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Scenery Update : EGKK - Gatwick v2.2 by Pilot+Plus

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Scenery Update : EGKK - Gatwick v2.2 by Pilot+Plus

 

Gatwick Airport is the second major port into the United Kingdom after Heathrow. Situated near Crawley in West Sussex, southeast England, the airport is 29.5 miles (47.5 km) south of Central London. EGKK is the second-busiest airport by total passenger traffic in the United Kingdom, after London Heathrow, and Gatwick is the eighth-busiest airport in Europe. Until 2017, it was the busiest single-use runway airport in the world.

 

As sceneries go then Pilot+Plus's EGKK - Gatwick is not really an old release as it was only released January 7th 2017, to join the other already quality series  of sceneries by Pilot+Plus as with LSGG – Geneva, EGGD – Bristol International and EGHI - Southampton, of which have all appeared frequently in reviews on X-Plane Reviews in one form or the other.

 

To a point is that any Gatwick scenery is up against a quality freeware EGKK from tdg, and that is a hard hurdle to overcome. But no matter how good any global airport can be created and don't get me wrong in the quality of tdg's work, it is still restricted to the boundaries of the facade style and placement system. Overall you just can't beat custom 3d created objects and detailing, after all that is what you pay for in reproduction and detail.

 

Gatwick Airport

IATA: LGW - ICAO: EGKK - WMO: 03776

 

08L/26R - 2,565m (8,415ft) Asphalt

08R/26L - 3,316m (10,879) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL 203 ft / 62 m

 

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South Terminal

The original South Terminal and Piers 1 & 2 are well defined. The over built South Terminal complex is really well reproduced and and detailing is very good, but the rail station is not well represented. The original long Pier 1 has now been dismantled, and only the base remains and that terminal area has been remodeled and refurbished with five airbridges (below lower left).

 

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The iconic (for the UK) Pier 3 "The Beehive" which was built in 1935 is also well represented, and is now connected with the refurbished arm with animated train at the rear.

 

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North Terminal

The ever growing North Terminal and it's tentacles is also very evident. This terminal was built in the 1970's but with all the refurbishments and new additions, it makes it look far more modern than it actually is. Modern hotels including the Sofitel and Premier Inn add to the newer aspect even more. 

 

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Snaky Pier 4 winds back from the North Terminal eastwards towards Pier 3...  the rear of the pier is covered or separated by a well created and realistic wavy wall.

 

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The huge covered connecting walkway is a signature image for Gatwick, and this focal point has been really well done in this scenery.

 

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Almost every developer makes the walkway with see through glass, which is actually a mistake, because it never ever looks really realistic (mostly always a hideous green)? Pilot+Plus has however used a graphic and it looks far more realistic and authentic. The long and high walkway connects the North Terminal to Pier 6, which is an island terminal.

 

The feel of Pier 6 is to the more modern Heathrow than Gatwick...  it was in 2005 in that the new Pier 6 was opened at a cost of £110 million, adding 11 pier-served aircraft stands including one in Stand 110 that can cater for a Category F A380.

 

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There is a huge amount of remote stand parking at EGKK...  Opposite North Terminal, Opposite Pier 2, far west and the largest in "West Park" opposite Pier 6.

 

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Clutter overall is not bad, a bit basic and a few branded items would have been nice? There is a lot of animations in vehicle traffic and all the airbridges are animated, but come with no guidance (docking).

 

Cargo, Control Tower and West

The cargo centre here at Gatwick is quite basic, it is just a long warehouse with aircraft parking in front. It is well done here but the burnt in aircraft ground silhouette on G154 is a big no, no in my books...

 

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....  Fire Station and Control Tower is front of the cargo area, and are both are well represented, but there are a few flat areas of small buildings between them that are burnt into the ground textures that could have also been covered, as they are highly noticeable from the tower view....  tower view itself is perfect! in set just slightly above the tower it gives a full 180º clear view of Gatwick.

 

Far west is the Virgin Atlantic's maintenance hangar, and all over the scenery there are a lot of 3d cars covering the flat photo versions in the set carparks.

 

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Surprisingly there is no 3d grass here at EGKK, as it has been done very well at all of other Pilot+Plus sceneries? and you do miss it. The line between the custom scenery and the X-Plane11 autogen is excellent, as the autogen (in MAX setting) that fills in and hugs the custom scenery perfectly (a few houses however do encroach on an eastern placed carpark)

 

LIghting

The EGKK lighting overall is excellent, but there are a few foibles. The strong points is the overall ramp and area lighting, it is really good with different tones that separate the older and newer terminal areas, and the surrounding carparks and roadways. Approach and runway. Taxiway navigation signs are however not all provided, Links FR, GR and taxiway J are not signed, as are not the links A3/M3?

 

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Terminal and building lighting is a mixed bag. Some are really good like the old main original South Terminal, but a lot is very FS (FlightSim) lit panels for windows. Hotel signage is the same mixed bag, with the Hilton (and McDonalds) lit, but the Sofitel and Premier Inn not done so? There is a big dark area behind the South Terminal that is the rail station that could have been better represented...

 

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....  but where it counts the lighting is pretty good.

 

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EGKK - Gatwick v2.2

This is an updated version of the scenery to v2.2. In v2.1 you had a bad framerate issue that burned up your processing power and had that nasty pushback error, but these items have been fixed (quickly) in this version (also the reason this overview is a bit late). v2.0 originally covered the new Pier 1 changes as noted above and added the PBR ground overhaul with specular (Concrete tiles, asphalt) effects, in other words they now reflect or shine in certain conditions.

 

Overall v2.2 is focused on WT3 (WorldTraffic3) and the correctly built-in airport ground routes. The routing has been checked out by K-Man and a generation of the ground routes via the WT3 generator creates now a very good routing layout and it is recommended to do a clean reset than and use these routings than try and use the known tdg set of of WT3 ground routes. I don't understand though why the new set by K-Man has not been made available for download?

 

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WT3 runs now exceptionally well, with a lot of variation of airlines, but Gatwick is serviced mostly with the off cuts from Heathrow in the more marginal carriers and LCC's (Low Cost Carriers) like Easyjet and Norwegian Air. British Airways dominates and it all works like clockwork day and night.

 

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The clutter has been adjusted for the use of WT3 and is fully customised for the plugin's use and those ghastly static aircraft have been removed...  overall now is that EGKK is one of the best airport's for WT3 use!

 

Other areas in v2.2 covers the creation of a ‘Lite’ version for XP10 and for increased performance in that X-Plane version.

 

Summary

Free is still free, but in reality if you want a far more realistic experience and a far more better reflection of the real life working Gatwick Airport then this far and above your better choice in X-Plane, and in cost this scenery investment is really is not going to break the bank either.

 

There was originally a few foibles and bugs with the first version of this P+P EGKK, but now those areas have mostly been covered and update changes like the new Pier 1 and better X-Plane11 materials and effects brings it all up to date.

 

WT3 and ground routing has had a huge amount of attention in this update, and any traffic action is now excellent, well worth the admission price.

 

Yes there are a few areas that could still be refined..  the very visual rail station (or rail traffic) is not very well represented and it a bit blank between the tower and fire station, a bad aircraft silhouette in the cargo zone, and some of the building/terminal lighting and signage needs more attention, ditto the missing taxiway signage.

 

Admittedly I haven't used EGKK - Gatwick that much in the past, but I think there is the odd review or two out there using the scenery. I think that aspect will change considerably now as this scenery gives me/you a far more realistic airport to use and fly in or out of, and that is my motto, a great investment is "a product or in this case a scenery that you will use a lot", that is always the main returning value and the reward for the purchase... Highly recommended.

 

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Yes!...  EGKK - Gatwick v2.2 by Pilot+Plus is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


EGKK - London Gatwick Airport v2

 

Price is US$21.00

 

Features:
  • Faithful replica of London Gatwick
  • High Resolution ground imagery
  • Custom Night lighting
  • Many Animations in and around airport
  • Custom Tram track with animated tram
  • Custom Made Static Aircraft, Bundled Pack
  • Animated Jetway's 
  • Very detailed 3D Models covering the whole airport
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Updated and excellent WT3 traffic
  • Custom Runways, Aprons & Taxiways
  • 3D Grass and vegetation within airport and local area
  • Optimized for maximum performance
  • Over 70,00 hand placed objects!

 

Requirements :

X-Plane 11+

Windows, Mac or Linux. 
2GB Minimum VRAM - 4Gb+ VRAM recommended
Current Version: 2.2 (August 28th 2018)
 
Download and Installation
Installation :   Download file size is 870.80mb and is inserted into your X-Plane - Custom Scenery Folder. Installed file size is 1.5gb
 
Extras and Documents:
None

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Review by Stephen Dutton

5th September 2018 

Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews

 

(Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview 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 11.25r2

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

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.09 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free

Scenery or Aircraft

- Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research
 
Update Log:
Version 2.2  (August 28th 2018)
  • BetterPushback/ Hard Surface error
  • LOD Issue on load fixed
  • Missing Texture fixed
  • Lighting fixes
  • Fully Customised World Traffic 3 solution (credits to Kman) – please watch the included video for installation instructions
  • Creation of a ‘Lite’ version for XP10 and increased performance

  • Fully customized for World Traffic 3:
    • Moved spawn points to align with the autogates across entire airport.
    • Moved parking lines and dirt markings to the new alignment of parking spawns.
    • Added additional gates and relabelled gates to the real world counter parts where needed.
    • Added GA parking spots according to satellite imagery.  WT3 can now spawn GA props and jets.
    • Edited taxi routing to create a good flow around the airport.
    • Edited taxi routing to accommodate the A380 that lands at Gatwick.
    • Fixed a bug with the airport thinking the other runway was still active which was generating errors.
    • Added the correct airlines to all gates according to 2017 available data.
    • Made an airport operations file for EGKK that mimics the real world operations of Gatwick
    • Moved clutter objects around so WT3 won't run them over
 

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