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Airport Review : EGKA - Shoreham - Brighton City Airport by NKdesigns

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Airport Review : EGKA - Shoreham - Brighton City Airport by NKdesign

 

NKdesign are a new developer house and here is their first scenery release for X-Plane11...  EGKA Shoreham, and now the airport is also known as Brighton City Airport. The airport was founded in 1910, and it is the second oldest airport in the UK and one of the oldest original purpose-built commercial airports in the world. The original aerodrome officially became an airport when it was opened on the 13th June 1936 under the name 'Brighton Hove and Worthing Joint Municipal Airport' for the adjacent English southern coast towns of Brighton, Hove and Worthing. A new terminal building was built in the same 1936 year and it was designed by Stavers Tiltman in the famous Art Deco style of the period.This historic terminal building is still in use today and it was designated a heritage Grade II listed building in 1984.

 

The airport is currently used by mostly privately owned light aircraft (GA), flying schools, and for light aircraft and helicopter maintenance and sales. A number of operators provide flying lessons, sight-seeing and pleasure flights. On 2 May 2014, Brighton City Airport Ltd (BCAL) took overall ownership of the airport and its operations, which at the time was still named Shoreham Airport, Once the takeover was completed, the airport was officially renamed as Brighton City (Shoreham) Airport. The objectivity is to promote regular passenger services, with Air Alderney which has plans to operate flights to and from Alderney in the Channel Islands. But to date the services have not commenced.

 

Brighton City (Shoreham) Airport

IATA: ESH - ICAO: EGKA

 

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02/20 - 1,036m (3,399ft) Asphalt

07/25 - 877m (2,877ft) Grass

13/31 - 408m (1,339ft) Grass

02/20 - 700m (2,297ft) Grass

Elevation AMSL 7 ft / 2 m

 

Airport Overview

 

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Set out in the idyllic southern English countryside, the surrounding area could be called hilly, or in the English term "Downs" which are rounded and grass-covered hills of chalk. So it is all very pretty, but hard for flying if you are approaching in bound from the north. The airport runway layout is quite different, in there is only being one hard surface runway 02/20 and its associated hard surface taxiways, but intermixed on the field are also three grass runways 07/25, 13/31 and a parallel grass runway 02/20.

 

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So if you are using one of the grass runways you would have to be very familiar with the layout and the runway orientation because they are quite hard to define, and are noted only by on grass (faded) white signage (the arrows help) but the 07 Grass approach also crosses over the the harder tarmac (asphalt) of the 02 threashold, so you have to make sure you pass over the solid threshold before landing on the grass.

 

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The field layout is extremely well done here by NKdesigns, and you can almost smell the freshly cut southern down's grass.

 

Tricky is the RWY 20 approach, and the departure has to be carefully flown as well because of high ground (hills) directly ahead of the runway. The trick is to follow the River Adur between the hills (on departure as well)...

 

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...  then when the field is in sight then do a nice right bank into the 20º heading, however you are still faced with a group of trees still separating you from the runway, so your height has to be right in the fact you need to be high enough to see the angle of the runway (over the trees) but low enough not to be too high once you are on final approach...  it is more tricky than it looks, because of your speed, and my guess that in say a C152 or C172 with their lower speed in that would help you out here, but anything bigger and faster it then makes your approach slightly too fast.

 

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70kts dirty is required here to keep my stall at bay, but once over the trees, it feels like a big drop to the runway, and you get an increase of speed to get down to the field, so a huge flare is then required to rub off the extra accumulated speed. I have done this approach a few times now and refined it every time....

 

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...  but it is certainly challenging, and rewarding. I think the largest aircraft you could use here is the Beechcraft 1900D, but the reverse prop thrust will certainly be required, and any STOL like the Twin Otter would be simply easy.

 

Shoreham Airport

If the art deco terminal was not present here, then you would be pushed to call EGKA an airport, then more of an aviation business park would be closer to the description of the types of tenants that are based here.

 

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But the prominently centrally positioned iconic terminal changes all that perspective. The distinctive terminal is well modeled, but it feels more modern in the age than one from nearly 90 years ago, I have seen a lot of these buildings and there is a certain feel to them, its good, so don't get me wrong on the design here, but it is not deco...  deco, I think the issue is with the windows, they are not pre-war (2) enough and the real window frames are also set further back into the structure creating a ship like layered deck above deck feel.

 

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The Hummingbird Restaurant and Cafe is well presented out front and so is the First and Second WW memorial with the B-26 Propeller.

 

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The five UK Union Jack flags are however very dark? and solid, so don't they look at all very authentic.

 

The Shoreham visitors centre is there (basically it is a shop for souvenirs) and it is correct, but missing is the elevated walkway and railings in front of the door entrance...

 

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The UK Customs building is however excellent, with the well marked apron parking zones to park on and then to get your entry clearance. The railings however are well done here.

 

The pre-war Municipal Hangars that were also heritage listed Grade II in July 2007, are on the west side of the terminal building, well rusted and authentic they add a reality feel to the the scenery.

 

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There is a built in feature in that if you turn on/off your aircraft's power, the hangar doors will open/close, but more at a flick than an opening animation.

 

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The large array of businesses at Shoreham are well represented... these include, The Sussex Flying Club and South Coast Flying Club, HeliFly, AB2 Aero, HIT Training, PerryAir, TransAir and EasternAtlantic Helicopters, a big tenant here (with the most modern building, below left) is the Northbrook MET - Shoreham Airport Campus (University) for engineering and The largest operator is Flying Time Aviation, that provides Integrated Commercial Pilot training, with a fleet of Diamond Aircraft DA40s and DA42s.

 

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Although all the businesses are well represented they all don't however have any signage? so it all comes across as a little bland, the detail, detail you now expect is not here, so you get the buildings and the vehicles, but not that outright realism that you now take for granted on airports of this scale.

 

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The West Coastway Railway Line runs adjacent to the airport (there used to be an airport station but it was closed in 1940), The animated train is really well modeled and adds significantly to the scenery, but it has a habit of coming off the rails further down the line?

 

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The old guardhouse and hangar on the north side of the airfield is represented and this area is well done.

 

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Behind is the "A27 Shoreham Bypass" and it has been recreated very well here with animated traffic and detail, however it doesn't join up well with the X-Plane mesh?, worse is that this view is also directly on the RWY20 approach so any realism effect is lost?

 

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Carparking and anyone who knows anything about motoring and motor racing would know the name Ricardo! They are a global engineering niche manufacture that specialises in innovative engineering. And here there is a small industrial estate represented with Ricardo as a tenant.

 

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...  however the industrial estate also looks unfinished and has no detailing. The "Old Shoreham Toll Bridge" is represented, but it looks a little stranded...

 

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The River Adur however is a bit of a head scratcher, as when under the rail bridge the River is changed into a custom object, it works close up, but it doesn't in context with the native X-Plane water? I see the idea, but I don't think it actually works as colouristically it is just too different?

 

Lighting

The night lighting is pretty basic. I will note that EGKA is not a night active airport, and god help you trying to land on RWY20 at night.

 

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Runways 02/20 is however well lit as are the boundaries of the taxiways, but that is it, the only landside lighting is the street lighting behind the buildings, and there is no building lighting at all, which is a missed opportunity.

 

Airport Code

There is also some odd business with the airport code set in the apt.dat. The code in X-Plane is noted as "NK_EGKAShoreham"

 

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You should never alter the X-Plane designated code, because the simulator won't be able to search to find the airport or link to the scenery, secondly I had a few loading crashes because X-Plane couldn't work out what the hell it all means?

 

Summary

We will take a few liberties here with NKdesign's EGKA - Shoreham/Brighton City Airport. This is a first release scenery from the developer and in that context it is very, very good and there is a lot of talent going on here in the scenery. But there are a few areas that you do notice the inexperience as well

 

Thankfully it is not in the bigger areas that are the issue here, but the intergration into the X-Plane mesh is not very good, the problem with airports like EGKA is that they have a very large autogen field directly all around them, so the merging of the custom mesh to the native mesh requires skill, so here roads don't merge, and so there is that flat gap between the custom and the native areas, and I am really not sure of that River Adur colouring.

The modeling overall is very good, but the missing finer detail in signage, dirt, and and general debris leaves it all a bit plainer than it should be, the skill is certainly there like with the rusted pre-war hangars, but it is not evenly distributed thoughout the scenery, and in some areas it feels slightly not finished either. The scale doesn't help here as scenery of size is now expected to be very highly-detailed and refined work, and you can ask more money for that detail as well.

The Iconic 1936 terminal is very good, without being brilliant, and it however needed that brilliance to make it work, and no night lighting on the building (or any building or hangars) is a missed opportunity.

 

The field itself is excellent, the intergration of the hard and grass runways and it all looks and feels realistic as does the 3d grass, and for overall the visual viewpoints while using the airport they are excellent, as this is a very nice area of the UK to fly around, and you also have the close proximity of continental France on your doorstep.

 

Overall the basics are very good here at Shoreham, and the scenery is very good value at only US$15, so from that perspective it is very good scenery and if you love excellent small and historical iconic coastal airports then this scenery is certainly well worth adding to your collection.

 

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Yes! EGKA - Shoreham - Brighton City Airport by NKdesign is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

EGKA - Shoreham - Brighton City Airport

 

Price is US$15.00

 

Features:
  • Beautiful high resolution volumetric grass
  • Functioning hangar doors 
  • Each object individually hand placed, all with pre-rendered ambient occlusion 
  • High resolution ground textures with specular and bump maps
  • Stunning high density vegetation 
  • Faithful replica of the classic Art Deco terminal 

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
2Gb VRAM Minimum, 4Gb VRAM recommended
Download Size: 1.2Gb
Current version: 1.0
 
Installation
Download scenery file size is 1.14gb. With the full installation installed package is 1.18gb in your custom scenery folder.
 
Documents
One manual with four pages (pdf). No Charts
 

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Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

7th June 2018

Copyright©2018 : 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)

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.09 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9  effects US$19.95

Scenery or Aircraft

- F33A Beechcraft Bonanza XP11 by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$26.95 - X-PlaneReviews review is here: Aircraft Review : Beechcraft Bonanza F33A XP11 by Carenado
 

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