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Scenery Review: Pacific Islands WWII by Khamsin

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The Pacific Islands Airfields is a scenery package that includes three airports located in the Solomon Islands.

  • Munda Airfield
  • Gizo Airport
  • Barakoma Airfield

All three airports are designed with a distinct 'World War II look'. This is the way these airports appeared at the end of the war, after the fields were captured by the US forces.

 

Where are they located?

 

The three airfields are in the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands are in the Pacific Ocean. They are North East of Australia and approximately 3500 miles southwest of Hawaii.

 

post-4-0-11357000-1382998348_thumb.jpg

 

Specific location of the three airfields within the Solomon Islands. General map and X-Plane map.

post-4-0-56939700-1382998347_thumb.jpg  post-4-0-79256700-1383000198_thumb.jpg

 

  • Barakoma to Gizo: ~15 miles
  • Munda to Gizo: ~35 miles
  • Munda to Barakoma: ~50 miles

 

A little bit of History

 

During WWII, the Solomon Islands were deemed as a strategic location by both the Japanese and American forces. By controlling the Solomon Islands, Japanese forces had a barrier between the US and Australia and South Pacific. In 1942 Japanese forces invaded several of the islands and established air bases.

 

In 1943 the American forces regained control of many islands, including the ones hosting Munda Airfield, Gizo and Barakoma Airfields. Once seized these bases were expanded and hosted many air units.

 

The most famous unit to fight on these islands is the Marine Attack Squadron 214, made famous by the TV series "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and then Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington. The VMA 214 were flying Corsair F4Us.

 

First Impression

 

Pacific Islands is a complete custom scenery package. It includes custom objects, textures, runways and trees.

 

To fully judge the impact of Pacific Islands the first time you open it, let's compare two screenshots. Once taken at Munda with the default scenery, the other one with Pacific Islands installed

 

X-Plane Default Scenery      Pacific Islands Airfield Scenery

post-4-0-56275900-1383000491_thumb.jpgpost-4-0-47749800-1383000548_thumb.jpg

 

The difference is stunning. But what is more important when you load Pacific Island is that you instantly get the feel for that vintage WWII look. None of us really know what a WWII airfield looks like but Khamsin's scene looks like the real deal. It certainly looks a lot like what we have seen from movies about that era.

 

World War II look:

post-4-0-89428500-1383005125_thumb.jpg

 

Munda Airfield

 

Munda Airfield was built by the Japanese forces in late 1942 and was used by their navy and Air force as a forward operating base. Munda was captured by the Americans in August 1943.

 

Today the airfield is used by Solomon Airlines for regional flights

 

 

The runway at Munda uses custom textures. It is a packed sand (or dirt) runway. The runway is only 4000 feet long with trees at the end. So there is not a lot of room for error at takeoff.

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The airport includes many custom objects including tentes, barracks, jeeps and static aircraft. All of them are from the WWII era:

 

post-4-0-72837500-1383008782_thumb.jpgpost-4-0-24616100-1383008783_thumb.jpgpost-4-0-41579000-1383008784_thumb.jpg

 

Aerial view of Munda from a Corsair F4U. The runway is parallel to a beautiful beach:

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Munda includes a place to launch a floating aircraft:

post-4-0-11176900-1383008992_thumb.jpg

 

Gizo Airfield

 

Gizo is a smaller airfield. The runway is a small island, outside of the main island of Gizo. As you can see the runway occupies most of the Island:

post-4-0-69826400-1383009038_thumb.jpg

 

Gizo has been given the same treatment as Munda with a nice tower:

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As well as barracks and static aircraft:

post-4-0-50376500-1383009039_thumb.jpgpost-4-0-94748200-1383009039_thumb.jpg

 

 

Barakoma Airfield

 

Barakoma is one of the  three airports with the biggest historical significance as it was the theater of several battles between Japanese and American forces.

Located on Vella Lavella Island, the runway is about 3600 feet long.

 

Barakoma was the home base of the famous 'Black Sheep' squadron in 1943. The Black Sheep Squadron (VMA-214)  was headed by Greg 'Pappy Boyington' and was the inspiration for the TV series 'Baa Baa Black sheep' showcasing many air fights between Corsair F4U and Mitsubishi Zeros.

 

Aerial view of Barakoma Airfield

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Barakoma has more room than Gizo:

post-4-0-19643900-1383009099_thumb.jpg

 

post-4-0-62694900-1383009099_thumb.jpg

 

Even ground vehicles are consistent WWI look. Here you can see a Jeep truck from the war.

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Barakoma has many places where you can 'hide' your aircraft under camouflage nets:

post-4-0-05866400-1383009100_thumb.jpg

 

 

Corsair taking off. Notice the dirt behind the aircraft. This is an x-plane effect you will see at all three airports:

post-4-0-98196600-1383009100_thumb.jpg

 

Some zero at Barakoma

post-4-0-76962200-1383009159_thumb.jpg post-4-0-64280800-1383009194_thumb.jpg

 

Just for fun a Corsair vs Zero battle:

post-4-0-29719400-1383009219_thumb.jpg

 

Impact on FPS

 

The impact of frame rate is minimal since it is not a complex airport. With my system the VRAM needs was only 860Mb at an 'Extreme' Resolution - Plenty of room to spare ( I have a 2GB Video card)

 

Conclusion

 

'Pacific Islands Airfields' is more than a custom scenery package. It's an experience where you will be sent 65 years back in the Pacific.

For anyone who has become familiar with Khamsin's work with the recent release of the B-25, it's no surprise that the textures are superb. Everything in the package is extremely well designed.

Overall, this package is a winner who anyone who loves anything and everything related to aviation during the WWII era. With 3 airports to fly to, you can design your own mini missions from one airport to the another.

 

Where to get it

 

X-Plane.org Store: Pacific Islands Airfield WWII

Price: $19.95

Download size: 175Mb zipped

Requirement: X-Plane 10. There is no X-Plane 9 version available

 

Aircraft used for this review

Mitsubishi Zero by Mr3D

Corsair F4U by JCS Aircraft

 

 

Computer specs:

Windows 7 64bit

i7-3770 3.4GHz
8GB RAM
AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB

X-Plane 10.22 64bit

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Guest duke   
Guest duke

i bought it last year

is this an update and do we have to pay for the full package again or is there an update price?

any idea?

 

duke

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Guest Henderson = Carney Field?   
Guest Henderson = Carney Field?

Lovely scenery, a joy to fly around, even in XP9. Though I think the later added Henderson Field is actually Carney Field.

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