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City Scenery Review : Washington XP by Drzewiecki Design

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City Scenery Review : Washington XP by Drzewiecki Design


Channel your inner Frank Underwood and build your own "House of Cards'. Go all out to "Own this Town!" as this town is Washington D.C, the powerhouse of political power and runaway egos. And now you can with the release of Drzewiecki Design's "Washington XP" and the XP denotes this scenery is for X-Plane.


I was immensely impressed by Drzewiecki Design's "Moscow City XP" scenery, but Moscow isn't exactly close to most of your local routes, unless you are Russian. But Washington is very handy.


I am on a bit of a crusade on supporting city sceneries. They are strange creatures in the fact they don't really do anything in an active way like an airport scenery does, they are quite frankly just nice visual aspects to admire and absorb while you fly. But they are in context as much as an important contribution to the simulator as the airports and aircraft themselves than everyone takes for granted. Worse I have seen that this area as one of the real points of neglect in X-Plane and mostly by developers, as there is simply no point in having one of the best sceneries you can buy next to a major city, and no visualization of the city to introduce you to the airport...  for me that sense of arrival or the point of departure over a credible landscape is just as important as any other factor of simulation. In this area X-Plane has been very poor, and it is even to barren to far worse in Asia where you land to an open flat lifeless world.


Another point is that the actual city scenery has to be good as well, a few nice well positioned tall buildings is not a city built, as each city has it's own very unique character with outlined skyline and that character has to come through in feeling and with a visual statement.


For Drzewiecki Design they seem to have taken up the niche of creating credible city sceneries. With New York, Miami, Warsaw, Moscow, and now Washington, so how good is this latest city in Washington in adding to the collection.



There are a few notes on installation and so we will cover that area first. This review is run in X-Plane11 with the object settings most set to the highest positions. So if you can do this then I recommend that. Framerate is actually very good for the insane amount of objects on show here, and newer more denser X-Plane11 autogen is a huge advantage in the visual aspect of the scenery, so I recommend X-Plane11 to get the full visual impact of the scenery, also to note that "runways follow terrain contours" select-box is turned on.


There are two types of download with an Installer .exe package for Windows and Folders for Mac and Linux. The folder package has to installed in the right order to work correctly.


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The Windows installer is very good. First you have to agree to Drzewiecki Design's license agreement. Then select either X-Plane10 or X-Plane11 and then you have a choice to either have static aircraft in the scenery on or off. You can return here later to turn off the static aircraft if you wish to not have them displayed in the future. Another note was that I didn't see the option of where to install the scenery if you have more than one copy of the simulator on the desktop?


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Installation is DD Washington XP layer1 and DD Washington XP layer2 in that order with the DD Washington XP Documents (Manual) in no really important role on the install, if you want you can remove that folder.


Drzewiecki Design does also have an objects library in "000 Drzewiecki DesignLibrary" that I already have installed, but there are no notes if that is required here?


Washington XP

The scenery package comes with the city scenery of Washington D.C. and its iconic buildings, including the Capitol Building, The White House, Supreme Court, Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials, Washington Monument, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Castle and for "Get Smart" fans the "International Spy Museum"! and altogether there are 1500 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas and other objects.


Airports are included as well with: KDCA Washington National Airport (Ronald Regan), KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport. Helipads included are: White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital.


First Impressions

My first look at Washington lived up to one of the area's names in "Foggy Bottom"...


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The city is known for it's murky dealings so it felt actually appropriate. No doubt X-Plane11 can now create a very atmospheric feel to X-Plane. But I suppose you would want in this review a more clearer view of Washington.


City Overview

Great X-Plane autogen allows for virtually no boundary between the actual scenery and the installed scenery, so the overview of Washington is spectacular.


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And efficient as well, as I was getting 40 frames with this view.


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So your first impressions are "wow", yes the Washington scenery is this good. In any scenery of this scale there has to be some sort of realistic expectations. Nobody more than me would like detailed suburbs and local elements recognised and displayed, but that is not simply possible...   well not yet anyway. But the underlying OSM (Open Street Maps) maps built into the X-Plane simulator do really help here to define the city in its structure and feel, and here it works for you very well.


Most Capitol cities have a defining iconic location and in Washington it is "The Mall".


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Your city scenery can hinge on just one area to represent the iconic view of the city. If it succeeds then the whole of the scenery succeeds, but get it wrong or create it with poor textures and your scenery is going to fail. In this Washington XP view of the mall the viewpoint is beyond successful and in the right light like above it is very realistic...  impressive.


The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol Hill are perfect, as is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the approach. A note that Drzewiecki Design has not added in the 14th Street bridge but simply allowed the X-Plane traffic to flow freely on the autogen bridges, I think this is a wise choice here, as it looks more natural in context.


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All the Mall's buildings are individually detailed and created, including all the Smithsonian Museums and Castle.


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The Federal Triangle, U.S Navy Buildings, National Archives Building and most Washington downtown buildings have been reproduced. Noted they are not detailed, detailed here but they are very good representations of the buildings.


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Both Libraries of Congress (John Adams in the foreground) and all the governmental buildings that a capitol requires is included.


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One building that does standout however is the Washington National Cathedral far in the distance up west of downtown Washington.


Capitol Hill

Think of Washington and the icon it is most known for is Donald Trump's hair...  No not him!...    The Capitol building on Capitol Hill.


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And the reproduction of the Capitol Building is very impressive.


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There is a lot of work in this building, detailing is excellent, extremely realistic even at close quarters, I love the copper roofing on the Representative and Senate Houses. This is outstanding design.


The White House

Another Icon is of course the White House.


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Until as many note Trump ruins it, "The White House" is the most famous building in America, some say Graceland (Elvis Presley) in Memphis is now more famous but the design is the same colonial age anyway. The famous "West Wing" is well produced, and the Navy One is sitting on the North Lawn ready. Overall the same excellent design as the Capitol Building and it is photographically perfect.


You can also visit the Oval Office to collect your own "Make American Great Again" cap from POTUS himself.


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West over the Potomac River is the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City with the Arlington National Cemetery also shown.


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The Pentagon is also perfect, and the reproduction of office buildings and apartment complexes behind the complex do a great job of filling out the scenery. A big mistake from most city scenery developers is they do the central Icons which is fine, but without these skyline buildings and towers the scenery can look empty, but that is not the case here as the more mundane areas that mostly make up cites are also addressed as well.


So overall the Washington centre is excellent in every area, a flyover is a must.


Washington The Mall 10.jpgWashington Lincoln Memorial.jpg


KDCA - Ronald Regan Washington National Airport

The main airport included in the package is the central Ronald Regan Washington National Airport. I still call it "National" as that name was originally "Hoover Field" but from 1941 it was always Washington National.


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Both of my most favorite approaches is north and south into RWYs 01/19, they are exciting and visually very good, they can be challenging as well if the weather is poor, which it is most of the time. Sadly Washington's other major airport in Dulles is not included in this package, but it is available on the X-Plane.Org and details are below.


Washington DCA 2.jpgWashington DCA 1.jpg


DCA is excellent, but doesn't have a lot of X-Plane special effects like animated airbridges or vehicles. There is however a lot of objects on the ground and that does at least fill in the scenery that could have felt empty and bland.


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Main DCA terminal has been well recreated in pure 3d modelling, with real see-through glass and a built in walk through interior.


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The terminal's historic intriguing roof structure is very well done both inside and externally, so it looks realistic.


Control Tower is great as well and looks correct. Tower view works...  just, only don't look up for the struts showing in your view.


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But the runway views are fine and that is important here, as the approaches are worth the excellent views over the city of Washington.


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Overall DCA is very good, and a worthy addition to your collection.


Additional Airports

Other airports included in the package are: KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport. Helipads included are: White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital are all positioned over the Potomac in Maryland southeast of the central Washington area.


KADW - Joint Base Andrews

Andrews AFB is the entry and departure point for not only POTUS (President of the United States) but incoming heads of state or delegates, so the airport hosts and is the base for 89th Airlift Wing with both the Air Force Ones in VC-25A's which are modified 747-200B's (Serial SAM28000 and SAM29000, SAM is Special Air Mission)  and the Boeing C32's (Boeing 757) Air Force Two aircraft. It is not just the main governmental aircraft that are based here but all the logistic aircraft also required to transport the higher governmental heads and brass.

And chances are that if an alien attack did head for Washington, then no doubt the fight as noted in numerous Hollywood dramas will start and possibly end on this base.


Considering the sheer scale of the importance of Andrews AFB, the airport is quite stark.


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Mostly the scenery consists of a selection of large hangars on both sides of parallel runways 01L/19R 9,300ft (2,835m) and 01R/19L 9,755ft (2,973).


Both VC-25A's are noted here, but there very little else in aircraft or equipment. Certainly not a bustling Airforce or Naval base. Note the ajoining Golf Course,


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Washington GA Airfields

All the smaller GA airfields have grass and are fenced in. Small additions to the extra scenery, but with great benefits here. All building/hangar textures are not high quality and have a low resolution, but they are workable for scenery usage. All the fields are quite picturesque and are well worth visiting.


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KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport

Both airports in KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport or Hyde Field are parallel and right next to each other.


Washington KVKX - W32.jpg


And so it would be very easy in not mixing them up and using the wrong runway?  But W32 has the larger runway of the two at RWY 5/23 3,000ft (914m) long were as KVKX is RWY 6/24 2,665ft (812m) long. And both are part of the "Maryland 3" airports located within the Washington area with KCGS Collage Park below. This is the D.C. Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), in that these airports are subject to the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) restrictions imposed by the FAA after the 9/11 Attacks.


W32 Washington Executive Airport

The biggest GA/Exec airport of the GA fields. Not much here but a few hangars and offices. Also known as Hyde Field it was originally an Army aviation training field, and it still has the older style military buildings, but it is no gleaming executive facility.


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KVKX Potomac Airfield

Potomac Field is only 1.10 nautical miles (1.27 mi) west of W32 and was formally known as "Friendly". Not much here except some storage hangars and parking areas.


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KCGS College Park Airport

College Park Airport has an interesting history. The field was established in August 1909, and civilian aircraft began flying from College Park Airport as early as December 1911, making it the world's oldest continuously operated airport. In 1977 the airport was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The field was also used to develop and test the first radio navigational aids for use in "blind" or bad weather flying. This was the forerunner of the modern Instrument Landing System used today by aircraft.


Runway is 15/33 2,607ft (795m) long, but has significant lead in areas on both ends.


There is a museum reproduced here on site called the College Park Aviation Museum that first opened to the public in 1981, and houses antique and reproduction aircraft associated with the history of College Park Airport. The museum was updated in September 12, 1998, and includes a 90-seat auditorium, a non-circulating appointment-only library, gift shop, museum offices, and a replica of the original 1909 College Park Airport hangar.


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There is a spare Naval Seaking on the other side of the field. And rail lines along the boundary gives the field some action.


Scenery Lighting

Night lighting in most city sceneries are mostly average, and yet this view is important. The Washington XP lighting is between very good to fair and fine if you don't get in to close for detail.


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Thankfully the main Washington monuments are well lit, so that is a huge benefit to the overall night time view of the city.


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For the city's buildings it is not bad, but not very imaginative lighting either, so "workable" is the main thing that comes to mind. Overall the city's lighting is slightly dull or dark.


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Pentagon and Crystal City towers are not bad in being more realistic, but thankfully default traffic lighting does help throughout the whole scenery.


KDCA at night is average.


Washington Lighting KDCA 4.jpgWashington Lighting KDCA 1.jpg


The ramp areas are well lit...


Washington Lighting KDCA 3.jpgWashington Lighting KDCA 2.jpg


But the terminal is in...   "Terminal Darkness" and not very realistic. Drzewiecki Design's night glass textures have always been bland, as they are again here. Mostly flat and dull and quite unattractive, it is overall at DCA average lighting and not very imaginative or diverse.



Looking at the broad-strokes then Washington XP is absolutely excellent, a must have scenery in your collection. You get a lot of area covered for your money as well as the full area covered includes McLean – Newington – Cheltenham - College Park districts, and the main central Washington downtown area.


All the iconic buildings are well covered here with important Capitol Hill and The White House as standout sceneries, the Capitol Building itself is a major classic piece of work.


Airports are well covered with KDCA, Andrews JBA and smaller W23, KVKX and the famous College Park, but no KIAD - Dulles.


The most significant point of city sceneries is just a simple fact...  visual. To convey a feeling of place or area, and in this main point the scenery succeeds perfectly. Now on any approach to DCA you will be transfixed by the views around you, This scenery completes and makes Washington now one of the great arrivals in X-Plane.

I can't expound a more powerful point in why these sceneries are so important to the simulator, because without them, you have no sense of place or being in the X-Plane world. Flying aircraft is what the simulator is of course all about, but the dimension of real world realism in where and in the moment visually as you fly to has a huge bearing on the full experience of simulation as well.

So support city sceneries and your X-Plane world will be far more better place with them than without them.


Positives : Excellent City Visuals, All Washington Icons and Monuments are included, Great Frame-rate for the mass of objects included, many important surrounding areas are also included, overall great value.


Negatives : DCA not bad, but Andrews is a bit bland, Night lighting at DCA is average and overall the city could be brighter, Smaller airport textures are a more lower resolution, No X-Plane animations in vehicles or airbridges.



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


The Washington XP by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

Washington XP


Your Price: US$30.00
Scenery Features:
  • Washington, D.C. scenery with about 1500 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas and other objects, all with night textures
  • Large scenery area (McLean – Newington – Cheltenham - College Park) with night and seasonal textures and a detailed autogen
  • Detailed scenery of KDCA Washington National Airport, with terminal interiors, detailed ground markings, static aircraft, native X-Plane reflections etc.
  • Lite sceneries of KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport with custom-made all airport buildings and realistic ground poly layer.
  • Many helipads and heliports including White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital and more.
  • Recommended for X-Plane11 for more advanced features.


Requirements :

X-Plane 10 or X-Plane 11+
Windows, Mac, Linux
1Gb VRAM Video Card - 3Gb+ VRAM highly Recommended
Download size: 600Mb
Framerate is excellent for the density of the scenery, but still subject to computer system standards

Installation and documents:

Download for the Washington XP is 555.30mb and the unzipped files are deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder...


DD-Washington XP Layer1 (1.75K)

DD-Washington XP Layer2 (1.50GB)

DD-Washington Documents (Manual)


Note... scenery must be set in that above order to work correctly, full Windows .exe installer is included (Install noted above)


KIAD - Dulles is available from the X-Plane.Org (Free) here : KIAD - Washington Dulles International Airport 3.3


Static aircraft can be switched on or off via the installer.



Review by Stephen Dutton
30th March 2017
Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews
(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 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 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52

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

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90


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  • 3 months later...

I'm sorry to say that I did not have the same experience - It did not work for me.  Would appreciate any help. Spent several hours following the coding instructions without luck.  I would not buy unless you have experience or support from the vendor.

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I noted in the review? "Note... scenery must be set in that above order to work correctly"...  you must have layer1 above layer2? or the ground textures will cover the objects. You need to go to your .ini in the custom scenery folder and cut and paste them into the right order...  in fact most sceneries with layers require them to be in the correct order? SD



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