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Scenery Review : PAWD - Seward Airport, Alaska by NorthernSkyStudios


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PAWD Seward - Header.jpg

 

Scenery Review : PAWD - Seward Airport, Alaska by NorthernSkyStudios

 

Owing to its position at the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad and the well-developed road links to Anchorage and the rest of the Kenai Peninsula, Seward City is both a major northern end-port for several major cruise ship lines that host Alaskan cruises, such as Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Celebrity Cruises, and a common destination for general Alaskan tourism. Huge glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield into the local coastal fjords and the township itself is surrounded by peaks, the adjoining fjords are also a whale and porpoise habitat. To the west, a trail leads to the summit of Mount Marathon (1,471 m). The Mount Marathon Race is a famous mountain race that is run every Fourth of July up the mountain.

 

NorthernSkyStudios are alternating between scenery based in the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska. In Hawaii the releases lately have covered PHMU - Waimea-Kohala, PHOG - Kahului and PHJH - Kapalua Airports. In Alaska the last release was so much a favorite of mine in that X-PlaneReviews quickly covered it in a review; PAEN - Kenai Municipal Airport, situated just west of Anchorage.

 

Here is their next scenery in PAWD - Seward Airport, which is directly on the other side of the same Kenai Peninsula (Dena'ina: Yaghenen) from Kenai, and a really great companion scenery to the earlier NorthernSky PAEN - Kenai Municipal Airport...  so we will start there, and fly over to the newer PAWD - Seward scenery.

 

PAEN-Kenai to PAWD-Seward Airport

My aircraft today is the excellent Thranda Design C208B Caravan. In taking a little bit of cargo out to the more eastern and remote Seward airport.

 

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There is no doubt the NorthernSky Kenai is still a deeply impressive scenery and well worth exploring, certainly a must have if you love your remote bush flying escapades.

So what is the trick or the value of good scenery? If an addon scenery can recreate the exact look and feel of a place, in other words, place you in an another completely different environ but a real representative of that actual place. Then it is doing of what you want you want that scenery to achieve, then that also in return gives the scenery value in it's usefulness and purchase. 

 

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That value aspect certainly works here at PAEN, so the newer PAWD-Seward scenery is already creating high expectations of the same.

 

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Departure is from PAEN Rwy 02 and PAWD is directly 120º to the southeast which is 104 miles or 167 km, so I initially turn to that heading...

 

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...   and directly now ahead are the The Kenai Mountains which are a large mountain range in this eastern Alaska. They extend 192 km northeast from the southern end of the Kenai Peninsula to the Chugach Mountains, and they have an average elevation of 3,000 to 5,000 feet. So I set my altitude at 8,000ft to go over the top.

 

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But once heading west I saw a gap in the mountains that would take me almost directly to Seward. The entrance to the valley is over Skilak Lake, taking in the Upper Russian Lake (Not to be confused with the "Russian River" as that is further north), that in then forms into the Resurrection River that flows down an estuary at Seward itself. It is quite a straight forward route.

 

PAWD_Seward Route Map.jpg

 

You are in the correct valley if your going directly east, and if you see the Skilak Glacier to your right, and it is quite impressive even in this default X-Plane texture guise.

 

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You just then just follow through the valley, again there is another Glacier to your right, and this one is the "Exit Glacier"...

 

PAWD_Seward Route 25.jpg

 

Notable is that around this point the custom NorthernSky orthophoto textures are now part of the scenery, but they really have been so well blended in with the default textures, as it is hard to find the blending line between them, NorthernSky have done very well to create this seemless transition...

 

PAWD_Seward Route 26.jpgPAWD_Seward Route 19.jpg

 

...  by now you are almost through the valleys, and you should see the Resurrection Bay water ahead, and Seward is sited at the top end of the inlet, it is also time to descend down from the 8,000ft altitude.

 

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As you come out of the valley, then Seward is directly below you. PAWD is highly visible because of it's twin V shaped runway arrangement.

 

PAWD_Seward Route 22.jpg

 

The longer runway is 13/31 at 4,240ft (1,292m), the shorter one is the 16/34 runway at 2,279ft (695m) and both are asphalt, for the Caravan the 16/34 runway is too short, or too tight to get into (most pilots will laugh off this aspect and say the Caravan is a STOL aircraft, and so should easily land on this shorter runway), but I'm finding the Thranda Caravan currently a bit too fast on approach. (I later tried the landing and had to go around), so Rwy 13/31 it is or Runway 31.

 

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I drop down to 2,000 ft and do a circular 8 pattern to line up Rwy 31. As a good sight guide there is a small port to your right called Spring Creek (actually also the Spring Creek Correctional Center! shown here but not not in 3d, but as burnt in images). This visual point then gives you a direct line into Runway 31 at 31º.

 

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The phototextures are very good on the approach in determining the estuary at Resurrection River to your right, also strewn around are logs for a 3d effect.

 

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Over the threshold of 31, and note the great tundra style foliage. Nice also is the runway surface that is well worn, cracked asphalt with the worn out edge markings, it looks all so very authentic, I loved the ground textures here a lot, and they are as good as back at PAEN.

 

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The landing was GOOD!, then it wasn't...  about a quarter of the way from the threshold there is a slope to a level line that flipped the C208B back airborne, then it came back down awkwardly...

 

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...   so it took more time and more runway to resettle the aircraft, thankfully the runway is long enough to do this.

 

PAWD_Seward Route 36.jpg

 

You can easily see the offending line on the approach, so I recommend to aim the landing just past it, so I will remember that for next time, as the runway is long enough to accommodate this aspect.

 

Basically there isn't a lot at Seward Airport, as it is just really a motley assortment of cabins, portable buildings and hangars.

 

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One thing you can't miss is the welcome, certainly you know you are at "Seward".

 

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And it has a great feel here, as the buildings are nicely weather worn and rustic, everything feels very authentic to Alaska, a shame the flags are not animated though.

 

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The C208B is shutdown and it is time to unload the freight and you really like the feel here, what is the right word, "Frontier!".

 

PAWD_Seward Route 44.jpgPAWD_Seward Route 45.jpg

 

PAWD - Seward Airport

Seward Airport is a state-owned, public-use airport located two nautical miles (2.3 miles; 3.7 km) northeast of the central business district of Seward, a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. This airport is included in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility.

 

Seward Airport

IATA: SWD, ICAO: PAWD, FAA LID: SWD

 

Seward Chart.jpg

13/31 - 4,240ft (1,292m) -Asphalt

16/34 - 2,279ft (695m) - Asphalt

Elevation AMSL22 ft / 7 m

 

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Seward is to be really noted as a small regional airport, because basically it is what it all is, a few buildings and an aircraft parking area.

 

PAWD_Seward Head 6.jpgPAWD_Seward Head 7.jpgPAWD_Seward Head 5.jpg

 

Turn down Airport Road and the first airport building is the AA Seward Air Tours office...  you can't really miss it could you, the glacier airtours are quite reasonably priced as well i'm told. The internal office of AA Seward Air Tours has also been very nicely fitted out and with Alaskan decor.

 

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Next down the road is the Dogsled Tour Office, helicopters this time but with the same scenic glacier tours...   For pure creativity you can't go past the next tour operator (again helicopters) with Marathon Tours, as they have an office created out a ISO shipping container in the longer 40ft length, it is very well reproduced here with a viewing platform above....  "very creative".

 

 PAWD_Seward Airport 7.jpgPAWD_Seward Airport 8.jpg

 

Next is one of the four larger hangers here, this one is for TedStevens. Hidden behind it is the airport's GA Refueling tank and pump, again very well done in detail.

 

PAWD_Seward Airport 9.jpgPAWD_Seward Airport 10.jpgPAWD_Seward Airport 11.jpg

 

Next is the "Alaska Civil Air Patrol" hanger with another portable office set behind, then a blue storage hangar. Note on most buildings (hangars) are some great solar panel arrangements.

 

PAWD_Seward Airport 12.jpgPAWD_Seward Airport 13.jpgPAWD_Seward Airport 14.jpg

 

The next large hangar is the most interesting one...  this one is represented with the door open, and in showing the hangar's excellent internal detail. Certainly highly usable as a parking hanger on your next visit.

 

PAWD_Seward Airport 15.jpg

 

Next door is a slightly larger hangar but in the same design for "Seward Aircraft Storage" which is again nicely represented, with a large GA parking apron next to finish off the lineup of the airport. Not just with the actual buildings is all the detail very, if brilliantly done, but the ground (clutter) detail is simply realistically excellent as well and there is a lot of this detailing...  and that is "Seward Airport".

 

PAWD_Seward Airport 16.jpgPAWD_Seward Airport 17.jpgPAWD_Seward Airport 18.jpg

 

Seward City

The city of Seward itself is modeled, but not to a perfect building and street to street perfect though, but still well recreated by generic design. The city is dominated by the harbour's obsolete conveyor-belt fed coal loading crane, they are keeping it in case they need it again...

 

PAWD_Seward City 1.jpgPAWD_Seward City 2.jpgPAWD_Seward City 3.jpg

 

...  the Seward Boat Harbor is well represented as is the Seward Cruise Ship Terminal and wharf (a cruise ship would have been very nice here to fill it in?). To the rear are the city's facilities and a large animated wind turbine.

 

PAWD_Seward City 6.jpgPAWD_Seward City 7.jpg

 

As noted most of the building here are just generic, but they still all provide a nice backdrop and fill...  but in areas it is just basic detailing.

 

PAWD_Seward City 4.jpgPAWD_Seward City 8.jpgPAWD_Seward City 5.jpgPAWD_Seward City 9.jpg

 

Recreational and baseball diamonds are all represented, and the whole city is covered with custom buildings...  the only odd notes are that the graphic textures sometimes climb the mountains and cars move totally horizontally on their sides, it is sadly quite noticeable.

 

PAWD_Seward City 11.jpgPAWD_Seward City 10.jpg

 

Ground Textures

As noted the ground textures are excellent, highly realistic and exactly what you would expect at this "Northern Exposure" sort of area.

 

PAWD_Textures 1.jpgPAWD_Textures 2.jpgPAWD_Textures 3.jpgPAWD_Textures 4.jpg

 

I can't fault them anywhere, but note that runway 16/34 has a same sort of nasty gradient slope (but lengthways this time) as runway 13/31.

 

Grass and fauna is first rate, can't be faulted...  lush, and you wish all of the X-Plane grasslands was like this.

 

PAWD_Textures 6.jpgPAWD_Textures 7.jpg

 

Another note are the background custom mountain textures...  I'm not really sure about them? They are photographic, but they all seem a little artificial to me, or too light in colour, so I am not really taken with them, but these things are personal choices. There is the option provided to use the default X-Plane textures or your own custom ortho, details are provided. The Ortho4XP is default with the scenery.

 

PAWD_Textures 5.jpg

 

Lighting

This Seward airport is not going to be like landing at Anchorage, there are no bright lights out here. Just a strip of street lights and the lights from the buildings is it. Runway 13/31 has lights, so a dusk landing is actually possible, and there is taxiway lighting to the apron.

 

PAWD_Lighting 1.jpgPAWD_Lighting 2.jpg

 

Again both highlights are the AA Seward Air Tours office and the very nice open door Hangar. Even the western style wheel lights are really well done done internally in the Air Tour office, the rest is all window and drop down lighting.

 

PAWD_Lighting 3.jpgPAWD_Lighting 4.jpgPAWD_Lighting 5.jpgPAWD_Lighting 6.jpgPAWD_Lighting 7.jpg

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Summary

PAWD - Seward Airport, is directly on the other side of the same Kenai Peninsul in Alaska from Kenai, and a really great and companion scenery to the earlier NorthernSky PAEN - Kenai Municipal Airport.

 

In scale this is a small frontier style Alaskan airport, but small means it is also highly detailed. Seward is just really a motley assortment of transportable offices and hangars, with a focus on local area glacier tourist air tours.

 

So being small the scenery detail and minute is excellent, all buildings, hangars and ground clutter are all of a very high and rustic standard. Runway textures are also extremely good, but have nasty slope gradients, so be careful!

3d grass is also perfection and Seward City is also generically well represented with it's iconic conveyor-belt fed coal loading crane front and centre. Lighting is very basic, but still well done, the only comment is about the photo-graphic surrounding mountains, they are too your own taste or not, personally I would like better for the quality of the scenery itself, and a few of the graphic textures also climb these same mountain sides in not very realistic ways.

 

So if you have NorthernSky's excellent Kenai then you must then have this great double act, and it comes at (for the quality here) also in a very good value price of only US$14.00. What more could you want!  Recommended.

__________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! the PAWD - Seward Airport, Alaska by NorthernSkyStudios is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

PAWD - Seward Airport, Alaska

Price is US$14.00

 

Features
  •     The most detailed replica of airport buildings and vehicles
  •     High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures
  •     High resolution building textures
  •     Handplaced custom autogen buildings and forest
  •     Compatible with X-Plane 11 features
  •     Custom mesh for the airport area (Ortho4XP)
  •     All materials created for full PBR
  •     Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on all airport buildings
  •     High-resolution building textures
  •     Custom orthophoto for the airport and surrounding areas
  •     World Traffic 3 compatible
  •     Compatible with with Ortho4XP and default mesh

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 1 GB
Current version : 1.0 (April 4th 2022)
 

Installation and documents:

PAWD-Seward is a twin download of the scenery and the separate (optional) Ortho4XP mesh

  • NSS_PAWD_v1.0.zip (1.08GB)
  • zOrtho4XP_+60-150.zip (2.44GB)

 

That is then translated into a 6.83Gb install in your Custom Scenery folder.

 

The above two install folders must be put in the order of the "zOrtho mesh" below the main "PAWD_Northern_Sky_Studio" scenery folder. The scenery is set to the zOrtho setting as default. You can also use the standard X-Plane textures, or use the provided patch for any custom ortho textures you wish to use

 

Documents

There is a Windows Word and pdf installation and requirements, and a description of the PAWD scenery.

  • decription.txt
  • PAWD-Installation.docx
  • PAWD-Installation.pdf

________________________________________

 

Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

7th May 2022

Copyright©2022: 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  - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 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, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00

Scenery or Aircraft

- Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series by Thranda Design (X-Plane.OrgStore) - $US44.95

 

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Along with their Kenai, another excellent Alaskan airport.  Do you perchance have a link to 'NorthernSky?  The Kenai Orthos were supposed to correct some missing parts of the airport but they did nothing to change anything.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/8/2022 at 2:11 AM, olderndirt said:

Along with their Kenai, another excellent Alaskan airport.  Do you perchance have a link to 'NorthernSky?  The Kenai Orthos were supposed to correct some missing parts of the airport but they did nothing to change anything.

Yes, I know about PAEN Orthos missing details. I will make a new tiles after war will stops in my country. Please understand I don't have a much time to work now.

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On 5/16/2022 at 12:39 AM, rudeboy1988 said:

Yes, I know about PAEN Orthos missing details. I will make a new tiles after war will stops in my country. Please understand I don't have a much time to work now.

Troubling to reply during these terrible times is admirable and my best wishes for your country's success.

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