Stephen Posted October 22, 2018 Report Share Posted October 22, 2018 Scenery Review - EBBR Brussels Airport by JustSim I just want to make it clear that EBBR and myself did not get off to a great start when flying in X-Plane? And I would like like to make it even clearer it has nothing to do with this EBBR - Brussels from JustSim Scenery. EBBR - Brussels Airport is known as the airport at "The Heart of Europe", and that explains my pain. You see every time I left the UK on a long haul flight, say to Hong Kong or Singapore or even Dubai, or returning to the UK from any of the above or to just to simply to fly over to Germany, I always got a bad to desktop scenery crash, and it was always EBBR that caused it? I tried everything to fix that painful freeware EBBR scenery, but in the end it had to come out of my custom scenery folder... So EBBR was always a blank on my X-Plane landscape, I never visited there, and always feared and still do that fear it would damage any long haul route in it's final stages, and usually after many flying hours in the air, and even when it had been removed... I loathed EBBR, absolutely hated it, just like the Brexiteers that loath the people that live in Brussels as well. So when JustSim announced their next scenery release was EBBR - Brussels, I wasn't exactly jumping for joy... but that nasty EBBR is now many years old and that painful time was now a long time ago, so was I willing to go back or even land at my most hated and feared scenery in X-Plane? Scenery design has come a long way in a few years and JustSim, are great scenery developers and one of my favorites, so if anything it was worth a try, I loaded in the new JustSim version and took off from EGKK - Gatwick, for a quick flight over the channel towards Brussels. Don't get me wrong I did still close my eyes as I neared the 100nm boundary and the loading of EBBR into X-Plane, but at 85 nm I could safely assume that I was not going to get a nasty desktop crash... I was through and the past lurking monster of EBBR and hard crashes had finally been put to rest. EBBR - Brussels Airport Brussels AirportAéroport de Bruxelles-National (French) Luchthaven Brussel-Nationaal (Dutch) IATA: BRU - ICAO: EBBR 01/19 2,987m (9,800ft) Asphalt 07R/25L 3,21 (10,535ft) Asphalt 07L/25R 3,638 (11,936ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL184 ft / 56 m Brussels Airport (also called Brussel-Nationaal / Bruxelles-National (Brussels-National) or Zaventem) is an international airport 6.5 NM (12.0 km; 7.5 mi) northeast of Brussels, it is the capital of Belgium and the base of the European Government. My first overview of JustSim's EBBR was not a good one? The custom textures that underlay the airport are highly over-satuarated. I actually thought my monitor's settings were set wrong? but no it is the scenery's textures that don't match or merge well with the X-Plane default mesh textures? It is very noticeable on any approach and even if you overfly the airport (below) of being in central europe as you do most of the time. This is very unlike JustSim, as they usually get the custom textures perfectly matched with the X-Plane textures? The odder thing is it is only the surrounding area textures that are over-satuarated and not the inner airport textures as they look and feel fine... Overall view of the Brussels Airport, and it looks excellent, it is well crafted and has a very nice layout... ... and many detail highlights was noticed on my arrival at EBBR on a very miserable low cast and a minimum visibility day, approach was into RWY 02. Even in these conditions then EBBR looked excellent from the air, autogen is nicely intergrated with the custom housing provided by JustSim, but more on that later... The wet weather and low light highlighted the excellent reflective runway surfaces, note how the dark rubber patches shine in the light, lovely... and the sun's rays sparkle across the runway when the light breaks through the low cloud, both are highly realistic. As two runways in 02/20 - 07L/25R intersect at the top of an A frame then all the terminal taxiways merge together at this point as well, and there are four taxiways to choose from. This is simplified by noting the taxiways as "OUTER - OUT" and INNER - INN", and it is also more simplified in that each taxiway segment is noted via a number between each link taxiway to the terminal ramps. Yes you will still need an Airport layout chart, but on the ground it makes the airport easier to navigate and find your taxiway exit, and to also identify which taxiway is for arrival and which is for departure. This layout is very well defined in the scenery as all the navigation markings and runway layouts are excellent, but very complex. Central Terminal Area Although originally quite easy to identify, as because of all the big changes at Brussels it is still a sort of in transition layout of where the terminals are defined. The oldest is the Satellite C complex from 1957... Originally there was two C Satellites, but one has been raised to the ground to create a new LCC (Low Cost Carrier) pier, but for now it is only used for stand parking, The circular C terminal covers gates C1 - C29... airside the terminal is noted as 3 South. The huge office complex behind was a modernisation of the original terminal, with the control tower as part of the redevelopment deal and you have lost the gritty feel of the original building under the more modern cladding, but it is very well done here.... the old control tower is still visible, but operations have now been moved across the field. The window textures on the Sat C are quite bland, but everything else is excellent and well reproduced. There are no inner terminal areas, but I'm not fussy if the external glass is very good, of which it is here. There are a few areas of missing fencing, which means you could just step out of your car and walk over and board the aircraft... which is not good for security. All the carparks are present and all have placed 3d cars and vehicle on top, and thankfully no burnt in vehicle flat textures. Concourse B Originally this pier was connected to the two Satellite C terminals when it was constructed in 1995, but now it is refurbished and connected via the "Connector" terminal building (originally there was an 400-metre-long (1,300 ft) tunnel under the apron!) to Concourse A... Concourse B covers gates B1 to B40, and detail is excellent. Glass is very nice, highly and realistically reflective... concourse reproduction is very good as well and highly realistic... ground clutter is excellent and you get "Brussels Airport" branded vehicles and ground equipment. Vehicle animations are also very good as well, with enough and not too much activity. This oldest pier still in use at Brussels Airport and is only used for flights outside the Schengen Area (Europe) and in other words it is the International area of the three terminal concourses. Custom bay guidance lighting is on the the side of the terminal wall, it is well done, but doesn't actually work... neither do the airbridges as they are not animated. Worse is the parking positions are all out of sync with the correct parking positions, so all the aircraft are not all correctly in line, not by very much but it can be noticeable here and there. Smaller intimate detailing is very good with piping and very well represented air-conditioning units on all terminals. "Connector" The connector building links all three terminals together as one space. And it's unusual design is very well replicated here, note the glass reflects nicely at certain lighting conditions. Concourse A To a point the new 15 May 2002 built terminal is the new face of Brussels Airport. This pier was destined to support flights from and to the Schengen countries (A-gates). However, since 15 October 2008 all Brussels Airline flights to African destinations are now also handled at this pier. Therefore, border control was installed towards the end of the pier in order to create a new pier. As a result, gates A61-72 were renamed T61-72. Concourse design and 3d construction is absolutely first class, ditto the glass and clutter details. Terminal Lighting The terminal and ramp areas in lighting is very good... Window lighting is excellent, but it is a feel and look that some will love and a lot will not like, personally I love it. You expected the green glass terminal to glow more green that it does, but it is fine and well lit below the glass line, with drop down lighting. The older Satellite C terminal looks excellent, but... .... from the ramp aspct, it is only well lit on one side, and completely dark on the other? If no tower lighting then why not terminal placed lights to fill in the parking ramp area? The landside lighting is very good as well, but there are a few areas of darkness and in areas that are terminal passenger arrival zones? Control Tower The Control Tower at EBBR is very distinctive, and for realism you need this building to be correct in it's design. And here the tower is excellent, really well detailed and a great reproduction of the real building, the radar on top is animated in rotation. Tower view is correct "Yay!" as JustSim have usually missed this detail in most of their past sceneries, but here they have got it right, and a great sweep of the airport the view gives you as well! Cargo and Maintenance There are many areas that cover Cargo and Maintenance at EBBR. One is area is west directly behind the central terminal area. This area is a collection of (very) remote stands and the left over ghosts in maintenance hangars for the old now long gone national airline of Belgium in Sabena. The western area though is very well done with loads of clutter to make what could have been a very uninteresting bland area into a very realistic point of view and more so if you are using RWY 07L/25R, and there is a nice stand area to store your aircraft or to do some on site maintenance. Across north of RWY 07L/25R is a huge amount of facilities that basically run the whole length of the 12,000ft of runway... northwest is a large cargo facility is the biggest ramp area.. The DHL facility is the largest presence here, and again the area is highly detailed with clutter. And there is an open large detailed Lufthansa Technik hangar for your use as well. Note the north positioned radar tower by the Technik Hangar. The north boundary caters for everyone, from Cargo to GA and Private Jet facilities. There is a nice reception centre half way down the runway with a nicely create Fire Station positioned next to it. Branded facilities are well covered with Bruxelles Sud, TCR, CTC-Moyson, Swissport, AVIAPARTNER, WFS, TNT, Landmark Global, CEVA, MSE, Crown and Schenker. There is a large maintenance area with two large hangars west at the 07R runway threshold. These are for local based airline Brussels Airlines (created out of the ashes of Sabena) and TUI. There is a lot of nice clutter to help in with the overall visual effect of the area. Note the excellent 3d grass, and the grass is filled out thoughout most of the main boundary areas and the inner field. Custom buildings On the entrance to Brussels Airport and to give coverage of the approaches to runways 07L and 07R are a few custom buildings. These are not highly detailed buildings, and just mostly boxes with average textures, but they do the job... They cover a business park with Samsung, Levi Strauss and Estee Lauder as tenants, Johnson & Johnson and the Crowne Plaza hotel... further down the motorway is Verizon. Distinctive is the NATO Headquarters, but the blank area around the strange building takes away all the effect it could have on the scenery. The X-Plane European autogen again does a brilliant job in creating a very authentic areas around the airport, it also has the v11.25 new urban and industrial autogen that makes it even more filled out and comprehensive in detail. An overlook or just a plain "what are you thinking" moment is the flat area around around the entrance to EBBR that is the Witt and Rode Cites? Could be the issue be that the autogen was fenced out, and if so then why not just fill it in with custom buildings, as it is very highly noticeable on both 07L and 07R approaches and certainly if the lighting is low at dawn or dusk as it creates a dark empty zone? Oddly JustSim did the same blank space behind the terminal at LCLK - Larnaca with the carpark. Cargo and Maintenance lighting The ramps for all the cargo areas are very well lit and are all excellent, east on the north side it get a bit more sporadic and more widely spaced lighting the more you go east. But overall these areas are well done. The Brussels Airlines and TUI maintenance hangars are nicely lit, but the ramp areas in front of them are dark and not very usable at night? Custom Building Lighting The Brussels Airport entrance buildings at night are simply horrible! You wonder what JustSim are really thinking in doing textures like these when all the other night building lighting and glass is so good... It feels rushed and very last minute.... or anything will do. Really it is better off without the buildings at night than lit like this... .... the NATO Headquarters is just a black hole? Summary This Brussels Airport from JustSim is a bit of a wide contradiction. In the main and most areas it is not only good, it is simply brilliant. The central terminal area is superbly well done, as is the terminal building lighting. The airport layout and ground textures are also superb, as is the runway marking and detailing. You get a lot of quality infrastructure for your money as well so there is a lot of great value in the scenery, so you are certainly getting a lot of detail and that quality for your money... clutter and fill detail is also overwhelming and excellent. But there are a lot of quirks going on in this scenery as well, and in the areas that are easy to do, and in reality should not have to be discussed in this review? Was the scenery rushed to complete?, or was there a "that'll do" attitude... but lets us note the items, and starting with the outer ground ortho textures that are over-satuarated and don't match the surrounding X-Plane mesh? No animated air-bridges and odd aircraft terminal placement, missing fencing, dark lighting areas (Satellite C) and the nearby maintenance ramp and the totally horrible custom building lighting is a total contradiction to the brilliant terminal glass lighting? and finally as also is the distracting blank flat housing area that covers the Witt and Rode Cites that is seen on both western approaches. So you are trying to and then reconcile these two points, and you can't, because how can a developer that has creates this totally excellent work alongside these few other average areas. It is like the main developer has done almost all the work, but had to go off on holiday and left his friend to finish it off, but most of these items thankfully are very easily rectified, but JustSim in the past have also been a bit slow in this area? But I am still a very big JustSim scenery fan and very happy to add this EBBR to my scenery collection. Overall the high plus points totally overwhelm the negatives and this EBBR is priced like all JustSim sceneries in the very high value category, and so yes it should sell very well and to everyone or anyone that wants a decent EBBR in their X-Plane destination routing. Deep down however your thoughts are that with just a little more of the final touches, and a little more then of refining this Brussels Airport, it is that JustSim could have really knocked the ball totally and completely out of the ballpark and crafted one of their best sceneries to date... so why didn't they? _____________________________________ Yes! EBBR Brussels Airport by JustSim is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EBBR Brussels Airport Price is US$25.60 Features: Detailed airport objects and vehicles Custom textured taxiways, runways and apron Custom surroundings Custom airport lights Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Animated ground vehicles (X-Plane 11 only) Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Excellent night effects Realistic reflections on glass World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided and overall the airport functions perfectly, but it has no airport operations file. Ground routes are to be installed in the ARR and DEP folders and the ParkingDef.txt goes into the ParkingDef folder. Requirements: X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac, Linux 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum, 4Gb+ VRAM Video Card Recommended Current and review version: 1.0 (October 20th 2018) Installation Download scenery file size is 1.10gb. With the full installation installed package is 2.48gb in your custom scenery folder. Documents No documents, and included is completed WorldTraffic3 ground routes and parking defs. _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 23rd October 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 11.25 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 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.