYBD - Bella Coola winter files 2.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola winter files 3.jpg


The results are winter wonderland spectacular!


CYBD - Bella Coola winter 1.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola winter 2.jpg


The apron is turned into an ice ring, and note the snow on the terminal and buildings roofs, beautiful.


You will need to turn the heater up in the plane to keep warm, and finding your way to the runway is harder with the snowy edges and the frozen ice.


CYBD - Bella Coola winter 3.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola winter 4.jpg


And once airborne the landscape is a spectacular sight...


CYBD - Bella Coola winter 5 LG.jpg


I followed the Bella Coola Valley back out to the west... over lower Bella Coola and then Bella Coola itself.


CYBD - Bella Coola winter 6.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola winter 7.jpg


The MOD certainly gave you a far wider choice of options in flying into and around CYBD, either by fixed-wing or Heli services.


CYBD - Bella Coola winter 8.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola winter 9.jpg


The snow and ice coverage was excellent, and it gives you the perfect flying winter scenario to immerse yourself into the season.



All night operations are of course "Verboten" at CYBD, but doesn't stop you having very early morning atmospheric departures from the airport.


The dark runways make it gloomy at night but the apron and terminal are very well done to excellent if quite low key.


CYBD - Bella Coola Night 9 LG.jpg


CYBD - Bella Coola Night 1.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Night 2.jpg


Street lighting is excellent, but mostly the scenery is just window lighting of a remote outpost in the wilderness.


CYBD - Bella Coola Night 3.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Night 4.jpg


CYBD - Bella Coola Night 6.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Night 7.jpg


Where required the lighting detail is very good...


CYBD - Bella Coola Night 10.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Night 11.jpg


...          But mostly this is Sleepy Hollow.


CYBD - Bella Coola Night 5.jpgCYBD - Bella Coola Night 8.jpg



First few days of the New Year 2017 and it looks like it already that the "Best" scenery of the year is already won, and by a long mile. Sorry to all the other really hard working scenery developers, but Beti-x is a a total level above everyone else in detail and sheer area cover in objects and all at a high quality at that.


Beti-x's CZST - Stewart was a revelation, and CYBD - Bella Coola is in the same league if not a notch above, but the sheer scale of the scenery for detail is absurd and this scenery is also cheaper than their CZST -Stewart which is insane.


Texture quality is overall excellent, but some signs are a bit blurry.


The very good news is that Beti-x is back...  on the scene and still making scenery for X-Plane. Even if one of their sceneries only comes along once in a while, you know it will be an event and a scenery to use and savour.


Overall CYBD - Bella Coola is totally brillant, and highly usable with excellent value, but watch out for one of the locals...  he is pretty mean and it is still his territory!






X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! the CYBD - Bella Coola scenery by Beti-x is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

CYBD - Bella Coola


Price is US$24.00

  • Faithful replica of the real airport with HD buildings and pre-rendered ambient occlusion
  • Airport surroundings with handcrafted ground imagery with a resolution of 2cm per pixel
  • Surrounding Photoscenery at a resolution of 50 cm per pixel covering an area of over 275 square kilometers
  • Volumetric grass
  • Hand placed 3D animated trees and other custom objects
  • The architecture of the buildings fits in precisely with this location
  • Winter version included
  • 1GB of pure High-detailed fun
  • X-Plane 10 and X-Plane 11 compatible





It is important to understand how the beti-x scenery in Bella Coola is assembled in X-Plane.


The download package is a huge 1.12gb and expands to a massive 2.35gb when installed. So you have to make sure you have the space to install the scenery.


Three folders are installed in your "Custom Scenery" Folder and must be in this order...


BetiX - CYBD_A

BetiX - CYBD_B_Overlay

BetiX - CYBD_C_Roads

BetiX - CYBD_D_Mesh


If using HD Mesh Scenery v3 from Andras Fabian, or any other mesh add-on, make sure that in the scenery_packs.ini hierarchy, they are lower than our four directories and the above main file hierarchy is correct.


You will also need to have your "runways to follow contours" checkbox on (render settings). If not you will have buildings situated halve way buried under the ground and trailers floating (levitating) in the air...  I recommend to do all your installation and settings and then restart X-Plane from scratch to make sure they all reload in the correct order.


Note: this review was done in X-Plane10, the scenery will work fine in X-Plane11, but currently as X-Plane11 is still in beta (b3), X-PlaneReview's will not switch over until there is a stable release version.




Manual (very good) .pdf (10 Pages)


Requirements :

X-Plane 10.50+ or X-Plane 11+

Windows, Mac or Linux
1Gb VRAM Minimum. 4GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 1Gb
Note: it is a big area scenery, but I found no framerate issues as the scenery is very efficient.


Review by Stephen Dutton

6th January 2017

Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 / Checked install in X-Plane11b3

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders : Environment Engine by xEnviro

Scenery or Aircraft

- Bonanza F33A HD Series by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95



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2 hours ago, Guest DaveLTB said:

Really nice review.

FYI the link from the X-Plane.org shop leads to a 404.

You might want to notify Nicholas.


Greetings from Cape Town

Dave Britzius


Fixed...  Strange? but it has been one of those weeks. SD

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1 hour ago, KLOSURDO said:

Just Curious, Do you know if the winter mods using the JSGME work in XP-11 as well?


Don't see why not, only thing to note is that the winter textures are a few years old now, with no updates... SD

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Guest jorge t said:

does anybody knows if the BELLA COOLA works with x plane 10 north america not the global?



I am going to assume you mean the HD AlpilotX scenery for North America? It doesn't really matter what scenery is in there as Bella Coola comes with a large swath of area anyway, but it should easily fit in with the HD format. SD

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