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Scenery Review : LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft

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LLBG_Ben Gurion_Header 2.jpg


Scenery Review : LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft


I have never flown to Israel, flown over it at 40,000ft...  but never actually landed there. X-Plane has been slowly migrating closer though. In the last few years a lot of Mediterranean ports have been popping up in Greece, Turkey and Cypress, but not actually in Israel itself... head of the eastern Mediterranean push has been Aerosoft, in fact in their last release was actuall Turkey with the mega LTFM Airport Istanbul XP which is basically in your own Israeli backyard.


The Israeli release for X-Plane is a direct conversion of the PrePar3D David Rosenfeld creation. But still updated with the Terminal 3 and the old Terminal 1 buildings (expansion of Terminal 1, which has a new dedicated domestic flights terminal, and a major expansion of Terminal 3), the SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) plugin is also used to replace the SODE animated jetway system in P3D.


An important note is that now you also have to use the new "Aerosoft One" application to install and manage your Aerosoft X-Plane scenery installations (You also have to create an account if you don't have one). It will also install the latest SAM v3.0 plugin as well... but it doesn't work correctly? I had to reinstall v2.0 to get the gates to (work and) line up correctly with the aircraft?


Ben Gurion Airport is commonly known by its Hebrew acronym as Natbag (נתב״ג), and the airport is the main international airport of Israel and the busiest one in the country. The airport is located on the northern outskirts of the city of Lod, about 45 km (28 mi) northwest of Jerusalem and 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv. Originally named Lod Airport, it was renamed in 1973 after David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister.


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Notable is that here I am using the SFD (ShortFinal) Global object addon. It creates (in this case) Middle-Eastern bright white autogen to replace the American/European default autogen... and here it works brilliantly (The default autogen US look is below as a comparison), so it is a well worth considering addition.


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The airport began during the British Mandate for Palestine as an airstrip of two unpaved runways on the outskirts of the town of Lydda (now Lod), near the Templer colony of Wilhelma. It was built in 1934, largely at the urging of Airwork Services. The first passenger service at the new airport was the Misr Airwork route Cairo—Lydda—Nicosia, inaugurated on 3 August 1935. Subsequently, Misr flew via Lydda to Haifa and Baghdad. The first continental European airline with a regular service to Lydda was LOT Polish Airlines since 4 April 1937.


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Ben Gurion Airport

נמל התעופה בן-גוריון‎

مطار بن غوريون الدولي


LLGB Airport layout.jpg

03/21 - 2,772m (9,094ft) Asphalt

08/26  - 4,062m (13,327ft) Asphalt

12/30 - 3,112m (10,210ft) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL 134 ft / 41 m


The airport layout is really in two separate areas, the newer Terminal 3 (28 October 2004) and the older original Terminal 1 (1958). Other areas are in Terminal 2 which was inaugurated in 1969, but later incorporated into Terminal 1...  Also Terminal 4 was built in 1999, which was meant to handle the crowds expected in 2000, but it was never officially opened.


Terminal 3

Terminal 3, which opened on 28 October 2004, replaced Terminal 1 as the main international gateway to and from Israel. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) - Moshe Safdie & Associates - TRA (now Black and Veatch) and was designed as a linking structure with the Airside departure areas and gates in a central hub and concourse spoke arrangement.


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The hub (and the icon of the airport) is dominated by a rotunda, with an inverted dome on top, which is pierced by an oculus through which a waterfall flows down into forming a fountain into the open terminal and shopping area space below.


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Each Concourse is noted by a letter...  B (Stands B2-B9), C (Stands C2-C9), D (Stands D2-D9) and E (Stands E2-E9)


Concourse B

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Concourse C

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Concourse D

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Concourse E

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In reality each concourse and gate/airbridge layout is identical, so there are no differential points or areas to highlight.


The only difference, is that Concourses B, C and D all have the covered logo "Bank Hapoalim" airbidges, were as E has the open glass airbidges, and note the excellent airbridge layout arrangements.... all airbridges are SAM - "Scenery Animation Manager "powered and active.


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All glass is excellent with lovely green tinted see though glass on the concourses. The interior is basic, but again well done visually from the external.


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All ground clutter is local, EL-AL and Israeli branded, and really well done... there are a few animated vehicles but they are certainly not overwhelming, but there is movement around the ramps.


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The main arrival terminal is well done, and is connected to two large carparks by overhead walkways. Certainly not ultra detailed, the landside is a bit bland in an overall sandy stone colourless feel...  the roads don't help in being photo based but not as washed out as most Aerosoft branded landsides, but a few dark coloured roadways and signage would have certainly helped in the visual department.


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Main terminal glass is not see-through, but it is still well done to be very realistic and match well in with the other area see-through glass installations (important).


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Part of the main Terminal 3 complex is the Ben Gurion Airport Air Traffic Control Tower which is an 18-story airport tower set at 100 meters height. A visually nice design the main tower has been nicely and perfectly recreated here.


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The control work area looks nice, but on closer inspection there are no internals, and you can still see the airport through the floor of the control room? The X-Plane tower view as per usual Aerosoft is not set correctly, but it is positioned away on the frame of a (working) radar tower?


At TLV there are three towers altogether, the main one here and the two smaller ramp towers, one between C and D concourses, and one on the end of the unfinished Terminal 4 complex (both arrowed below).


LLBG_Ben Gurion_Terminal 3_Tower 5.jpg


Terminal 1

The original Lod Airport Terminal, was closed in 2003 and then re-opened in 2007 as a VIP and domestic terminal following extensive renovations to cater for summer charter and low-cost flights. The older terminal area sits at the cross position at the threshold of runways of both RWY 03 and RWY 30, and both hold points can be accessed directly from the Terminal 1 aprons.


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The original classic building has been almost totally swallowed up by the larger new external structures, but the old control tower designates were it is positioned in context to the later extensions.


LLBG_Ben Gurion_Terminal 1_5.jpgLLBG_Ben Gurion_Terminal 1_3.jpg


The old walk on-walk off layout has been replaced by buses to ferry passengers out to the remote stands, notably Apron N (Stands N11-N24), Apron L (Stands L1-L6 with L4A,L4B and L5A) - note stands K1, K3 and K5 (wrongly numbered in the scenery?) are used with the EL-Al Maintenance area, and Apron J (Stands J1 - J13). 


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Prominent is the VIP (Masada Lounge) and Elite (Fattal Terminal) building on the western end of the Terminal Complex.


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The EL-AL maintenance facility is very big, with one major maintenance hangar and two medium sized hangers and facilities, internal detail of the hangers is all very good and the hangers are highly usable.


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Cargo is not a big facility here at TLV (Swissaport Cargo), but just a few warehouses on the N Apron... the stands are incorrectly numbered in the B category, not the official chart N category, which shows the age of the original scenery. Notable that behind the Cargo centre on the main entrance to the Terminal 1 zone is the Memorial Monument to Khativa 8.


LLBG_Ben Gurion_Terminal 1_12.jpgLLBG_Ben Gurion_Terminal 1_13.jpgLLBG_Ben Gurion_Infrastructure 1.jpg


Terminal 4

This terminal, built in 1999, and was meant to handle the crowds expected in 2000, but it was never officially opened. To date, it has only been used as a terminal for passengers arriving from Asia during the SARS epidemic. Another use for the terminal was for the memorial ceremonies upon the arrival of the casket of Col. Ilan Ramon after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in February 2003 and the arrival of Elhanan Tannenbaum and the caskets of 3 Israeli soldiers from Lebanon in January 2004.


The apron is Apron EHS, but the designations are A (Stands A1-A9 with B options). Overall the modeling is excellent, and the form of the building in it's non-completed state is also very authentic, there is a powerplant facility at the rear of the Terminal.


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Parallel east on RWY 03/21 is Taxiway T that morphs into a remote stand area called V2, this adjoins another remote stand area V1, mostly both for aircraft long-term parking... the Yellow hanger is a very visual point of reference of the airfield, certainly for RWYs 03 and 21.


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To the far east of the field are several off airport Infrastructure zones...  both are very good in giving the area a fill out the look and feel of the airport (which is basically the job of these Infrastructure style objects)...  one area is situated directly behind the V1 and V2 aprons...


LLBG_Ben Gurion_Infrastructure 2.jpgLLBG_Ben Gurion_Infrastructure 3.jpg


....  and a lot of Infrastructure coverage is provided, however the orthophoto underlays runs out quite early and exposing the buildings to a blank textured area, and it is quite noticeable....  the second Infrastructure zone called the "Airport City Business Park" is positioned on the main entrance to the Terminal 1 zone, which includes the Avenue Conference Center, Hevel Modiin Cultural Hall, DHL and AT&T Israel with others which are all represented here... again however the orthophoto textures runs out early and that visual aspect is highly visible on the Rwy 30 approach.


LLBG_Ben Gurion_Infrastructure 4.jpgLLBG_Ben Gurion_Infrastructure 5.jpg



Overall the lighting looks good, but there is a lot of the original boring FlightSim window lighting that again shows the original age of the scenery.


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Areas were the X-Plane lighting has been added in is actually very good... and it is nice and bright down on the ramps, and the carparks are well lit in a lighter tone... 


LLBG_Ben Gurion_Lighting_5.jpgLLBG_Ben Gurion_Lighting_6.jpg


...   however two areas do stand out. The Landside area in front of the arrival terminal is a black hole, odd because most areas including the inverted dome is nicely lit. Another annoyance is the control tower windows are lit, not brightly thank god, but still highly visible.


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Terminal 1 is again very early FlightSim in lighting, but the signage is good...


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...  Infrastructure lighting is basic, but the EL-AL hanger looks good especially with the well lit internal areas.


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Navigation signage is bright and clear, but not ground reflective.


Ground Textures

Textures are good, but are a bit Lo-Res, there is not that sharp detail, but a sort of slight blurriness that says "formulaic" more than detailed quality. Join lines are a but a bit too straight and harsh to be realistic, but overall you are not going to notice it all too much.


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Ditto the textures in wet reflection, the PBR is there, but not very active and reflections were very hard to create, with still a sort of flatness and no realistic concrete or asphalt grooves...  passable again.


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The famous "Aerosoft Grass" is widely used, but some and mostly the inner areas are only pure textures, unfortunately you notice it?


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ATC Routes

Not refined are the X-Plane ATC routes. (Global Traffic) the developers note; "The X-Plane Default AI Traffic is not supported", so aircraft are popping their tails up in the air, aircraft are appearing through buildings, and Cargo aircraft are sitting at passenger terminals and vice-versa? not at all very realistic!


LLBG_Ben Gurion_ATC_1.jpg



There are not many Israeli sceneries in X-Plane. Now Aerosoft has released Airport Ben Gurion XP, which is situated close to both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and it is the largest airport in Israel. This scenery is a conversion of the PrePar3D David Rosenfeld version. The airport is named after David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister and the Hebrew acronym as Natbag (נתב״ג).


The airport is basically two areas in one with the new Terminal 3 and the older Terminal 1 complex now a LCC and VIP terminal. Modeling is very good, certainly the hub and concourse spoke Terminal 3, with the inverted dish as a central focus, glass is also exceptional with modeled interiors on the end of the spokes. SAM active airbridges are available at each terminal stands and all are nicely Israeli logoed or clear.


All the auxiliary areas are well covered, with the semi-built Terminal 4, the EL-Al Maintenance area, Apron N Cargo area and all surrounding Infrastructure...  detail wise the scenery is very good, and very well done.


But the original FlightSim source material does show, being typical Aerosoft, as usual they miss the finer areas of X-Plane. Night Glass is and looks old, blank texture areas (some with placed objects on top). Ground textures are good but not exceptional, and the ATC routes are not at all refined. A lot of the stand lettering and numbering is also wrong to current ground charts. The SFD (ShortFinal) Global object addon is however highly recommended here at TLV.


First time in Israel, and I really like what I see... this is a typical but very good Aerosoft scenery, yes a few FlightSim foibles do show through and they are noticeable, but overall this Tel Aviv scenery is well worth adding to your collection as an excellent destination from any European port...   yes highly Recommended.



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! the LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


Airport Ben Gurion XP

Price is US$24.99


  •     Accurate Terminal 3 and the old Terminal 1 buildings, Concourse, hangars, towers, and airport layout
  •     Dynamic Lighting
  •     Detailed animated jetway models (using SAM plug-in)
  •     Detailed ground markings
  •     High resolution (7cm-30cm pixel) photoreal ground textures
  •     Thousands of accurate hand-placed autogen objects
  •     Fully optimized for smooth simulation experience


X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Current and Review Version : 1.0  (September 20th 2021)

Installation and documents:

Installation is via the NEW  "Aerosoft One" application, account is required. Scenery uses an Alias (zero bytes) pointer file. Hard disk: 2 GB of free disk space is required, Installed version is 1.95Gb


  • Aerosoft - LLBG Ben Gurion Airport


SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery (SAM Version 3 is available but it didn't work with the scenery?)



Manual is provided (20 Pages) in German and English. Manual is available in a pdf download though the Aerosoft One" application.

  • Manual_BenGurion_XP_de-en_web



Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

14th October 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 Right 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 v11.55

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic GlobalJustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 - Free

Scenery or Aircraft

- None-


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